Art wrote: ↑
30 Sep 2020 12:39
Richard Anderson wrote: ↑
27 Sep 2020 16:34
For example, those figures do not actually agree with those found in NARA RG 331, SHAEF General Staff, G-1 Administrative Section Decimal File 383.6/1, Daily POW Reports. It breaks down the PW reports by capturing nation as (UK/US/Total):
Is it possible that POWs captured in operation "Dragoon" were somehow retrospectively included in the August count?
That may indeed account for the apparent discrepancy in the September figures. SHAEF began including cumulative totals from 6th Army Group as of 20 September 1944. As of 1800 30 September, they totaled 87,705, since 15 August.
Nevertheless, 21 Army Group reported 108,582 PW for September, 12th Army Group 141,545. Thus, the total for September (including 6th AG since 15 August) was 337,832.
It seems that in both cases prisoners captured at Cherbourg (or at least a large part of them) were included in July figures (the time lag mentioned above). I would also suppose that daily numbers were not necessary fully accurate and were subject to corrections later.
Indeed yes there was a time lag as well as other issues. For example, US VII Corps reported 2,836 PW captured on 1 July, which were of course actually the final counts of the major surrenders at Cherbourg. In the same vein, while the SHAEF daily reports accounted for 17,017 PW captured by American forces in June, the First US Army recorded 33,321 captured of which 25,208 were evacuated (i.e. transported out of the beachhead to England). However, the reports by the PESBG and 1st ESB for PW evacuations from OMAHA and UTAH for June actually total 30,180, not the 25,208 recorded by FUSA.
The culprit seems to be differing reporting times, lags in getting reports in under deadline, and incomplete definitions, categorization, or summaries of cumulative figures. For example, there is strong evidence that wounded PW were evacuated and reported through medical channels and were not always included in counts of ambulatory PW. Also, these counts of PW include all types of Wehrmacht...Feldheer, Ersatzheer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, RAD, NSKK, OT, HiWi, Freiwillige, Beamte, and so on, as well as captured "foreign enemy nationals" such as Italians and even some others. I suspect a large proportion of the PW captured in September were actually assigned to the Militärbefehlshabern and were both military and "uniformed civilians".
"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