German losses from April 44 till may 45 (Eastern Front)

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Peter89
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Re: German losses from April 44 till may 45 (Eastern Front)

Post by Peter89 » 17 Feb 2021 19:49

Art wrote:
17 Feb 2021 13:00
The number of Hungarian POWs death in 1944-1949 was about 50,000 of nearly half a million registered prisoners.
When did those POWs became POWs?

I guess we are not talking about the same group.

The picture is further complicated by the forced labor prisoners and those who became POWs from regions which were lost to Hungary after WW2.
Last edited by Peter89 on 17 Feb 2021 19:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Peter89
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Re: German losses from April 44 till may 45 (Eastern Front)

Post by Peter89 » 17 Feb 2021 19:50

Richard Anderson wrote:
16 Feb 2021 18:19
Peter89 wrote:
16 Feb 2021 10:22
Richard Anderson wrote:
26 Dec 2020 15:26
Art wrote:
26 Dec 2020 13:01
POWs death, I guess.
Because German POW were systematically starved and murdered after the war by the Allies? Yeah, but no.
In the case of Hungary, the POWs and other rounded-up males were very badly treated in slave labor camps in the SU. Even if it was not a systematic plan, thousands perished of infections, malnutrition and cold.

To be fair, I personally met and talked to some people who were taken away to do forced labor in Kiev, and the guy was so talented (he was a plumber) that the Soviets wanted to keep him there, offered him a flat, a decent salary and multiple wives.

About 30% of the Hungarian POWs and malenkij robot prisoners died.
I understand, but when we have reasonably well documented estimates of c. 178,000 postwar PW deaths becoming 750,000, then I have a problem. The only way that Overmann can make it work is by forcing a further 575,000 deaths into the wartime years, after already shoehorning in hundreds of thousands into those years with little explanation of how they occurred other than "German reporting was bad", which simply wasn't the case.
Okay, I see your point.

I am not familiar with the German numbers.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Art
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Re: German losses from April 44 till may 45 (Eastern Front)

Post by Art » 17 Feb 2021 20:22

Peter89 wrote:
17 Feb 2021 19:49
When did those POWs became POWs?
Almost all 1944-1945.

historygeek2021
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Re: German losses from April 44 till may 45 (Eastern Front)

Post by historygeek2021 » 02 Mar 2021 05:20

Art wrote:
25 Dec 2020 21:04
There are known estimates by Overmans:
Image
For the year 1945 Overmans gives the aggregate numbers without breakdown by fronts. It should be borne in mind that these numbers are probably maximal estimates.
Why are there so many German deaths in 1944 and 1945 compared to earlier years? The highest month of the war prior to 1944 is January 1943, with 180 thousand deaths on the Eastern Front. Then in June 1944 the death toll on the Eastern Front surges to 142 thousand then 277 thousand in August, and the first 4 months of 1945 are an absolute bloodbath. Were the Allies just mowing down Germans as they tried to surrender?

Richard Anderson
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Re: German losses from April 44 till may 45 (Eastern Front)

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Mar 2021 17:37

historygeek2021 wrote:
02 Mar 2021 05:20
Why are there so many German deaths in 1944 and 1945 compared to earlier years? The highest month of the war prior to 1944 is January 1943, with 180 thousand deaths on the Eastern Front. Then in June 1944 the death toll on the Eastern Front surges to 142 thousand then 277 thousand in August, and the first 4 months of 1945 are an absolute bloodbath. Were the Allies just mowing down Germans as they tried to surrender?
Because he had already distributed more excess deaths into earlier years than the actual records supported? For example, he "estimates" Eastern Front deaths of 25,000 for June 1941, when the well-documented figures maximum is 8,886 Heer, 92 Luftwaffe, and 42 Kriegsmarine. If we assume that all the 3,167 MIA reported were in fact dead, we are still only halfway to his estimate. That means either the Germans failed to notice and never accounted for an additional 12,813 dead or they somehow were hidden somewhere in the wounded count. That would mean that 43% of the 29,639 wounded died. Yes, German medical care in some ways was problematic, but not that problematic.

So you can either conclude that the German record keeping and their ability to count during the period they were at the height of their powers was incredibly deficient or that Overmans' methodology was deficient. The crux of the matter is that Overmans assumes that the majority of the “additional” deaths were due to combat. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be much evidence for this theory. Furthermore, his conclusion that the German casualty reporting system prior to 1945 was highly inaccurate has been dealt with in Zetterling’s critique. Zetterling demonstrates that Overmans data, as found in his table of confidence intervals, closely matches the data provided for the Heersartz (on the Ostfront through 4 September the Heeresartz reported about 1,220,000 killed and wounded whereas Overmans calculates 1,240,000 for the same period).

Fundamentally, Overmans problem is that military casualty reporting systems are not really designed to answer the question he raised – “how many German servicemen lost their lives”? Rather, such systems are designed as manpower management tools and as means for tracking the combat effectiveness of a force.

As far as the accuracy of the reporting systems goes, we have evidence from the Germans themselves. On 1 October 1941, a statistical study group had been set up within the Office of Armed Forces Losses (Abteilung Wehrmachtverlustwesen) to resolve problems with the “Central Statistics of Manpower Losses in the War” (Zentralstatistik der Menschenverluste im Kriege). On 30 August 1944, the group issued a report on the “Development and State of the Work” (Entwicklung und Stand der Arbeit) (T77, R780, F2114~). The report gave the following examples of problems in the reporting of deaths (Toten) through enemy action within the existing systems of the Heer:

Polish Campaign: the Sanitats Inspektur (Medical Inspectors) reported 10,244 dead through enemy action, while the KTB of the various regiments reported a total of 14,188. The work of a committee to resolve the status of missing determined 15,450 were dead as of the date of the report.

French Campaign: the monthly summary by the Wehrmacht Fuhrungsstab (Armed Forces Command Staff) reported 26,455 dead, the Sanitäts Inspektur reported 30,267 dead and the MIA committee reported 46,059 dead.

Norway Campaign: the Sanitats Inspektur reported 274 dead, the IVb (Medical Officer) of Gruppe XXI reported 886 dead and the MIA committee reported 1,249 dead.

Eastern Campaign: these two sets of figures for Gefallen (KIA, note the distinction in this example from the others, which refer to Toten) were compiled respectively by the Heersartz to the Wehrmacht Fuhrungsstab and by the Wehrersatzdienstellen (the Armed Forces Replacement Office).

1941 Summer Campaign: 158,773/188,982
41/42 Winter Campaign: 86,287/133,446
1942 Summer Campaign: 131,230/179,456
42/43 Winter Campaign: 93,067/117,339
1943 Summer Campaign: 165,457/193,508
"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

historygeek2021
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Re: German losses from April 44 till may 45 (Eastern Front)

Post by historygeek2021 » 02 Mar 2021 20:39

Thanks, so what about the extremely high death figures for 1944 and 1945? Are they inaccurate?

Richard Anderson
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Re: German losses from April 44 till may 45 (Eastern Front)

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Mar 2021 21:13

historygeek2021 wrote:
02 Mar 2021 20:39
Thanks, so what about the extremely high death figures for 1944 and 1945? Are they inaccurate?
Well, if Overmans estimate for the period 1939-1943 when the Germans were able to keep good records seems inaccurate, then I would suppose that Overmans estimate for the period 1944-1945 when the Germans were not able to keep as good records is inaccurate too. The problem is, it is easy to demonstrate that the German records were unlikely at any time to have been off by the orders of magnitude that Overmans infers. That would imply that it is not the German record keeping that is inaccurate, but rather that it is Overmans methodology that is flawed.

Fundamentally, the big unknown is really the period from 1 December 1944 to the end of the war. That unknown is engendered by the combination of lost records and dysfunctional communications, which got worse as the Reich collapsed. Thus, we have figures such as those compiled by the Organizationsabteilung d. OKH on 10 May 1945 (under British supervision), as found in NARA T78, R398, F8326, which essentially repeated the 30 November 1944 figures for the Heer found in the compilation Gesamtausfälle der Wehrmacht (NARA T78, R414, F3184), plus counted an additional 55,936 KIA for December 1944, but then made a gross estimate for 1 January 1945-8 May 1945 as: 250,000 "dead" (thus KIA and all other deaths) and 1,000,000 MIA...so effectively skirted by the whole issue of the mass loss of German PW and "Disarmed Enemy Personnel" in 1945.

So the real question then is how many of the 1,334,000 MIA they counted on 31 December 1944, in addition to the 276,000 PW they counted, were also PW or were dead...and the same with the 1,000,000 they counted as MIA in 1945. Obviously the 276,000 PW they counted to 31 December 1944 was vastly smaller than reality...it barely accounts for the PW incurred in North Africa and Italy, through June 1944, let alone those captured in France and by the Soviets.
"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

Art
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Re: German losses from April 44 till may 45 (Eastern Front)

Post by Art » 02 Mar 2021 21:14

You see, according to official reporting German military losses on the Eastern Front (all three branches included) were circa 620,000 men killed and missing in 1943 and circa 1,100,000 killed and missing in 1944. That actually confirms that irrevocable casualties in 1944 were larger than in the previous years in about the same proportion as estimated by Overmans. Then, if you add wounded dying in hospitals (not included in the numbers above) and non-battle deaths that would make totals quite close to Overmans. That's, of course, odd because not all of these casualties were military deaths in a strict sense. Overmans maintains that official reporting was incomplete and missed some part of casualties. Which has a valid point but still doesn't answer the question why "complete" estimate of military deaths is almost the same as "incomplete" official numbers of dead and missing - too much for a simple coincidence.

Richard Anderson
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Re: German losses from April 44 till may 45 (Eastern Front)

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Mar 2021 22:13

Art wrote:
02 Mar 2021 21:14
You see, according to official reporting German military losses on the Eastern Front (all three branches included) were circa 620,000 men killed and missing in 1943 and circa 1,100,000 killed and missing in 1944. That actually confirms that irrevocable casualties in 1944 were larger than in the previous years in about the same proportion as estimated by Overmans. Then, if you add losses of wounded in hospitals (not included in the numbers above) and non-battle deaths that would make totals quite close to Overmans. That's, of course, odd because not all of these casualties were military deaths in a strict sense. Overmans maintains that official reporting was incomplete and missed some part of casualties. Which has a valid point but still doesn't answer the question why "complete" estimate of military deaths is almost the same as "incomplete" official numbers of dead and missing - too much for a simple coincidence.
Indeed, that could be so. The most comprehensive Wehrmacht accounting of irrecoverable losses included killed through enemy action, dead through accident, sickness and suicide, dead to unknown causes, executed, missing in action and interned, prisoner of war, discharged from the service, and deserter (still at large). It totaled 4,215,165, of whom 2,153,158 were the last four categories, where there could be considerable uncertainty as to whether or not they were still alive as of the reporting date. Some, such as the 732 at large deserters, were almost certainly dead if they ever got caught. The 438,352 discharged from service must also be considered as a significant source of additional morbidity, given they likely either suffered physical wounds more crippling than say a Stauffenberg, since they could not even serve in a desk job, or had mental wounds, which the Reich would likely have frowned upon (I suspect if they were euthanized after discharge they would not be counted as military losses). The last category, 1,435,853 MIA also likely included significant numbers of KIA and dead...23,217 were in the Kriegsmarine, mostly in the U-Boot service and are almost all certainly dead, since it looks like most of the 5,004 crew who were PW were included in the 8,988 known KM PW.

I suspect that around 80% or so of the recorded MIA were actually dead, either KIA or dead in PW status, but not reported to the Red Cross, while a smaller proportion of the other categories were dead as well.
"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

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