Friday, November 4, 2011

Strength and loss data Eastern Front – part 1

I have the following table from Axis History forum user Qvist :


Quarter
German Istarke
Soviet Fronts
Ratio
1941
3q41
2,800,000
3,334,000
1.2
4q41
2,675,000
2,818,500
1.1
1942
1q42
2,525,000
4,186,000
1.7
2q42
2,600,000
5,060,300
1.9
3q42
2,825,000
5,664,600
2.0
4q42
2,900,000
6,343,600
2.2
1943
1q43
2,800,000
5,892,800
2.1
2q43
2,850,000
6,459,800
2.3
3q43
2,850,000
6,816,800
2.4
4q43
2,575,000
6,387,200
2.5
1944
1q44
2,406,750
6,268,600
2.6
2q44
2,409,750
6,447,000
2.7
3q44
2,076,250
6,714,300
3.2
4q44
1,900,800
6,770,100
3.6
1945
1q45
1,800,000
6,461,100
3.6
2q45
6,135,300


Explanation for Iststarke :Actual strength, includes all men that are part of the unit's composition. Men on leave or temporarily detached to other units are included. Also men sick or wounded are included if they are assumed to return to service within eight weeks. Thus, despite its name, this strength category does not give the actual number of men available for service with the unit at the given time.

The data for the Soviet Forces comes from Krivosheev, Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century..

More data for German forces can be found in Kursk 1943: A Statistical Analysis ,by Zetterling and Frankson.Specifically pages 2 and 5:
On 1 July 1942 German forces in the East were 2.635.000 plus 150.000 in Finland and 212.000 in rear occupied areas of Eastern Europe.Total 2.997.000.

On 1 July 1943 German forces in the East were 3.138.000(Waffen SS and ground combat units of the Luftwaffe are included) plus 80.000 on Finnish front.Total 3.218.000.
The same authors in ‘’Analyzing World War II Eastern front battles’’ give for 1 June 1944 a German Istarke of 2.089.559 in the East. This figure does not include non-combat GHQ units and units directly under command of OKH (which were quite numerous).If those units are included the total is 2.557.000

At the start of Barbarossa the German had 2.5 mln troops in action and 500.000 as reinforcements .Also ~150.000 were based in the Far North theater .So total ~3.2mln.This is mentioned by many authors,including Ziemke.

What about casualties? Here is a table using Krivosheev for Soviet forces and Axis History Forum for German losses ( both sets of data refer only to only KIA,MIA,WIA ):

East Front Casualties
Losses By quarter
Quarter
German
Soviet
Ratio
1941
3q41
551,189
2,795,638
5.07
4q41
279,861
1,598,456
5.71
1942
1q42
280,238
1,686,355
6.02
2q42
220,291
1,395,335
6.33
3q42
383,750
2,371,162
6.18
4q42
177,050
1,281,085
7.24
1943
1q43
498,795
1,908,052
3.83
2q43
110,139
444,858
4.04
3q43
533,025
2,633,522
4.94
4q43
381,725
1,939,845
5.08
1944
1q44
423,715
1,859,810
4.39
2q44
352,831
1,021,576
2.90
3q44
879,127
1,771,879
2.02
4q44
297,782
1,086,807
3.65





















Author Zetterling in ‘’Normandy 1944’’ gives slightly higher losses for the Germans :

German Losses -Zetterling
1941
831,050
1942
1,080,950
1943
1,601,445
1944
1,947,106

Accurate data on German losses are not available for 1945.

In order to make this comparison complete we should include the strength and losses of the German allies.
From various sources I have the following strength data at the start of Barbarossa campaign (all approximate):

Rumanian 340.000 , Finnish 250.000 , Italian 60.000 , Hungarian 44.000 , Slovak 45.000 .
Sum : 739.000 .Not all participants joined combat at the start of the campaign though.

From ‘’Kursk 1943’’ : 1 July 1942 – German satellites 648.000 , Finnish forces 210.000

1 July 1943 -German satellites 225.000 , Finnish forces 230.000.
Finally regarding losses ,this thread in AHF has information .

Using various sources I made this table :

Axis Allies Casualties Eastern Front
KIA
MIA
WIA
Total
Rumania 1941-August 1944
71,000
163,000
243,000
477,000
Don Battles
155,000
Italy
30,000
54,000
34,000
118,000
Finland Continuation War
52,554
2,377
161,217
216,148
Hungary 41-5/45
120,000
200,000
320,000
Don Battles
8,718
79,870
16,497
105,085
Blue Division
3,938
300
8,466
12,704
Slovakia 41-March 44
1,235
2,537
3,198
6,970
Division Wallonien
2,500
2,500


















All this information is valuable for assessing the true nature of the war in the East.

14 comments:

  1. Do not you think that with such a loss ratio of the Red Army would never have gained the victory over Germany.

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  2. Nope, since the SU could focus all its manpower against Germany while the opposite was not true. IF the Germans were able to transfer all their forces East then the exchange ratio might have changed the outcome of the war.

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    Replies
    1. In my opinion SU won just because they recruited much more than the huge losses they suffered. So even such high loss ratio was not able to prevent them to increase their force year after year.
      the great and besr part of german forces was in the east ...
      even concentrating the residual part could have provided little change. Their only winning hope was on 41, but SU knowing their resources would never yield so easly as Hitler hoped

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    2. SU benefited from having to fight on one front against an enemy that had to divert more and more resources against other fronts from 1942 onwards. They also benefited from Lend Lease while Germany lost production due the bomber offensive. One on one it is difficult to see how the SU could have survived as shown by the exchange ratios in manpower, tanks and aircraft of the period 1941-44.

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  3. Yes, SU had such benefits, but in my opinion they were not the main winning key of est front.
    Consider that the resources employed in Africa (42-43) and Italy (43) were negligible respect to the russian front. By the end of 43 germans was already doomed in the est. Also the US bombing in 42-43 was not such effective as was in 44 due to the lack of long range fighter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Negligible? Please study WWII in more detail. Maybe in your country there is an emphasis on the Soviet contribution and in theory there is nothing wrong with that provided one does not take it too far.

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    2. I meant negligible as in my opinion not sufficient to change the force ratio in the east.
      I'm from Italy and I know the African and Italian front ... Some of my parents were there.
      Thanks for all interesting information yoi collected

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    3. I would suggest you have a look at the resources spent by the Germans in the Luftwaffe, the Navy, their AA defenses and the share of ammunition production allocated to air defense. Apart from the Luftwaffe the other categories were used almost exclusively in the West. As for the Luftwaffe in summer ’42 roughly less than 50% of combat aircraft are in the East, slightly more in other theatres. From then on Eastern forces are heavily downsized to provide for units in Germany and Med.
      So it is definitely not negligible. As for ‘sufficient to change the force ratio in the east’ I don’t know what exactly you mean or about ‘what if’ scenarios. For example in the second half of 1942 how would things have changed in the East if the Germans had Rommel’s two armored divisions plus an entire air fleet? What about the other forces they had to keep in the west? See it’s not that simple.

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  4. I agree with your anaylis about Luftwaffe.
    In my opinion east war was essentially a infantry attrition war. In such kind of war the winner is the one who has more cannon fodder.
    At the end of 42 SU had 6 milion man (better trained and commanded respect 41 period) vs about 3 milion germans. I don't think that adding rommel panzer division and remaining air force would avoid the stalingrad catastrophe.
    Anyway as we say in Italy history is not done with "if" and "but" so no one can know the outcame of such scenario

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'history is not done with "if" and "but"'

      I will agree with you but I think that the addition of even a few units could have led to radically different outcomes due to the difference in quality between German and Soviet units. In second half ’42 the Germans were able to deal with operation ‘Mars’ against AGC but failed against the Soviet attack in the South. With a few more units they could have dealt with the Soviet offensive.
      By the way you are forgetting German units that had to be moved West due to the anticipation of Allied landings (Dieppe raid) and then were brought back to the East.

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  5. As I know dieppe had a low impact on east front.
    What units had been removed from east during 42 summer attack?

    My personal opionion is a small amount of units more could have been decisive in 41 ... especially in winter.
    but from end of 42 nothing could have avoided the axis defeat

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    Replies
    1. SS units ‘Das Reich’, ‘Adolf Hitler’ and ‘Totenkopf’ were in France in 1942 (first two for a long time) and were brought to the East in early 1943. These units allowed Manstein to defeat the Soviets in the Ukraine. I think that it is reasonable to assume that they could have been moved earlier had there been no opponent in the west.

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  6. Yes those divisions were in france but to be re-organized and re-equipped after the losses they suffered in russia. Totenpof and das reich in particular suffered very high losses during soviet 41 winter offensive.

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    Replies
    1. If there was no threat from the west these units would have been moved to the East sooner. The same units 1 and 2 SS took part in the Normandy battles without 6 months rest and refitting. So just by counting units that ‘could’ have been used in the East it’s 5 armored divisions and one air fleet and that’s simply what I can think of at the top of my head. Plus infantry units from Med and Western Europe etc etc
      That’s quite an impressive alternative for ’42 and surely not negligible. If you look at what if scenarios where from the start the Germans only fight against the SU they would have had much more resources to invest in land combat systems. Combined with the kill/loss ratio it’s difficult to see how the SU could have coped!

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