German causualties on the Russian front. - Page 5

October 2nd, 2004  
Originally Posted by david_the_positive
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Hi, these are Russian sources so can't vouch for authenticity. They appear to be fairly accurate but who can tell:

As well as listing Operation Mars this site has a lot of different data regarding Soviet losses in WW2.

They are useful because they are coming from the Soviet perspective. They have lots of facts and figures but have to be weighed up from the location of their source.
Already read the first link through previously. Second one seems to fit, as ridiculous as losing 83,500 tanks throughout the war seems. So now all we need is a site listing German tanks lost and we can make the comparison.

Hello Guys!

this is my first post in your forum, and I hope you find my post useful.

I want to look at the links that were quoted as Russian sources, with a caution warning regarding their authenticity by their poser.

Rkka website - uses the summary sections of " [Cloak of] Secrecy Lost: Soviet casualties 1917-1989" book.

The battlefield link above leads to david glanz's intro written for the US audiences.

My comments on both of them:

First of all, both websites aim at being accepted by the western military buff community.

Second, the RKKA site does not bother giving the explanations and pitfalls pointed out by the authors of the original book.

Third, David Glantz made his fame by marrying the successfully set stereotypes with a Russian twist "well, lets hear their view", like Erickson and many lesser known career historians who get a paycheck when their work goes to print for the western military buffs.

On German losses, the only books I know that published authentic, full reports on German military losses came out in USSR (!) in 1967 and 1973, a total of 3 volumes by Dashichev, totaling about 2500 pages. The losses are covered with actual reports of the German army. Again, the only place I have seen data like that in any language.

On Soviet losses there are two serious studies, including the one RKKA website uses, and a a St. Petersburg University work. Unfortunately in the first study they did not publish any primary sources, only their analysis of them, hence it not open source, but I feel the authors did not BS about how they made it. The book’s early version was reprinted in USA by Greenhill books. The only full wartime reports I have seen are from my own research in the Russian archives.

There are books published by schiffer - panzertruppen and german orderpolice, which are translations of german works and have german documents, some of them published in full - reports from the front regarding the so popular term “small unit combat.”

Photographs. This issue was not mentioned yet here, but there is a vast amount of photography available from the eastern front. From the german side i have seen many Propaganda Kompanie photos, as well as private soldier/officer photos. The latter appear to capture both: the regular day-to-day and the unusual.

Lastly, I want to mention the “Soviet side”, “German side” quotes. Russia is a multicultural and open society, like Germany, so the division between German – Russian sources may not represent an ideological front. There is plenty of ambiguous, fluffy literature in both languages, there are also publications that aim at educating the reader through full, which I believe is done through full, uncensored documents. An example of this is “Der Krieg gegen die Sowjetunion 1941-1945: Eine Dokumentation.” It is the single most balanced, documentary source book on the Eastern front in any language. I have not seen many books that cover such an enormous topic, as academically as they do. I feel it is a better representative of the “Russian” point of view than either of the websites mentioned earlier in this post.
Interesting post and welcome david_the_positive.

Regarding “Der Krieg gegen die Sowjetunion 1941-1945: Eine Dokumentation,” what does it say about German/Soviet casualties? For example, does it show Soviet casualties as being greater than the info on those 2 websites?
October 4th, 2004  

“Der Krieg gegen die Sowjetunion 1941-1945: Eine Dokumentation.” (which by the way means: The war against the soviet union 1941-1945: Some Documents) does not have documents on overall casualty statistics. It has statistics on more local issues, and they have to do more with murder than battle losses.


Overall statistics: here is data from the same book that the rkka webs used.

A little about the book first. The book was prepared by the Soviet and later the Russian DoD's researchers from late 1980s to early 1990s. The chapter on 1941-1945 losses in that book is 197 pages long. It was reprinted recently in Russia in an expanded format: Russian and Soviet Casualties of the 20th century.

Below I paraphrased the English edition which I have at my house, Soviet Casualties and Combat losses in the Twentieth Century, Page 85.

This is from the overall table for the 1941-1945 period.

Army, Navy, Border Troops(NKVD), Internal Service troops(NKVD) 1941-1945

Total KIA, died of wounds, and during evacuations (based on the reports from the troops) 5,226,800

Died in Hospitals of wounds (based on Central Military Medical Directorate figures) 1,102,8000

Died of decease, accidents, court martialed, (non combat losses) 555,500

Unrecorded casualties from first months of war: KIA, MIA at time when reports not received from armies (taken from individual archive documents, including those of the German high command) 1,162,600

From that same table I did not include the overall calculations on POW/MIA, POWs returning to USSR after the war, troops encircled or MIA who later went on strength, and reservists captured before enlistment into the Red Army.


r0k. Regarding your post on the number of German POWs taken at Stalingrad: Here is a reference I found in a NKVD document dated March 1, 1944:
[from] November 19, 1942 - February 2, 1943 151,246 POWs arrived.

David R.
October 14th, 2004  
I'm not going to vouch for the validity of the stats, but I found a link for German tank production.
Doesn't have info on the number killed.
October 15th, 2004  
I don't know the numbers offhand, but I know Germany lost most of its tanks and infantry against Russia. But Germany in 44-45 was sending its most powerful anti tank weapon(88mm) to fight for the Luftwaffe against the RAF and USAAF instead of to East Front commanders. About 75% of the 88's and 2 million men and kids to man them.
October 15th, 2004  
To the best of my knowledge, there was never more than 30% of the overall German force deployed on the Western Front in World War II. Additionally, the majority of the best equipment and divisions remained on that front. If I've got my information wrong, will you please provide a source so I can verify? Much appreciated in advance.
October 21st, 2004  
it is hard to find out exact numbers and %'s because all victors lean towards them selves. The US sais they had the most action in liberation of europe. most european historians say that the russians destroyed the german fighting mashine so when the US came it was like Germany attacking Poland
October 28th, 2004  
Unfortunately, the Cold War had a tremendous impact on how the story of World War II was told in all non-Communist nations. Three primary things to blame:
1.) The USSR couldn't seem to offer anything close to an accurate accounting of the Eastern Front. They conveniently deleted items they didn't like (Operation Mars being a noteable example). The Soviet account mistells Kursk, the details of Stalingrad, virtually all of Barbarossa and numerous other battles. Were it not for these inaccuracies and lies, the Western World would probably be much more thankful for the immense and bloody sacrifice that the Russian people made on the Eastern Front.
2.) Giving proper credit to the USSR may have seemed unwise during the Cold War. Patting your enemy on the back, etc. Also, the Soviet Union's excuse for occupying Eastern Europe and forcing them to become Communist states was to ensure that the USSR had a security buffer between them and potentially hostile nations. So the USA and NATO members downplayed the USSR's role throughout the Cold War.
3.) Western Europe and the USA have a bad habit of only understanding history from their own point of view. A study on World War I will focus almost entirely on the Western Front, leaving a student of history to wonder if anything ever happened anywhere else. Any semi-knowledgeable person from the USA and Western Europe will recognize the name "Erwin Rommel". This is not because he was necessarily the best or the brightest German commander. Its because the West fought him numerous times, and were astounded by his abilities. We don't know names like "von Bock" or "Manstein" or "Guderian" very well because they were mostly on the Eastern Front. We didn't fight them = they were irrelevant <-- this seems to be the Western trend for WW2

There is no reasonable theory of a "Turning Point of WW2" nor "how we won?" without a lot of mention of the Eastern Front.
October 28th, 2004  
Many say that Manstein was the German's most brilliant General probably even more than Rommel, even Guderian admitted to this.
October 28th, 2004  
Manstein was easily the best Field Marshall in the German Army. Guderian was easily the best battlefield commander. There is very good reason that Manstein (and Guderian until Hitler relieved him of command) remained on the Eastern Front -- That was where the war was won or lost, so the best commanders possible had to remain there at all costs.

Guderian's story is very interesting indeed. He had returned to Berlin to plead with the Wehrmacht. He was ready to withdraw his forces behind some rivers and other natural boundaries to minimize the effectiveness of the Russian counteroffensive in 1942. He had flatly been told that he was to do no such thing. After arriving in Berlin, he discovers that the "Stand or Die" nonsense was directly from Hitler. He debated the point very strongly. Too strongly apparently, and Hitler relieved him of command.

It was over a year later that -- he wasn't just asked to return. Hitler, the arrogant and self-righteous bastard that he was, personally met with him and begged him to return to service. I don't remember the exact quote (partly because I don't know German too well ... ) but he said, in effect, "Things were said and done in the past that were regretable. I need you." Hitler was never the sort of man to admit to his mistakes. Heinz Guderian was too good to lose and even a man as militarily stupid as Hitler knew it full well (though it was learned the hard way).

Rommel was good, but he was no Eric Manstein and he was no Heinz Guderian. The West is impressed by him for good reason, but he is one brilliant commander of many in Natzi Germany.
October 28th, 2004  
Originally Posted by gladius
Many say that Manstein was the German's most brilliant General probably even more than Rommel, even Guderian admitted to this.
There is no probably about it at all. He was most definately more brilliant than Rommel ever was.

Pretty much as Godofthunder sums it up, Manstein was the best strategic commander of WW2 and Guderian the best operational commander. However, if you're asking me which of those 2 had the biggest impact on modern warfare and the man most responsible for Germany's early victories in WW2 then it's Guderian, hands down. He invented the Panzerwaffen and was totally responsible for Blitzkrieg and combined arms tactics. Others may also have thought of these concepts, but it was Guderian who developed, refined and used them with devasting effect in practice. Without this man, Germany would not have defeated France in the way that they did. They may even have not defeated France at all. Certainly there's no way they would have smashed the Red Army in 41/42 without Blitzkrieg tactics.

That's not to downplay Manstein's abilities in the slightest. After all, this is a man who devised Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), the masterplan that defeated France and who saved Armeegruppe Sud (Army Group South) from total collapse after Stalingrad. Moreover, had Hitler handed the strategic command of the Wehrmacht to Manstein who knows what may have happened. Not victory for Germany, that was already lost by then, but certainly with Manstein's mobile 'fluid defence' tactics, the German Army would have inflicted *grevious* casualties on the Red Army. So many casualties that it's likely that Stalin would have been forced to the table. It's rumoured that Stalin did offer a stalemate to Hitler after Stalingrad but Hitler would not hear of it.