Help support TMP


"Cheating at Statistics: Coverup at Kovyagi " Topic


22 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to the WWII Discussion Message Board



586 hits since 26 Sep 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2018 12:11 p.m. PST

"If there's one trend with SS armour units, it's that their successes seem to be accompanied by sudden and unpredictable failures. Whenever a unit fails to take an objective or is pushed off their lines, it always seems to be accompanied by fantastical achievements that just happened to not have altered the course of battle at all. Let's examine one of these scenarios. As it happens, Forczyk has done all the hard work for me in Red Steamroller.


"On 11 August, Katukov fought his way across the Merchyk River despite desperate efforts by Totenkopf's Panzergrenadiers to stop him. Then he sent the lead elements of 6 TC and 3 MC south to Kovyagi, which was a station on the Polatva-Kharkov rail line. Getman's tankers, with some attached sapper squads, succeeded in blowing up several sections of rail track. Priess committed Edwin Meiderdress' I.SS-Panzer-Regiment 3 to counter-attack Polkovnik Vladimir M. Gorelov's 1st Guards Tank Brigade, which had just stormed its way into Kovyagi. The result was another vicious meeting engagement and this one went very badly for Totenkopf; one company commander was killed in his tank and two others were badly wounded. However, Meiderdress had better luck against the 22nd Tank Brigade, which only had seven tanks left and its commander, Major Aleksei A. Laptev, was killed in action. Altogether, Totenkopf knocked out 18 Soviet tanks in its counter-attack."…."
Main page
link


Amicalement
Armand

goragrad26 Sep 2018 5:07 p.m. PST

And, of course, now Soviet documents are of higher credibility.

As noted in the comments all armies have a problem with overclaiming, some armies also had a problem with admitting how bad a units losses were.

After action reports are one thing, an actual equipment inventory would be better, but even those could be fudged.

Blutarski26 Sep 2018 7:00 p.m. PST

Cherry-picking isolated engagements is great fun, but the big STATISTICAL numbers (if assembled fairly and presented objectively) rarely lie. Examine the math and draw your own conclusions.

- – -

According to Zaloga's "Armored Champion", Soviet Army AFV losses/casualties (unclear) for the 4+ months of 1945 were estimated at 13,700 AFVs (8700 tanks + 5000 SUs).

Soviet AFV casualties (tanks + SUs) in the two months of February and March 1945 were reported as follows -
Feb 1945 5761 AFV casualties, of which 4286 (74 pct) by gunfire.
March 1945 7092 AFV casualties, of which 4994 (71 pct) by gunfire.

- – -

Krivosheev estimates outright Soviet AFV losses (i.e. destroyed/irreparable) for the 1941-1945 period of the Great Patriotic War, as cited by Zaloga in "Red Army Handbook", as follows -

Heavy Tanks 5200
Medium Tanks 44900
Light Tanks 33400
Heavy SUs 2300
Medium SUs 2100
Light SUs 8600
Lend-Lease Tanks and SP guns – 11900

TOTAL – 108,400

- – -

FWIW.

B

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2018 12:37 p.m. PST

Wow!.

Amicalement
Armand

Wolfhag28 Sep 2018 4:18 p.m. PST

So losing 108,400 tanks in 4 years comes out to 74.2 tanks per day. I calculated the Russian front total length to be about 1600 miles in Fall 1941 (Black Sea to Leningrad including all of the squiggly lines, not a north to south line).

If my math is right that means "on average" (and there is not any real average in any one area) every day one tank would be lost for about every 21 miles of front.

Wolfhag

Andy ONeill29 Sep 2018 5:35 a.m. PST

How much of that 1600 miles would see combat on a given day?
Nowhere near 100%
How much of that would involve tanks?

Legion 429 Sep 2018 7:10 a.m. PST

If true that is a lot of AFVs lost or otherwise.

Good evaluation Wolf also.

Neroon29 Sep 2018 8:32 a.m. PST

Good evaluation Wolf also.

Yes. Yes it is – but only if you're looking for the dictionary definition of sophistry.

Mobius01 Oct 2018 5:47 a.m. PST

The one thing wrong with these cheating posts is that they compare the records of one Russian unit involved to the German record while there usually many small attached independent Russian units involved as well. If anyone has made scenarios of the Ostfront you know you have to include this or that Separate Tank or Anti-tank battalion in the OOB.

deephorse01 Oct 2018 6:21 a.m. PST

I wouldn't go as far as to say that it is sophistry, but it is totally meaningless. Apparently no consideration given to the front line expanding and contracting over time, nor including the front extending to Stalingrad and the Caucasus or Karelia, or vast tracts of land unsuitable for tanks.

Legion 401 Oct 2018 7:06 a.m. PST

Sophistry or not … I think you'd have a pretty hard time getting exactly 100% accurate figures. A "good" estimate at best, I'd think … even if just "broadly" …

TacticalPainter0101 Oct 2018 2:27 p.m. PST

But what does it tell us?

The Russians were on the offensive against the vast bulk of the Wehrmacht from 1943 to 1945. In the process they destroyed the Wehrmacht, pushing it back over 1,000 miles and brought the war against Germany to a successful conclusion in Berlin.

Were these losses excessive in this context? If they were, what does that tell us about Russian offensive and German defensive capability? If they were not excessive in this context what does it tell us? If we were to try to extrapolate losses on the western front over a similar time frame and on this larger scale would we see comparable percentage losses for US and British armour?

Without any analysis the numbers really don't tell us that much.

Legion 401 Oct 2018 3:15 p.m. PST

I think we can say when counter-attacking the USSR was not afraid to take losses. Sometimes to excess IMO.

And in many cases the Germans were pretty dogged in the defense. When need be generally …

Of course if you are willing to take the losses, and it appears the USSR in WWII was, in many situations, any position can be taken.

mkenny01 Oct 2018 3:19 p.m. PST

But what does it tell us?

That there are many who seek to redefine 'victory' solely in terms of tanks losses. Its a backward calculation. They find something the Germans were good at and they make it 'the' most important factor in any evaluation of WW2. The mistake is to take this argument at face value and try and find reasons for the imbalance. Me? I think any person who lauds tales of single Tiger IIs knocking out 'X' Dozen T34s in the streets of Berlin is the textbook example of someone who can't see the wood for the trees.

Legion 401 Oct 2018 4:00 p.m. PST

Well militaries generally have more Infantry and FA than MBTs … And infantry takes the highest losses overall.

Lion in the Stars01 Oct 2018 5:25 p.m. PST

I think any person who lauds tales of single Tiger IIs knocking out 'X' Dozen T34s in the streets of Berlin is the textbook example of someone who can't see the wood for the trees.

Very much so.

Then again, the Soviets had refined the Operational Art to something glorious. I'm talking Da Vinci or Michaelangelo.

TacticalPainter0102 Oct 2018 3:14 p.m. PST

Then again, the Soviets had refined the Operational Art to something glorious.

Indeed. So while the lone Tigers were outgunning those T34s, they were being surrounded in sweeping operational moves. Odd how some don't see the irony in lauding every German tactical victory…..all the way back to Berlin LOL.

Fred Cartwright02 Oct 2018 3:51 p.m. PST

Odd how some don't see the irony in lauding every German tactical victory…..all the way back to Berlin LOL.

What is even odder is that NATO swallowed that whole line and the German response to Soviet attacks with the emphasis on tactical superiority became the plan. I am glad it was never put to the test as while the Soviets might have lost a lot of tanks there were thousands more coming along behind and sooner or later your expensive multimillion dollar super tanks with the highly trained crews are going to run out of fuel, ammo, luck or all 3.

Legion 402 Oct 2018 7:20 p.m. PST

I am glad it was never put to the test as while the Soviets might have lost a lot of tanks there were thousands more coming along behind and sooner or later your expensive multimillion dollar super tanks with the highly trained crews are going to run out of fuel, ammo, luck or all 3.
Me too ! NATO also depended on Air Superiority and have gunships & CAS taking on the huge numbers of USSR/WP armor/mech forces. Along with NATO MBTs, AT weapons, FA, etc.


And I had heard more than once … that it was not going to be easy if WWIII broke out in Europe.

Frontovik04 Oct 2018 1:56 a.m. PST

while the Soviets might have lost a lot of tanks there were thousands more coming along behind

I was once told by a Czech that the thing about having 3,000 tanks was you might take 90% casualties getting to Paris but that still meant you got to Paris with 300 tanks. :o)

TacticalPainter0104 Oct 2018 2:06 a.m. PST

Of course if you are willing to take the losses, and it appears the USSR in WWII was, in many situations, any position can be taken.

I'm not sure that holds up to scrutiny. The USSR was prepared to take losses, no doubt, but for several years this was a fight for survival, what would the losses be with Nazi victory?

That aside, the Russians did not have inexhaustible manpower, in fact as time progressed they faced many crisises in numbers. They constantly lowered the number of men per company, battalion and division and where possible replaced bodies with weapons. Russian infantry units saw a steady increase in automatic weapons, armour support and artillery support. This partly reflected increased armament production but also diminishing manpower.

While western armies would not have accepted the same casualties it would be a mistake to think the Red Army was cavalier with its manpower, if only because they knew it was not limitless.

Legion 404 Oct 2018 7:50 a.m. PST

I'm not sure that holds up to scrutiny. The USSR was prepared to take losses, no doubt, but for several years this was a fight for survival, what would the losses be with Nazi victory?
That aside, the Russians did not have inexhaustible manpower, in fact as time progressed they faced many crisises in numbers.
My statement was general and broad. However, IMO, the USSR would have still continued to defend doggedly and eventually counterattack. And the USSR would have defeated the Nazis, again eventually … We talked about this here too … TMP link

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.