Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:15 am

Dave Saxton:
In my opinion, troop strength numbers and whom out fought whom on the ground is completely secondary to the role of airpower and the build up of support material in the eventual outcome. It's my point of view that WWII was won and lost mainly in the air on all fronts and in all theaters.
This is the same case, Dave, as that of German armoured cars (or tanks) destroyed during the campaign by air attack. When air superiority, as in the early stages of the Battle of the Bulge, then the rate diminishes.

Of course, if you control the air space, then you have tactical superiority, which is something that´s not been accounted for in this... yet.
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by mkenny » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:40 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:
This is the same case, Dave, as that of German armoured cars (or tanks) destroyed during the campaign by air attack.
The % of armour lost to air attack was established in 1945. It was 10-15%.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:44 am

mkenny:

I will not ignore your points as you have been ignoring some that I have been posting since yesterday.
Make it simple.
Give me the number of POW's your sources claim for January 1945.
Give me the numbers for May 1945.
When you do that I will reply but I surely am not going to wade through your links when you (say) you have already done it.
Give me simple tables like I have given you.
I have done that many times now: given tables, data and sources. You decide to ignore them, you will only recognize the data that abides to your pre conceptions. As a matter of fact those that I have quoted have the tendency of given clear numbers, while you gave us a 1946 document in which we have to look for the important information amongst atletic programs for ocupation forces.
I am suprised!
Here we have the standard response when any German number is challenged.
There are always lots of 'exceptions' where huge swathes of losses are excluded for any number of bogus reasons.
The figures never seem to be good enough and always have to be revised downwards.
Same old story, when the data cant be challenged for accuracy then exclude parts of the data.
I promised to answer in a civilized way, even when un civilized contested by your sheer arrogance. The exceptions are those needed. Or you want to account for US casualties including those in Iwo Jima?
Could have....might have........ you 'imagine'?
It´s an expresion in which only "I imagine" is used, where the rest come from, I don´t know? By the way: Have you found already the statement in which I say that the Germans fought to the last or to the death?
You obviously have never heard of the Division and Brigades Monty had to disband to provide replacements for the remainder?
The severe shortages of Infantry replacements in US Units?
I have heard about the shortages, which was why the 101 was sent to Bastogne, as a matter of fact: because there were not enough units. In a 5.4 million men force I do imagine everything, including the laundry sink, was being used against the Germans. However the situation was also critical for the Germans, which, again I must repeat myself, were using old men, sick men to support those fighting and fighting themselves (again, let´s mention Cornelius Ryan books).
At all times? What were the numbers for July 1944? They certainly were not 5 million
Again: How many were they? And why historians of the caliber of Beevor, Glantz and House do commit a mistake that you are sure they commit?
German manpower numbers from their own documents:

Date: 5.5.1944
East: 3,878,000
Finland: no figure given
Norway: 311,000
Denmark: no figure given
West: 1,873,000
Italy: 961,000
Balkans: 826,000
Sum: 7,849,000
Source: "Strategische Lage im Frühjahr 1944", Jodl, Vortrag 5.5.1944. (referenced to BA-MA, N69/18.)
Very important. Then, you are posting a total of German troops for May, 1944 of 7,85 million. 1.8 million in the West vs. 3,78 million in the East. According to Beevor, Glantz and House the Germans fielded 60% in the East and 40% in the West which is aproximate the proportion shown by BA-MA. I must admit I´m puzzled, because this information tends to contradict the claim of 6 million surrendering troops by 1945 to the western allies, but instead supports the numbers posted at the start of this discussion. Those at Norway surrendered there as those in Italy and the Balkans, so, there could not be that amount of troops surrendering which, on the other hand, supports the fact that the German Forces were of 1,5 million (or, in this case, 1,87 million). There is no way to check the overall total of PoW taken by the soviets with these numbers but something is clear: according to these numbers and the previous arithmetics, there is no way that your claims of 6 million prisioners by May 1945 in western hands could be real. It, on the other hand, evidences that the sources I posted were correct.

Best regards and I appreciatte the last set of data.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by mkenny » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:13 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote: Very important. Then, you are posting a total of German troops for May, 1944 of 7,85 million. 1.8 million in the West vs. 3,78 million in the East. According to Beevor, Glantz and House the Germans fielded 60% in the East and 40% in the West which is aproximate the proportion shown by BA-MA
The Eastern % is 50% not 60%
Karl Heidenreich wrote:I must admit I´m puzzled, because this information tends to contradict the claim of 6 million surrendering troops by 1945 to the western allies, but instead supports the numbers posted at the start of this discussion.
Perhaps you can explain why an April 1944 total is in any way connected to an April 1945 total?
You are unaware of the huge number of men (and boys) forced into Uniform in the last year of the war?
Did you also miss the bit about the casualties being replaced?
An Army of a notional 200,000 can lose 100,000 men over 12 months and still keep its total at 200,000.
Do you realise an Army of 200,000 can have 300,000 casualties over 12 months.
Tell me if this confuses you.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:40 am

Operations done in millions of men:

1,8 + 3,78 = 5,58

1,8/5,58 = 32,2%

3,78/5,58 = 67,8%

Now, if the idea is to add those at Norway or at Italy, then it does not make any sense for you, but "I imagine" you figure that out by now. In that case we will have to add those in the Balcans to the East, too.

West including Norway and Italy: 3,145,000

East including Balcans: 4,704,000

Total: 7,849,000

Proportion:

East: 59,93%

West: 40,07%


And, then again:
German deployments to the Western Front (including North Africa and Italy) reached levels as high as approximately 40% of their ground forces, and 75% of the Luftwaffe. During 1944, there were approximately 69 German divisions in France and in Italy there were around 19. (Approximate data is given because the number of units changed over time as a result of troop transfers and arrivals of new units.) Source-Axis History Factbook, "The Second World War" by John Keegan. According to David Glantz http://www.strom.clemson.edu/publicatio ... r41-45.pdf, In January 1945 the Axis fielded over 2.3 million men, including 60 percent of the Wehrmacht’s forces and the forces of virtually all of its remaining allies, against the Red Army. In the course of the ensuing winter campaign, the Wehrmacht suffered 510,000 losses in the East against 325,000 in the West. By April 1945, 1,960,000 German troops faced the 6.4 million Red Army troops at the gates of Berlin, in Czechoslovakia, and in numerous isolated pockets to the east, while 4 million Allied forces in western Germany faced under 1 million Wehrmacht soldiers. In May 1945 the Soviets accepted the surrender of almost 1.5 million German soldiers, while almost 1 million more fortunate Germans soldiers surrendered to the British and Americans, including many who fled west to escape the dreaded Red Army.,

Again, thanks for the info. Has been very clarifying.
Last edited by Karl Heidenreich on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:47 am

mkenny:
Perhaps you can explain why an April 1944 total is in any way connected to an April 1945 total?
You are unaware of the huge number of men (and boys) forced into Uniform in the last year of the war?
Did you also miss the bit about the casualties being replaced?
An Army of a notional 200,000 can lose 100,000 men over 12 months and still keep its total at 200,000.
Do you realise an Army of 200,000 can have 300,000 casualties over 12 months.
Tell me if this confuses you.
Why do you not behave more civilized, as I promised to do? Not a harsh remark since yesterday but you insist in insulting.

Anyway... I do understand what you are saying. Still, you are not getting the point.

When the Western Front was opened the relation is correct to what it´s been previosuly posted. Of course forces are replaced: both of them. So the operation is mutually eliminated. Anyway the Germans cannot present a great rate of replacement, at least not one that superpass the allies: old overweight guys fighting the Red Devils or Patton`s 3rd Army?

And when the Western Front (and the war) closed the relation is also correct. It closes to Beevor, Glantz and House information. Not a problem here, never have been a problem.

Now, as always, need to withdraw because tomorrow need to work and got my boss inspection in the morning. So,

Have a good night.
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Byron Angel » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:02 am

Excuse me for asking, but I'm puzzled. What exactly is being argued here? Is this really a debate about whether or not the German military was strategically outnumbered in WW2? That is where this appears to be headed.

mkenny - I noted a remark by you to the effect that the Germans surrendered "in their millions". When exactly was that?


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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by mkenny » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:10 am

Byron Angel wrote:Excuse me for asking, but I'm puzzled. What exactly is being argued here? Is this really a debate about whether or not the German military was strategically outnumbered in WW2? That is where this appears to be headed.
It is because the SHAEF Intelligence numbers for Axis POW's are being disputed. I believe it is being claimed they are fake.

Byron Angel wrote:mkenny - I noted a remark by you to the effect that the Germans surrendered "in their millions". When exactly was that?

As stated earlier:

By September 1944, German prisoners of war in the West numbered 545,756.
By January 1945 the POW total was 811,796
By March it was 1,000,000
By April it was 3,000,000
The total number of German POW's peaked at 6 million in May 1945

Therefore by April 1945 Germans had surrendered 'in the millions'. I presume by mid march it was 2 million.

I also urge the nitpickers to consider carefully my earlier statement:

It should be noted I am just going by the numbers actualy in captivity. How they got there and where they came from is for others to fight over.

The total of POW's is the key for me and that seems to have escaped many

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by minoru genda » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:57 am

Karl, you must understand the concept of replacements.
According to: http://www.feldgrau.com/stats.html

There were 9,580,000+ men in Wehrmacht Service in 1942.
There were 9,701,000+ men in Wehrmacht service in 1945.

How do you explain that despite the terrible losses? Because men continued to be drafted into military service. A 16 year-old boy in 1942 would be 19 years old in 1945.

mkenny wrote:

A) 545,756 POW's SHAEF, G-1 Div, Daily report of enemy Prisoners of war, 3 Oct. 1944
B) 811,796 POW's SHAEF, G-1 Div, Daily report of enemy Prisoners of war, Jan 4 1945
C) 1 million POW's SHAEF, G-1 Div, Daily report of enemy Prisoners of war, Mar 12 1945
D) 2 million POW's SHAEF, G-1 Div, Daily report of enemy Prisoners of war, April 20 1945
E) 3 million POW's SHAEF, G-1 Div, Daily report of enemy Prisoners of war, May 5 1945
F) 6 million POW's SHAEF, G-1 Div PW & DEF report June 22 1945
So from this I understand that up to 3 Oct. 1944 the 545,756 German POW originated mainly from the Campaigns of North Africa, Italy, and Normandy and early war campaigns, pilots from the BoB, sailors from the battle of the Atlantic, etc. It was not until after the battle of the Bulge and the Allies entered German soil that they began capturing masses of men.
Also, 3 million POW captured by 5 May, and the last 3 million were captured after the German surrender?????
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by RF » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:39 pm

minoru genda wrote:.
A 16 year-old boy in 1942 would be 19 years old in 1945.
If the 16 year old managed to stay alive that long. At that age I wouldn't be too sure of his chances - look at the record of the Hitler Jugend panzer division in 1944.

But you are right - the ability to replace and replenish losses is vital in wartime, and one of the failings not brought out in the figures you quote was the failure to fully utilise the female gender in the way the Soviets did.
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Bgile » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:42 pm

RF wrote: ... one of the failings not brought out in the figures you quote was the failure to fully utilise the female gender in the way the Soviets did.
The relative success of using women in direct combat roles is dependent to some degree on the cultures involved. For example, when the Israelis first tried it, they found that male members of the same unit developed attachments to the women that were different from male to male attachments. The men were more likely to go to pieces when a woman was killed in combat than when they lost one of their male friends.

Since then they may have brought back the practice; I'm not sure.

When fighting moslem countries, women can expect to be raped repeatedly when they are captured. I read an account by a US helicopter pilot of her experience when she shot down. She expected to be raped and considered it an acceptable risk, she was. It seems strange to me that they consider their women so precious they have to be hidden from sight, and then they do that sort of thing. Maybe non-moslems aren't considered worth protecting, or do they do that to all women?

In US service, women often have to deal with lots of sexual innuendo and harassment. they are asked to show their breasts. It's risky for them to go relieve themselves at night. This isn't true most of the time of course or there probably wouldn't be any of them out there, but there have been a series of articles on it in the Navy Times recently. Sometimes it is covered up by their parent command when they complain. The armed forces are trying hard to eliminate this sort of thing, but they've been working on it for a while it seems really hard to do.

Our culture makes it necessary to provide them with special quarters on ships. This can be a problem on small ships because if you lose a female crew member and she is replaced by a male, there may not be a free berth for him, or vice versa.

When women get pregnant they are sent home from deployment. There has been some recent statistical evidence to indicate some of them are doing this deliberately, particularly married women who try to conceive right before shipping out.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by lwd » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:27 pm

I do find it interesting that you say this about wiki:
Karl Heidenreich wrote: .... I gave, in an un mistaken way, the numbers from reliable sources. ....
And yet complain almost every time we site the navweapons site....

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:18 pm

Lee:
do find it interesting that you say this about wiki:

Karl Heidenreich wrote:
.... I gave, in an un mistaken way, the numbers from reliable sources. ....

And yet complain almost every time we site the navweapons site....
Guilty as charged my friend, very guilty. And don´t think I wasn´t thinking precisely that when I did the postings. But at least I have an alibi to this: Before I was working in my country, so I have all my library at my disposal to look directly for precise elements. Now I`m at 2,500 kilometers from Costa Rica and home. Then, when I decided to go the "Bismarck and her Contemporaries" thread it was after an exhuastive reading of Friedman, Raven Roberts, Garzke, Dullin, Skulsky, Mullenheim, etc. etc. amongst others and I was bringing, from my monthly travels, some of the books for reference. Not now: I´m alone with what internet can serve, which is not that much but has been enough to prove me right in several aspects. With my books at hand that could have been managed with less effort. Anyway, you are right in your point: I´m eating my own words here.

Best regards,
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:36 pm

mkenny:
You keep saying the Germans 'fought to the death'
Since yesterday I have been asking for this expression of mine being revealed in this thread. You have been ignoring it.
Please provide us with your assesment of:

1. Allied and Axis Forces from June 1944 to May 1945

2. Allied and Axis casualties to that same period.

That´s all. All you have done is play with numbers here and there and not a single certain figure has came from you.
Please, give us the exact figures as I have done with those from Glantz, Overman, Krivochiev and the links I provided. Let´s not chart individual amibigous information of PoW on one hand, then contradictory quantities on the other hand.

Your answer to this:
The Eastern % is 50% not 60%
Operations done in millions of men:

1,8 + 3,78 = 5,58

1,8/5,58 = 32,2%

3,78/5,58 = 67,8%

Now, if the idea is to add those at Norway or at Italy, then it does not make any sense for you, but "I imagine" you figure that out by now. In that case we will have to add those in the Balcans to the East, too.

West including Norway and Italy: 3,145,000

East including Balcans: 4,704,000

Total: 7,849,000

Proportion:

East: 59,93%

West: 40,07%
It is because the SHAEF Intelligence numbers for Axis POW's are being disputed. I believe it is being claimed they are fake.
No one is claiming they are fake. They could have been politically manipulated but not fake. My point is that more recent studies, with more material and calm study, shows different results. It´s obvious that those that made these studies have gone through the primary information, which is why people as Glantz, House, Beevor, Keegan, Mosier, Krivoshiev have been allowed to publish their results in prestigious universty editors.
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:56 pm

Genda:
Karl, you must understand the concept of replacements.
According to: http://www.feldgrau.com/stats.html

There were 9,580,000+ men in Wehrmacht Service in 1942.
There were 9,701,000+ men in Wehrmacht service in 1945.
Sorry that is not until now that I´m capable to sit down again and go over this: too much work but it seems that this time we are about to turn over the damn building.

Now, we have here a situation that calls for ponderation:

From 1942 to June 1944 the Germans were fighting a primary front against the soviets and a secondary front in the Mediterranean/North Africa/Italy front. They were capable of replenish their units with young new conscripts or those healed wounded capable of returning to fight.

But from June 1944 to May 1945 the Germans were not in that good shape. We know, from various sources that, at least, they have second and third rate units in the West by when the allies launched Market Garden. As a matter of fact I do recall that the same Cornelius Ryan and Stephen Ambrose mentioned that at Normandy the Germans had a lot of these units. That is plain evidence that:

1. The Germans were having problems replenishing their units.
2. That if they were replenishing those with able men were those fighting the soviets by then. No fight was ongoing in the West until June 6th, 1944.

Now: If six million men surrendered to the allies in the West, alone, that means that, at least that number was in the West to be surrendering.

Using the same numbers from mkenny show us that, in the western side of the European Theatre the allies had 1,8 million soldiers. Of those some 400 K died, aprox. So we can assume to have 1,4 million that could have been wounded. If, in an ideal case, 100% of them were wounded but returned to service in time to fight again. Ok. Let´s grant this. So we have 2,8 million casualties listed as wounded but we still have only 1,4 million guys to surrender. Let´s add those in Norway and Italy: about 3,07 million overall. And let´s asumme that at least 1 million Germans did their way from the East to the West and surrender to Ike and Patton: 4,07 million. And in this we are assuming that all wounded surrendered to the allies. Let`s go wild and assume that the Germans replace 100% their 400K dead. We are in 4,47 million. No, let´s assume they were able to field 200% of those that died: 4,87 million. Round up in 5 million in such pristine conditions.

In this best case scenario, with a 100% wounded casualties returning to fight, with 200% replacements for those that died, plus those forces in Norway and Italy plus 1 million guys surrendering we are still 1 million short. 2 million if we substract the 200% replacements.

But again, this is not, and have never been the purpose of this thread to deal with this. The issue is that, by June 6th, 1944 to May 8th, 1945 the Germans were outnumbered in 400% proportion and defended in 11 months what they conquered in a little more than one month. By doing that they lost the equivalent of those numerically superior allies (that, as Dave Saxton mentions, had complete air superiority by then). Now, the dispute has been diverted.

That`s all.
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