Wanted to take the discussion out of the WitW thread to avoid clutting it with non related info.
Now, I am not trying to over-state the impact of the Western Front (or understate the primacy of the Eastern Front as the primary front in the war by any means), but I do think the pendulum sometimes swings a bit too far the other way, with no real realization of just how brutal the fighting was in June, July, and August of '44 in the West.
Here are some numbers that I got from my books.
German deaths in 1944 on the Eastern front
and August 277,465
for a total of 589,425 Germans deaths.
From D-Day to Sept 1st on the Western front the Germans around 70,000 deaths.
Well first of all it was a discussion about western front vs Bagration/destruction of AGC(from now on DAGC). Those figurs u cite are from the entire eastern front.
Not to say that a large proportion didnt come from AGC, but far from all.
That said looking at deaths a failrly misleading picture of actual casulties and more gives sense of the nature of the figthing that toke place comparily speaking. Looking at total casulties gives an entire different look. Now if we look past the whole human issue, i know i'd rather be captured than killed, and only look at decline in combat strength i paint the following picture.
Using only Rudiger Overmans figurs to avoid any source issue tho u can ofc always debate his figurs.
German POW Held in Captivity (Per R. Overmans)
Average during Quarter
Held Western Allies, Held by Soviets & their Allies, Total Living POW
4th Quarter 1943
200,000 155,000 355,000
4th Quarter 1944
720,000 563,000 1,283,000
1st Quarter 1945
920,000 1,103,000 2,023,000
2nd Quarter 1945
5,440,000 2,130,000 7,570,000
3rd Quarter 1945
6,672,000 2,163,000 8,835,000
So difference between Q4 1943 and Q4 1944 is for allied 720,000-200,000 = 520,000. Russian side 563,000-155,000=408.000
Now those PoW for both sides account for more than france campaign and Bagration.
Discussion of the allied PoW. Q4 1943 is ofc after Tunis, so where are the possible places for taking those PoWs
Well, there is italy in that periode, but well the Italy fighting not to disminish the fighting in any way didnt bag a whole lot of PoWs in that periode. Then the only other real place teh majority of those PoWs could have been taken is on the western front. Now with averages of Q4 some, but well since Battle of the Bulge/Wacht am Rhein, didnt start until very end of Q4 1944, 16 dec 1944, PoWs from that would be very limited in that statistic.
That leaves 4 places for the majority of the 520.000 to have been taken apart from Italy. The Lorrain campaign, Market Garden and limited fighting after that and ofc Normandy/Dragoon plus race across france/retreat from Southern france. Again ofc some of the 520.000 PoW would have been taken in MG and after plus the Lorrian campign, but i think its safe to say that the far majority of those 520.000 is taken in Normandy and Race across/retreat from Southern France. Now i have limited my self to using only Overmans figurs, and he doesnt detail any PoW from Normandy/France Campaigns, but there are PoW figues out there from other authors.
Discussion about russian PoWs in the Q4 1943 to Q4 1944 eastern front. 408.000 in all. Im not saying that quite a number of these naturally comes fom DAGC, but that is far from the only fighting and pockting that takes place on the eastern front in that peridode. While fighting in AGC area's apart from DAGC is very limited, same isnt so for AGN and in particular AGS area. The spring/winter campaigns did take a number of PoWs. Comming to mind are Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket, Uman–Botosani Offensive, Zhitomir–Berdichev Offensive, Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive, First Jassy–Kishinev Offensive, 2nd Jassy–Kishinev Offensive. Debrecen Offensive Operation is contribuators to the PoW figurs on the eastern front in the periode.
Again this is only PoWs.
Of the 589k KIA(actually missing is included in Overmans figurs) originally stated for the eastern front. In the same time frame the Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive and Battle of Tannenberg Line take places. Plus general fighting.
Again i have limted my self to Overman, but there are figurs out there with casulty rates in that periode other than DAGC.
Looking at those i'd say we not far from Berkuts numbers tho precisly what they should be is up for some debate.
Now if u start to add PoWs to casulty list. Limit our selfs to Bagration(not the entire eastern front) vs France campaign casulty wise it looks very different than 589k vs 70k. Very very different, and we havent even begun to look at WIAs figurs comparility speaking.
Kind regards, ur friendly myth buster
< Message edited by Walloc -- 3/5/2012 6:38:34 PM >