Waffen ss Panzergrenadier and Panzers vs Wermarcht

German SS and Waffen-SS 1923-1945.
Laurent Daniel
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Post by Laurent Daniel » Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:02 am

I feel that passing on the Waffen SS all the "good" (Military performances) and the "bad" (Exactions and war crimes) was also a way to ease a bit the massive guilt pressure that was on the German people after the war.

The SS devil fighters got it all while the average Whermacht Landser was, at the end, a poor guy embarked in the disaster against his will.

It's only recently that the extension of crime guilt to some Whermacht units started, at least in Germany, we all heard about the exhibition about that.

It could be the same about the military performances of the Waffen SS and of the Whermacht being very similar.

That's an opinion only, don't ask for sources....
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Daniel Laurent

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Post by corderex » Sun Jul 17, 2005 7:46 am

Hello Cristoph,
Epaminondas could you give me facts with sources that gives evidence that the W-SS was better supplied and how exactly this should have worked considering that it was supplied through Heer channels???
During my researches in the last 10 years I was not able to find any evidence that this was the case and nobody who claimed it was able to provide proofable facts.
A couple of quick examples, taken at random, which may give you the evidence you are looking for…

- Out of ten heavy panzer battalions created during the war, three belonged to the Waffen SS...

- Besides the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Waffen SS divisions, there was only one other unit equipped with an organic heavy panzer battalion, the GD division...

- Out of 473 Tiger II tanks actually delivered to operational units until the end of the war, 124 (26.2%) ended up in one or another of the three Waffen SS heavy panzer battalions...

- At the start of Kursk offensive, Germany had 133 Tiger I tanks in its order of battle (on-hand strength). Forty-two of them (31.5%) belonged to one or another of the three Waffen SS PzGren. Divisions...
(T. Jentz, Panzertruppen: The Complete Guide to the Creation and Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force, 1943-1945, vol. 2)
Furthermore, of the 19 Tigers sent as replacements during the battle, 5 (26.3%) went to the LSSAH Pz.Reg. Interestingly enough, the LSSAH division only lost one Tiger during Zitadelle, against the 4 lost by s.Pz.Abt. 503, which did not get a single one of these 19 Tigers.

Those figures would make sense only if the Waffen-SS constituted about 30% of the entire German land forces during the war, which of course, and as you know, was not the case.

I don't know how this worked, "considering that it was supplied through Heer channels", but these are the facts, and examples abound. Maybe some decision from higher echelons?

best regards,

corderex

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Post by Epaminondas » Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:08 am

More then willing to dive into the books to find some support for off the cuff comment... but a little busy with real life right now.

Though looking at tank and infantry replacements to heer and SS units during 1943 leading up to Kursk would be a good start.

---

I'm not argueing that every Waffen SS unit was better equipped and had better access to replacements then every heer unit... that would be silly.

Grossdeutchland seems to have received better replacements then Wiking for example.

My point was, my "feel" from researching was that the Waffen SS units seems to have first claim to the prime replacements of equipment and manpower. The 11th Panzer for example was down to 30-40 men in the infantry companies during the winter of 1942/1943... and while it got some replacements for Kursk; not nearly enough... and it had real problems fighting effectively in Kursk. Compare its performance in stopping the Soviets post Stalingrad encirclement, when it achieved a COMFIRMED kill ratio so high, the unit was asked to write reports on how it was doing it.

The II SS panzer corps on the other hand, suffered alot of losses in 4th Kharkov as well; but was brought up to strengh for Kursk. Merely looking at a OOB for a heer panzer division and a waffen SS panzer divsion [exclusive of GD] tells you alot.

====

Sure I'm not tossing cites to pages in primary source material right now...

But I'm confident that I've seen numbers that support the whining of the army that the Waffen SS was getting more then its fair share.

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Christoph Awender
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Post by Christoph Awender » Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:21 am

Corderex it looks like this is highly a matter of definition and a matter of understanding of the big picture of operational warfare.

There is no doubt that the Waffen-SS was a major offensive weapon and for this was supplied with first rate equipment - LIKE the first rate divisions of the Heer.
Of course if you compare it with the entire Heer the percentage was high but if you look how many types of divsisions the Heer included the picture looks different. The Heer had also its main forces and the untis which had to come out with second rate equipment, low strength etc... There was no use to create static etc...Waffen-SS divisions but the Heer had plenty of divisions which were held at a low combat-value in favour of the workhorse divisions. You cannot simply compare the percent (Well if you want you can but it gives this Waffen-SS best first always picture). You simply cannot compare the Heer with its many purposes with the Waffen-SS which was mainly used as offensive weapon LIKE the workhorse divisions of the Heer. It is unserious to compare a Waffen-SS division with a Heer Infanterie Division of the 20.Welle for example. Compare the supply, replacement and equipment of the 1., 2., 3., 4.Pz.Div., GD etc... you will see that they were not at all lower equipped etc...
- Out of ten heavy panzer battalions created during the war, three belonged to the Waffen SS.
No objection but as I said the percentage count does not work here because as I said the Heer had a large, large list of other duties to fullfill than the Waffen-SS had. Count just the Heer divisions which were always kept at Combat-level "Useable for all attack operations" you will have a different picture.
Besides the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Waffen SS divisions, there was only one other unit equipped with an organic heavy panzer battalion, the GD division...
But you yourself know that this wasn´t for long that they were organic.
It was a matter of operational thinking because the Heer units were far more spread and the heavy tank battalions had to be much more mobile to act as support.
- Out of 473 Tiger II tanks actually delivered to operational units until the end of the war, 124 (26.2%) ended up in one or another of the three Waffen SS heavy panzer battalions...
Yes 319 were delivered to schwere Heeres Panzer-Abteilungen, 124 to schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilungen, 30 to other units. Don´t you think this depends more on casualties? Casualties have to be replaced and they were replaced in the Heer AND the Waffen-SS. Some Heer Abteilungen also didn´t persist to the end of the war so this draws the percentage to the W-SS again. I say it again.. these number games don´t say anything.
We can also see this number game a little different

Tiger I
Heer
501 - 45
503 - 76
505 - 48
506 - 70
507 - 27
509 - 56
510 - 8
511 - 8
Various: 6+
Total: 342
Total per independant unit: 34,2+
Total per s.Pz.Abt.: 42,25

----------------------

Waffen-SS
101/501 - 96
102/502 - 31
103/503 - 39
Total: 116
Total per s.Pz.Abt.: 38,66

Where do you see a favor for the Waffen-SS in this number game?
- At the start of Kursk offensive, Germany had 133 Tiger I tanks in its order of battle (on-hand strength). Forty-two of them (31.5%) belonged to one or another of the three Waffen SS PzGren. Divisions...
(T. Jentz, Panzertruppen: The Complete Guide to the Creation and Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force, 1943-1945, vol. 2)
Furthermore, of the 19 Tigers sent as replacements during the battle, 5 (26.3%) went to the LSSAH Pz.Reg. Interestingly enough, the LSSAH division only lost one Tiger during Zitadelle, against the 4 lost by s.Pz.Abt. 503, which did not get a single one of these 19 Tigers.
Why the focus in the Tiger? But anyway shall I give you a randomly picked example (like yours) where a Heer unit was eqipped and a W-SS unit not?? I know very well these percentages and as I said above you cannot compare the huge number of different army units with the Waffen-SS. BTW How many Panther did the W-SS have in Kursk? I know you can asnwer that yourself. Or was the Panther a crappy tank for the Heer and the W-SS got the great Tiger? And please don´t start with the performance of the Panther units at Kursk which is more matter of tactics and technics than W-SS - Heer.
Those figures would make sense only if the Waffen-SS constituted about 30% of the entire German land forces during the war, which of course, and as you know, was not the case.
Again, you cannot simply play this number game. How many garrison, defense units (e.g. France) did the W-SS have to build and maintain???
I don't know how this worked, "considering that it was supplied through Heer channels", but these are the facts, and examples abound. Maybe some decision from higher echelons?
These facts say nothing and if it was a higher echelon decision there must be written orders that the Waffen-SS had to be better supplied and equipped. None ever showed up.

One of the over several W-SS veterans I interviewed was the O2 of Hausser at Charkow and later Ib in several divisions and commands. He also signed the interview he gave me where he answered to my question if the W-SS was better supplied that this is nonsense and not correct.

How about some vice-versa examples which agains say nothing but maybe you see that we can play this game the other way round as well.

- 1939 and the following years the W-SS formations had to rely mostly on captured and confiscated foreign equipment and weapons.

- Here are TigerI allocations
This was the allocation of new Tiger Is:
Heer
501 - 51
502 - 129
503 - 169
504 - 83
505 - 60
506 - 113
507 - 89
508 - 83
509 - 95
510 - 51
Various: 233

Total: 1,156
Total per independant unit: 68
Total per s.Pz.Abt.: 92.3

--------------------

Waffen-SS
Various: 97
101 - 34
102 - 45
103 - 16

Total: 192
Total per independant unit: 32
Total per s.Pz.Abt.: 64

- Until early 1942 the W-SS didn´t have tanks (except StuGs) at all. But obviously these years don´t count for the W-SS better and best "fans".

- The "Luchs" an excellent recon vehicle was just issued to Heer units (and HG).

We could go on with number games but what we have to see is why these things were done and this needs a unbiased look at operational use of the workhorse divisions of the Heer and the Waffen-SS.

\Christoph
Last edited by Christoph Awender on Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Reb » Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:50 am

Epaminondas

You might want to look a bit deeper into the strength of LAH at Kursk. It was short one panzer bn which was being refitted for Panther. It was short a number of first class officers (Wunsche, Meyer, Dietrich, et al) who'd been cadre-ed out to HJ or I SS Pz K. Not all losses had been replaced and many of the remaining panzers where about to be classified as "obsolete:" pz II, Pz III and short barrelled Pz Iv. None of the SS divs at Kursk had a single panther tank; yet how many books have you seen where the author claims the SS went into battle with hundreds of brand new panther and tiger tanks?

LAH did of course, have a Tiger company. Emphasis on Company. Battles and campaigns do not rise or fall on companies. Nor did the companies last long - they were used to create the three SS tiger abteilungen.

As to organic tiger battalions? Only GD ever had such.

Although the heavy pz battalions were routinely attached to divisions for tactical purposes, with the SS the reason had little to do with favoring them. Examples: 501 SS sPz was assigned for the Ardennes and retained for Hungary; 11 SS had 503rd SS as a second bn - sometimes 502 SS was attached to 10 SS Pz to make up for its missing panther bn. etc etc

And it should be noted that was not because the LAH was such a highly favored div that it had the tiger bn attached - it was because losses in officers and trained pz men had been so high that 1 ss pz Regt could no longer field two pz battalions! HJ was brought up to strength in a similar fashion by assigning a Heer pzJager Bn.

In all these examples it comes down to making up for shortages.

It might be claimed that the top SS panzer divs benefitted from "refits" more often than Heer pz divs but that could be at least partially rebutted as well. LAH was a husk when it got to Normandy - DR was as well - neither had been refitted after Zittadelle and had been burned out on the Ost Front in nearly a year of brutal combat.

Neither shined in any particular way in Normandy either - and both went into battle with shortages of everything but warm bodies - and many of those bodies had scant training. Despite all the many discussions of Oradour for example - the one thing that is rarely mentioned is that it is poorly trained or poorly disciplined troops who tend to do those kinds of things.

For me - I give the SS panzers lots of credit for managing to keep a good spirit despite horrendous losses and to infuse relatively untrained newcomers with that spirit almost until the end of the war.

But...as to favored for equipment? You mostly read that in books by folks that don't go into specifics, don't have charts or graphs and the notes are very superficial. When you start getting down and dirty into the weeds where Mr. Detail lives - another story emerges.

cheers
Reb

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Post by Epaminondas » Sun Jul 17, 2005 12:38 pm

Reb- I'm more then willing to get down and dirty with the details. I'll readily admit I don't have them to hand right now... nor do I have the time to pull them out. I'm working and studying 100+ hours a week for the next three weeks... my sole free time is checking two or three forums while sipping a coke 2-3 times a day. Doesn't leave much free to to crack open the books.

I'm not some WWII newbie...

----

And I really don't like the tone or specifics of your posts.

- My first post in this thread mentioned that there was some evidence to support that the Waffen SS fought better then the average Heer unit. I posted the link to a thesis, which was later turned into a book, which was well researched. The kill-lose ratios do support that two of the three SS tiger formations were better then the average tiger unit.

I have supplied details, when the time necessary to grab them is feasible. No, I haven't written a monograph based on primary source supply and combativeness data. For one, I don't speak German. For another, I don't have the time right now.

- Second, your last post misses the point of my last post and argues right past it. My post stated that the Waffen SS panzer divisions directly participating in Kursk were brought up to strengh better the heer units involved.

I am aware Wiking in particular was a hollow shell of a panzer unit at the time, and that GD was comfortably overstrenght.... and had the two only two panther units at the time. Just because there is one SS unit somewhere that is less well supplied then the showcase heer unit (GD) doesn't negate at least the perception that the Waffen SS in general was better equiped then the army.

As far as fire brigade units, units selected for priority, in actual numbers the waffen SS probably fairs about as well as the army. Considering the hundreds of army units compared to the much fewer number of Waffen SS units (20-40 divisions depending on how count; in any case under 50); at minmium, Waffen SS units were six times as likely to have priority.

Stating that a battolion or three of the SS panzer units were working on the panther and not present is silly- pently of the heer units were undergoing the same training at the time. Considering that relatively the SS panzer units started overstrengh in tank battolions to start with, being reduced by one while undergoing an upgrade is a nullity.

The difficulties in keeping multiple panzer battolions up to strengh was problem for both the heer and waffen SS. Comparitively, the heer suffered much more from this then the Waffen SS. Yes, the Pz III and 75L24 Pz IV were out of date for 1943... but they still made up the majority of tanks for the vast majority of units. GD was one of the few units lucky enough to have more long barrelled Pz IVs. The Waffen SS panzer divisons (LAH, DR and Totenkopf) committed at Kursk were better equipped then the majority of heer panzer units. Only heer unit comparable would be GD.

Sure, stating that the Pz III was still an important tank for the waffen SS in 1943 is true. It is also true that is was out of date for the battlefield at that time... but it was also true for the entire german military.

Sure, the SS panzer units were in heavy fighting at Kursk, Kharkov and the Mius in 1943 before D-day. As my interest is on the East Front, I am not aware the degree to which they were brought up to strenght or not after being withdrawn from the Eastern front in 1943. I do know from my research that while they did take alot of punishment in the Kharkov counter attack after stalingrad (like everyone in that Army Group), they were brough up to srenght better then the rest of the heer panzer divisions involved. And yes, I am excluding GD.

If you really feel so strongly that the Waffen SS was no better off then the heer, do your own research and toss your own cites out there. To go after someone else for not shwoing their research when you haven't shown your own is silly at best. Right now we have both tossed out one specific cite apiece; and I've displayed at least a familiarity with the combat effectiveness study by Dupuy... granted I forget his name, but I did admit I've haven't touched the field in a while.

I'm not exactly saying gErManY RUXXORSandpanthersarecoolandhowdidgermanylosethewarwithsuchcooltanksandiwantatiger... like random newbies do at all WWII forums. For my first or second post here in a few years (and yes, while in college I was here at the old forum for 4-5 years; back when I was REALLy into WWII), I toss off a cite to a serious study of the effectiveness of the tiger battolions, and mention Dupuy's combat effectiveness study.

Yes, I can dig through my *own* books and find the raw data for the heer panzer divisions which participated in the winter fight to stabilize the front in 1942/3 and Kursk to LAH, DR and totenkopf [such data being starting panzers and types; replacements through the time period; replacements leading up to Kursk; etc] That should provide a nice case study of the access to replacements. As far as specific combat effectiveness, that would be tough, but its far to say that GD and the 11th panzer were high quality units at the time; and Bake's division [6th? Been a while] was solid as well...

From what they acheived the SS panzer divisons were clearly some of the best units in the war period... and 1942/3 was their peak. Clearly from the course of events in Kursk, the SS panzer corps was the best formation for the Germans... niether Kempf's forces nor the army corps lead by GD and the 11th panzer did nearly as well as the SS panzers, and AG South was much better then AG Center.

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Post by Reb » Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:48 pm

"To go after someone else for not shwoing their research" ???

You must have me mixed up with someone.

cheers
Reb

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Post by corderex » Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:03 pm

Why the focus in the Tiger?
So I could respond to your statement which reads:
The claim that the W-SS received best equipment first was already debunked in several other discussions before.
Why not play these number games? In a topic like this, the only way we can contribute seriously to the discussion is citing numbers and statistics.
Until early 1942 the W-SS didn´t have tanks (except StuGs) at all. But obviously these years don´t count for the W-SS better and best "fans".
And what did you expect?? LSSAH was not upgraded from Brigade to a full-fledged PzGren. Div. until July 1942...
Of course if you compare it with the entire Heer the percentage was high but if you look how many types of divsisions the Heer included the picture looks different. The Heer had also its main forces and the untis which had to come out with second rate equipment, low strength etc...
You got me wrong. I was not making comparisons with the entire Heer. That would be ridiculous for me to do that! Please note that I was comparing the allocation of Tiger IIs between several first-priority formations, and the allocation of Tiger Is among the various first-class units, both Heer and W-SS, prior to the launching of Zitadelle.

I could bring up the case of Wacht am Rhein, the most outrageous example of the growing priority given to the Waffen SS formations from 1943 onwards, but I am afraid that would complicate the matter, so let us go back to Zitadelle.
There is no doubt that the Waffen-SS was a major offensive weapon and for this was supplied with first rate equipment - LIKE the first rate divisions of the Heer.
Really? Then explain how is it that out of sixteen Panzer and Pz.Grenadier divisions directly involved in Zitadelle, only four had its own organic heavy panzer company, of which three happened to belong to the SS.
There were not enough of them to go around? Ok, sure But then, why give priority precisely to the SS Panzer Corps? The three Panzer Divisions up in the 47th Pz.K. were as good as the Waffen SS, if not better, and had an equally difficult task ahead, and yet none of them got their own heavy panzer company nor their very own detachment of StuGs.

best regards,

corderex

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Post by Christoph Awender » Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:19 pm

Hello Epaminondas
I am aware Wiking in particular was a hollow shell of a panzer unit at the time, and that GD was comfortably overstrenght.... and had the two only two panther units at the time. Just because there is one SS unit somewhere that is less well supplied then the showcase heer unit (GD) doesn't negate at least the perception that the Waffen SS in general was better equiped then the army.
But you do the same the other way round!! Just because two W-SS divisions were well equipped for the Kursk battle you generalize that the W-SS at a whole was better equipped. I can give you timeframes when Heer units were quite overstrength to some W-SS units not taking into consideration the second and third rate ill equipped divisions which were formed during the war. And by the way.. Kursk was not the only battle fought and the Tiger was not the only tank type we speak about.
As far as fire brigade units, units selected for priority, in actual numbers the waffen SS probably fairs about as well as the army. Considering the hundreds of army units compared to the much fewer number of Waffen SS units (20-40 divisions depending on how count; in any case under 50); at minmium, Waffen SS units were six times as likely to have priority.
I don´t understand what you want to say with this sentence. Most of the W-SS units were under average quality and just a few can be counted to be the "workhorse units". Like the Heer had also its workhorses. I see no difference there.
The difficulties in keeping multiple panzer battolions up to strengh was problem for both the heer and waffen SS. Comparitively, the heer suffered much more from this then the Waffen SS. Yes, the Pz III and 75L24 Pz IV were out of date for 1943... but they still made up the majority of tanks for the vast majority of units. GD was one of the few units lucky enough to have more long barrelled Pz IVs. The Waffen SS panzer divisons (LAH, DR and Totenkopf) committed at Kursk were better equipped then the majority of heer panzer units. Only heer unit comparable would be GD.
Again.. why do you just talk all the time about Kursk??? I always thought that the war started 1.Sept.1939 and ended Mai 1945!! We will find lots of dates where Heer units were equipped to full strength and W-SS were not. So why always Kursk??
Sure, the SS panzer units were in heavy fighting at Kursk, Kharkov and the Mius in 1943 before D-day. As my interest is on the East Front, I am not aware the degree to which they were brought up to strenght or not after being withdrawn from the Eastern front in 1943. I do know from my research that while they did take alot of punishment in the Kharkov counter attack after stalingrad (like everyone in that Army Group), they were brough up to srenght better then the rest of the heer panzer divisions involved. And yes, I am excluding GD.
I would be very interested in these data and how the situation was. Was it because the W-SS was preferred or was it because of the tactical circumstances?
From what they acheived the SS panzer divisons were clearly some of the best units in the war period... and 1942/3 was their peak. Clearly from the course of events in Kursk, the SS panzer corps was the best formation for the Germans... niether Kempf's forces nor the army corps lead by GD and the 11th panzer did nearly as well as the SS panzers, and AG South was much better then AG Center.
I nearly agrre with everything you say here but you always refer to the W-SS and the Heer but you just mean the entire Heer but just the few first rate W-SS divisions. This is the blue eyed oppinion I would like to change. THE Waffen-SS with all of its second rate divisions was NOT well equipped as a whole. The workhorse divisions were prefered as the Heer workhorses received as much replacements and equipment as possible.
We could also compare some of the Volunteer divisions like the 31. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division with one of the Heer infantry divisions in some operations. Would we come to the conclusion that the W-SS was better equipped?
I can take the 2.Pz.Div. on 3.Juni 1944 with 185 tanks and the 1.SS with 135 tanks and Stugs. We could go on forever with comparing numbers on different dates and you will always come to a different result.
As long as I have my signed Waffen-SS vet interviews, my knowledge and no order, Weisung or similar document which proofs that they intentionally favoured the W-SS I am hard to convince.

\Christoph

\Christoph

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Post by Christoph Awender » Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:53 pm

Hello Corderex
Why not play these number games? In a topic like this, the only way we can contribute seriously to the discussion is citing numbers and statistics.
Because I did so already dozen times and these threads can easily be found by searching this and axis history forum.
And what did you expect?? LSSAH was not upgraded from Brigade to a full-fledged PzGren. Div. until July 1942...
My point is that everybody just sees the years where the W-SS was well equipped and comes to the generalisation that the Waffen-SS was better equipped which is not correct because in many stages, situations, time periods Heer formations were the better equipped part of the german armed forces.
You got me wrong. I was not making comparisons with the entire Heer. That would be ridiculous for me to do that! Please note that I was comparing the allocation of Tiger IIs between several first-priority formations, and the allocation of Tiger Is among the various first-class units, both Heer and W-SS, prior to the launching of Zitadelle.
I showed you a number game with TigerI which shows no favorism for the W-SS in my last thread.

Really? Then explain how is it that out of sixteen Panzer and Pz.Grenadier divisions directly involved in Zitadelle, only four had its own organic heavy panzer company, of which three happened to belong to the SS.
There were not enough of them to go around? Ok, sure But then, why give priority precisely to the SS Panzer Corps? The three Panzer Divisions up in the 47th Pz.K. were as good as the Waffen SS, if not better, and had an equally difficult task ahead, and yet none of them got their own heavy panzer company nor their very own detachment of StuGs.
Because the Heer had Heerestruppen (several Panzerabteilungen etc..) which supported them while the W-SS units tried it with organic units which as you know was soon stopped. The Heer wanted their heavy tank supports as mobile as possible which was as you know later adopted by the W-SS.

\Christoph

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Post by corderex » Mon Jul 18, 2005 6:57 am

Fair enough. Your answers are quite reasonable for me, so for my part I shall call it a draw by now. I'm still not convinced, though...

Some other time we may talk a little about Wacht am Rhein and see what comes up.

regards,

corderex

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Post by Christoph Awender » Mon Jul 18, 2005 8:01 am

Here another number game for Kursk.
W-SS divisions were ~18% and you see the percentage of tanks is 17,71%
Looks quite equal to the Heer with its attached Heerestruppen.
http://chrito.users1.50megs.com/panzer/ ... ergame.htm

\Christoph

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Post by Epaminondas » Mon Jul 18, 2005 8:35 am

Christoph Awender wrote:Here another number game for Kursk.
W-SS divisions were ~18% and you see the percentage of tanks is 17,71%
Looks quite equal to the Heer with its attached Heerestruppen.
http://chrito.users1.50megs.com/panzer/ ... ergame.htm

\Christoph
Interesting table... take a look at the type of tanks, and while the Waffen SS is about on track with the heer in absolute numbers of tanks; the Waffen SS also has a much higher percentage of the newer, more effective tanks (long barrelled 50mm and 75mm for example) then the army.

Absolute number sure; but if you were to pick IIIs with short 50mm or PzIVs with long 75s for your unit in 1943, I think we both know what you would want.

---

Kursk- I picked Kursk, because:
- I have a real life. I work 60+ hours in my job, and while only a crawel through the archives in Germany, US, Russia and Britain would get enought primary source info for the entire war; I don't have the time, money or the langauges. I do have adequate sources for the 1942-1943 time period... and several Heer Panzer and Waffen SS units which were "priority" fought in the operations, and built up for kursk.

The hypothesis I'm kicking around is that the Waffen SS was at least slightly favored compared to equavalent heer panzer units.

The null hypothesis is that there is no difference.

A truely through job would be the entire war... but I'm not going for a PhD at this time in history, so that will have wait until retirement :) Unless some one else tackles it. :wink:

----

late war- both the heer and waffen SS formed some absolute dogs of units from scraps of destroyed units, old men and young boys. At best, that demonstrates that the worst of the waffen SS was simularly equiped to the worst of the heer... in 1944/5.

there is a world of difference in equipment, manpower, and combat effectiveness in each time period of the war; even ignoring the priority even to a particular unit. For example, some heer primary sources critisize the Waffen SS as being wasteful due to their high personal losses compared to Heer units in 1939-1941; indication of the difficulty of missions assigned (pocket of 1941/2 near Novogrod) or combat (in)effectiveness?

The performance of the waffen SS panzer divisons 1942-1943 is second to none.

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Christoph Awender
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Post by Christoph Awender » Mon Jul 18, 2005 9:11 am

Interesting table... take a look at the type of tanks, and while the Waffen SS is about on track with the heer in absolute numbers of tanks; the Waffen SS also has a much higher percentage of the newer, more effective tanks (long barrelled 50mm and 75mm for example) then the army.

Absolute number sure; but if you were to pick IIIs with short 50mm or PzIVs with long 75s for your unit in 1943, I think we both know what you would want.
Well the Heer had the majority of the Pz.III with the 75mm L/24 KwK which wasn´t bad either.
To explain the distribution you would have to look into the very details of the various units. Which were available for refitting for example because changing to another model of a tank wasn´t that simply as it looks.
Just the Pz.III(lg), Pz.Bef. and Tiger distribution percent goes higher than the percentage of the entire units 18%.
The performance of the waffen SS panzer divisons 1942-1943 is second to none.
With all respect I doubt that you know the performance details of all Heer Panzerdivisionen to make a decision based on facts (as far as effectiveness can be compared at all in war).
You have several very experienced Heer regiments which were in constant combat since 1939. It is hard to believe that a force (W-SS armoured formations) formed in 1942 can gain such a (like many say) superiority over experienced troops nearly immediately after forming. My oppinion is still that many people are still victims of the Propaganda. I don´t want to say that the Heer was better - W-SS and Heer were equal with bad and excellent elements that performed well in various, different situations.

\Christoph

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Post by Reb » Mon Jul 18, 2005 9:18 am

Christoph

Not sure of this (books are in boxes right now) but I believe one advantage the SS Pz Korps had at Kursk was the lack of Czech model panzers as opposed the Heer which still had quite of few of them in the pz regts.

I don't recall them ever being issued to the SS. Could this be because the SS was favored? Or more realistically, because they'd all been issued by the time the SS Divs became Pz / Pz Gren?

I well recall my own surprise the first time I read an accounting of the actual panzer stats at Kursk - so much for the "full strength German divisions" touted in so many books I'd read.

I've since learned to be very suspicious of books that use the term "vaunted" as in "hitler's vaunted whermact" or "vaunted SS." A small word but lots of in-attention to detail lurks behind it!

cheers
Reb

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