Battle of Normandy

German campaigns and battles 1919-1945.

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liuanru
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Battle of Normandy

Post by liuanru » Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:57 am

I've seen varying loss figures for the germans in normandy. sources range from 96,000 -200,000 causalties with 200,000 captured. allied losses are usually 200,000 kia/wia

what are the definitive, most up to date figures?

what was the german strength in normandy? ive gotten figures between 490,00 to 700,000 from different sources.

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Richard Hargreaves
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Post by Richard Hargreaves » Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:19 pm

Here's an extract from my impending book on Normandy

There were 450,000 German victims of the battle for Normandy on land: the dead numbered at least 60,000; the wounded another 180,000, and prisoners totalled around 210,000. Of the 1,500 panzers and self-propelled guns fed into the furnace of the Norman battlefield, just 67 returned. The remainder, plus 20,000 vehicles and 3,500 field guns were left behind. [Ambrose, Citizen Soldiers, p.106] Before his capture, Heinrich Eberbach showed quite bluntly that the German Army had no chance of halting the invaders. On the day his entire army mustered 17,980 men, 314 artillery pieces and 42 tanks and self-propelled guns - August 25th 1944 - the Fifth Panzer Army commander estimated the enemy opposite him could throw more than 110,000 infantry, 1,320 field guns and nearly 1,900 tanks into the fray. Worse still, Eberbach reckoned the Allies still had a further 90,000 men, 1,100 guns and 2,000 tanks in reserve, not yet committed to the battle. [KTB PzAOK5 Anlagen 50, 25/8/44. IWM AL1901/4]

There's also the following from KTB Marinegruppenkommando West regarding the troops left behind in the 'fortresses' in France

Brest of 38,000 men 15,000 Naval personnel
Gironde North 5,700 2,030
Gironde South 3,200 770
St Nazaire 28,000 10,780
Lorient 27,000 9,000
La Rochelle 14,000 5,500
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Post by Tom Houlihan » Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:31 pm

halder wrote:Here's an extract from my impending book on Normandy
Impending??? You make it sound ominous, like a storm coming in! How about "forthcoming?! :wink:
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Post by Richard Hargreaves » Fri Aug 05, 2005 12:20 am

I always thought impending meant imminent... :D Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part
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Post by Nibelung » Fri Aug 05, 2005 2:20 am

I think that when the day actually comes, that will be top of my shopping list.

best,
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Post by Harryho » Fri Aug 05, 2005 5:34 am

The most reliable numbers are probably presented by Niklas Zetterling in his book "German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness". According to this book the German Army in the West (not only Normandy) lost in the period June - August:

Dead: 23,019
Wounded: 67,060
Missing: 198,616

A number of the wounded later died and there are also undoubtedly a fair number of dead among the missing (According to Zetterling, there are 42,000 German soldiers buried in France).

The often quoted "the Germans lost 450,000 soldiers in Normandy" probably originate (again according to Zetterling) from Montgomery's book "From Normandy to the Baltic".

The Western Allied losses in the same period was (from Tamelander & Zetterling's "D-Dagen":

Dead: 36,976
Wounded: 153,475
Missing: 19,221

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Post by Rich » Fri Aug 05, 2005 5:59 am

halder wrote:Here's an extract from my impending book on Normandy

There were 450,000 German victims of the battle for Normandy on land: the dead numbered at least 60,000; the wounded another 180,000, and prisoners totalled around 210,000. Of the 1,500 panzers and self-propelled guns fed into the furnace of the Norman battlefield, just 67 returned. The remainder, plus 20,000 vehicles and 3,500 field guns were left behind. [Ambrose, Citizen Soldiers, p.106]
Hi Halder! From my work in progress (sorry, but your reliance on Ambrose as your sole source worries me a bit)....

<snip>Cummulative monthly prisoners-of-war reported to SHAEF from Normandy were (UK/US, as of 1800 hours):

30 June 12,683/17,017
31 July 13,134/69,386
31 August 55,239/176,284

Thus by 31 August 231,523 Germans were in Allied hands. However, as a caveat, those totals include not only ground forces combat personnel of the Heer, Waffen-SS, Luftwaffe, and Kriegesmarine, but also all other German military, paramilitary and governmental personnel captured in that period. <snip>

As to German strength, there are a number of points of view....

<snip>To summarize of the possible total strength of Heer, Waffen-SS, Luftwaffe, Kriegesmarine, Organization Todt (including RAD and NSKK) and Osttruppen personnel in OB.West as of 1 June and reinforcements and replacements to 23 July 1944:

Heer ~ 728,000
SS ~ 75,563 plus reinforcements of 36,479 for a total of 112,042 committed
Luftwaffe Fallschirm-Armee ~ 39,476 plus reinforcements of 12,031 for a total of 51,507 committed
Luftwaffe Flak-Einheiten, including III Flak-Korps and other battalions ~ 94,444
Luftwaffe Flieger-Einheiten ~ 120,000
LuftwaffeBoden-Einheiten ~ 116-126,000
Kriegesmarine ~ 100,000
OT/RAD/NSKK ~ 70-90,000
HiWi and Ostruppen ~ 67,000
Total: ~ 1,410,483-1,440,483 plus 48,510 reinforcements and 10,078 replacements by 23 July = 1,469,071-1,499,071

This accords well with the overall totals reported for Ob.West as of 1 March, which were 1,546,062 and 1,644,640, as well as that of 1,873,000 given as of 5 May 1944 (probably for circa 30 April 1944). It appears that the differences may be found again in the inclusiveness of the differing documents. For instance, the MGFA reference includes slightly more men in each category and a greater total, 1,644,640, but does not give a separate total for “Allies” as does Müller-Hillebrand.

Ration Strength of 7. A.O.K. as of 1 June 1944

The ration strength of 7. A.O.K. was given in some detail in the monthly report of the Armeeintendant dated 5 June 1944. The units reported and the organization of the army was:

XXV AK – 265. Inf.-Div., 275. Inf.-Div., 343. Inf.-Div., and 353. Inf.-Div..
LXXIV AK – 77. Inf.-Div. and 266. Inf.-Div..
LXXXIV AK – 91. Inf.-Div., 243. Inf.-Div., 319. Inf.-Div., 352. Inf.-Div., 709. Inf.-Div., and 716. Inf.-Div.
II Fs.Jg.K. – 3. Fs.Jg.-Div. and 5. Fs.Jg.-Div.
21. Pz.-Div.

The numerical strengths by category were:

Units of the:
1). Heer (Army) – 169,344 and 38,139 horses
2). SS-u.Polizei im Wehrmachteinsatz (SS and Police units under armed forces control) – 716
3). Luftwaffe (Air Force) – 39,827
4). Marine (Navy) – 4,900
5). Ausl.Freiwillige getrennt nach Neutralität (foreign volunteers, according to treaties of neutrality) – 10,773
6). Angehorige verbünd. Mächte getrennt nach Nationalitäten (personnel of allied powers, according to nationality) – 583
7). Organization Todt – 36,779
8). Reichs Arbeits Dienst (National Labor Service) – 1,490
9). Sonst.Reichsdeutsche Wehrmachte Gefolge u.a. (miscellaneous ethnic Germans including civilian camp followers and so on) – 1,152
10). Nichtsreichsdeutsche Gefolge u.a. (non-German civilian camp followers, including those of the OT and RAD) – 5,003
11). Kriegsgefangene (prisoners of war) – 1,159
12). Internierte (civilian internees) – 635

Also the following troops of the army (including both Heer and SS) were supplied by the food services of the Militarbefehlshaber Frankreich (Military Command in France):

13). Southwest Region – 14,262 and 1,718 horses
14). Northwest Region – 24,494 and 1,257 horses

It is noted that the basic changes since the last report (1 April) was to the strengths of the Heer (+46,757) and Luftwaffe (16,327). That was due to the arrival of reinforcements to divisions and the arrival of 91.Inf.-Div. and II FJK with 5.FJD. These figures may be compared to the total of the Heer divisional strengths as follows:

77 .Inf.-Div. (1 June) – 9,095 and 1,410 HiWi
91. Inf.-Div. (est.) – 7,500 (number of HiWi unknown)
243. Inf.-Div. (1 May) – 11,529 and at least 442 HiWi
265. Inf.-Div. (1 June) – 9,385 and 341 HiWi
266. Inf.-Div. (1 March) – 8,852 (number of HiWi unknown)
275. Inf.-Div. (1 June) – 10,768 and 1,560 HiWi
319. Inf.-Div. (1 June) – 12,276 (including HiWi?)
343. Inf.-Div. (1 June) – 11,021 (including HiWi?)
352. Inf.-Div. (1 March) – 12,734 and at least 335 HiWi
353. Inf.-Div. (1 June) – 11,544 and 1,786 HiWi
709. Inf.-Div. (1 May) – 12,320 and 333 HiWi
716. Inf.-Div. (1 May) – 7,771 (including HiWi?)
21. Pz.-Div. (1 June) – 16,297 (number of HiWi unknown)
Total = 141,092 and at least 6,207 HiWi

Thus, divisional troops comprised about 67.8 percent of the 208,100 Heer (lines 1, 13 and 14 above, which may include a small number of SS) German troops in 7. AOK. HiWi account for more than 54.7 percent of the 11,356 foreign “volunteers” (lines 5 and 6 above) and in fact all of the “volunteers” may have been HiWi, the Osttruppen appear to have been counted simply as Heer in line 1. This would mean that the “non-HiWi” divisional total was 135,934 or 65.3 percent of the Heer total. The 25 battalions (note that there were only 78 “German” divisional grenadier battalions in the army, not including 21. Pz.Div.) and one battery of Ostruppen – with their attachment and alternate designation where known – were: <snip>

Of course the question of how many were "committed" is an entirely different kettle of fish.

In terms of casualties....(from an email to Niklas Zetterling, one of these days I have to actually write the chapter it goes in :D )

<snip>This is a follow up to my last two e-mails. The question of the total German casualties in Normandy has continued to perplex me, since I cannot reconcile the total number of German PW reported by the Allies with the total number of German MIA as reported by the Heeresarzt summary of 10 January 1945 as found in T78, R414, F6383234~. Nor can I reconcile the differences between that report and the earlier report from November 1944 in the OKW/WFSt/Op(H)/Org.Abt. file (T77, R826, F3126~) I alluded to in my earlier e-mail. However, I feel I have arrived at a possible answer to the question of why these various reports differ so much. The reasoning may be a bit torturous, but I hope you will be able to follow and comment on it.

There are two possible conclusions that may be made. One is that the 10 January report is simply a correction of the earlier report and that the reduction in the total casualties was simply due to personnel assumed lost that were accounted for as returned to duty (and of course as KIA or MIA, since the January counts of those categories are higher than the November counts). However, the second conclusion that may be drawn is that both the January 45 and November 44 counts are correct, but that they report different things. My reasoning is based upon attempting to show that this second assumption is in fact correct.

I believe that it is possible that the November 44 report partly included total Wehrmacht losses for the period, rather than just Heer losses. Furthermore, I believe that the January 45 report both corrected the ‘bloody’ losses (KIA and WIA) and excluded those losses of non-ground forces personnel (Kriegesmarine, Luftwaffe troops not dedicated to ground combat, Organization Todt, and RAD personnel) who were almost certainly included in the Allied PW counts.

First, note that the major discrepancy between the two reports is found in the difference between the MIA and nicht aufgeschluesselte (referred to as NA below) totals in the November report and the MIA totals in the January report. The differences in bloody losses are minor between the two reports. For the period from 6 June through 31 October 44 the differences are as follows:

Nov Report Jan Report Difference
KIA 34165 39675 +5510
WIA 110001 125761 +15760
MIA 184357 318306 +133949
NA 215981 - -215981
Total 544504 483742 -60762

So it could be assumed that the January accounting found 60762 returned to duty, and additional casualties of 133949 MIA, 15760 WIA and 5510 KIA for the period.

Looking at a more narrow period, that of the Normandy Battle from 6 June through 31 August 44, we find the following differences:

Nov Report Jan Report Difference
KIA 19554 23019 +3465
WIA 61008 67060 +6052
MIA 66326 198616 +132290
NA 187349 - -187349
Total 334237 288695 -45542

So it could be assumed that the January accounting found 45542 returned to duty, and additional casualties of 132290 MIA, 6052 WIA and 3465 KIA.

The Allies counted a total of 235367 German PW captured in Normandy and Northern France in the period from 6 June through 31 August 44. That is 36751 higher than the maximum number that could be accounted for by the German MIA. Now, from the report of the garrison strengths found in T78, R411 we have the following:
Noted as accounted for in the August casualties.
OKW Total Heer Only Difference
Brest 37058 11525 17982
St.Malo 8488 6168 2320
Toulon 18000 9676 8324
Marseille 13000 6400 5100
Total 76546 33769 33726

Now of course the Allied PW counts would not have included those of Toulon or Marseille. Extracting those figures we have:

OKW Total Heer Only Difference
Brest 37058 11525 17982
St.Malo 8488 6168 2320
Total 45546 17693 20302

It is also noted in the November report that the losses for June include those of Cherbourg. Unfortunately, the report of garrison strengths did not of course include those of Cherbourg, since they were already lost. However, perhaps we can come up with a possible estimate of the numbers in that garrison and the distribution between OKW totals and Heer.

The units lost in Cherbourg included:
Max Strength Est Min Strength
Stellungs Werfer Regiment 101 1800 900?
MG Bn 17 632 632?
Cherbourg Festungs Stammtruppen 1355 1355
Sturm Batallion AOK 7 1106 500?
Panzer Batallion 206 385 385?
elms ID 77 70? 70?
elms ID 243 8189 2000
ID 709 8320 8320
Totals 21857 14162

These units had a maximum nominal strength when they were isolated on 17 June (assuming zero losses) of 21857 and a minimum strength of about 14162. An average of the two would be 18009. However, in the period 17 June through 3 July the US VII Corps reported capturing a total of 34,295 Germans during the operations directed against Cherbourg. Thus, it may be assumed that a maximum of 20133 and a minimum of 12438 or an average of about 16286 of these prisoners were non-Heer. Note that these closely match the Heer estimates of about 15000 lost in Cherbourg that appear in other documents.

For Cherbourg, St. Malo and Brest we may account for possibly 36588 non-Heer personnel as potential prisoners. However, this may be reduced by the number of personnel potentially in FJD 2 in Brest, 7551 men, reducing the non-Heer total to 29037. Again, the discrepancy between the Allied PW total and the January report MIA total for the period June-August is 36751 and the difference between the November and January report for the period is 45542.

Note also that in the September casualties the losses of the Channel ports are included and account for 32971 Wehrmacht personnel of which 20253 were Heer, a difference of 12718. Added to the June-August difference of 36751 we have a total of 49469, compared to the total difference between the November and January reports of 60762.

Now it is obvious that the November casualty report and the report on the strength of the garrisons are related. Both note that the Cherbourg losses are included in the June casualties, St. Malo, Brest, Marseille and Toulon in the August casualties, and that Calais, Boulogne and Le Havre are included in the September casualties. It is less obvious that the January casualty report is also similar to the November report, but only because the totals are so different. However, I strongly suspect that those totals are simply accounted for by the non-Heer and non-Luftwaffe ground troops be subtracted from the totals in the January report. Of course, contradicting this view is the note that the November report did not include die von in Erdkampf Teilen der Luftwaffe. Also it is possible that the additional 60762 men had been returned to duty or otherwise accounted for in units by the end of October. That would possibly account in part for the notoriously negative divisional strength reports from the 16 October OKH Org.Abt. report in T78, R432, F6403685~ that you remark on in your book a number of times.

Overall, I must say that I am torn between the two possible points of view regarding these reports. However, I tend to believe that it is very possible that the November casualty report is substantially correct and that the only major difference between it and the January report is that the casualties of the non-Heer, non-Luftwaffe Feld and Fallschirm troops were simply subtracted from the totals. Likely that was done to clarify the numbers of trained ground combat personnel potentially available. <snip>

More later. 8)

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Post by Richard Hargreaves » Sun Aug 07, 2005 12:03 pm

Thanks for the stats. Much more comprehensive than my answer.
I foolishly posted using an early draft of my manuscript. Doh!
Much more accurate is Joachim Ludewig's Der Deutsche Rückzug aus Frankreich 1944 which is a semi-official history. It gives a figure of 289,000 casualties.

One of the real problems with the Normandy campaign is that pretty much every source gives different figures. The OB West figures often don't tally with the AGp.B ones, etc, etc.
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Post by Rich » Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:22 am

halder wrote:Thanks for the stats. Much more comprehensive than my answer.
I foolishly posted using an early draft of my manuscript. Doh!
Much more accurate is Joachim Ludewig's Der Deutsche Rückzug aus Frankreich 1944 which is a semi-official history. It gives a figure of 289,000 casualties.

One of the real problems with the Normandy campaign is that pretty much every source gives different figures. The OB West figures often don't tally with the AGp.B ones, etc, etc.
You're welcome.

But perhaps it is more accurate to say that the paucity of Ob. West and HG B figures make it difficult for us to judge the accuracy of the extant figures. And sometimes it is difficult to be sure how inclusive some of the figures were. For instance, looking at strength figures, the Luftwaffe had roughly 100 radar sites in France and Belgium similar to that at Douvres that so desperately resisted the British after D-Day. And if we take its strength of about 250 men as an average, then that means that there were probably about 25,000 Luftwaffe personnel in France just manning radar sites. But do they get counted in the strength or loss of HG B (unlikely). And yet the Allies when capturing them would have counted them as "PoW" just as any other. And so on....

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Re: Battle of Normandy

Post by DocHolliday » Wed May 04, 2016 5:56 pm

I am looking for information about the disposition of German forces on the Cotentin Peninsula at the beginning of June 44. I need data down to the company level which is where I run into problems.
Any ideas on where I should look or specific data would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.

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