German 'division equivalents' by the Operation Bagration

German campaigns and battles 1919-1945.

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rkka
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German 'division equivalents' by the Operation Bagration

Post by rkka » Thu Mar 18, 2004 10:08 am

Concerning the Bagration Operation S.Zaloga in the Osprey publication states that there were (in AGC) roughly 400,000 frontline or combat troops amongst the 52 'division equivalents' with a further 400,000 in support, admininistrative and non combat roles.
I account only 43 ordinary divisions in AGC: 3rd PzA –9 ,AOK4 – 10,AOK9 – 10,AOK2 - 10,reserve – 4 ,total 43 divisions.
9 divisons are “equivalents”.What German units formed the 'division equivalents' ?
How and who calculated number of German 'division equivalents'?
Were German forces very badly organised in 1944,if they needed so great support?

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Re: German 'division equivalents' by the Operation Bagratio

Post by Darrin » Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:34 am

rkka wrote:Concerning the Bagration Operation S.Zaloga in the Osprey publication states that there were (in AGC) roughly 400,000 frontline or combat troops amongst the 52 'division equivalents' with a further 400,000 in support, admininistrative and non combat roles.
I account only 43 ordinary divisions in AGC: 3rd PzA –9 ,AOK4 – 10,AOK9 – 10,AOK2 - 10,reserve – 4 ,total 43 divisions.
9 divisons are “equivalents”.What German units formed the 'division equivalents' ?
How and who calculated number of German 'division equivalents'?
Were German forces very badly organised in 1944,if they needed so great support?


Sometimes div were not offical part of the front line army group. For example they were part of OKH reserve but were in the area and were intended to and were commited to such a battle. Also he might be including some div that were intially transfered to the AGC as well. One other discrepaensy is the term div eq implimes that more than just mere div were included. For example maybe for every 2 indep bridages or reg this might be counted as an indep div eq.

For example the tot str of AGC including all GHQ and OKH units was 850,000. If you exclude all OKH and GHQ non combat troops it was 645,000. But even this give a very overly large picture of the true combat str since it includes peole who were away from the units temp for training vac or even short term up to 8 weeks in hospital. The actual total str not conuting these was 485,000 of which 440,000 were div and brigades and the rest were GHQ combat troops.

Now in truth even these numbers are not the true combat str of the units involved but the total str of all personnal on the day the report was submitted. Most ger div as well as western allied div were mainly made of non combat troops. The term combat str referes to all fit men in combat units arm, inf, eng, recce etc. The str of this group in AGC was 315,000 div brigades and GHQ combat troops this last one accounted for 30,000 of the total. Even more appropriate was front str which included all the men in combat units that were up front. eg tank crew, riflemen, antitank crew. This last final str that I am aware of is 235,000 for AGC of which 20,000 were due to GHQ combat troops and the rest to div an brigades.

But agin this was only the beg because for every one of the ger soilders on the front thier were 2 behind him providing some sort of support services. As one example that isn´t confined to just ger soilders the highest possible str of AGN in jun of 44 was half of what its total ration str was. For each soilder possible involuved there were at least as many people soldiers, hiwis, rus etc... directly behind it. Which realy point that if you iclude non ger soilders into the mix the total of 2 people supporting each one posssible near the front would actually be much higher. Not only were most soilders in the div supporting the real fighters but most soilders in the army were supporting the div and we still have to include non ger soilders into this support cat. This was generally the case with the west as well.


In normandy alone it seems the west had at least one soilder behind the lines supporting each soilder in the div.

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Post by Darrin » Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:18 pm

Another even more likley source of the difference would be minor axis divs and troops. Such as hungarians, etc in AGC.

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Post by Qvist » Fri Mar 19, 2004 1:14 am

It basically depends on what Zaloga means by

a) combat strength
b) divisional equivalents

If "combat strength" is derived from a reported figure of Gefechtsstärke (roughly, combat strength), then the percentage follows the normal pattern.

Darrin:
But agin this was only the beg because for every one of the ger soilders on the front thier were 2 behind him providing some sort of support services.
Tank you for your figures, but on what do you base that judgment?

cheers

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Post by Michate » Fri Mar 19, 2004 3:37 am

Hi,

first, as I am a newby here and this is my very first post on this forum, greetings to all forum posters.

By coincidence I got Niepold's very good study "Mittlere Ostfront, Juni 1944", perhaps the most reliable account on Bagration from the German side.

He also gives a German OoB down to division size and some details for Iststärke, Kampfstärke and Grabenstärke for 4. Army and some corps from 9. Army.

I have only done some quickreading yet, but I remember the Heeresgruppe Mitte to have 43 or so (including 5 Hungarian) divisions until the end of May, when the most southern part of the front was put under control of Heeresgruppe Nordukraine, which reduced, IIRC, front line of HG Mitte by some 6%, but as also its strength by 5-7 divisions, among them 2 Panzer divisions (15% of HG infantry strength, 80% of HG Mitte Panzer strength, 25% 8,8cm SP AT guns etc.). The number of divisions included 5 security divisions, 3 among them under direct HG control and probably securing the wider rear from partisans, as well as 1 Panzer division (20th) and 3 PzGren. divisions. Of non-division but division equivalents I remember Korpsabteilung D (Korpsabteilungen were remains of several shattered divisions combined into a new division-seized formation).

The OoB and strength figures are taken from the war diaries of HG Mitte and the armies under its command as well as the remaining corps war diaries (unfortunately most corps and nearly all division war diaries have been lost).

All this has been written from memory, but I will come back to this and post corrected and more detailed figures later.

Darrin, the numbers you give are highly interesting, where are they provided?

Best regards,
Michael

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Post by Qvist » Fri Mar 19, 2004 4:04 am

Hello Michate

Welcome - good to have you around here too. :)

cheers

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Post by Michate » Fri Mar 19, 2004 6:32 am

Hi Quist,

thanks for your nice words.

Seems I am gradually becoming amulti forums hang-out :D

Best regards,
Michael

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Post by Darrin » Fri Mar 19, 2004 10:13 am

Michate wrote:
Darrin, the numbers you give are highly interesting, where are they provided?

In zetterlings normandy 44 book. He used them just to describe the different force definitions in the ger army and how they worked. Since his numbers come from actual ger archives and are supplied with archive references I tend to trust his numbers a lot.

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Post by Darrin » Fri Mar 19, 2004 10:27 am

Qvist wrote:
Darrin:
But agin this was only the beg because for every one of the ger soilders on the front thier were 2 behind him providing some sort of support services.
Tank you for your figures, but on what do you base that judgment?

cheers

In 1944 there were 12 mil people in the whermact and of these maybe 2.5 mil were in the east and 1.5 mil were in italy or france. Perhaps no more than 4 mil were anywhere near the front leaving 8 mil or twice that number behind it. Not all provided support they were in the army doing something the army considered important to keep the front line effective.

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Post by Qvist » Fri Mar 19, 2004 1:12 pm

Ok, then I'm with you.

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Post by Michate » Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:09 am

Hi all,
In zetterlings normandy 44 book. He used them just to describe the different force definitions in the ger army and how they worked. Since his numbers come from actual ger archives and are supplied with archive references I tend to trust his numbers a lot.
Ah, I definitely have to get Mr. Zetterling's Normandy book. Unfortunately his books are very expensive and even hard to get in Germany, e.g. Amazon Germany does not have them. I got his Kursk book 3 weeks ago only through a small online book seller who offers some specialised military history booksafter quite some efforts - but it was worth it - just made me cry for more information like this :D

His Normandy book is clearly one of the next on my wish list. And I would really love to see him write a book on the 1944 Eastern front battles :wink:

To provide some input to the discussion myself, here are some figures on German manpower overall or on Eastern front I found on the German Panzerlexikon forum (provided by Jörg Wurdack).

(For all German speakers, links are here: http://forum.panzerlexikon.de/index.php ... entry25101 and here: http://forum.panzerlexikon.de/index.php ... entry55329 )

So here is the development of German Ostheer manpower strength (Heer, Luftwaffe ground troops and Waffen-SS, but without German allies and Finland front. Probably refers to Iststärke or actual strength)

15. June 1941: 3.300.000
1. January 1942: 2.850.000
1. July 1942: 2.700.000 (starting summer offensive 1942)
1. January 1943: 2.900.000
1. April 1943: 2.700.000 (after Stalingrad)
1. July 1943: 3.138.000 (before Kursk)
1. October 1943: 2.568.000
February 1944: 2.366.000
1. April 1944: 2.245.000
1. July 1944: 2.200.00 (after beginning of Bagration, but actually I am a little sceptic about that number as I have also seen around 2.600.000 on 1. June 1944)

For October 1943 there is a more detailed description of opposing forces of Wehrmacht and Red Army on Eastern Front:
Wehrmacht:
Inf.Div. 151
Pz.Div. 26
Panzer: 2304
Artillery guns: 8037
Soldiers: 2.498.000

Red Army (please note, these numbers are taken from a german intelligence survey and probably not correct)
Inf.Div. 536
Pz.Div. 324 (???)
Tanks: 8400
Artillery guns: 20.770
Soldiers: 5.512.000

Also, there is an overview on the whole Wehrmacht manpower for June 1944:

Total Wehrmacht strength 9.420.000
A) Feldheer: 4.000.000.
B) Ersatzheer: 2.510.000.
of that: -1.537.000 Mann in replacment personnel (recruits, teaching personnel, demonstration and experimental troops, schools and recovered, but still not yet fully combat-able wounded)
- 680.000 wounded in hospitals
-293.000 additional (staffs, guards for important infrastructure and POW camps, medical personnel)
C) Sum Heer: 6.510.000
D) Luftwaffe: 1.500.000
E) Marine: 810.000
F) Waffen-SS: 600.000

The difference to Darrin’s total would probably be personnel in auxiliary services attached to Wehrmacht like Organisation Todt, RAD, NSKK etc.

Here is how forces were distributed over the different theatres on 1. May1944 (Heer including Luftwaffe ground troops and Waffen-SS, numbers probably refer to Iststärke or actual strength):

West: 58 divisions HQ troops, staffs, Heer coastal artillery, security, Heer economic branch, 886.000 soldiers (Question: how does this compare to the figures provided by Zetterling or Rich Anderson?)

South East (including Greece and Balkans): 25 divisions, total manpower strength 440.000 soldiers

Denmark: 6 divisions (no strength given)

Norway + Finland: 12 divisions, 250.000 soldiers

Italy (OB Südwest): 28 divisions, around 500.000 soldiers

Sources are:

- Kroener, Bernhard R.: Menschenbewirtschaftung. Bevölkerungsverteilung und personelle Rüstung in der zweiten Kriegshälfte. In: MGFA (Hrsg.): Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg. Band 5: Organisation und Mobilisierung des deutschen Machtbereichs. Teilband 2: Kriegsverwaltung, Wirtschaft und personelle Ressourcen 1942 - 1945. Stuttgart 1999, S. 777 - 994.

- Müller-Hillebrand, Burkhart: Das Heer 1933 - 1945. Entwicklung des organischen Aufbaues. Bd. 3: Der Zweifrontenkrieg. Das Heer vom Beginn des Feldzuges gegen die Sowjetunion bis zum Kriegsende, Frankfurt 1969, S. 142 ff., 254 ff..
(Until end of war, Müller-Hillebrand was the responsible general for organisation department of OKH. Shortly after the war he conducted a study German Manpower for the American army based on the captured original documents, and later used these in his books on Heer organisation, which until today are standard reference works on that topic.)

Guess finally I have to get these books myself :?

P.S. Glad to see other people with a passion for statistics.

Best regards,
Michael

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Post by rkka » Sat Mar 20, 2004 10:22 pm

Is a Sec.Div equivalents to a ID? In the rear of AGC were located 5 Sec.Divisions and one Lehrdivision.
Is the 78th Sturm Division equivalents to two ID?
I would like to compare German and Russian forces in the Operation Bagration.My mind there were 54 German infantry (pzgr) divisions (43 AGC+11 AGN and AGNU) and 160 Russian rifle Divisions. If someone add to German forces Sec.Div,he need add to Russian forces 400000 partisans.

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Post by Darrin » Sat Mar 20, 2004 11:14 pm

Michate wrote:Hi all,
In zetterlings normandy 44 book. He used them just to describe the different force definitions in the ger army and how they worked. Since his numbers come from actual ger archives and are supplied with archive references I tend to trust his numbers a lot.
Ah, I definitely have to get Mr. Zetterling's Normandy book. Unfortunately his books are very expensive and even hard to get in Germany, e.g. Amazon Germany does not have them. I got his Kursk book 3 weeks ago only through a small online book seller who offers some specialised military history booksafter quite some efforts - but it was worth it - just made me cry for more information like this :D

His Normandy book is clearly one of the next on my wish list. And I would really love to see him write a book on the 1944 Eastern front battles :wink:

To provide some input to the discussion myself, here are some figures on German manpower overall or on Eastern front I found on the German Panzerlexikon forum (provided by Jörg Wurdack).

(For all German speakers, links are here: http://forum.panzerlexikon.de/index.php ... entry25101 and here: http://forum.panzerlexikon.de/index.php ... entry55329 )

So here is the development of German Ostheer manpower strength (Heer, Luftwaffe ground troops and Waffen-SS, but without German allies and Finland front. Probably refers to Iststärke or actual strength)

15. June 1941: 3.300.000
1. January 1942: 2.850.000
1. July 1942: 2.700.000 (starting summer offensive 1942)
1. January 1943: 2.900.000
1. April 1943: 2.700.000 (after Stalingrad)
1. July 1943: 3.138.000 (before Kursk)
1. October 1943: 2.568.000
February 1944: 2.366.000
1. April 1944: 2.245.000
1. July 1944: 2.200.00 (after beginning of Bagration, but actually I am a little sceptic about that number as I have also seen around 2.600.000 on 1. June 1944)

For October 1943 there is a more detailed description of opposing forces of Wehrmacht and Red Army on Eastern Front:
Wehrmacht:
Inf.Div. 151
Pz.Div. 26
Panzer: 2304
Artillery guns: 8037
Soldiers: 2.498.000

Red Army (please note, these numbers are taken from a german intelligence survey and probably not correct)
Inf.Div. 536
Pz.Div. 324 (???)
Tanks: 8400
Artillery guns: 20.770
Soldiers: 5.512.000

Also, there is an overview on the whole Wehrmacht manpower for June 1944:

Total Wehrmacht strength 9.420.000
A) Feldheer: 4.000.000.
B) Ersatzheer: 2.510.000.
of that: -1.537.000 Mann in replacment personnel (recruits, teaching personnel, demonstration and experimental troops, schools and recovered, but still not yet fully combat-able wounded)
- 680.000 wounded in hospitals
-293.000 additional (staffs, guards for important infrastructure and POW camps, medical personnel)
C) Sum Heer: 6.510.000
D) Luftwaffe: 1.500.000
E) Marine: 810.000
F) Waffen-SS: 600.000

The difference to Darrin’s total would probably be personnel in auxiliary services attached to Wehrmacht like Organisation Todt, RAD, NSKK etc.

Here is how forces were distributed over the different theatres on 1. May1944 (Heer including Luftwaffe ground troops and Waffen-SS, numbers probably refer to Iststärke or actual strength):

West: 58 divisions HQ troops, staffs, Heer coastal artillery, security, Heer economic branch, 886.000 soldiers (Question: how does this compare to the figures provided by Zetterling or Rich Anderson?)

South East (including Greece and Balkans): 25 divisions, total manpower strength 440.000 soldiers

Denmark: 6 divisions (no strength given)

Norway + Finland: 12 divisions, 250.000 soldiers

Italy (OB Südwest): 28 divisions, around 500.000 soldiers

Sources are:

- Kroener, Bernhard R.: Menschenbewirtschaftung. Bevölkerungsverteilung und personelle Rüstung in der zweiten Kriegshälfte. In: MGFA (Hrsg.): Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg. Band 5: Organisation und Mobilisierung des deutschen Machtbereichs. Teilband 2: Kriegsverwaltung, Wirtschaft und personelle Ressourcen 1942 - 1945. Stuttgart 1999, S. 777 - 994.

- Müller-Hillebrand, Burkhart: Das Heer 1933 - 1945. Entwicklung des organischen Aufbaues. Bd. 3: Der Zweifrontenkrieg. Das Heer vom Beginn des Feldzuges gegen die Sowjetunion bis zum Kriegsende, Frankfurt 1969, S. 142 ff., 254 ff..
(Until end of war, Müller-Hillebrand was the responsible general for organisation department of OKH. Shortly after the war he conducted a study German Manpower for the American army based on the captured original documents, and later used these in his books on Heer organisation, which until today are standard reference works on that topic.)

Guess finally I have to get these books myself :?

P.S. Glad to see other people with a passion for statistics.

Best regards,
Michael

You can get zetterlings book from the main us amazon site. Or from the actual publishers http://www.jjfpu.ca much cheaper than his kursk book. I heard he is writng a korson book but am not 100% sure about this.

On the first of june they did have 2.6 mil. The later number for the end of the month certainly seems low considering they only suffered 125,000 tot cas wia, kia and mia.

In oct 43 the rus had 6.5 mil men and almosty exactly what you describe for tanks. The arty picture is a bit more difficult the rus had 100,000 arty of all types and mortor of greater than 50mm. Even the ger had close to 25,000 peieces according to this defination but 8000 arty guns in your reference.

Quite often it is not just sheer numbers of wepons alone that are important. For example the rus according to my numbers above had 4 times more pices of all types of arty and mortors. They only made and used as much shells as the germans did at most.

Yes the difference is according to people not actually in the other forces but counted as whermcahent even if only aux.

Zetterling normandy france 44 numbers for the 1st of jun are close to 900,000 but it excludes men not directly on the front. Ie no luft air types or AAA etc.... Richs basic number is close to this as well ask him or search for his posts.

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Post by Qvist » Mon Mar 22, 2004 12:41 am

Michate,

Great figures, thanks.
His Normandy book is clearly one of the next on my wish list. And I would really love to see him write a book on the 1944 Eastern front battles


He's apparently currently working on a book about the Korsun-Cherkassy operation.

cheers

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Post by Qvist » Mon Mar 22, 2004 1:02 am

Michate:
Here is how forces were distributed over the different theatres on 1. May1944 (Heer including Luftwaffe ground troops and Waffen-SS, numbers probably refer to Iststärke or actual strength):

West: 58 divisions HQ troops, staffs, Heer coastal artillery, security, Heer economic branch, 886.000 soldiers (Question: how does this compare to the figures provided by Zetterling or Rich Anderson?)
Not too badly. Rich discussed this at length on this excellent thread:

http://www.feldgrau.net/phpBB2/viewtopi ... highlight=


cheers

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