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  • Soviet Combat Effectiveness.

    Whlle checking for new CMAK scenarios, I found this small article I thought was interesting: Soviet Combat Effectiveness

    I quote here the most interesting part:
    a) If you set Soviet combat effectiveness, during the second half of the war, from 1/7/43 to 31/3/45, to equal 1 then German combat effectiveness over the same period equals 1.15. To set this in context the similar figure for the Germans against both the Commonwealth and American forces during the campaign in NW Europe was 1.20 i.e. Soviet forces were of marginally higher quality than the western allies. The reason for this relatively high figure for Soviet combat effectiveness is that their losses and their overall force ratio advantage, were both very much lower than had been believed before the true figures became known. Taking into account all factors, importantly, including the relative size of the forces employed, one would have expected Soviet losses to number 1.4 times those of the Germans assuming, and this is a very important point, that Soviet forces had been of "identical quality" to German forces. In fact Soviet "actual" losses over the period numbered 1.6 times German losses. Only 0.2 different from the losses the Germans would have inflicted on their enemy had they been fighting "clones" of themselves but numbering the same as Soviet forces "actually" numbered.
    “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed…” -1984 about the Big Lie

  • #2
    Seems really interesting. I am in a statistical analysis, too...

    Thanks Sheik...
    a brain cell

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    • #3
      Sweeping, and somewhat provocating, generalization would be that German soldiers were 20% more effective than Western Allied soldiers and 15% more effective than Soviet soldiers on the latter part of the war...
      “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed…” -1984 about the Big Lie

      Comment


      • #4
        It didn't matter in the end that the German's were more effective soldiers, the numbers of soldiers that the Russian's were able to muster more than made up for any deficiencies in effectiveness.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Priest
          It didn't matter in the end that the German's were more effective soldiers, the numbers of soldiers that the Russian's were able to muster more than made up for any deficiencies in effectiveness.
          I think you missed my point. Dubuy's numbers show that Soviet soldiers were more effective than western ones. Also it is a popular myth that Soviets had *overwhelming* numerical superiority throughout the war, when in fact FE their infantry formations were chronically understrength after the catastrophic losses of 1941-42.

          I think it is better to quote Niklas Zetterling here (from Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness):
          It seems that the Allied numerical superiority in Normandy has not been clear to all authors. Indeed some have not even observed it at all. Stephen E. Ambrose has even written:

          "Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin relied on overwhelming numbers, and to some extent American-supplied equipment, to fight the Wehrmacht.
          The British and Americans were going to have to rely on their soldiers outfighting Nazi soldiers, because the numbers of troops on the opposing sides were roughly equal."

          This is entirely wrong. When Operation Cobra was launched, the Germans had brought to Normandy about 410,000 men in divisions and non-divisional combat units. If this is multiplied by 1.19 [Zetterling's factor for adding service and support manpower outside German divisions and non-div units] we arrive at approximately 490,000 soldiers. However, until 23 July, casualties amounted to 116,863, while only 10,078 replacements had arrived. This means that no more than 380,000 soldiers remained in Normandy or supported the fighting in Normandy.
          On 25 July there were 812,000 US soldiers and 640,000 British in Normandy. This means that the Allies had a 3.8:1 superiority in manpower. This was better than the superiority enjoyed by the Red Army on the Eastern Front. On 1 June 1944 the Soviets pitted 7.25 million men against 2.62 million Germans.
          Note that the manpower superiority of Soviets were only 2.8:1 by the time...
          “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed…” -1984 about the Big Lie

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          • #6
            Your probibly correct about that Shiek, I guess that I got the impression about the numerical superiority from some popular books like "Enemy at the Gates" and "The Last Battle". Perhaps it wasn't so much the greater number of Russians more that it was a fewer amount of Germans at the end of the war.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Priest
              Your probibly correct about that Shiek, I guess that I got the impression about the numerical superiority from some popular books like "Enemy at the Gates" and "The Last Battle". Perhaps it wasn't so much the greater number of Russians more that it was a fewer amount of Germans at the end of the war.
              As I see the numbers the Soviets lost more troops proportionally than Germans in 1943 and at the beginning of the 1944. So I think not that the case you said, that was true in the end 1944.
              In Hungary in Sept 1944 the Soviet superiority in manpower was only 1.9:1 in tanks 1.4:1

              Generally I think the Soviet foot soldier was as rude (good) as the German soldier. The German platoon, battalion, regiment, division commanders were better in Barbarossa, but they got the biggest lost, and later the difference was eliminated (the Soviet commanders learned to command bigger units alone).
              a brain cell

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              • #8
                Originally posted by laszlo.nemedi
                As I see the numbers the Soviets lost more troops proportionally than Germans in 1943 and at the beginning of the 1944. So I think not that the case you said, that was true in the end 1944.
                In Hungary in Sept 1944 the Soviet superiority in manpower was only 1.9:1 in tanks 1.4:1

                Generally I think the Soviet foot soldier was as rude (good) as the German soldier. The German platoon, battalion, regiment, division commanders were better in Barbarossa, but they got the biggest lost, and later the difference was eliminated (the Soviet commanders learned to command bigger units alone).
                Well your probibly correct Laszlo.

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                • #9
                  Hey, someone should come here to argue with us.

                  Or Sheik we have to find something to argue with each other
                  a brain cell

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sheik Yerbouti
                    Sweeping, and somewhat provocating, generalization would be that German soldiers were 20% more effective than Western Allied soldiers and 15% more effective than Soviet soldiers on the latter part of the war...
                    Even if Soviet soldiers as a whole were more effective than their western counterparts; the logistical organization of the Soviets vis-a-vis the western Allies left much to be desired.
                    Soviet forces seemed to outrun their supply train much more frequently than did the US/British forces.
                    Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tigersqn
                      Even if Soviet soldiers as a whole were more effective than their western counterparts; the logistical organization of the Soviets vis-a-vis the western Allies left much to be desired.
                      Soviet forces seemed to outrun their supply train much more frequently than did the US/British forces.
                      Ummm....what happened to US/British supply when they advanced towards Germany after the breakthrough?...
                      “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed…” -1984 about the Big Lie

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tigersqn
                        Even if Soviet soldiers as a whole were more effective Soviet forces seemed to outrun their supply train much more frequently than did the US/British forces.
                        I guess that you could note that the Soviets covered a much greater distance then the Allies did, and that the Germans appear to have done a much more complete job of demolitions in the east then in the west (where all they could do was run after the breakout from Normandy).

                        The Soviet offencive into Manchuria in 1945 sugests that they knew what they were doing: the jumping off point for what amounted to a full-scale Army Group was something like 500 km from the nearest rail line!
                        Owner and operator, Armed Forces of the Asia Pacific
                        Forum administrator, www.orbat.com
                        Co-administrator, www.historic-battles.com

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sheik Yerbouti
                          Ummm....what happened to US/British supply when they advanced towards Germany after the breakthrough?...
                          If Monty had taken the Scheldte estuary when Antwerp was captured, the Allies could have gotten by with only a short operational pause before carrying the attack into Germany.

                          This was an operational error; not a reflection on the logistical infrastructure possessed by the western Allies.

                          I forget where but I read somewhere that as many as 4 US Divs were held up in the rear areas because their transport was taken for the Red Ball Express.
                          Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tigersqn
                            If Monty had taken the Scheldte estuary when Antwerp was captured, the Allies could have gotten by with only a short operational pause before carrying the attack into Germany.

                            This was an operational error; not a reflection on the logistical infrastructure possessed by the western Allies.

                            I forget where but I read somewhere that as many as 4 US Divs were held up in the rear areas because their transport was taken for the Red Ball Express.
                            Well, I'm sure Soviets made "operational errors" that caused them supply problems too...
                            “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed…” -1984 about the Big Lie

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by laszlo.nemedi
                              Hey, someone should come here to argue with us.

                              Or Sheik we have to find something to argue with each other
                              I'll take the Pepsi challenge!

                              You can't overstate the effect that leadership at the junior NCO level has on overall combat performance. There is simply no comparrison here. The Germans had the best small unit leadership of any major combatant during the Second World War, while I'm hard pressed to even apply the term "leadership" to what went on in the Red Army.

                              This had nothing to do with "toughness," race, or national origon, it has to do with how young soldiers are trained and how NCOs are created. The Germans took this process very seriously and the lessons they learned are the foundation for how the modern United States Army trains on a daily basis. The Germans understood that the NCO Corps is the "backbone of the Army," and went to great lengths to promote initiative and constant training at the small unit level. The Commonwealth forces tended to rely on a system of complicated battle drills, while US forces tended to be rather hit and miss in their doctrine.

                              Soviet soldiers were just as tough (or tougher), tenacious, and as brave as their German opponents. What they lacked was a solid system of small unit leadership, initiative, and flexible thinking in the staff officers. These shortcomings hampered their operations time and again up through the end of the war. Even after the war NATO trained to take advantage of the inflexible doctrine of Warsaw pact forces, so the Red Army never completely learned from its mistakes.

                              The statistics that were quoted earlier were at best misleading. The actual prodction figures for armored vehicles of all types shows a huge disparity that German industry could not possibly hope to condend with. The figures for trucks, aircraft, machine-guns, AT-guns, and trains are even worse. An army survives on its logistics, not its weapons. The overall disparity in logistics and manpower between the USSR and the Axis was gigantic.

                              The amazing thing is not that the Soviet Union eventually defeated Germany (while suffering far greater losses in the process), but that the Germans were able to fight as well as they did for as long as they did.

                              Okay, how did I do? That should get this debate roaring!
                              Editor-in-Chief
                              GameSquad.com

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