Author Topic: Maximum strength of German army in Russia  (Read 3681 times)

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Offline DicedT

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Maximum strength of German army in Russia
« on: March 17, 2012, 12:35:48 PM »
I should know this, but I can't find an easy reference. What was the peak strength of the German and Soviet armies on the Eastern Front, in terms of millions of men and numbers of divisions?

Michael


Offline LongBlade

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Re: Maximum strength of German army in Russia
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2012, 01:29:37 PM »
Not home atm. Will check this eve when I get back.

Offline LongBlade

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Re: Maximum strength of German army in Russia
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 05:29:43 PM »
OK...I pulled out my copy of Slaughterhouse: The Encycolpedia of the Eastern Front.

It's not exactly set up in Guinness Book of World Records for reference, however, I've come across a couple of things which, though somewhat vague, may at least set you on the right path.

From P 63:

Quote
"While over 3.5 million German and Soviet troops struggled at Kursk, and 8.5 million later fought on a 1,500-mile front from the Leningrad region to the Black Sea Coast..."

That tells us 8.5 mill but isn't clear if that's on each side or in toto.

Further down the page...

Quote
"By 1 October 1943, 2,565,000 men (63%) of the Werhmacht's 4,090,000-man force struggled in the East, together with the bulk of the 300,000 Waffen-SS troops."

I am *not* an Eastern Front history guru like some guys are, so I'm picking spots in my reference books where I think the likely answers are. Those numbers sound good to me, but I've got another book, When Titans Clashed, which I'm turning to next.

From Clash of Titans' conclusion on P 283:

Quote
While over two million German and Soviet troops struggled at Kursk and five million later fought on the 600-kilometer front from Smolensk to the Black Sea Coast...
(it's comparing Eastern and Western front troops, the rest is about Italy).

However, in Table C of the Appendix starting on P 301 there is a comparison of Soviet and German forces.

We see a near-peak of 3.3 million forces in Sept of '41 and it reaches a further high of 3.4 million July of '43. Those numbers do not include Allies such as the Finns, Rumanians, etc who, in total, contributed another three million that month.

Obviously the sources don't completely agree, though they do offer ballpark numbers

Hopefully that will help.

Offline DicedT

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Re: Maximum strength of German army in Russia
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2012, 06:29:17 PM »
Thanks, LB. I'll always go with Glantz. Here's something on the number of divisions: http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=7288

Michael

Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Maximum strength of German army in Russia
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2012, 06:56:10 PM »
A quick Google-chop pulled up these charts to suppliment LB's post:

http://www.quora.com/Military-History-Wars/What-was-the-peak-German-strength-on-the-Eastern-Front-in-World-War-II

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Andrew Warinner, Code monkey, expat, utility infielder
6 votes by Alasdair Russell, Gary Rutz, Gautam Bakshi, (more)
According to the figures given in "When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler" by David M. Glantz and Jonathon House, here's how the Red Army stacked up against the Axis armies by numbers:




The German highwater mark was just before Operation Zitadel, the Battle of Kursk, in early July 1943: 3,403,000 German troops and 650,000 Finnish, Hungarian and Rumanian troops.

September 1941 is a close second: 3,315,000 German troops and 650,000 Finnish and Rumanian troops.

Here are the Axis and Soviet strengths versus their allies:





Notes on the figures:

Glantz and House used Wehrmacht records for German strengths and Soviet records for Red Army strengths. The figures aren't for the total strengths of either side, only those on the Eastern Front.

For the initial strength of the Red Army in June 1941, I used only the strengths of the western Soviet military districts.

I did not include 80,000 German troops in Northern Norway up until late 1945. Their campaign was independent of the main campaign in the East.

For the Red Army numbers, Glantz and House cite figures for those hospitalized. The hospitalized are not included in the Red Army figures in the graphs.
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Offline LongBlade

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Re: Maximum strength of German army in Russia
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2012, 09:03:32 PM »
Thanks, LB. I'll always go with Glantz.

You're welcome. I agree, but I dislike quoting from a single source, no matter how well reputed. Better to give you two and let you decide :)


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Re: Maximum strength of German army in Russia
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2012, 05:49:15 PM »
Alan Clark in Barbarossa eloquently describes the Wehrmacht as its strongest on the very 1st day of the battle, & they were never able to get back to that level over the course of the entire war in the east. his stats- 163 divisions, (19 panzer, 14 motorized, 1 cavalry, 3 mountain, forgotten what the security division # was), 3.1 million men. the 1942 summer offensive was back at 3 million men.

you want really precise info, in english, then you need to check out Viktor Madeja, a former US Army SF officer & 'Nam Vet, (long passed now) born to Polish DP's in then West Germany. He turned out a line of pamphlets with a staggering amount of detail on OoB's, for a company called 'Game Marketing' back in the late 70's. i have about half of them. very pricey & hard to fine. i'll dig out the Barbarossa snapshot this weekend & see what it gives for #'s.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 05:53:26 PM by Alpinejager »

Offline LongBlade

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Re: Maximum strength of German army in Russia
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2012, 08:03:25 AM »
Thanks, Alpine. Welcome to GrogHeads!