Thursday, August 4, 2022

Where, Let Me Ask, Where...

... do they take their numbers from? It is no wonder that US and UK run VSU "operations" are not only defeated, but expose a complete professional inadequacy of US and UK military operational planning. It is bad and unprofessional which calls in question military professionalism of those who "plan" them. Evidently, issues of awareness and knowing "thy enemy" are not taught in Anglo-American military educational facilities anymore. No wonder. Daniel Davies writes a fantastical piece in which he concludes:

Virtually the only way Ukraine could succeed in an offensive against Russia in Kherson region at this time would be if they pulled a page out of the Soviet playbook from July 1943. In the Battle of Kursk, for example, the USSR was willing to throw over two million men into the meat grinder against the German Wehrmaht in a massive tank battle. The Soviet Union sacrificed 800,000 troops lost, but inflicted upwards of 200,000 casualties on the Germans in the process. But the Red Army had more men than the Germans and Hitler’s troops were never able to recover from the loss of so many men and tanks, but especially they never replaced the experienced troops. From that point on, the Soviet army drove Germany all the way back to Berlin.  Unless Ukraine is willing to sacrifice upwards of a million men – something the Russians may not be able to match, regardless of how many planes, tanks, and rockets they have – Zelensky’s forces have no valid shot at driving Russia out of Kherson. 

I am not going to talk here about absolutely bizarre "interpretation" of Red Army's Kursk Strategic Defensive Operation July 5-23, 1943, how it was known in USSR and was in response to Wehrmacht's Operation Zitadelle (Citadel) and which saw human, armor and air carnage of unimaginable proportions, which resulted in final strategic shift of the WW II in Europe after which the Blitzkrieg met its match. But the issue, apart from Davies' obvious sheer fantasy about Kherson, is the fact of this, I quote it again:

In the Battle of Kursk, for example, the USSR was willing to throw over two million men into the meat grinder against the German Wehrmaht in a massive tank battle. The Soviet Union sacrificed 800,000 troops lost, but inflicted upwards of 200,000 casualties on the Germans in the process.  

Davies references the US History Channel, evidently not understanding, that most of the Anglo-American WW II historiography of the Eastern Front is based on... right, German sources, much of which are self-serving in trying to "explain" how, after what amounts in German "sources" of Eastern Front, Red Army was losing 1,000 soldiers for 10 of Wehrmacht's, of 100 combat aircraft for 1 lost Luftwaffe fighter, or 100 T-34s for 2 or 3 Tigers, those incompetent Russkies, somehow crushed unified forces of Europe, from Finland to Germany, to Italy, to Hungary, Romania and other armies and somehow, obviously because of "bloody Stalin" ended up in Berlin and hoisted the Red Flag over Reichstag in May of 1945. 

Well, we will start with this, and this is old, from 1996 by Glantz, who later, together with House elevated even more the Wehrmacht's "historical" perceptions' influences on the American view of the Eastern Front:

But let's address the issue of Red Army's "sacrificed 800,000 troops". We will open the most authoritative source of Red Army's losses and this is, of course, Krivosheev's publications meticulously derived from all available Russian Defense Ministry WW II archives. Let's take a look at the "spread" so to speak of Kursk Strategic Defensive Operation, which could be counted as "Counter-Citadel." Here is the table from Krivosheev's 2001 Rossiya i SSSR v voynah XX veka: poteri vooruzhyonnyh sil. Statisticheskoe issledovanie (in Russian). Moscow: OLMA-Press. ISBN 5-224-01515-4.

As you can see yourself, at Kursk Red Army had total 1,272,700 personnel on three Army Groups (Fronts) at the front with a width of 500 kilometers and with retreat of Red Army forces upon defensive operation between 12 to 35 kilometers. Total "non-returnable" (KIA and MIA) losses in 19 day of this operation amounted to 70,330. Sanitary losses amounted to 177, 784, which in summary gives us 177, 847 total Red Army losses at Kursk. OK, but one may ask, but what if, what if History Channel also counted Red Army's losses in the immediate follow-up, in fact overlapping with Kursk Strategic Defensive Operation, Orlov Strategic Offensive Operation "Kuuzov", which lasted from July 12 through August 18 of 1943? OK. It is not exactly Kursk Battle but let's take a look:
As you can see yourself Red Army sustained 112, 529 KIAS and MIAs, Sanitary--317,361 and total of 429,890. But even if sum those TOTAL losses we still get 607, 737 for all duration of the Kursk Battle from Jule 5 through August 18. Of course, we need to add Belgorod Strategic Operation (Operation "Rumyantsev") which lasted August 3 through 23 and then arithmetically we may get somewhere around 800,000, but, pardon my French, where did they find 2 million men, when in reality the number of Red Army combat troops never exceeded at the peak 1.4 million. But while we get very accurate numbers of Red Army's losses and forces, once we get to Wehrmacht, we get thrown immediately into the German military casuistic approach to "statistics" and, often, down right "estimates" (a euphemism for falsifications) which are the ones which continue to dominate American views. 
Davies states that Wehrmacht sustained 200,000 casualties at Kursk Battle. Hm, we need to start from the start because at Kursk Red Army fielded in reality (per Glantz, House and declassified Soviet General Staff documents), get this: Red Army total: 1,337,166 of which combat troops were 977,219. Wehrmacht, combat troops: 777,000. As you can see yourself the ratio is not what Western historiography really mentions, preferring to use German numbers, much of which tend to minimize own losses and grossly inflate losses of the Red Army and these numbers migrate constantly into Anglo-American historiography and are utterly unreliable from purely military point of view, unless one wants, indeed, to subscribe to a view that average Wehrmacht soldier was killing before being killed himself 5-6 Red Army soldiers. But here is the trick, if one considers inevitably higher losses of attacking side during offensive, we DO have a reliable number of specifically Wehrmacht's (minus Axis allies) losses in the period of time which covers precisely both Stalingrad and Kursk Battles. Namely from 1 September 1942 through 20 November 1943 Wehrmacht's total of non-returnable (KIAs, MIAs and disabled) on the Eastern Front amounted to 90% of all casualties in that period: 2,077,000 x 0.9 =1,870,000. It amounted to permanent (irrevocable) losses of Wehrmacht alone on the Eastern Front to 6,923,700. And we use here Earl Ziemke's numbers.
In fact, 200,000 Wehrmacht's "losses" in Kursk Battle is utter fiction. Real number of Wehrmacht's irrevocable losses is around 430,000 per Military-Historical Journal («Военно-исторический журнал», 1960, № 5, стр. 86—87) which explains WHY Kursk Battle, together with Stalingrad, were decisive in destroying Axis forces strategic offensive poyential on the Eastern Front and lead to a turning point in WW II. It is not just some statistical trick, it is tactical and operational military reality corresponding to numbers, or, vice-versa, if one wishes. But it inevitably raises the question: if one draws strategic and operational picture based on Nazi "statistics" and beaten to death cliches about Red Army, it is INEVITABLE that such versions of "military science" and operational art are bound to produce time after time, both gross overestimation of own capabilities and gross underestimation of such of the enemy. Patton's Syndrome. We saw it in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and we observe it live in Ukraine with NATO C2 parading itself as a bunch of amateurs. 
Listen to excellent discussion by Alex and Alexander. 

They speak precisely about this issue, with such military planners who are behind VSU, no wonder the US cannot win any war in the last... well, fill in the blanks yourself.  One cannot learn anything when one's lessons are primarily made of fantasies. It is a good advice to get one's facts straight before expressing historical views such as Daniel Davies did about Kursk Battle. But then again, in the world where Wehrmacht sustains 200,000 casualties in total in one of the most decisive historic victories of the Red Army, it is also normal for said Red Army to "rape" 2.5 million German women and Russian Army "run out of ammo and smart weapons"... three months ago. 

P.S. See about fake Wehrmacht "statistics" in VPK-Kurier written by professional (in Russian). The Price of Kursk Battle (Part II). A methodical military-scientific demolition of BS from Wehrmacht's cooked books, including their Anglo-American sycophants who created a caricature from the war.

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