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Number of German casualties on the Eastern front.


The_Hessian
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I've been reading up on a few books about the Eastern front during WW1, and i've noticed that very little is known about german casualties. Pracically nothing is written about it, with exception of the russian section on wikipedia which gives the number 300 000 dead.

Does anyone know the true number of dead? And/Or possibly the number of MiA, WiA and POW?

Also, please excuse if this has been posted before!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dennis,

This topic has intrigued me too. It appears that German casualties on the Eastern Front were heavier than many might have supposed.

Churchill, in his statistical foray into casualty figures, reckoned that 1,697,000 German casualties occurred on fronts other than the Western, and this tallies in quite well with other sources of information.

The German sanitsbericht gives a figure of 1,468, 811 up until the end of July 1918 for the Eastern Front - which of course implies that nearly all of these were incurred against the Russians. The Romanians, Serbs and Italians inflicted casualties on the Germans too, but we can safely assume that between 1914 and 1917 about one and a half million Germans were killed, wounded or captured by the Russians. Significantly, up until the end of June 1916, the Russians are said to have taken more German prisoners than the Franco -British armies in the West. In all, something like 150,000 - 170,000 German prisoners were taken on the Russian Front, i.e. about ten per cent of total German casualties there. This compares with 774,000 on the Western Front, half of whom were captured in the last 4 months. In addition, the Russians captured about 1.75 million Austro - Hungarian troops.

While the number of POWs lost by Germany on the Russian front was relatively low, the number killed or wounded was high. The German counterpart of the CWGC gives statistical info for the number of German war dead buried throughout the World, and while I cannot remember the exact figures, I do remember being taken back at the number of burials for 1914-1918 in Poland and the former Soviet Union. I think it was about 450,000 for Poland and in excess of 100,000 for the Soviet Union ...definitely more than half a million for the Russian front 1914-1917, and, remember, this is for burials only and does not allow for the great numbers that were not recovered. The equivalent figure for France and Belgium is just over 900,000. The implication here is that Germany lost at least half as many in the East as she lost in the West - a startling thing when we consider the huge losses that the Austrians suffered as well, and the fact that the time of actual fighting in the East was about one year shorter. Above all, it testifies to the effectiveness of the Russian armies in the Great War. Too often they have been caricatured as inept and primitive.

This is difficult to reconcile with other German data, which suggest that three quarters of all German casualties 1914-1918 were sustained on the Western Front.

I will check that German war graves site and get back to you.

Phil.

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Well ,the number of German casualties of orphans made in Romania in 1916-1919 is of 360 728.In Iasi 60 759,Bucharest 121 775,Craiova 40039,Chisinau 24 142,Cernauti 12924,Sibiu 24404,Constanta 12542,Timisoara 23518,Cluj 40625,published in 'Pentru neam si tara " Soc.Ocrotirea orfanilor de razboi

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Razu,

Do you mean that there were 360,728 orphans in Romania as a result of the Great War ?

What were total military deaths for Romania ? The figure of 335,000 is usually mentioned...is that correct? That implies about one orphan for every dead soldier.

Phil.

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Razu,

Do you mean that there were 360,728 orphans in Romania as a result of the Great War ?

What were total military deaths for Romania ? The figure of 335,000 is usually mentioned...is that correct? That implies about one orphan for every dead soldier.

Phil.

Phil

Do you relly think only soldiers were killed?What about the civilians killed.And what about those who died from diseases as the hospitals were overcrowded.Add that to the counting.

Andrei

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Phil

Do you relly think only soldiers were killed?What about the civilians killed.And what about those who died from diseases as the hospitals were overcrowded.Add that to the counting.

Andrei

Yes, you are right of course, Andrei.

It's good to have you here : you make us aware of how much Romania suffered in the Great War.

Not enough is said about this.

Phil.

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Phil

"Romanian Army lost 2330 Officers and 217 016 Soldiers

Invalids 35 717

widows 55 906

civilians:

a)the blood victims killed by the enemy,2438 killed by airplanes or enemy artilelry,1561 wounded and 1446 manslaughter.It is propably a great number would have remained unidentified.

b)victims of epidemy of war,there is data only for Moldavia 12 845for 1917,in 1919 ,10 116.Data for Muntenia(Valahia or the Romanian Country) is missing.Data for the whole Kingdoom is missing.

so we have 250 000 deaths +50 000 unregisterd deaths.

The total deaths in the Kingdoom is 300 000 1916 -1919(including Army).

When making statistic count ,by comparing mortality in war years with mortality in non war yers ,we have found out 800 000.Which represent loss of life provoked by war.

In the interest of truth the number must be replaced with 300 000."This is written in 1921.

Also,"the total number of men called under the flag(in the Army) was of 1 083 000,meaning the totality of population of men between 18 and 45,representing 15 procents of the population of the Kingdoom,of which 18000 were Officers"

Andrei

p.s Maybe in this 360 728 is included also after 1925? In any case Cernauti and Chisinau is not in Romania anymore.

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Thank you, razu.

How do Romanian losses compare with Serbia's?

The proportion of officers who died in the Romanian army is low, only about one per cent of the number of soldiers. How many of these Romanian military deaths were from fighting, and how many from disease?

Phil.

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Thank you Phil,

"Losse in deaths of the armies of the allies states for which controled data exists:

France 1364000; 3,6 procent................ of the population of the country

Great Britain 764000; 1,25 procent...................

Italy 496000;1,24 procents..........................

U.S.A 115000,;0,12 procents.........................

Belgium 40000; 0,69 %.............................

Romania 22000 ; 3,0 %..............................

the proportion of Romania remains thus one of the highest between the fighting countries.

For Germany ,the official data gives 1808 545;2,79 %of the pop.of the country ,of which 52006 Officers."

Andrei

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Thank you Phil,

"In 1919 the society "Monuments of Heroes" working at counting the deaths,of which graves can be found on Romanian teritory has reached the following numbers:

identified deaths as name and nationality 72 386,of which Romanians 51 255;then Germans 8407,Austro-Hungarians 7037,Russians 2891,Serbs 1297 etc.Unidentified deaths 312690,of which Romanians 93963,germans 13470,Austro-Hungarians 2613,Russians 16780,Serbs 2216,Bulgarians 2025,Turks 1363,etc.The rest of 179998 are given as unknown.In this number there are also foreigners,civilian population,berried in common graves together with militars in the time of retreat and epidemics and an important procent of Romanian prisoners dead in prissons in Romania,before being transported in enemy countries.This also results from the big difference of the number of deaths in inprisonment,registered at war Ministry ,which is of 70 504,and the number of graves of prisoners situated in other countries ,of 18 864."

Andrei

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  • 2 months later...

Thank you very much for your answer PJA, and all others who have contributed to this thread!

The Eastern front of WW1 seems to be relativly unknown compared the western front, and indeed, many people today barerly know that there even was an Eastern Front.

As with all wars, a great number of germans should have gone missing during the war in Russia. Does anyone know if the german army of WW2 made any attempts at locate some of theese germans, as some might have been kept hidden during the revolution, civil war, and especially, the inter-war period and the following WW2?

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Thank you very much for your answer PJA, and all others who have contributed to this thread!

The Eastern front of WW1 seems to be relativly unknown compared the western front, and indeed, many people today barerly know that there even was an Eastern Front.

As with all wars, a great number of germans should have gone missing during the war in Russia. Does anyone know if the german army of WW2 made any attempts at locate some of theese germans, as some might have been kept hidden during the revolution, civil war, and especially, the inter-war period and the following WW2?

Apparently, in the months before Barbarossa, the German military used the excuse of looking for their dead from 1914-1917 as a reason for conducting some reconnoitering of the Russian armies and their positions.

Phil.

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  • 1 month later...
Apparently, in the months before Barbarossa, the German military used the excuse of looking for their dead from 1914-1917 as a reason for conducting some reconnoitering of the Russian armies and their positions.

Phil.

Once again, thank you. I am planning for a webcomic about a german soldier in WW1 and his experience on both fronts, so this is very usefull information for me.

Another question: Does anyone know the name of any famous Germans or Austria-Hungarians killed on the Eastern Front? For example: artists, musicians, writers, sons of politicians?

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  • 11 months later...
Once again, thank you. I am planning for a webcomic about a german soldier in WW1 and his experience on both fronts, so this is very usefull information for me.

Another question: Does anyone know the name of any famous Germans or Austria-Hungarians killed on the Eastern Front? For example: artists, musicians, writers, sons of politicians?

Almost a year late to this thread, but found it all quite interesting. My grandfather was one of the many Prussian Army casualties on the Eastern Front. On September 23, 1915, my grandfather was with 4. Batterie, Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 47 south of Maniewicze, Russia. On this day, he was shot through his left lower leg, and was immediately sent from the Reserve Military Hospitals to the Reserve Military Hospital Fraustadt/Posen, Poland. After two months in the hospital he recovered and was sent to fight on the Western Front with Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 43, 4th Batterie. He served with FAR 43 for the remainder of the war.

Dennis, if you still read the forum, curious to know if you ever pubished your webcomic.

-Daniel

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