Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Russian Losses in WW1


wiking85
 Share

Recommended Posts

John, I know this is an old thread now, but I'm curious as to this particular bit as I had never (other than them ordering the stoppage of the manufacture of bakelite 'tubes' in November 1942 (order Nr.376) ) before heard that the USSR abolished them during WW2 (makes the comment all the more intriguing when it's considered that the Red Army actually issued 3 different official patterns between 1941 and 1945!). Regimental issues of tags (just as in the old Imperial days) were also frequent.

Dave

('one or two' of the type authorised on 15th March 1941 (that replaced the updated 1917 pattern 'locket' of August 1925 and were 'officially' (but not 'actually') revoked in Order 376 of November 1942) can be seen below...excavated whilst relocating graves in the area of the Demyansk pocket...)

Dave : I took this information from the Soviet Combat Losses book published in the early 1990's in translation from the Russian edition and referred to in the same post on July 2 2010 by me. The order is not specifically cited in the above work and may only have been a temporary one (lasting a few months or even only weeks).

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Wiking,

for the pure purpose of information and maybe not unknown to you:

According to "Illustrierte Geschichte des Weltkrieges 1914/18", vol. 9, page 82 Soviet Russian Press commissar Kusmin stated on 5 July 1918 that Russia had lost 4.5 million dead, 6 million wounded and cripples and 3 million POW. At least the number of POW seems not to be overclaiming. The other numbers offer space for interpretations and new arguments. However, only future research will help to clarify the situation. I think the "Kusmin" in question is the future commisar of Petrograd and involved on the Bolshvist side in fighting the rebellion in Kronstadt (he "vanished" around 1938).

By the way PJA, the German booklet "Anklage und Widerlegung" counted ("admitted"?) 168,104 Germans captured by Russia: 96,306 made it back to Germany, 4,818 reported back in Foreign states (because of the corrected borders of Germany), 15,767 died in captivity and 51,213 cases could never be clarified. These men were either dead too or did not care to report back.

The other way around the German author of this source reported in his booklet (as well an offical number) 1,434,529 Russian POW (75,989 died in German captivity).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are claims that about half a million Austro- Hungarian prisoners perished in enemy captivity. By all the estimates, the number of AH PoWs in Russian hands exceeded the Germans by a ratio of ten to one. If 51,213 Germans disappeared from the radar from Russian captivity, that tends to validate the claim of half a million Austro Hungarian prisoners dying, especially bearing in mind that hundreds of thousands more were taken by the Italians and Serbs. Interesting figures, Jasta72, thank you.

Phil (PJA)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are claims that about half a million Austro- Hungarian prisoners perished in enemy captivity. By all the estimates, the number of AH PoWs in Russian hands exceeded the Germans by a ratio of ten to one. If 51,213 Germans disappeared from the radar from Russian captivity, that tends to validate the claim of half a million Austro Hungarian prisoners dying, especially bearing in mind that hundreds of thousands more were taken by the Italians and Serbs. Interesting figures, Jasta72, thank you.

Phil (PJA)

Alon Rachamimov wrote a book "POWs and the Great War: Captivity on the Eastern Front", in this book, he referenced " In Feindeshand: Die Gefangesnschaft im Weltkrieg in Einzeldarstellungen, eds. Hans Weiland and Leopold Kern. 2 vols, (Vienna, 1931), statistical appendix." that 167,000 Germans were taken as POWs by Russian, about 16,000 died in the captivity, 2,057,000 Austro-Hungarian were taken by Russian, and 385,000 died in the captivity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Phil,

I noticed you are very interested in precise numbers and researching all these numbers. There is a German Phd-work disscussing in detail and with many numbers the fate of German and k.u.k. POW in Russia. I think this work is a "must have" for you - even if written completely in German language. 599 pages in a PDF file of text which I downloaded in the Internet some time ago. The works name is:

"Die Kriegsgefangenen der Mittelmächte in Rußland im Ersten Weltkrieg"

Dissertation zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Doktor der Philosophie in der Geschichtswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Eberhard-Karls-Universität zu Tübingen

vorgelegt

von

Georg Wurzer

aus

Ehingen/Donau

2000

I assume the University Tübingen has the main findings also as English text.

Sorry for coming a bit off-topic - I know the topic of the thread is about Russian losses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks to you both, Jasta72 and marsyao.

Yes, I am indeed interested in getting a handle on these numbers : there is so much inaccuracy and hyperbole bandied about when it comes to statistics in the Great War....we really do need sources like the ones you mention.

This is especially important when it comes to the experience of the war between Russia and the Central Powers 1914-17, which is too much a "forgotten" conflict.

Your help is appreciated.

Phil (PJA)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have downloaded the 2000 U of Tuebingen dissertation. It is very good for a balanced archival source (Russian, German and Austrian varying types of archives used) and for using many obscure especially inter-war published first hand accounts and the like. It was disappointing though to not find any list(s) of actual camp locations.

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John, even dissertations can not fulfill all our expectations and secret wishes. I think it is not that easy to discover reasonable complete list of camps after nearly 100 years and incomplete lists in dissertations attract often even more criticism. This dissertation was already - in a typical German manner - put under a harsh criticism with the final evaluation as being a "useful stone pit with interesting hints rather than a finished analysis". See: http://www.sehepunkt...06/03/9738.html

IMHO this topic requires more than one dissertation.

The other way around the fate of many Russian POW in Germany was not easy too. Most POW were sent back in the first months after EOW but 300,000 had to wait a very, very long time because the Allieds did not allow the re-patriation to Bolshevist Russia and put pressure on other countries to refuse railway transports back to Russia. In 1920 the number of prisoners was even increasing when 50,000 (one Russian source reports 90,000) Soviet soldiers crossed German borders after defeat by the Polish Army and were interned in Germany.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...