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phil andrade

German casualties 1914

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phil andrade

A bewildering degree of contradiction is apparent in the different estimates of German casualties in their fighting against the Russians in 1914.


This is hardly surprising, in so far as casualty statistics are notoriously difficult to pin down : but in the case of this Eastern front warfare in 1914 the disparities are far more marked than they are for the Western Front and I seek comments and/or interpretation.


Take the record of the battle of Łódź , for example.  This has been cited as the Eastern Front’s version of First Ypres, which was raging at about the same time....at least, it kicked off just as the Prussian Guard was attacking at  Nonne Boschen near Ypres.  This battle was clearly as fierce and desperate as any. Take a quick survey of the casualty figures, and what do you get ?  A frequently cited figure of 35,000 Germans killed , wounded and missing in action. And yet there is a German account that refers to 100,000 casualties, of whom 36,000 were “ laid to their last rest in the fighting area .”  I would certainly endorse the latter figure, bearing in mind the intensity of the fighting and its reputation....but the same degree of disparity is extant in the estimates for the 1914 fighting as a whole : from a low figure of 140,000 to a higher reckoning of 275,000 ...nearly double.


Do you think that I’m wasting time dwelling on this, and that it’s better left alone, or is there scope for discussion here ?





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