(Armed Forces Report)
Volkhov Kessel
In relation to the data presented on the Eastern Front Casualties tab, I have started to compile a list of engagements between the German infantry divisions and the Russian infantry divisions which should help to clarify the effectiveness of both combatants.  The chart below shows the engagements where the Germans were the attacker, and the Russians are defending.  It contains actions mainly involving German infantry against Russian Rifle divisions, but there are instances where there is armor involved in one side or the other, or even both.  I have tried to go into some depth/analysis, but it will not be comprehensive like the CEV calculations done by the DuPuy Institute.  (Consider all of the following Battle Analysis's under construction at the current time.  I am in the process of aquiring the NARA rolls for the German units involved in these battles to come up with solid numbers for them).

Battle Analysis #1 The Destruction of the Second Shock Army
Date Area or Operation Name Units Total Strength of Units Terrain Number of Artillery Pieces Armor Air Support Total Casualties
May - July 1942 Volkhov See Below ? Swampy ? ? Y ?
German OOB:
  I. AK:
    Infantry Divisions:  61, 121, 126,
    Mot. Inf. Divs:  20
    Infantry Divisions:  58, 285 (Sec. Div.), 250 (Spanish), 126 (Korps Reserve)
    Inf. Brigades:  2. SS Inf. Brigade (Mot.)

See the XXXVIII Army Korps link (upper left hand corner of this page) for the entire OOB of the XXXVIII A.K.

Date Area or Operation Name Units Total Strength of Units Terrain Number of Artillery Pieces Armor Air Support Total Casualties
May - July 1942 Volkhov See Below 231,900 Swampy 1,164 (est.)

     Y         94,751
Soviet OOB:  
  2nd Shock Army:  
    Rifle Divisions:  19 Guards, 46, 92, 259, 267, 327, 382
    Rifle Brigades:  22, 23, 25, 53, 57, 59
    Artillery:  18 AAR, 442 AAR, 839 How AR
    Tank:  166 TBn. (36 tanks according to the TO&E)
    Air:  696 LBAR, 844 TAR
    Engineers:  1234, 1708, 1741, 1746 Engineer Bns.

  52nd Army:
    Rifle Divisions:  65, 165, 225, 305
    Rifle Brigades:  54 Rifle Regt., 150 FR
    Artillery:  137, 430, 1198 HowARhp, 1225 HowAR, 448, 561 AAR,   
                   30 GMR, 168 AAA Bn.
    Tank:  193 TBn. (36 tanks according to the TO&E)
    Air:  2G, 10 FAR, 662 LBAR
    Engineer:  4, 770 Engineer Bn.

  59th Army:
    Rifle Divisions:  2, 119, 372, 374, 376, 377
    Rifle Brigades:  24, 1269 Rifle Regt.
    Artillery:  8G (-3 Bn.), 367 AAR, 172, 827 How AR, 1196 HowARhp 
                   (-2 Bn.), 20, 28 GMR, 6 GM Bn., 213, 216 AAABn.
    Tank:  7G, 29 TB, 48 Atr.Bn.
    Air:  283, 845 FAR, 658, 660 LBAR
    Engineers:  3, 771, EBn., 1235, 1247 SBn.

The above OOB information is from Companion to Colossus Reborn, page 183, and is the OOB info for 1 July, 1942.    

Strength Ratio (Soviet to German)   Casualty Ratio  
 ?    ?  
Comments:  This particular battle has not been very well documented like other more famous battles on the eastern front.  The Germans claim to have captured 32759 men in the pocket (which is from the OKW war Diary, Volume II, Part 1, page 460).  The Germans also claim to have captured 649 guns/howitzers and 171 tanks.  In the divisional history of the 4. SS Polizie division, they also quote the same figures, and then add that the Russians had another 100,000 casualties (mostly dead).  Krivosheev states the Russians lost 54,774 Irrecoverable Losses, and 39,977 Sick and Wounded.  These losses were sustained by the Soviets from May 13th to July 10 1942.  I am assuming that this figure takes into account the 32,759 POW's.

One thing that everyone needs to bear in mind in regards to this battle, and that is that the German units who were fighting to reduce this pocket were extremely understrength.  As an indicator of this, here is a quote from "In Good Faith", "By 25 April the battalions of the SS-Polizei-Division had been reduced to minimal combat power.  The commander reported the following personnel strengths to the I. Armee-Korps:
Polizei-Schutzen-Regiment 1: 213 Men
Polizei-Schutzen-Regiment 2  60 men
Polizei-Schutzen-Regiment 3: 180 men"
In Good Faith page, 265. 

Clearly this was one seriously depleted division, and most of the other divisions were in just as bad of shape.  The divisions were weak, the terrain clearly favored the defender and made attacking very difficult.    

With the Germans having claimed to have captured 649 guns/howitzers inside the 2nd Shock Army Pocket, it should be fairly simple to figure out what the percentage of guns/howitzers that the 2nd Shock Army had remaining, and then extrapolate that info to come up with a good estimate of the 52nd and 59th Armies guns/howitzers.  The total possible guns/howitzers in 2nd Shock Army should have been 428.  Clearly the German figure must include mortars or smaller caliber guns below 76mm (or otherwise elements of the 52nd or 59th Army could conceivably have been caught in the pocket as well).  I think it is safe to assume that 2nd Shock Army was near 100% of their TO&E in terms of guns.  Using this as a guideline, we can estimate that 52nd Army should have had around 320, and for the 59th Army was probably around 416.  This brings
the total estimated guns/howitzers of these three armies to 1,164 (guns above 76mm).          

See "Forgotten Battles of the German Soviet War (1941-1945), Volume II by David Glantz for further reading on this battle from the Russian perspective.