Operation Bagration/Normandy

Discussion in 'General' started by Jonathan Ball, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    I've noticed quite a few threads today have mentioned if either the D-Day landings or Operation Bagration was the key event in 1944 that lead to the eventual defeat of Germany. In light of this why not have a discussion on which was the more important? Where both equally important?

    In my humble opinion I still think Bagration was the end for Germany. The destruction of Army Group Centre was a loss Germany could never recover from. It spelt the end of 2nd, 4th and 9th Armies plus the 3rd Panzer Army. The loss of men as quoted by Bergstrom is quite incredible:

    Second Army: 7,080 killed, 32,833 wounded, 12,976 missing
    Ninth Army: 2,955 killed, 13,957 wounded, 64,762 missing
    Fourth Army: 8,015 killed, 29,383 wounded, 113,155 missing
    Third Panzer Army: 8,311 killed, 33,508 wounded, 72,066 missing

    So what would your opinion be?
  2. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Jonathan, I have to admit that I had to Google Op Bagration as I had never heard of it:mellow:

    As a general statement, given the casualties involved, I would agree that the Russian Front as a whole reduced the 3rd Reich more than the Normandy campaign, but I feel the key to the question you have posed is one of timing.
    Had Russia or the western allies mounted their operations without coordination Germany might have been able to divert resources to defeat either individually but we don't do 'what if' arguments here.

    Other opinions?
  3. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    What is invariably forgotten in discussions of this nature is the losses suffered by the Germans in that fairly forgotten campaign in the soft underbelly - which was anything but when some 50,000 German troops became casualties between the years 1943- 45....
    plus the fact that some 20 Divisions were tied down along with another 25 Divisions in the Balkans - just in case we spread into that area - it can be argued that they were of inferior quality - but that arguement would go nowhere when the facts are looked upon. 1st paras - 26th Panzers - 29th Panz gren were by no means inferior to anyone.

    It can also be argued that 48 German Divisons would not have made a difference to either Bagration or D.Day - but that arguement would also be lost - but there is that constant obsession with those two great battles and so I would ask you to look at the casualties of the four battles for MonteCassino in the first five months of 1944 !
  4. spidge


    I have not posted these for a while however the spread of German divisions over the war years is quite interesting.



    View attachment 45929
  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Spidge -
    Your charts spell it out clearly as it also notes the divisions in Africa which accounted for a mix of German and Italians of both Rommels DAK and Von Ahrnims armies of around 250,000 troops into the bag - about the same as they lost at Stalingrad..
  6. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    Many thanks for those most informative charts.

    You will forgive me for concentrating on those items that relate to Italy :)

    Notable are the figures showing how the Germans poured into Italy in August '43 when they realised that the Italians would no longer support them.

    Then, as the campaign in Italy hardened, they can be seen pumping in units to hold the Allies.

    In June '44, despite the D-Day landings they were still obliged to keep upwards of 27 Divs there and the figures show that right up to May '45 Italy was a constant abcess that drained their resources.

    The only real surprise that I found was when I realised that in November/December '44 when my LAA Rgt was disbanded (along with most LAA units) there were still more than 25 German Divs in action. We perhaps need to see similar charts dealing with the Luftwaffe ?

    Most interesting !

  7. L J

    L J Senior Member

    it is always difficult to compare apples and limons:D,but,an attempt:following the German archives,the losses of Bagration were (from 22 june to 10 july):264444:6622 KIA,22165 WIA and 235657 (!) MIA,of whom 15000 were later returning to the frontline . The total losses would be some 250000.
    IMHO,for the Germans having a chance in the summer of 1944 ,both operations (Bagration and Overlord) had to fail .
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I have not posted these for a while however the spread of German divisions over the war years is quite interesting.

    Cheers was looking them the other day.
  9. spidge


    I have just completed those same (3) sheets broken up into five and percentages added which denote only divisions facing Russia from Germany. Maybe a little easier to decipher.



    View attachment 45937


    View attachment 45939

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