Monday, 27 March 2017

Cheating at Statistics 17: Leaving Leningrad

In early 1944, the German forces around Leningrad weren't doing so well. The blockade around Leningrad had ruptured, Sinyavino heights were lost, and Army Group North was beginning to slink back westward. Introduction of the hyped up Tiger tank failed to make a difference here. Now these Tigers, namely s.Pz.Abt 502, were holding back the Red Army while the rest of the Germans escaped. Forczyk describes the situation: "The remaining Tigers of the s.Pz.Abt.502 assisted the AOK 18 in its withdrawal by turning to ambush the Soviet spearheads; on 25 January they claimed 41 Soviet tanks destroyed at Voyskovitskiy, 5 km southwest of Gatchina."

Anyone who's been keeping up with this long running series will have recognized the perfect storm: the Tiger crews know for a fact that the battlefield will remain in Soviet hands and that their claims will not be checked. There was also incentive to make up for the Tiger tank's rather dismal performance on the Leningrad front. Let's take a look at just what happened at Voyskovitsy on January 25th.

January 25th was well into the Krasnoye Selo-Ropsha Offensive Operation, known as January Thunder or Neva-2. The 42nd Army, was attacking from Krasnoye Selo southwest, towards Pskov. By this time, it had reached Gatchina.

Diagram #142
Leningrad and Volkov Fronts
Krasnoye Selo-Ropsha Offensive Operation and its progress to Pskov (fragment)

For once, everything is very cut and dry in the documents:


"Armoured and Mechanized Forces:
...
The 220th Tank Brigade fought for Zhernovo, Voyskovitsy station, Ilkino, and was passed over to the commander of the 196th Rifle Division at 16:00"

Looks like they were the only ones fighting here. Let's take a look at their documents.


"At 12:20, the tanks moved out from their initial positions and into battle.
At 13:00, the tanks crossed the railroad and burst into Ilkino and Voyskovitsy station. At 13:30, the tanks had carried out their mission, having captured Ilkino and Voyskovitsy station, where they set up 360 degree defenses. Rifle units were cut off upon approaching the railroad and did not proceed further, as the enemy impeded them with automatic fire. The enemy turned Voyskovitsy station into an anti-tank stronghold, reinforced by 3 AA batteries and 4 gun crews (as we learned from a prisoner after the battle). The tank attack destroyed a portion of the anti-tank stronghold.

At 14:00, two Tiger tanks and one Ferdinand SPG appeared on the road between Voyskovitsy and Ilyino. They started shooting up our light tanks at point blank range from the southwest outskirts of Ilyino. The AA gun batteries partially resumed activity and began firing at the tanks again.

The tanks fought for over 3 hours, taking heavy losses, and had to retreat to a grove 1 km east of Ilyino.

7 T-34 tanks arrived at the battlefield at 15:30, reinforcements from the 1st Red Banner Tank Brigade, which participated in battle and took losses.

Losses of tanks consisted of:
Burned: 14 T-26 tanks, 1 T-34 tank
Knocked out: 1 T-34 tank"

Even counting the tank that was knocked out instead of destroyed, that's 16 vehicles knocked out by the Tigers, whatever that Ferdinand was (most likely a StuG), and the AA and AT batteries, compared to 41 claimed by the Tigers alone. 

15 comments:


  1. Before jumping to conclusions:

    A) consider the reports of the THREE other tank and SPG units present, which You omitted from Your "article"
    B) consider checking the TIGER original source to make sure that it´s the TIGER and not a secondary author to blame who mitook unit/dayly for individual claims

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    1. As always you have nothing to contribute, but you're compelled to keep writing as though someone is holding a gun to your head.

      a) I did. All other armoured units are accounted for and were fighting in different places. No encounters with Tigers were reported.
      b) The encounter is also described in Tigers in Combat, so either Forczyk and Schneider are in cahoots to make the Wehrmacht look bad or you're making insane conspiracy theories again.

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  2. A) No, You obviously did not. Or if You did, You probably did it as superficially and poorly as with Your accounting of the non-presence of IS-tanks april 1945 at Bollersdorf, which I had the trouble to correct for You... -can You even name all units present?
    B) May I remind You that both Schneider, and Forczyk are secondary authors, their work is NOT to be considered primary source material. Do we have to take it that You did not check the original sources then?

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    1. If you have something of value to post, post it. If all you have is vague whining about me insulting the honour of your precious fascists, then please refrain from doing so. Your gimmick of "all historians are wrong, I am the only one that knows the true information" is getting really old and tiresome.

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  3. So we again have to take notice that You don´t know which units were involved, nor have You seen the claim reports for the day on the german side, in other words: You don´t know what You are writing about, fine.

    Considering Your track record, conveniently forgetting whole tank units involved in these respective actions of the "cheating article" series, as proven in Bollersdorf, Prokhorovka, Georgia and other cases, I think it´s necessray to ask these questions. And for the record, I do not care about anybodies honour, least of all that of the military, what I do care about is historical accuracy, an aspect You are violating constantly.

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    1. Yes, my track record of having a conspiracy theorist show up and spew nonsense about how everyone else's citations are bad and his citations are the only ones that are good. As always you fall back to generic whining about how unfair I'm being when I call you out.

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  4. Come one, You are the one who wrote an article comparing DR´s claims with a soviet unit which wa not even near Prokhorovka. Maybe that´s a conspiracy theory? You cannot even name the tank units present during the eries of engagements in this article, nor have You seen the claim records of the day but again, You don´t heitate to jump to misleading conclusions and bullshitting around. You are ridicolous.

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    1. Sure is still on topic.

      And totally not sounding like rustled jimmies *at all*.

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    2. I think it's absolutely hilarious that he doesn't have a leg to stand on so he expects me to go find evidence to prove myself wrong.

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  5. At least, I know which units were present. Something Peter is incapable of dealing with...

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    1. This is your most hilariously limp attack yet. I know what units were present. I know what they were doing during this battle. They weren't anywhere near the village. They weren't even in the sector south-west of Gatchina. I'm not going to describe the actions of every single Red Army tank platoon in the article, since that isn't relevant to this particular engagement.

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  6. No You do not. And You fail to name them. Plus, You fail to quote ALL loss reports for ALL involved russian units, instead You select ONE of them and sell it here as representative for all.

    Additionally, You make a huge blunder by incorrectly presuming that You can identify the presence of TIGER in russian records. Yet, the TIGER where in ambush, so that it is not plausible that the presumption is hold to be a corretc one.

    Your failures, not mine.

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    1. Yes, I should definitely present the records of every single unit in the Red Army to satisfy your personal curiosity.

      If you have something of value to say, then say it. This grasping at imaginary straws is pathetic.

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  7. you can´t even name the units involved...

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    1. I named the units involved. What you want me to do is to name the units that /weren't/ involved. There's an endless wealth of those, and if I included every single one in every article, I would never finish writing.

      Delete