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Rich database on casualties


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Here is a link to a massive excel spreadsheet that has compiled the morning reports for the 29th ID over the course of the war. It really gives a flavor to the daily grind that was ww2.

http://www.29idmorningrpt.com

I have been playing with the data a bit. Some things that really pop out are how short an infantry man's time was with the division. In the first 78 people I analyzed from B co. 115 regiment (selected by ascending serial number, and only people who joined in 1944), the median time a person spent with the unit was only 25 days. If the person was present in June 1944 the median time was only 19 days.

What happened to these people?

9 KIA

3 DOW (Died of wounds)

17 seriously wounded in action

26 lightly wounded in action (this means wound was not considered life threatening, but they were still sent to the hospital and for CM purposes would probably be nonfunctional).

2 lightly injured in action (I think this means no bullet or shrapnel penetration.)

3 MIA (at least one was a POW)

10 non-battle casualties

8 appeared to remain on duty until the end of the war (month joined: 1 June, 2 August, 1 September, 1 October, 1 November, and 2 December)

Another analysis I did involved looking at the worst day to determine percentage of casualties and what the breakdown was. For this unit July 11 was a bad day. 11 KIA, 9 MIA, 22 SWA, 20 LWA. If we assume that the unit was near full-strength going into action, this would translate to about a 33% casualty rate.

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Okay I tried to determine how complete the company was going into battle on the 11th. From June 6-July10 the company lost 127 soldiers (mostly through combat, but nine were transferred to other units). They received a total of 92 replacements during that time, so it seems they were down 35 men on July 11. Assuming that they were at full strength on D-day, that would mean that they had 158 men on duty (193-35). With 72 casualties the rate goes up to 46%.

One other interesting thing I noticed while compiling these numbers. It is interesting how often a guy was promoted after he was hit. I must have seen at least a dozen instances of privates being promoted to pfcs just before they were dropped from the rolls. It would be interesting to see if this was standard practice across the division.

With regards to CM, it seems that the real problem is that the ratio of KIA to WIA is not quite right. Also, the yellow guys (wounded but still in action in CM) seem more frequent than in the real data. During the period from June 6 to July 10, the unit had 27KIA, 30SWA, 48LWA, 6 LIA, 6 LD, and 6NBC. I only found 9 instances of soldiers that were wounded but stayed on duty. My gut feeling is that in a tough fight, the Americans will have lots of yellow guys at the end.

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With regards to CM, it seems that the real problem is that the ratio of KIA to WIA is not quite right.

Yeah, that's my complaint with CM casualties. Not the number of them...the way a lot of us play, high casualties are gonna be the norm. But the ratio of KIA to WIA is way off. 1 to 4 or 1 to 5 seems to be the anecdotal norm, for Allies at least, in ETO WWII. Even in the PTO, Allied casualties generally fall into that range, no?

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I think of most CM battles like this unit July 11 day.

Its a day when both sides are commited and stuck in a fight and retreat is not a option - A real shoot out

A real shoot out is just not what happens in the day to day events of a unit generally. Its the exception, not the norm.

Any unit history's that you read, it generally has a few battles that are hot and heavy for the unit where losses are possible high, other than that, most other events are very one sided or light engagements. And that is stretched out generally in a pretty good amout of time (campaign length at the least)

I also like to think that in the game, many of the men shown as yellow would need to visit the field hospital after the battle, they are just able to keep fighting until there is a stop to the fighting. then they will seek the attention needed for the minor wounds.

Anyway thanks for the study, it is interesting as to what you found by looking at this data

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warrenpeace,

For a look at the wastage of combat, please see this intimate (you may be brought to tears), excellent account of the Hallamshires in battle at Normandy. This is war on the sharp end, told at the most harrowing personal level. Note well how many went into battle vs how many came back from the original battalion.

http://www.irdp.co.uk/JohnCrook/normandy.htm

Regards,

John Kettler

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On Normandy casualty and replacement rates:

I forget who provoked this remark (maybe it was more than one person), but I remember reading that it was said of a particular major general that "he commanded three divisions: one in the field, one in the hospital, and one in the graveyard."

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warrenpeace,

For a look at the wastage of combat, please see this intimate (you may be brought to tears), excellent account of the Hallamshires in battle at Normandy. This is war on the sharp end, told at the most harrowing personal level. Note well how many went into battle vs how many came back from the original battalion.

http://www.irdp.co.uk/JohnCrook/normandy.htm

Regards,

John Kettler

thanks for that link John good read as usual.

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I was just reading about a battalion sized raid that was conducted by the 29th infantry division along the German border. They captured the town by surprise, engineers destroyed the buildings of the town with demolition charges, the Germans counterattacked and the battalion withdrew as planned before the counterattack could hit them to full effect. In approximately 4 hours of combat, the 325 men of 1st bn 115th Infantry Regiment suffered 16 MIA, 5 KIA, 48 WIA, along with 1 engineer KIA, 1 engineer WIA, and 3 engineers MIA. The objective of the attack was to capture the town and to level the town with demolition charges, then withdraw back to friendly lines. Two days earlier an entire company consisting of about 85 men with 3 M5 tanks in support captured the same town and the entire company was killed or captured and the supporting armor was all destroyed.

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Martyr,

Apt!

Freyberg,

He looks too young to be a major general. And, oh, how he must've hated seeing see this--unless it happened to carrying his ammo and fuel. Red Ball Express!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cb/Red_Ball_Express_-_Truck_in_the_mud.jpg/603px-Red_Ball_Express_-_Truck_in_the_mud.jpg

Saferight,

You're welcome. Now, if I could but game as frequently (and well?) as I post! Gaming's going to have to wait, I'm afraid, for my overtaxed brain's not up to it and I'm gearing up to move. Again.

Regards,

John Kettler

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