Equipment losses in World War II

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Equipment losses in World War II or Matériel losses in World War II refers to military equipment destroyed during World War II, the deadliest and most costly war in the history of the world.

Air[edit]

An American C-47 aircraft burning after being shot down during operation Market Garden
  • China: Total losses of the Nationalist Air Force were 2,468 aircraft (According to Chinese and Taiwanese Sources).
  • Finland: Reported losses during the Winter War totaled 67, of which 42 were operational, while 536 aircraft were lost during the Continuation War, of which 209 were operational losses (137 fighters, 51 bombers and 21 other). 327 aircraft were disabled ("attrition", too old, non-combat accidents) (Overall 603).[1]
  • France: From the beginning of the war until the cease-fire in 1940, 892 aircraft were lost, of which 413 were in action and 234 were on the ground. Losses included 508 fighters and 218 bombers.[1]
  • Germany produced 119,907 aircraft of all types, including bomber, transport, reconnaissance, gliders, training, seaplanes and flying boats. Most of them were either destroyed, damaged, captured or sold.[2] Estimated total number of destroyed and damaged for the war totaled 76,875 aircraft, of which 40,000 were total losses and the remainder significantly damaged. By type, losses totaled 21,452 fighters, 12,037 bombers, 15,428 trainers, 10,221 twin-engine fighters, 5,548 ground attack, 6,733 reconnaissance, and 6,141 transports.[1]
  • Italy: Total losses were 5,272 aircraft, of which 3,269 were lost in combat.
  • Japan: Estimates vary from 35,000 to 50,000 total losses, with about 20,000 lost operationally.[3]
  • Netherlands: Total losses were 81 aircraft during the May 1940 campaign.[3]
  • Poland: Total losses were 398 lost, 112 flew to then neutral Romania, 286 destroyed, 1 missing and unaccounted for, including 116 fighters, 112 dive bombers, 81 reconnaissance aircraft, 36 bombers, 21 sea planes, and 9 transports. The Polish Air Force evacuated one day after the Soviet Invasion of Poland, September 18, 1939. However, some trainer aircraft kept on flying as scout planes. The last two were grounded on October 2, 1939 by the order of General Franciszek Kleeberg. The losses after the evacuation are not known (September 19-October 2, 1939).[3]
  • Soviet Union: Total losses were 17,900 bombers, 23,600 ground attacker, 46,800 fighter aircraft, and 18,100 training, transport and other aircraft; an overall loss of over 106,400 aircraft; 46,100 in combat and 60,300 non-combat. Of which, 18,300 Lend-Lease aircraft were lost. Grigori F. Krivosheev states: "A high percentage of combat aircraft were lost in relation to the number available on 22 June 1941: 442% (total losses) or 216% (combat losses). In the air force over a half of losses were non-combat losses."[4]
  • British Empire
    • United Kingdom: Europe 42,010 (including 30,045 fighters and 11,965 bombers)[3]
    • Australia, Pacific and South East Asia: 250[5]
  • United States: Total losses were nearly 95,000, including 52,951 operational losses (38,418 in Europe and 14,533 in the Pacific).[3]

Land[edit]

French
6,126 tanks (~3,000 destroyed, ~3,000 captured by Germans). 946 armoured cars and half-track.
UK
15,844 tanks and 1,957 armoured cars lost.[6]

On the Western Front in 1944–1945, 4,477 British Commonwealth tanks were destroyed, including 2,712 M4 Sherman tanks, 656 Churchill tanks, 609 Cromwell tanks, 433 M3 Stuart light tanks, 39 Cruiser Mk VIII Challenger tanks, 26 Comet tanks, 2 M24 Chaffee light tanks.[7]

US
~10,000 tanks/SPGs/tank destroyers lost.

From June 6, 1944 through May 15, 1945 for US tank and tank destroyer losses in the European Theater of Operations, United States Army (Western Front): around 7,000 (including 4,295–4,399 M4 tanks, 178 M4 (105mm howitzer), 1,507 M3 Stuart tanks and 909–919 tank destroyers, of which 540 M10 tank destroyers, 217 M18 Hellcat and 152 M36 tank destroyers).[8][9] Losses of 5th Army (Sicily, Italy): 3,377 armored vehicles, including 1,171 M4s.[10][11][12] Several hundred tanks lost in the Pacific Theater.

Germany

Soviet claims according to Grigori F. Krivosheev: 42,700 tanks, tank destroyers, self-propelled guns and assault guns, 379,400 guns and mortars and 75,700 combat aircraft.[13] According to Heinz Guderian (supplied by Q.M.G of the General Staff of the Army): Total 33,324 tanks, assault guns, tank destroyers, self-propelled guns, armored personnel carriers and armored cars lost on the Eastern Front from 22/6/1941 until November 1944[14]

  • Around 87,329 half-track trucks; 36,703 half-track tractors; 21,880 half-track armoured personnel carriers destroyed or captured.
  • 226,300 Military cars and 97,470 Military motor-cycles destroyed or captured.
  • 159,144 Anti-tank guns and Artillery destroyed or captured.
  • 86,400 Mortars destroyed or captured.
Italy
Around 3,500 tanks
Poland
880 tanks and tankettes destroyed and captured; some crossed into Hungary. Moreover, all armored cars were destroyed within the first two weeks of fighting.
Japan
Around 3,000 tanks/self-propelled guns
Soviet Union
According to Grigori F. Krivosheev: "All losses of arms and equipment are counted as irrecoverable losses, i.e. beyond economic repair or no longer serviceable"[15]
  • 83,500 tanks lost: 5,200 heavy tanks, 44,900 medium tanks, 33,400 light tanks (including 11,900 Lend-Lease tanks and self-propelled guns lost[16])
  • 13,000 SPGs lost: 2,300 heavy SPGs, 2,100 medium SPGs, 8,600 light SPGs
  • 37,600 Armoured car and half-track (including 5,000 Lend-Lease armoured personnel carriers lost[16])
Soviet tank losses [17]
Received Total stock Losses % of Total
stock loss
Tanks 86,100 108,700 83,500 76.8
Heavy 10,000 10,500 5,200 49.5
Medium 55,000 55,900 44,900 80.3
Light 21,100 42,300 33,400 79.1
SP Guns 23,100 23,100 13,000 56.3
Heavy 5,000 5,000 2,300 46.0
Medium 4,000 4,000 2.100 52.5
Light 14,000 14,000 8,600 61.4
Tanks and SP Guns 109,100 131,700 96,500 73.3
Armored cars, tractors,
other armoured vehicles
59,100 72,200 37,600 52.1
Comparative figures [18]
1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 Total
Soviet Tank strength(¹) 22,600 7,700 20,600 21,100 25,400
German Tank strength(¹) 5,262 4,896 5,648 5,266 6,284
Soviet Tank Production 6,274 24,639 19,959 16,975 4,384 72,231
German Tank Production 3,256 4,278 5,966 9,161 1,098 23,759
Production Ratio 1:2 1:5.6 1:3.3 1:1.85 1:4 1:3
Soviet Tank losses 20,500 15,000 22,400 16,900 8,700 83,500
German Tank losses 2,758 2,648 6,362 6,434 7,382 25,584
Tank exchange ratio(²)
(German:Soviet)
1:7 1:6 1:4 1:4 1:1.2 1:4.4

Note: Table does not include assault guns or any other type of SPG.

According to Steven Zaloga:
(¹) "As of January each year, except for 1941 which is as of 22 June 1941. German strength is entire strength, not only the Eastern Front. In July 1944 the Germans had over 1,500 tanks in Normandy and several hundred in other theatres such as Italy and the Balkans. Likewise, the Soviet kept about 3,000 tanks in the Far East through much of the war."
(²) "German tank losses here include all fronts; the tank exchange ratio deletes estimated German losses to Anglo-American forces and so reflects only the Soviet-German loss."

Total material, arms and equipment losses[edit]

Grigori F. Krivosheev concludes: "Losses during strategic operations accounted for 61.48% of small-arms losses, 65.52% of tank and SP gun losses, 56.89% of gun and mortar losses and 58.6% of combat aircraft losses during the war. On average 11,000 small arms, 68 tanks, and 30 aircraft were lost each day. In such as the Baltic, Beyelorussian, Kiev and Voronezh-Voroshilovgrad defensive operations, 20-30,000 small arms, 90-290 tanks, 200-520 guns and mortars and 30-100 combat aircraft were lost daily. Losses were also high during the Battle of Kursk and Berlin offensive, with 70-90 tanks, 90-210 guns and mortars and 25-40 aircraft lost each day." [19]

Sea[edit]

Table of losses[20][21][22]
Country Carriers and Seaplane tenders Battleships and battlecruisers Cruisers Destroyers Escorts and frigates Submarines Other warships Auxiliary Total Notes
Australia 3 4 2 3 3 15
Canada 6 11 9 5 31
France 2 8 36 33 14 2 94
Free France 2 3 1 4 9
Germany 4 9 27 765 805 Includes scuttled ships
Greece 3 4 4 10 5 26 Kilkis and Lemnos considered cruisers by displacement but were US battleships sold to Greece
Italy 2 11 84 84 181
Empire of Japan 19 8 37 134 130 328 3 Further battleships foundered
Netherlands 2 9 0 14 6 26 57
Norway 2 3 4 4 8 2 23 2 Coastal defence ship of Eidsvold class considered as cruisers by Displacement
Soviet Union 1 2 30 4 102 1 140 Battleship Marat sunk & scrapped
Sweden 1 1 Submarine HMS Ulven
United Kingdom 10 5 31 138 47 75 187 572 1,065
United States 14 3 10 83 11 52 85 188 446
Poland 1 3 1 2 1 3 11

According to Grigori F. Krivosheev, the Soviet Union lost 1,014 ships of various classes, 314 were 1st, 2nd or 3rd class surface ships and submarines, 139 motor torpedo boats, 128 submarine-chasers, 77 armoured launches, 168 minesweepers and 188 patrol and other boats.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Ellis, John (1993). World War II - A statistical survey. Facts on File. p. 258. ISBN 0-8160-2971-7.
  2. ^ Angelucci, Enzo. The Rand McNally Encyclopedia Of Military Aircraft, 1914-1980 (1988) p.546
  3. ^ a b c d e Ellis p. 259
  4. ^ Krivosheev, G. I. (1997). Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses. Greenhill. pp. 255, 258, 259. ISBN 1-85367-280-7.
  5. ^ Odgers, G. (1957). Air war against Japan. Australian War Memorial.
  6. ^ RAC Directorate of the War Office listed AFV losses as an estimated.
  7. ^ Zaloga 2015, p. 277.
  8. ^ Zaloga 2015, p. 239.
  9. ^ Zaloga 2015, p. 276.
  10. ^ Zaloga 2006, p. 44, 424 M5 light tanks, 7 M24 light tanks, 1,072 M4, M4A1 medium tanks, 78 M4/M4A1 (76mm), 21 M4 (105mm), 71 T2 recovery vehicles, 53 M3A1 scout cars, 111 M8 armored cars, 72 M20 utility cars, 15 T30 75mm HMC, 61 M8 75mm HMC, 5 TI9 105mm HMC, 108 M7 105mm HMC, 8 M6 37mm GMC, 10 M3 75mm GMC, 219 M1O 3in.GMC, 17 M18 76mm GMC, 576 M2 half-tracks, 348 M3 half-tracks, 1 M9 half-track, 27 M4 81mm MC, 8 M13 MGMC, 24 M15 MGMC and 41 M16 MGMC destroyed.
  11. ^ Zaloga, Steven. "Armored Thunderbolt: The U.S. Army Sherman in World War II". Stackpole Books, May 14, 2014. Pages 339-345.
  12. ^ SHAEF, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force.
  13. ^ Krivosheev, G. I. (1997). Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses. Greenhill. p. 272. ISBN 1-85367-280-7.
  14. ^ Paul Winter. "Defeating Hitler: Whitehall's Secret Report on Why Hitler Lost the War". October 13, 2012
  15. ^ Krivosheev, G. I. (1997). Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses. Greenhill. p. 3. ISBN 1-85367-280-7.
  16. ^ a b Krivosheev, G. I. (1997). Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses. Greenhill. p. 258. ISBN 1-85367-280-7.
  17. ^ Krivosheev, G. I. (1997). Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses. Greenhill. p. 253. ISBN 1-85367-280-7.
  18. ^ Zaloga, Steven J.; Ness, Leland S. (2003). The Red Army Handbook 1939-1945. Sutton. p. 181. ISBN 0750932090.
  19. ^ Krivosheev, G. I. (1997). Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses. Greenhill. p. 264. ISBN 1-85367-280-7.
  20. ^ German U-Boat Losses 1939-1945
  21. ^ Complete Allied Warship Losses
  22. ^ British Aircraft Carrier losses
  23. ^ Krivosheev, G. I. (1997). Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses. Greenhill. p. 265. ISBN 1-85367-280-7.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Zaloga, Steven (2015). Armored Champion: The Top Tanks of World War II. Stackpole. ISBN 978-0811714372.
  • Zaloga, Steven (2006). US Armored Units in the North African and Italian Campaigns 1942-45. Osprey. ISBN 978 1 84176 966 0.