The Russian First Tank Army Report from 24 February – 15 March 2022

Referenced this report in this blog post: Tank Losses and Crew Casualties in the Russo-Ukrainian War | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

The actual six pages of the report here, for those who can work in Russian (this is mostly a list of names and then equipment losses):

Interesting review of The Battle for Kyiv

Just stumbled last night across this review of The Battle for Kyiv. It is an interesting take on the subject. The reviewer is someone I know.

Draft history in The Battle of Kyiv: The Fight for Ukraine’s Capital by Christopher A. Lawrence – Armchair Dragoons

Now, my nagging suspicion is that it will be a while (decades) before anything other than a “draft” history can be written. Might be more than a few decades to get access to Russian archives. We were not able to get access to Soviet archives on Kursk (1943) until 1993, and that was only by using some round about means and a project budget not available to most historians. We have still not gotten access to Chinese records from the Korea War (1950–1953). So, one is certainly looking at least at 50 to 75 years in these cases.

Tank Losses and Crew Casualties in the Russo-Ukrainian War

One of our more popular blog posts is this one:
U.S. Tank Losses and Crew Casualties in World War II | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

Now we were able to do a similar comparison of the personnel losses to tank losses for the Russian First Guards Tank Army from 24 February to 15 March 2022. This came from a captured document released by Ukrainian intelligence. The two pages from that report included below.

What I say in my book, The Battle for Kyiv, page 129-131, is:

The Russian 1st Guards Tank Army was deployed across a wide area of the front from around Sumy to north of Kharkiv. They seemed to achieve rather limited results considering this was largest army and the premier army in Russia. The 2nd Guards Motorized Rifle Division was involved in the movements past Sumy and Konotop, before being stopped east of Pryluky, 75 miles (121km) east of Kyiv.15 Its losses as of 15 March were reported to be16 killed, 43 wounded, 2 missing and 54 captured for a total of 115 casualties. Its tank losses were considerably higher, with 45 T72B3Ms lost. It lost 85 other vehicles. This division ended up with a wounded-to-killed ratio of 2.69-to-1.

The 4th Guards Tank Division was involved in the attack on Okhtyrka and operations north of Kharkiv. Its losses as of 15 March were reported to be 25 killed, 92 wounded, 18 missing, 21 captured for a total of 156 casualties. The tanks losses between its 2 tank regiments were 62 T-80Us and T-80UEs. It lost 58 other vehicles. This division ended up with a wounded-to-killed ratio of 3.68-to-1. It was stopped at Okhtyrka, but this obviously was not with high personnel losses, although the tank and vehicle losses were notable.

The 47th Guards Tank Division was involved in operations north of
Kharkiv. The 26th Tank Regiment losses as of 15 March were 4 killed and 13 wounded. Its tank losses were only 8 T-72B3Ms and T-72 B3M2s. The division lost 9 other vehicles. The 7th Reconnaissance Battalion lost 5 killed, 13 wounded, 2 missing and 1 captured. These are not high losses. The division ended up with a wounded-to-killed ratio of 2.88-to-1. These appear to be the only two combat units that made up 47th Guards Tank Division.

The 27th Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade, which appears to have operated around Sumy, had 7 killed, 28 wounded, 14 missing and 14 captured. The brigade lost 9 T-90s and 21 other vehicles. It had a wounded to killed ratio of 4.00-to-1.

Other army troop losses were 4 killed, 18 wounded, 8 missing and 6 captured along with 15 vehicles lost. Overall losses of the 1st Guards Tank Army, drawn from a captured Russian report released by Ukraine, were only 408 in 3 weeks of fighting. This included 61 killed, 207 wounded, 44 missing and 96 surrendered. This is a wounded-to-killed ratio of 3.39-to-1. There were also two sanitary losses from 2nd Guards Motorized Rifle Division due to illness. Their total equipment losses were 115 tanks and 197 other vehicles lost for a total of 312. This is 0.86 people killed or wounded for every vehicle lost. There is no strong reason to the doubt this report.

One cannot help but make a few observations about this report. First, personnel losses are lower than one would expect, considering their actions, the Ukrainian claims and their heavy armor losses. It would appear that they did not make much active use of their infantry in combat. Second, the armor losses are significant. Of the 115 tanks lost, it is not known how many were broken down, abandoned or captured. In the Oryx count of tanks lost, around one-third were abandoned or captured. Probably some of these were broken down. One does note that there is less than one person killed or wounded per vehicle lost. Third, the number of people missing and captured is high for the overall casualties. They make up 34% of their casualties. These are not the figures that one would expect to see from a force on the offense. At the Battle of Kursk in 1943, units with that high of losses of missing and captured tended to be defenders who were dislodged and partly overrun. These high missing and captured figures from 1st Guards Tank Army indicates poor morale and mishandling of the units. One wonders if the fearsome 1st Guards Tank Army was still somewhat lacking in capability. It was probably made up of a mix of contract soldiers and conscripts, with perhaps the third battalion in each regiment or brigade being conscripts. As such, most of them would not have been sent into Ukraine because of Russian policies. In the end, the 1st Guards Tank Army ended up taking no significant cities, not even Sumy, only 25 miles (40km) from the border, and never got within 100km of Kyiv.

Their opposition appeared to include the Ukrainian 58th Motorized Brigade in addition to National Guard forces and perhaps other Ukrainian regular forces.

Now. I was intending to include parts of this report in my picture section, was limited as to how many photos I could provide (photo 63):

and (photo 64):

The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 699

I am back to blogging about the war in Ukraine. My last blog post was in October: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 589 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). I also did a few blog posts about the war between Hamas and Israel: Hamas-Israeli War – Day 3 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). I then got overwhelmed with 1) travel, 2) conferences (The Schedule for the Second Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 17 – 19 October 2023 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)), 3) presentations, 4) planning (The Third HAAC – October 2024? | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)), 5) marketing (Are we the world leader in military historical analysis? | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) and The History of the DuWar Data Bases | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)) and 6) working on finishing books. There are a finite number of hours in a day.

Anyhow, I did not blog about the lastest Battle of Avdiivka (10 October to present), which was the big story between Day 589 until the end of the year. I gather this Russian attack and stalled out and quieted down. The Wikipedia post is here on subject: Battle of Avdiivka (2022–present) – Wikipedia. My knowledge of the subject does not exceed that, as I simply have not had time to pay attention to it.

I have gotten my book The Battle for Kyiv out, I have been done the (hopefully) final edits on Aces at Kursk. Our current publication schedule is here: Current book release schedule | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). I do not know if they are going to release Aces at Kursk by 30 January, but I gather it will be soon.

Anyhow, let’s talk about Ukraine:

Forces involved:

I have been for a while guestimating that both sides had 300,000 to 400,000 regular forces deployed in the field. Recently Russia (Putin specifically) claimed 617,000 in the combat zone. Ukraine counter-claimed that Russian only had 450,000. They have been various claims over times that Ukraine has 700,000 or more forces activated. There is a difference apparently between “activated” and on or near the front line. I have suspected for a while that both sides had roughly equal forces deployed, because if that was not the case, someone would be advancing. We have not seen a lot of advancing for over a year, since November 2022.

Casualties:

There are lots of casualty figures out there. There appears to be almost no factual or analytical basis for most of these figures. Some are absurd (like the Ukrainian claims of Russian losses or the Russian claims of Ukrainian losses). Some of the estimates from various intelligence agencies sometimes also seem high. While lots of people seem willing to hang their hats on these estimates, we actually have no idea how they are constructed and what they are based upon. They might be based upon solid data, or they might not. The intelligences communities have a mixed record. My last discussion on casualties is here: Total Casualties in Ukraine according to CBC | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).

Here is what we know:

  1. Last Russian report: 5,937 as of 21 September 2022.
  2. Last DPR count (not estimate): 4,176 dead end of 2022
  3. Last LPR report: 500-600 killed as of April 2022.
  4. Last Ukrainian report: almost 9,000 military (21 August 2022) or 10,000 – 13,000 (1 December 2022).
    1. Detailed discussion of this report is here: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 560 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)
  5.  Current Russian casualty count from Mediazona: 42,284 as of 19 January 2024.
  6. Current Ukrainian casualty count by name from the Book of Remembrance of the Fallen for Ukraine (24 February 2022 to August 2023): 22,233 as of the end of August 2023 (Mediazona count as of 24 August 2023 was 30,698).

Wounded-to-killed ratios are at least 4-to-1. They may be higher. There are claims that the Wagner Group had only a 2-to-1 wounded-to-killed ratio. This probably does not apply to the entire Russian Army. Some light reading on the subject of wounded-to-killed ratios: Wounded-To-Killed Ratios | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) and Wounded-to-killed ratios in Ukraine in 2022 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). It is also worth while taking a look at Chapter 15 of my book War by Numbers. Wounded-to-killed ratios is heavily dependent on the nature of combat, with a lot of direct fire engagements generating lower ratios while a lot of artillery generates higher ratios. The war has been very driven by artillery fire for most of the last year. Again, look at my book.

Now, not all wounded are seriously wounded. Some wounded are effectively incapacitated, some may recover to be functional but can no longer serve in the military, some are seriously wounded but given enough time can return to duty, some are lightly wounded and will returned to duty within days or weeks, and some are so lightly wounded that they will return to duty within days or that same day. This last group is the carded for record only category used by the U.S. Army in WWII and the Vietnam War. They are usually not counted in wounded statistics (although the USMC does). I may blog in more depth about this later. In the meantime see: Return-to-Duty (RTDs) | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) and Carded-for-Record in WWII | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

Anyhow, the Mediazona is an undercount of Russian casualties. By their own admission in an exchange with them, they say they estimate that their undercount is a factor of two. If that is the case, the Russian casualties can be estimated at least 84,568 killed. This does strike me as a reasonable estimate. There are some who question that and claim that the Mediazona is undercounting by a factor of 3 or 4 based upon their count of Wagner casualties. I am not sure of that argument and its application to the entire set of casualties. I do question any estimated Russian killed count higher than 100,000 and I do challenge those people making such an argument to provide a factual basis for these higher estimates (I seriously doubt they can do that).

I suspect Ukrainian losses are at least 75% of Russian losses. There appear to be two periods in this war where Russian losses were higher the Ukrainian losses. That was Wagner group attacks on Bakhmut and the recent attacks on Avdiivka. There does appear to be a couple of periods in this war where Ukrainian losses were higher than Russian losses. This may have been early in the war, when thousands of Ukrainian prisoners were taken (although the exchange in people killed may have been roughly equal) and during the fall 2022 offensive in Kherson province, although not much had been reported about that. Therefore, if Ukrainian losses are at least 75% of Russian losses we are looking at least at 63,426 Ukrainians killed.

Assuming a 4-to-1 wounded-to-killed ratio (which is an assumption, it could be higher, it is probably not much lower), then:

Russian: 84,568 killed and 338,272 wounded.

Ukraine: 63,426 killed and 253,704 wounded.

 

Ukraine still has a few thousand people held as prisoners by the Russians. The UN count of Ukranian civilian losses is 9,701 as of 24 September 2023. These reports include civilians killed in the DPR and LPR. For some reason, they have quit updating these reports. The Ukrainian government provided a list of 10,749 civilians killed by name up through 1 August 2023. The DPR and LPR have provided a count of 1,499 civilians killed.

 That is all for now. 

The Battle for Kyiv released in the U.S. Today

The Battle for Kyiv has been released today in the U.S.

It is intended to be the first book in a series. Currently working on finishing up the second book of the series, The Siege of Mariupol. It is co-authored with Stefan Korshak. He is here: Stefan Korshak – Medium

The third book of the series will be The Battle for the Donbas, also co-authored with Stefan Korshak. That might be published before the end of 2024, depending.

The long-term plan is to either eventually issue out a second edition of The Battle for Kyiv at some point, and combine all these smaller books into one really large book (because I like big books: Did I Just Write the Largest History Book Ever? | History News Network).

The Battle for Kyiv will be released in the U.S. this Thursday

The release date in the U.S. for The Battle for Kyiv is 18 January 2024. It was already released in the UK as of 28 November 2023.

Some people overseas have been reading it. One recent twitter post on the book has received over 563K hits and 323 retweets. See: John Helin on X. I do not know John Helin but do want to thank him for his tweet. If I am ever in Finland, I will certainly owe him a beer or two.

The book is available on the U.S. Amazon: The Battle for Kyiv: The Fight for Ukraine’s Capital: Lawrence, Christopher A: Amazon.com: Books; from Barnes and Nobles The Battle for Kyiv: The Fight for Ukraine’s Capital by Christopher A Lawrence, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com); other books sellers (The Battle for Kyiv – Casemate Publishers US; and maybe Aberdeen: Home (aberdeenbookstore.com)). I gather it will be bookstores.

It looks like this:

Top Ten Blog posts in 2023

Happy New Year to all. 2023 is over. Not the best year for many in the world. Wanted to take a moment to list out our top ten blog posts for 2023 (based upon number of hits). They are:

  1. Wounded-to-killed ratios in Ukraine in 2022 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)
  2. U.S. Tank Losses and Crew Casualties in World War II | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) – a blog post by Dr. Shawn Woodford from 2016.
  3. How many brigades did Ukraine start with war with? | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) – this is actually clipped from my book The Battle for Kyiv.
  4. Population over Time (US vs USSR) | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) – a blog post from 2018. I suspect this gets so many hits because this was the initial entry point for a number of people who periodically check on this blog and they continue to use this post to direct them to our blog.
  5. German versus Soviet Artillery at Kursk | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) – another 2018 blog post.
  6. New WWII German Maps At The National Archives | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) – a 2017 blog post by Dr. Shawn Woodford.
  7. How Does the U.S. Army Calculate Combat Power? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) – another 2017 blog post by Dr. Shawn Woodford.
  8. Tank Loss Rates in Combat: Then and Now | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) – a 2016 blog post by Dr. Shawn Woodford.
  9. U.S. Army Force Ratios | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) – a 2018 blog post.
  10. The Russian Artillery Strike That Spooked The U.S. Army | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) – a 2017 blog post by Dr. Shawn Woodford. It was the second most popular blog post in 2022.

Honorable mentions:

13. Wounded-To-Killed Ratios | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) – this 2016 blog post was our most popular blog post in 2022.

16. Where Did Japan Go? | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) – this 2018 blog post was sort of the culmination of our series of demographic blog posts. May revisit this subject again this year.

18. The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 560 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) – for a while we did post daily (then two-three times a week) about the war in Ukraine. This was our most popular one of those posts. We will probably restart these again sometime this winter, like when there is a danger of the front lines again moving.

 

Anyhow, the blog has been quieter for the last three months. This was in part because I was on travel and in part because I needed to finish up a book (The Siege of Mariupol). To date, I have not learned how to multi-task and complete a book, so the book has had the priority. Sorry to anyone I have not responded to as a result.

The Battle for Kyiv book will be available in the U.S. on Amazon.com come 18 January 2024.

Updated calendar for the Republican nomination

The calendar for the Republican Party nomination:

1) Four Republican primary debates have been completed, the field is pretty settled now (Trump, Haley and Desantis). Three more debates are scheduled for 10, 18 and 21 January. Trump has yet to attend one.
2) Donald Trump currently leads the polling for the Republican Party presidential nomination by significant margins.
3) He is currently in a civil trial in New York concerning his businesses. A summary judgment was issued on 26 September that his companies had committed fraud. We expect the final verdicts related to results and penalties to be completed by the end of January.
4) the Iowa caucuses will be on 15 January 2024,
5) the New Hampshire primary will be on 23 January 2024,
6) the Nevada primary will be on 6 February 2024,
7) 24 February is SC primary, then MI,
8.) The date for the DOJ Special Council criminal trial for charges related to the 6 January incidents in now scheduled for 4 March. We gather Trump’s former chief of staff has taken a partial immunity deal with the government and will be providing testimony,
9) on 5 March 14 states will hold their primaries and between 9 – 23 March another 15 states/territories will hold their primaries. The Republican nominee could be decided by then,
10) 25 March is the trial date for Donald Trump’s New York Stormy Daniel’s related case,
11) 20 May is the trial date for Donald Trump’s classified documents case. This one is kind of a guaranteed conviction.
12) last Republican primary is 4 June 2024. I actually do think this is war related news as the currently three of the five leading Republican presidential candidates do not support Ukraine.
13) 15-18 July: Republican National Convention held in Milwaukee
14) 5 August is the start date for the Fulton County Georgia case. Four of the defendants have already pleaded guilty under a plea agreement. The other 15 defendants, including Donald Trump, will be going to trial.
15) The U.S. presidential, senate and congressional election is on Tuesday, 5 November, 2024.

So, there seems to be a race between whether Trump can get the Republican nomination before he gets too tangled up in his legal troubles.
 

Total Casualties in Ukraine according to CBC

There was an article on 8 December by CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) that provided a reasonable discussion of casualties in Ukraine. It is here: Hundreds of thousands wounded and dead in Ukraine as war grinds on, intelligence suggests (yahoo.com).

It states for Russia (based upon UK estimates):

50,000 killed + 20,000 Wagner Group = 70,000 killed

240,000 wounded + 40,000 Wagner Group = 280,000 wounded.

 

My comments: Wounded-to-killed ratio: 4.80-to-1 for regular forces and 2-to-1 for Wagner Group. Total of 4-to-1 ratio (precisely, which is odd). I assume LPR and DPR forces are included in these totals.

My comments: The Mediazona by name count of as of 1 December is 38,261. They estimate they are counting only half, making for a total Russian killed of 76,522. This does not include members of LPR and DPR forces who are not Russian.

They give Ukrainian casualties as:

24,500 named + 15,000 missing + 5,500 or more killed who are not named (an estimate based upon the assumption that they are naming 70% of the killed) = 45,000 or more.

My comments: Now, my nagging suspicion is that Ukrainian losses are at least 75% of Russian losses or 70K x .75 = 52,500 or greater.

As they note, a U.S. estimate in August by the U.S. (quoted in NYT) was that Ukraine had close to 70,000 killed and 120,000 wounded (which produces a rather meaningless wounded-to-killed ratio).

My comments: No wounded figures are given for the Ukrainians, but no reason not to assume it is at least four times the number killed.

More than 10,000 civilians have been killed (UN figures).

My comments: The last UN report for 10 September stated 9,614 civilian dead. Not sure why there are not more recent reports.

Total dead is at least 70K + 52.5K + 10K = 132.5K

My comments: In my briefing I give in Norway in early November, I gave the Russian losses aa over 60K killed, Ukrainian losses as over 45K killed and civilian losses as over 10K.

My comments: Note that some people and governments have released much higher figures than this. I do wonder what are the basis for these claims.

 

P.S. My book The Battle for Kyiv is out in the UK. So far I have not heard any feedback.

Current book release schedule

I have four books in process or about to be released. They are:

The Battle for Kyiv:
– UK release date: 28 November
– U.S. release date: 18 January 2024

Aces at Kursk:
– UK release date: 30 January 2024
– U.S. release date: posted as 18 January 2024, but suspect release date will be in March 2024.

Hunting Falcon:
– UK release date: 28 February 2024
– U.S. release date: posted as 29 February 2024, but suspect released date will be in April 2024.

The Siege of Mariupol:
– UK release date: sometime in 2024
– U.S. release date: sometime in 2024

Books under consideration for 2024/2025:
The Battle for the Donbas
The Battle of Tolstoye Woods (from the Battle of Kursk)
More War by Numbers