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Heinrich Severloh The beast of Omaha

Discussion in 'Omaha Beach' started by Jim, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    [​IMG]
     
  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    That faint whooshing noise that you have been hearing, is all of our facts going well over your head...So far, you have yet to grasp even one.

    So quit


    or it's off to the

    With you.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    A friend of mine who was in Vietnam was wounded twice. The serious one they couldn't prove was a combat wound. He apparently got a small fragment in his eye. He's pretty sure it was from a mortar round but he didn't notice it for a few days and then it became a rather serious issue quickly. The other was a scratch on his hand from when an RPG hit the track he was on. When his commander asked if he wanted a Purple Heart for it he declined. So there's two wounds that wouldn't have been counted even though the record keeping was probably better then. Then if someone receives a wound and dies from it latter how do you count it and how much latter? A great uncle of mine was wounded at Murfreesburough and died later in the hospital of pneumonia. How would you count him WIA or KIA? If KIA how long after the battle counts (lead poisoning several years later?).

    Wiki list 2,000-4,700 but that includes missing and POWs the latter especially can't be credited to the mystical mg-34. Another site mentions 2,400 while yet another mentions 2,000 but also has another interesting tidbit. Remember that "official" casualty number that someone was ranting about. It apparently doesn't exist at least accouding to some sources where as others give it as 2,000 which is acknowledged to be on the low side. Another site list V Corp as having ~3,000 casualties that day but what exactly does that include. Another site says the current estimate is 4,000 with 1,000 KIA. What though are the current best estimates and how far off do people think they are?
     
  4. shooterike

    shooterike Member

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    A lie of commission, in that you say I said something I did not. A second lie of commission in a second sentence followed by a lie of inference. You are really piling them up!
     
  5. shooterike

    shooterike Member

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    I will quit only when you quit posting nonsense directed at me!
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Niether, that was DOW(Died of Wounds).

    If you remember, many pages back, our frothy mouthed friend, was spouting off about Cold Harbor...And how someone he knew had him look for a relative in PA, The person had been wounded at Cold Harbor, was discharged much later, at a near-by location and never made it home. This was his "proof" that the US Government was hiding casualties.

    What he did not tell us, if he even knew, was that PA units were discharged by unit. If this gent was wounded and lying in a hospital wherever, he was still alive, and kept on the unit roll. When the unit was discharged, the poor guy was probably still in a hospital wherever, and died there of his wound/s. Looking through PA rosters, guys were dying from wounds received at Cold Harbor well into 1865.

    I never mentioned this to frothy, because it was not worth one more tangent to this train wreck.
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Then quit posting nonsense...Duh!
     
  8. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    How much after the fact did your great uncle die, and was it as a direct result of the wound? Generally, very minor wounds aren't reported unless they require medical care (unless the wounded individual is a pogue). Get peppered with shrapnel and the Corpsman has to dig it out, yes. A small scratch from a passing piece of shrapnel, probably not. It's kind of humiliating to make a big deal out of a scratch when some of your friends are really screwed up. Anytime you're evacuated or sent to the rear because the Corpsman/Medic fills out a casualty tag. A gunshot wound would always be reported. As would time lost due to the wound. There is an additional category that goes along with KIA, WIA, MIA and that's DOW (died of wounds) in the Civil War era it was "mortally wounded".

    Rich probably will have the best answer, he gave fairly specific counts for the sector of Omaha in question;

    "The actual landing on FOX GREEN turned into chaos. Elements of three infantry companies in fifteen LCA and LCVP, none of which were supposed to be there, including six boatloads of E Company, 116th Infantry that was over 3,000 yards east of its intended landing place, were intermingled under the fire of WN 60, 61, and 62. About 465 men landed there and it is impossible to know how many fell. In a report that included all casualties incurred to 1200 hours 8 June, E Company, 16th Infantry accounted for one officer and six enlisted men killed, one officer and 78 enlisted men wounded, one officer missing, presumed dead, and 42 enlisted men presumed to be stragglers. F Company, 16th Infantry fared little better; they also had one officer and six enlisted men reported killed, two officers and 64 enlisted men wounded, no less than four officers missing, presumed killed, and 36 enlisted men missing presumed to be stragglers. It may safely be presumed that most of the dead and wounded were incurred on FOX GREEN."

    We know who landed in the sector in question. They didn't have the opportunity to give a detailed report because they were otherwise occupied fighting until noon of the 8th (per Rich's post). So the casualties are from the landing on the 6th through noon on the 8th. This is the max number that could have been lost, so the D-Day casualties are a percentage of this number. I'd speculate (bolded because it's an opinion Shooterike) that a large percentage of the missing were probably killed or evacuated wounded that weren't recorded immediately, but would have been accounted for once they got back to hospitals.
     
  9. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Good points. Years ago my dad had me research one of his G-Great grandfathers Civil War service because he wanted to join the SCV. I found he was listed as captured at Vicksburg and then listed as a deserter along with two of his brother two months later. I was embarrassed to tell him, so I researched the other side of my grandmothers family (the ancestor in question was on my grandmother's father's side, so I researched my grandmother's mother's people) and found a Confederate veteran with suitable credentials, had fought at Chickamauga and served with the AoT until Bentonville.
    I wondered why the ancestor in question had an Confederate Veterans medallion on his gravestone and was listed (along with his brothers) on a monument to Confederates from the county, if he was a deserter, so I researched further. I contacted a researcher into his unit that was writing a book on the regiment and found out the full story.

    The regiment was surrendered, as a unit, and paroled at Vicksburg. On July 11th, several days after the July 4th, 1863 surrender, they started moving from Vicksburg back to North Georgia in groups. It's a long walk and they had to forage for food, and the Union Army wasn't providing transportation back home for surrendered Confederates (obviously) so moving in small organized groups made sense. In August group my ancestor was in was crossing the Tennessee River near Bridgeport, Alabama, almost home when they ran into a Federal Corps maneuvering in the same area during the lead-up to the Battle of Chickamauga, and were captured again. They were given the choice of being sent to a northern prison, where there were extremely high death rates or "galvanize" and enlist in the Union Army to be sent out west to fight indians. They chose the latter and went off to the Northwest Territory to fight Sioux. He was honorably discharged along with the other former confederates at the end of the Civil War, he paid $6 dollars to retain his sidearm, (have the chit) and went home. Once, they got home they found out they'd been declared deserters, because they'd never reported back as ordered, when the unit reassembled. Since, the whole group, and many others (about a third of the regiment) had been re-captured along with their officers and NCO's, the error was discovered, but as the Confederate Government was no longer in existence, the original muster rolls were never corrected. The state did recognize the error and their correct status recorded.
     
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  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Respectfully, Shooterike's FACTS are Alternative ones - based on a small kernel of truth, and using the word "acute" is only proper if we are using antonyms to describe his observations.


    Respectfully, you have several times, further, you have not only repeated it, but, expounded upon it. You have not reported any actual or verifiable facts...You have only presented your opinions(one of those words whose definition confuses you). Further, your opinions came no where close to proving the Severloh Myth, nor did they give us "reason to believe" the Severloh Myth. For, the only way your opinions to give us "reason to believe" the Severloh Myth, is if Severloh was the only German machine gunner at Omaha. However, he was far from being the only German machine gunner on Omaha. Also, he was far from being the only German MG-34/42 machine gunner on Omaha. Thus, if anything, your opinions give us far more "reason to disbelieve" the Severloh Myth.

    If I have been "nasty", it was only in response to another person being "nasty".


    Regretfully, your intelligence is as worthless as your opinions. This is fact, based on empirical evidence, that you have so graciously provided us with.


    You ignore all of the other German machine gunners, riflemen, mortarmen, artillerymen, etc. that were at Omaha Beach that day. For if Severloh can do it all the other MG-34/42 gunners can do it. If all the other Mg-34/42 gunners are doing it, the the casualties at Omaha Beach will be well above even the worst case casualty estimates. Compounding this problem is all the other firearms, off-brand MGs, mortars, and artillery that are flying around.

    Thus, the only way the Severloh Myth can be done is without the other German soldiers.

    Get rid of all the other Germans at Omaha, and yes, I will admit that it is possible to do with an MG-34/42.

    However, with them...The Severloh Myth collapses under it's own weight.


    No, you ignored most of the questions put directly to you...This action does not constitute an answer.

    You have referenced ancestors to make points that have no bearing on the matters of Severloh, the MG-34/42, or Omaha Beach. Thus, we are forced to question your ancestors and the points you are trying to make with them.

    I back my "nasty habit" of claiming things you did and said, with quotes directly attributed to your account, and hotlinked directly to the post where they were located at. Which, at that point, you backpedal, move the goalposts, respond in an "That's not what I meant" manner, or just start throwing insults.


    No lies, no mixed inference, no deflection...Just wonderment.

    You state clearly in your Post#21
    Much later, in your Post #280, this is magically changed to an "opinion" with
    So...How does SOLID FACT, suddenly change to "opinion?" Sublimation?
     
  11. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, no, Marine, that wasn't sarcasm at all. I really, really, really am a member of the Trilateral Commission and sekretly control the destiny of myriads of you poor cattle...in between taking flying saucer rides to Venus to commune with the Vortex Overlords. Poor Ike better look out unless he wants me to put his name on the Death Panels list.
     
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  12. Buten42

    Buten42 Member

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    Oh, thank God. I thought for a minute that you were some wing-nut that thought he rode with Jessie James or consulted with ol' Granny- in that case there would be a big "goose egg" of hope for ever solving this debate.
     
  13. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Oh dear, what a can of worms. In a nutshell, the problem was that the American reporting system was intended to report unit effectiveness rather than casualties. There are so many factors in play. Doctrinally in the US Army, unit personnel reporting was the purview of the Company First Sergeant. The vehicle was the Company Morning Report, which in theory was completed every day, for every company/battery/troop in the Army. The reports were compiled at the battalion and regiment by the S-1 (the Adjutant) before going to the division where it was consolidated by the G-1 staff for transmission to corps and army for input into a machine records database on Hollerith cards by the Machine Records Unit. Unfortunately, those data were not compiled in a format that allowed for accurate accounting on a daily basis...the actual "official" figures are for campaign periods, simply because that was the only way the machine records could be easily divided.

    That was one reporting chain. Another was the medical records reporting. A casualty was in theory recovered at a battalion aid station and treated or evacuated by a casualty clearance company from the division medical battalion to the division aid station or attached field hospital. Then possibly moved for further treatment to an evacuation or general or station hospital.

    Then there was the operational reporting chain. Units needed to know what their effectiveness was. The battalion S-3 would make assumptions based upon reporting from the company commanders and their XO as to what the company strength was and then reported that to regiment and thence to division through the G-3.

    In other words, we have personnel reporting (S-1/G-1), medical reporting, and operations reporting (S-3/G-3) all looking at the same phenomena, but from different angles and for slightly different purposes. Now, add the complication that these forces are landed on a foreign shore. Mass casualties occurred...and included those in the reporting chain. It was difficult to complete morning reports on 7 June when first sergeants, company XOs, company commanders, battalion and regimental adjutants were themselves casualties. Many of those reports were compiled days and even weeks later. Medical reporting was just as confused and S-3/G-3 estimates of strength were affected by the miss landings of many craft breaking up unit integrity (parts of E Company, 116th Infantry, landed with E Company, 16th Infantry, more than a mile from where they were supposed to be, so in the point of view of the 116th Infantry they were gone, MIA or all dead.

    The result was much of the initial reporting was essentially guesswork. Since the morning reports were pieced together days later, much of the casualty and strength reporting was guesswork and based on inflated estimates and with guesses as to which day a casualty occurred.

    In the historiography of the event we also have the problem that many so-called "historians" had little idea of what a casualty included (every "casualty" is a death is the extreme of that) or how the reporting was done and who did them. Classically, many locked on to the numbers given in Cross Channel Attack, assuming the totals given for the 1st ID, 29th ID, and "V Corps Troops" was the complete total...except that actually excluded a number of elements, including First Army Troops attached for operations, such as the 5th aand 6th Engineer Special Brigades and some other units. So it is all too easy to accept ignorant ideas such as Severloh "killing" 2,000 men as truth, simply because it gets repeated over and over again. Joe Balkoski did an excellent job in deconstructing the reporting in his book on OMAHA, but as I noted in my book even he may have inadvertently double-counted some of his figures.

    Nevertheless, we can accurately assess a maximum and a minimum number of casualties that occurred and neither can accommodate a figure allowing for Severloh inflicting 2,000 casualties on American forces.
     
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  14. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Here is my summary of the available data from Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall.


    OMAHA


    The actual number of losses that were incurred by the Americans at OMAHA on D-Day is possibly one of the greatest mysteries of that day. Forrest Pogue perhaps said it best,


    Casualties for D Day have never been stated officially. Because of confusion of reports and the lack of records it is likely that the total will not be known. Most of the units involved reported losses by the week, beginning 6 June, or by the month of June, thus making it impossible to have exact data. The matter was further complicated because the first reports exaggerated losses as a result of the separation of sections, companies, and battalions of assault troops. Further difficulties arose from the practice of listing men wounded in action in the 6 June report and then listing them as “died of wounds” in the revised report.[1]


    Estimates over the years have ranged from the 2,000 given in Cross Channel Attack[2] to the 4,385 given by Balkoski in Omaha Beach.[3] The actual total probably falls between the two extremes.


    The 1st Division losses recorded by the V Corps History were 1,190. The initial report by the 1st Division G-1 on 7 June recorded losses for D-Day and D+1 as 88 officers and 1,782 enlisted men. On 8 June in a report to V Corps that figure was revised to 40 officers and 786 enlisted men, but appears as 1,190 in the later V Corps History. The 1st Division After Action Report (AAR) for June revised the figures again, this time to 186 KIA, 620 WIA and 358 MIA, for a total of 1,164 on 6 June, which may have been the basis for the figure in the V Corps History.[4] In that same 1st Division report the number of MIA returned-to-duty in June was given as 70. Internal evidence suggests that the “actual” number MIA on 6 June was about 312.[5] Thus it seems the likely total casualties for the 1st Division on 6 June were 1,118, although the most recent detailed history of OMAHA, by Joseph Balkoski, gives a total of 1,346 for the 1st Division.[6]


    Figures for the 29th Division are even more difficult to puzzle out. The 116th Infantry alone reported losses of 49 officers and 2,733 enlisted men to V Corps on 8 June. The report made by the division to V Corps on 10 June reported only WIA: 106 officers and 2,198.[7] The V Corps History recorded 743 total casualties for the Division, while Joseph H. Ewing in the postwar, 29 Let’s Go: A History of the 29th Division reported 390 KIA, 511 WIA, and 27 MIA, for a total of 928.[8] The somewhat fragmentary reports made by units of the division recorded by Pogue give a total of 122 KIA, 565 WIA, and 246 MIA, for a total of 933, while Balkoski gives a total of 1,272.


    The V Corps History recorded an additional 441 casualties for the V Corps Troops. However, those reported apparently were only for units assigned to the corps and so did not include many additional casualties suffered on OMAHA by troops attached to the corps by First Army.[9] It appears that most of those were suffered by the 741st and 743rd Tank Battalions, which reported cumulative casualties as of 15 June of 14 KIA, 20 WIA and 154 MIA, with the remainder mostly being incurred by the two Engineer battalions attached to the 1st and 29th Divisions.


    The losses of the 5th and 6th Engineer Special Brigade (ESB) and the 2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions do not appear to have been included as part of the V Corps casualties; technically they were only attached to V Corps, but were assigned to First Army. And yet their losses were substantial. As of 15 June the 5th ESB reported casualties of 13 KIA, 106 WIA and 59 MIA, those of the 6th ESB were 23 KIA, 70 WIA and 111 MIA. The 2nd Rangers incomplete report gave 255 total casualties, while the 5th Rangers reported 30 KIA, 70 WIA and 18 MIA. The 'final' accounting of the casualties in the two Ranger Battalions done in July 1944 reported 98 KIA, 211 WIA and 39 MIA, although it is impossible to tell now how many were lost on 6 June and how many in the few days immediately after D-Day. Unfortunately only the losses of HQ Detachment, D, E, and F of the 2nd Rangers, along with the attached detachments from the 293rd Joint Assault Signal Company (JASCO) and 165th Signal Photo Company, which together made up the Pointe du Hoc force, appear to be firmly established. They suffered 42 KIA (including 1 DOW 14 June), 43 WIA (including both Lieutenant Colonel Rudder and Lieutenant Colonel Trevor, a British Commando attached to the Ranger Force), 22 MIA (all of whom but three survived and rejoined later), and 1 captured. Overall, it appears that as many as 550 additional casualties may have been incurred by the Engineer Special Brigades and Rangers on D-Day.


    Finally, the NCDU lost 24 KIA, 32 WIA, and 15 MIA, while the two Naval Beach Battalions attached to the 5th and 6th ESB suffered 41 KIA and 87 WIA.


    Overall the highest casualty figure is the 4,385 given by Balkoski. However, it appears that he may have over-counted the divisional casualties by about 572, mainly due to the use of higher missing in action figures, the inclusion of the casualties at Pointe du Hoc with those on OMAHA “proper”, and other possible duplications or overestimates. If so that would still gave a total of 3,686, significantly higher than the losses on any of the Commonwealth beaches and in fact slightly greater than the assumed total of Commonwealth casualties on all three of those beaches as found above, 3,644.


    [1] Pogue Material, Background Files-Study, “American Forces in Action”, 1943-1946, Omaha Beachhead.

    [2] Harrison, p. 330.

    [3] Balkoski, OMAHA Beach, pp. 350-352.

    [4] Harrison, p. 330.

    [5] Postwar accounting show only 60 men actually captured between 6 June and 24 July.

    [6] Joseph Balkoski, OMAHA Beach, pp. 350-352.

    [7] Pogue Material, Background Files-Study, “American Forces in Action”, 1943-1946, Omaha Beachhead.

    [8] Joseph Ewing, 29 Let’s Go: A History of the 29th Division in World War II. (Infantry Journal Press: Washington D.C., 1948) p. 306.

    [9] In the U.S. Army a unit was normally either assigned or attached to another, the first designating a more or less permanent condition and the other a temporary one.
     
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  15. shooterike

    shooterike Member

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    Not my concern. My post has only to do with the points relative to the capabilities of the MG34.

    Einstein said it -- It is on youtube!
     
  16. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    An interesting point that highlights how important reporting criteria can be. What you are actually describing is the difference between USMC and USA medical reporting in World War II and it is very precise. In both cases the "very minor wounds" were actually usually reported on a wound card by both services. However, when tabulated, the USMC usually counted that "minor wound" as a "WIA". The US Army counted it as "wounded in action, carded for record only" AKA WIA-CRO and DID NOT count them as a "casualty". The result was a noticeable difference in the KIA:WIA ratios between the USMC and the USA. The REASON for that turns out to be simple and was the service evacuation policy. Fighting what were often fairly short-term, high intensity engagements, with hospital ships directly offshore, the USMC generally evacuated all wounded for evaluation offshore...and then returned them to duty if only "scratched", but still counted them as "officially" wounded. In the US Army if they were evacuated from a unit aid station to the division clearing station, but not then to the division field hospital, but instead were returned to duty, they were counted as a WIA-CRO and were not "officially" wounded. In both cases they were wounded in the same degree, but the reporting system counted one as wounded and the other as not wounded.

    The oddest part of it was, in both cases they were usually issued a PH. :)
     
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  17. shooterike

    shooterike Member

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    "SOLID FACT" is a provable "opinion". You asked for 'proof' of this and I gave it to you when I handed you your head! Did you profit by viewing the videos or reading the sources provided? My guess is not.
     
  18. shooterike

    shooterike Member

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    QUESTION: How would explain the missing Cold Harbor yankee never returning to a home that was only a few miles away?
    QUESTION; How would you explain regular letters to home before Cold Harbor? NONE AFTER!
    To be a viable explanation, it MUST fit the circumstances.
     
  19. shooterike

    shooterike Member

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    More delusions?
     
  20. shooterike

    shooterike Member

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    SHEER LUNACY! You nothing about real machineguns. In the west, most armies are based on the US army. The US M60 and the M240, are both standard NATO MGs, fire at a rate of 450 rounds per minute or the same as Browning M1919 of WW2. The Germans, and a lot of other countries, use the MG42, modernized as the MG3, which fires at the REDUCED rate of 900 rounds per minute or the same as an MG34. Like a WW2 German vet told me "Give me MG34! No MG42, shoot to fast! Can run out of bullets before you run out of Russians!"
     

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