Monday, 10 April 2017

Cheating at Statistics 18: Volosovo Vanishing

Following some very generous evaluations of their performance, the s.Pz.Abt. 502 continued backing up before the advance of the Red Army. Just a few days later, on January 28th, 1944, an epic battle erupted near the village of Volosovo:

"28 January 1944: Volosovo is reached. Tiger III (Feldwebel Hermann) is approached by 27 T-34s. With only 3 armor-piercing and 9 high-explosive rounds remaining, he destroys 7 T-34s. Several alerted Tigers knock out 8 more T-34s. Ammunition is running out. 9 more T-34s are knocked out at dawn."

A scenario fit for an action movie! It seems everything is lost. but victory is snatched from the jaws of defeat and 24 of the attacking 27 T-34s are knocked out! However, just to be safe, let's make sure that the battle actually happened.
Looking at the records of the 42nd Army, we see this:

"Armoured and Mechanized Units: did not fight that day, were occupied with towing and repairing their vehicles, except the 31st Guards Tank Regiment and 205th Tank Regiment, which fought with the 90th Rifle Division near Lisino."

Right off the bat, the majority of the 42nd Army's armour could not have participated in the fight, and the tanks that did come out that day fought in a different place. The 31st Guards Tank Regiment had an authorized strength of 21 KV tanks, so it's right out. We're left with up to 32 T-34 tanks in the 205th TR, but again, they were engaged against a different target. Although, Volosovo is somewhat near Lisino, and it's possible that the division sent half of its armour to flank around a particularly difficult line of defense. Anything can happen! Let's read the division's records.

"January 28th, 1944

The enemy did not offer any resistance."

Oh. So much for the epic action-packed battle the Germans described. Instead of an tank battle worthy of Hollywood, the Soviets scare off a few regiments of Germans, capturing 7 abandoned tanks (one of them a Tiger). The Tigers were here, but failed to deliver much of an impact, if they fought at all. The 205th Tank Regiment that allegedly just lost 75% of its authorized strength in one battle continues to follow the 90th Rifle Division until the end of the Krasnoye Selo-Ropsha Offensive Operation.


  1. again, Peter, at least try to identify the involved units rather than jumping to misleading conclusions, right?

    1. Hail crit! Please stop what you are doing, it looks like a tramtrum more than any other thing.

    2. "tantrum"

      And yeah, he's just regurgitating generic boilerplate in a blatantly gratuitous attempt to start shit now.

  2. All the units involved were identified. Did you not read the article? The majority of the armoured units did not leave their base, the rest did not participate in combat.

  3. there is no thorough unit identification in the article, just a very superficial quote from the first report you may have come across, pretty much the same as we have seen in Your blunder at Bollersdorf...

    1. The units that fought are clearly identified both here and in the Bollersdorf article. I am beginning to suspect that reading is not your forte.

    2. You say the unit identifications are incorrect and/or incomplete?
      WELL THEN.
      There's this thing called "burden of proof", and it rests squarely on you here. Let's hear what basis you have to make that claim?

    3. Crit, your opinion has zero value here.
      I see your intention is not to grind the information we see here in order to reach all the true we can get from it but to try to troll this site in order to support all the miths we have been adoctrinated about the Soviet and Nazies.

  4. And in the meantime, CM, you might sorta kinda wanna address the raging plausibility issues in the German claim. Seven tanks killed on a threadbare reserve of exactly 12 shells is on the level of those trashy old monochrome westerns where the cowboy shoots once and three injuns fall from saddle...

    And since when did T-34s die to 88 mm HE anyway? You know, the stuff that made up 3/4 of the ammo stock Hermann purportedly started the battle with and would, by elementary-school math, have had to account for *at least* 4 out of 7 of his claimed kills...

    The German account has fables and undiluted horseshit written all over it to begin with.

  5. Kellomies, check out this blog.

    "When firing 85 mm HE shells from mod. 1931 guns consider that they can penetrate 45 mm of armour at 30 degrees from 500 meters, and 50 mm of armour under the same conditions can be penetrated from 300 meters or closer."

    Seems, that if an 85mm HE can do an 88mm HE round can also do.

  6. Yeah, knocking out a T-34 with an HE shell is the least fantastical part of this claim.