Military performance

The German military performance during World War Two.

Part III of the assessment of the fighting power of the Wehrmacht in WW2.

back to Part II: Wehrmacht vs US Army

German paratroopers with a 7.5-cm PaK 40

German paratroopers with a 7.5-cm PaK 40 behind a barricade defend a street in Rome during the Allied advance on the city end of May 1944.

German Performance against the Western Allies

With the development and refinement of the ‘Quantified Judgement Method for Analysis of Historical Combat’ – QJMA – the ‘Historical Evaluation and Research Organization’ (HERO) has set up a database of more than 100 battles of the Second World War and additionally data from the wars in Korea and the Middle East.

Of these, 75 battles between German and Western Allied divisions and army corps are listed below, with a summary of some of the data that were collected for each of these battles. There are troops, tactical behavior, success and failure, loss and fighting power and the ratio of soldiers of both sides.

The last row is called score, which is a score or grade based on the evaluation of the previous figures. This value indicates the losses per day as a percentage of the forces that caused these losses; it is determined by setting the losses of one side to the total personnel strength of the other side. Thus, the value shows losses per day per 100 men.
The score effect value is modified to the adjusted approximately determined defenders advantage. Here, a factor is applied, which resulted from extensive research of WW2.
The defender advantage is in rapidly equipped defense adopted by 1.3, 1.5 for prepared defense and 1.6 for defense with field fortifications.

With the invasion of Sicily on July 10, 1943, the Western Allies had entered the weakest part of the allegedly ‘impregnable fortress of Europe’. This was followed by the arrest of Italy’s dictator Mussolini and the subsequent fall of the most important German ally in Europe.
It was true that the German front in Italy could only be slowly pushed back from Salerno to the Gustav line, Monte Cassino, and the Allied landing at Anzio until the breakthrough of the Goths line, but the conquest of Rome by the Allies on June 4, 1944, was the beginning at the end of Nazi Germany, only two days later, the invasion of Normandy followed with the subsequent battles in France and at the German frontier.

Results of 75 selected battles

ITALY - Salerno Campaign (September 9-18, 1943)
Engagement Units Ratio soldiers Result Casualties per day Score Effect
Port of Salerno (Sep 9-11) brit 46 ID 304% attack failed3.95%1.02
16 Pz.Div prepared defense successfully0.94%3.85
Amphitheater (Sep 9-11) brit 56 ID 304% attack failed2.98%0.99
16 Pz.Div prepared defense successfully0.78%2.75
Sele-Calore corridor (Sep 11) US 45 ID 146% attack failed2.01%1.12
16 Pz.Div defense successfully0.71%2.45
Tobacco factory (Sep 13-14) US 45 ID 116% defense successfully1.58%1.96
16+19 Pz.Div attack failed2.38%2.51
Vietri I (Sep 12-14) brit 46 ID 116% defense successfully2.25%1.78
HG Pz.Div attack failed1.50%2.30
Battipaglia I (Sep 12-15) brit 56 ID 76% defense successfully3.65%1.61
16 Pz.Div reinforced attack failed1.89%3.86
Vietri II (Sep 17-18) brit 46 ID 142% defense successfully0.67%1.59
HG Pz.Div attack failed1.50%1.42
Battipaglia II (Sep 17-18) brit 56 ID 211% attack successfully1.02%0.98
16 Pz.Div delaying defense failed0.79%2.02
Eboli (Sep 17-18) US 45 ID 232% attack successfully1.24%0.96
16 + parts 26 Pz.Div delaying defense failed0.90%2.44
ITALY - Volturno Campaign (October 12-December 8, 1943)
Engagement Units Ratio soldiers Result Casualties per day Score Effect
Grazzanise (Oct 12-14) brit 7 AD 180% attack successfully0.85%0.68
15 Pz.Gren. prepared defense failed0.33%2.05
Capua (Oct 13) brit 56 ID 211% attack failed2.49%1.08
HG Pz.Div prepared defense successfully1.18%3.94
Triflisco (Oct 13-14) US 3 ID 255% attack successfully0.72%0.75
HG Pz.Div prepared defense failed0.52%2.50
Monte Acero (Oct 13-14) US 45 ID 330%attack draw0.31%1.26
3 Pz.Gren. + 26 Pz.Divdelaying defense draw1.01%1.22
Caiazzo (Oct 13-14) US 34 ID 283% attack successfully0.36%0.58
3 Pz.Gren delaying defense failed0.40%1.66
Castel Volturno (Oct 13-15) brit 46 ID 218% attack successfully1.13%0.51
15 Pz.Gren prepared defense failed0.25%2.94
Dragoni (Oct 15-17)US 34 ID 331% attack successfully0.13%0.89
3 Pz.Gren delaying defense failed0.33%1.33
Canal I (Oct 15-20) brit 46 ID 215% attack successfully0.42%0.93
15 Pz.Gren prepared defense failed0.57%1.73
Canal II (Oct 17-18) brit. 7 AD 179% attack successfully0.43%0.75
15 Pz.Gren prepared defense failed0.28%1.60
Francolise (Oct 20-22) brit. 7 AD 173%attack draw0.18%0.96
15 Pz.Grendelaying defense draw0.18%1.06
Monte Grande (Oct 16-17) brit 56 ID 227% attack successfully0.61%0.76
HG Pz.Div. delaying defense failed0.46%2.20
Santa Maria Oliveto (Nov 4-5) US 34 ID 267% attack successfully1.23%1.28
3 Pz.Gren. reinforced delaying defense failed1.69%3.28
Monte Lungo (Nov 6-7) US 3 ID 253% attack failed1.09%1.34
3 Pz.Gren fortified defense successfully1.41%2.53
Pozzilli (Nov 6-7) US 45 ID 325% attack failed0.37%0.54
3 Pz.Gren fortified defense successfully0.20%1.59
Monte Camino I (Nov 5-7) brit 56 ID 289% attack failed0.41%0.81
15 Pz.Gren fortified defense successfully0.10%2.06
Monte Camino II (Nov 8-12) brit 56 ID 65%defense failed1.98%0.42
15 Pz.Gren attack successfully0.14%2.24
Monte Rotondo (Nov 8-10) US 3 ID 206%attack failed0.34%0.66
3 Pz.Gren fortified defense successfully0.25%1.36
Monte Camino III (Nov 2-6) brit 56 ID 631%attack draw0.67%1.25
15 Pz.Grenfortified defense draw1.06%3.27
Calabritto (Nov 1-2) brit 46 ID 234%attack draw0.70%0.84
15 Pz.Grenfortified defense draw0.13%2.95
Monte Maggiore (Nov 2-3) US 36 ID 169% attack successfully0.72%0.59
15 Pz.Gren. + parts 29 Pz.Divfortified defense failed0.30%1.82


ITALY - Anzio Campaign (January 22-February 29, 1944)
Engagement Units Ratio soldiers Result Casualties per day Score Effect
Aprilia I (Jan 25-26) brit 1 ID 287% attack successfully2.99%0.81
3 Pz.Grendefense failed0.74%4.60
Carroceto (Feb 7-8)brit 1 ID 37%half-prepared defense successfully7.45%3.14
variousattack failed2.53%3.11
Moletta River I (Feb 7-9)brit 1 ID 17%half-prepared defense successfully4.09%1.56
3 Pz.Gren attack failed0.64%1.47
Aprilia II (Feb 9)US 45 ID54%half-prepared defense successfully0.81%1.40
65 IDattack failed1.13%1.33
Factory (Feb 11-12)1 ID 64%half-prepared defense failed1.75%1.35
variousattack successfully0.98%2.08
Bowling Alley (Feb 16-19)US 45 ID 164% attack failed0.43%1.77
varioushalf-prepared defense successfully1.46%1.50
Moletta River II (Feb 16-19)US 45 ID 38%half-prepared defense successfully1.60%1.88
4 German divisionsattack failed1.33%1.26
Fioccia (Feb 21-23)brit 56 ID 45%half-prepared defense draw4.34%1.88
65 ID + 4 Paraattack draw1.69%4.56
ITALY - Rome Campaign (May 11-June 4, 1944)
Engagement Units Ratio soldiers Result Casualties per day Score Effect
Santa Maria Infante (May 12-13) US 88 ID 202% attack successfully1.48%3.09
94 ID + parts 71 IDfortified defense failed5.59%2.33
Sant Martino (May 12-13) US 85 ID 221%attack draw3.19%2.62
94 IDfortified defense draw4.42%4.46
Spigno (May 14-15) US 88 ID 223% attack successfully0.94%2.89
94 ID + parts 71 IDdelaying defense failed4.44%1.95
Castellonorato (May 14-15) US 85 ID219% attack successfully1.63%1.98
94 ID fortified defense failed2.95%3.04
Monte Grande (May 17-19) US 88 ID287% attack successfully0.76%2.10
94 IDdefense failed3.64%2.33
Formia (May 16-18)US 85 ID304%attack successfully0.58%2.06
94 IDdelaying defense failed3.15%2.77
Itri-Fondi (May 20-22)US 88 ID 245%attack successfully0.53%1.50
94 IDdelaying defense failed1.90%3.14
Terracinba (May 22-24) US 85 ID 292%attack successfully0.49%1.64
94 IDdefense failed1.90%4.34
Moletta Offensive (May 23-24) brit 5 ID 138%attack successfully0.67%2.43
4 Para fortified defense failed1.86%1.92
Anzio-Albano Road (May 23-24) brit 1 ID 153% attack successfully0.56%2.48
65 ID fortified defense failed2.16%1.58
Anzio Breakout (May 23-25) US 1 AD 127% attack successfully1.46%2.04
3 + 362 ID fortified defense failed3.52%1.74
Cisterna (May 23-25) US 3 ID 167% attack successfully2.54%2.48
362 ID fortified defense failed4.52%2.94
Sezze (May 25-27) US 85 ID 258% attack successfully0.30%1.43
29 Pz.Div defense failed1.34%1.47
Velletri (May 26) US 1 AD 119% attack failed5.25%3.84
362 ID fortified defense successfully10.70%3.54
Villa Crocetta (May 27-28) US 34 ID 131% attack failed0.87%2.29
3 Pz.Gren. fortified defense successfully2.18%1.45
Campoleone Station (May 26-28) US 45 ID 180% attack successfully0.93%2.34%
65 ID fortified defense failed2.74%1.76
Ardea (May 28-30) brit 5 ID 203% attack successfully0.52%1.81
4 Para fortified defense failed1.63%1.60
Lanuvio (May 29-June 1) US 34 ID 283% attack failed1.19%1.97
3 Pz.Gren.fortified defense successfully2.86%2.24
Campoleone (May 29-31) US 1 AD + 45 ID 188%attack draw1.46%2.02
3 Pz.Gren + 65 IDfortified defense draw2.91%2.16
Tarto-Tiber (June 3-4) brit 1 + 5 ID 350% attack successfully0.75%2.36
4 Parafortified defense failed3.92%2.44

See also Part IV: German military performance against the Western Allies in France and on the German frontier in 1944

see also: Battle results of World War One

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