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 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 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.

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.

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.

Results of 75 selected battles

ITALY – Salerno Campaign (September 9-18, 1943):

EngagementUnitsRatio soldiersResultCasualties per dayScore Effect
Port of Salerno (Sep 9-11)brit 46 ID304%attack failed 3.95% 1.02
16 Pz.Divprepared defense successfully 0.94% 3.85
Amphitheater (Sep 9-11)brit 56 ID304%attack failed 2.98% 0.99
16 Pz.Divprepared defense successfully 0.78% 2.75
Sele-Calore corridor (Sep 11)US 45 ID146%attack failed 2.01% 1.12
16 Pz.Divdefense successfully 0.71% 2.45
Tobacco factory (Sep 13-14)US 45 ID116%defense successfully 1.58% 1.96
16+19 Pz.Divattack failed 2.38% 2.51
Vietri I (Sep 12-14)brit 46 ID116%defense successfully 2.25% 1.78
HG Pz.Divattack failed 1.50% 2.30
Battipaglia I (Sep 12-15)brit 56 ID76%defense successfully 3.65% 1.61
16 Pz.Div reinforcedattack failed 1.89% 3.86
Vietri II (Sep 17-18)brit 46 ID142%defense successfully 0.67% 1.59
HG Pz.Divattack failed 1.50% 1.42
Battipaglia II (Sep 17-18)brit 56 ID211%attack successfully 1.02% 0.98
16 Pz.Divdelaying defense failed 0.79% 2.02
Eboli (Sep 17-18)US 45 ID232%attack successfully 1.24% 0.96
16 + parts 26 Pz.Divdelaying defense failed 0.90% 2.44

ITALY – Volturno Campaign (October 12-December 8, 1943):

EngagementUnitsRatio soldiersResultCasualties per dayScore Effect
Grazzanise (Oct 12-14)brit 7 AD180%attack successfully 0.85% 0.68
15 Pz.Gren.prepared defense failed 0.33% 2.05
Capua (Oct 13)brit 56 ID211%attack failed 2.49% 1.08
HG Pz.Divprepared defense successfully 1.18% 3.94
Triflisco (Oct 13-14)US 3 ID255%attack successfully 0.72% 0.75
HG Pz.Divprepared defense failed 0.52% 2.50
Monte Acero (Oct 13-14)US 45 ID330% attack draw 0.31% 1.26
3 Pz.Gren. + 26 Pz.Divdelaying defense draw 1.01% 1.22
Caiazzo (Oct 13-14)US 34 ID283%attack successfully 0.36% 0.58
3 Pz.Grendelaying defense failed 0.40% 1.66
Castel Volturno (Oct 13-15)brit 46 ID218%attack successfully 1.13% 0.51
15 Pz.Grenprepared defense failed 0.25% 2.94
Dragoni (Oct 15-17) US 34 ID331%attack successfully 0.13% 0.89
3 Pz.Grendelaying defense failed 0.33% 1.33
Canal I (Oct 15-20)brit 46 ID215%attack successfully 0.42% 0.93
15 Pz.Grenprepared defense failed 0.57% 1.73
Canal II (Oct 17-18)brit. 7 AD179%attack successfully 0.43% 0.75
15 Pz.Grenprepared defense failed 0.28% 1.60
Francolise (Oct 20-22)brit. 7 AD173% attack draw 0.18% 0.96
15 Pz.Gren delaying defense draw 0.18% 1.06
Monte Grande (Oct 16-17)brit 56 ID227%attack successfully 0.61% 0.76
HG Pz.Div.delaying defense failed 0.46% 2.20
Santa Maria Oliveto (Nov 4-5)US 34 ID267%attack successfully 1.23% 1.28
3 Pz.Gren. reinforceddelaying defense failed 1.69% 3.28
Monte Lungo (Nov 6-7)US 3 ID253%attack failed 1.09% 1.34
3 Pz.Grenfortified defense successfully 1.41% 2.53
Pozzilli (Nov 6-7)US 45 ID325%attack failed 0.37% 0.54
3 Pz.Grenfortified defense successfully 0.20% 1.59
Monte Camino I (Nov 5-7)brit 56 ID289%attack failed 0.41% 0.81
15 Pz.Grenfortified defense successfully 0.10% 2.06
Monte Camino II (Nov 8-12)brit 56 ID65% defense failed 1.98% 0.42
15 Pz.Grenattack successfully 0.14% 2.24
Monte Rotondo (Nov 8-10)US 3 ID206% attack failed 0.34% 0.66
3 Pz.Grenfortified defense successfully 0.25% 1.36
Monte Camino III (Nov 2-6)brit 56 ID631% attack draw 0.67% 1.25
15 Pz.Gren fortified defense draw 1.06% 3.27
Calabritto (Nov 1-2)brit 46 ID234% attack draw 0.70% 0.84
15 Pz.Gren fortified defense draw 0.13% 2.95
Monte Maggiore (Nov 2-3)US 36 ID169%attack successfully 0.72% 0.59
15 Pz.Gren. + parts 29 Pz.Div fortified defense failed 0.30% 1.82

MORE ABOUT:

ITALY – Anzio Campaign (January 22-February 29, 1944):

EngagementUnitsRatio soldiersResultCasualties per dayScore Effect
Aprilia I (Jan 25-26)brit 1 ID287%attack successfully 2.99% 0.81
3 Pz.Gren defense failed 0.74% 4.60
Carroceto (Feb 7-8) brit 1 ID37% half-prepared defense successfully 7.45% 3.14
various attack failed 2.53% 3.11
Moletta River I (Feb 7-9) brit 1 ID17% half-prepared defense successfully 4.09% 1.56
3 Pz.Grenattack failed 0.64% 1.47
Aprilia II (Feb 9) US 45 ID 54% half-prepared defense successfully 0.81% 1.40
65 ID attack failed 1.13% 1.33
Factory (Feb 11-12) 1 ID64% half-prepared defense failed 1.75% 1.35
various attack successfully 0.98% 2.08
Bowling Alley (Feb 16-19) US 45 ID164%attack failed 0.43% 1.77
various half-prepared defense successfully 1.46% 1.50
Moletta River II (Feb 16-19) US 45 ID38% half-prepared defense successfully 1.60% 1.88
4 German divisions attack failed 1.33% 1.26
Fioccia (Feb 21-23) brit 56 ID45% half-prepared defense draw "4.34%" 1.88
65 ID + 4 Para attack draw 1.69%4.56

ITALY – Rome Campaign (May 11-June 4, 1944):

EngagementUnitsRatio soldiersResultCasualties per dayScore Effect
Santa Maria Infante (May 12-13)US 88 ID202%attack successfully 1.48% 3.09
94 ID + parts 71 IDfortified defense failed 5.59% 2.33
Sant Martino (May 12-13)US 85 ID221% attack draw 3.19% 2.62
94 ID fortified defense draw 4.42% 4.46
Spigno (May 14-15)US 88 ID223%attack successfully 0.94% 2.89
94 ID + parts 71 ID delaying defense failed 4.44% 1.95
Castellonorato (May 14-15)US 85 ID 219%attack successfully 1.63% 1.98
94 IDfortified defense failed 2.95% 3.04
Monte Grande (May 17-19)US 88 ID 287%attack successfully 0.76% 2.10
94 ID defense failed 3.64% 2.33
Formia (May 16-18) US 85 ID 304% attack successfully 0.58% 2.06
94 ID delaying defense failed 3.15% 2.77
Itri-Fondi (May 20-22) US 88 ID245% attack successfully 0.53% 1.50
94 ID delaying defense failed 1.90% 3.14
Terracinba (May 22-24)US 85 ID292% attack successfully 0.49% 1.64
94 ID defense failed 1.90% 4.34
Moletta Offensive (May 23-24)brit 5 ID138% attack successfully 0.67% 2.43
4 Parafortified defense failed 1.86% 1.92
Anzio-Albano Road (May 23-24)brit 1 ID153%attack successfully 0.56% 2.48
65 IDfortified defense failed 2.16% 1.58
Anzio Breakout (May 23-25)US 1 AD127%attack successfully 1.46% 2.04
3 + 362 IDfortified defense failed 3.52% 1.74
Cisterna (May 23-25)US 3 ID167%attack successfully 2.54% 2.48
362 IDfortified defense failed 4.52% 2.94
Sezze (May 25-27)US 85 ID258%attack successfully 0.30% 1.43
29 Pz.Divdefense failed 1.34% 1.47
Velletri (May 26)US 1 AD119%attack failed 5.25% 3.84
362 IDfortified defense successfully 10.70% 3.54
Villa Crocetta (May 27-28)US 34 ID131%attack failed 0.87% 2.29
3 Pz.Gren.fortified defense successfully 2.18% 1.45
Campoleone Station (May 26-28)US 45 ID180%attack successfully 0.93% 2.34%
65 IDfortified defense failed 2.74% 1.76
Ardea (May 28-30)brit 5 ID203%attack successfully 0.52% 1.81
4 Parafortified defense failed 1.63% 1.60
Lanuvio (May 29-June 1)US 34 ID283%attack failed 1.19% 1.97
3 Pz.Gren. fortified defense successfully 2.86% 2.24
Campoleone (May 29-31)US 1 AD + 45 ID188% attack draw 1.46% 2.02
3 Pz.Gren + 65 ID fortified defense draw 2.91% 2.16
Tarto-Tiber (June 3-4)brit 1 + 5 ID350%attack successfully 0.75% 2.36
4 Para fortified defense failed 3.92% 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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