Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 05, 2015

IBTimes' "S-300 in Syria" News Nothing But Hot Air

The International Business Times creates fake news. Today it claims: Russia deploys S-300 anti-aircraft missile system in Syria after Sinai plane crash

Just days after a Russian civilian plane was suspected to have been shot down by a radical Islamist group, Moscow announced that after evaluating the threat it has deployed the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system around the Latakia airbase in Syria to counter any threat.

The Russian defence ministry has said the deployment of the anti-aircraft system will not only secure its airbase in Syria, but also deter any attempt to hijack its warplanes.

Russia's Aerospace Forces Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Viktor Bondarev told Russian dailies on Thursday the country was taking all measures to secure its assets in Syria.

"We have studied all the possible threats," said Bondarev, adding that it has also sent in missile systems besides "fighter jets, attack aircraft, bomber aircraft, helicopters," Tass reported.

I would be astonished if Russia would now deploy the ground based long range air defense system S-300 to Syria. A complete S-300 unit is quite bulky with several radar and command vehicles plus the launcher vehicles and the logistic elements. There is also the Russian guided missile cruiser Moskva at sea near the Syrian coast which has an equivalent system with 64 missiles on board. There is no need to now deploy a similar land based system.

So where did IBTimes get that S-300 information from? It helpfully links to TASS at its source which says:

Russia sends missile systems to Syria to counter possible threats — air force head

Russia has deployed missile defense systems in Syria to counter a possible strike against its forces in the country and also to prevent attempts to hijack a warplane, Commander-in-Chief of Russia’s Aerospace Forces Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev has said.

"We have studied all the possible threats. We sent there not only fighter jets, attack aircraft, bomber aircraft, helicopters but also missile systems. As various force majeure circumstances may occur," Bondarev said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper published on Thursday.

There is nothing in the TASS bulletin that claims deployment of an S-300 long range air defense system.

We know since mid September that Russia deployed the short range air defense system Pansir-S1 (NATO designation SA-22 Greyhound) to Syria. Reuters reported on September 11:

Moscow is sending an advanced anti-aircraft missile system to Syria, two Western officials and a Russian source said, as part of what the West believes is stepped-up military support for embattled President Bashar al-Assad.

The Western officials said the SA-22 system would be operated by Russian troops, rather than Syrians. The system was on its way to Syria but had not yet arrived.

Since then tracked as well as wheeled versions of the Pansir have been seen in Russian TV reports from the Russian airport in Syria.

The Russian general said nothing new. He just mentioned what Russia "sent" to Syria in the past. The TASS headline gets that wrong as the present "sends". And the IBTimes S-300 claim is a lie pulled from hot air and without any factual base.

But such scaremongering will surely reverb in the various Internet echo chambers. It will then be used as "justification" for the U.S. to throw more weapons to jihadists in Syria.

Posted by b on November 5, 2015 at 14:45 UTC | Permalink

next page »

excellent analysis b! I read that earlier and was not alert to the lie.

Posted by: thirsty | Nov 5 2015 14:56 utc | 1

But such scaremongering will surely reverb in the various Internet echo chambers

yep, a concerted effort is apace to make the Russians appear to be on the defensive.

Posted by: john | Nov 5 2015 15:02 utc | 2

Naniel Larison article linked by b states "The US continues to have little or nothing at stake in this conflict" I disagree,the anticipated win by Syria/Russia would strengthen the 'arc of resistance' immeasurably Iran,Iraq,Syria,Hezbollah all backed by Russia and quietly China. Leaving, when the war is over, a vastly different middle east. Syria and Hezbollah would be rearmed by Russia and Iran and in a far better position militarily than before.The GCC would have to accept these facts on the ground, since there is nothing they can do about them in any case The Saudi Takferi monsters will be be decisively beaten and rejected by ordinary Sunni Muslims, with blow back possible in Saudi Arabia itself for instigating the attempted political and military destruction of one of the front line states in the resistance block.
In effect the US could be losing the Middle East, that is why they are thrashing about like a wounded Colossus. I hope the Russians go in with both feet right down the middle and that Putin, in the words of Victoria Nuland say's F--k the US.

Posted by: harry law | Nov 5 2015 16:01 utc | 3

Putin just got Forbes #1 (again) and Obama is down at #3 (a literal new low for an American President) ... The BBC featured a segment of Russian Afghanistan Campaign veterans -- apparently still being lamented in songs, contemporary original composition as in "never forget" after 30 years ... As British and American veterans struggle largely "privately" with their war wounds... not that the wars were comparable considering the amount of actual battle time Russian soldiers saw trying to uphold the Afghan government from insurgency compared to the "Coalition" approach of trashing the place and "starting from scratch" at least in theory and none too successfully.

We really want Russia in Syria to be their second Afghanistan -- Syrians be damned.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 5 2015 16:44 utc | 4

harry: I think losing the entire Middle East is unlikely, but splitting off the 'northern tier' (Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq) is very likely. The Russia/China 'world island' advances south and surrounds Turkey. Russia/China will be patient, and eventually Turkey will have a realistic leader ...

Meanwhile, south of the northern tier, the same old poverty and inequality, and the senile old drunks in Saudi Arabia keep splashing their gold and incompetence around.

I hope that part of the plan is to reconstruct Syria and Iraq as social democratic, somewhat egalitarian societies, taking the best from their Baath Party

Posted by: fairleft | Nov 5 2015 16:49 utc | 5

... pasts.

Posted by: fairleft | Nov 5 2015 16:49 utc | 6

@#3 Presumably the author meant nothing at stake for the mythical peaceful republic "the US" is portrayed as domestically. Very few refer to it as an empire.

I agree that the consequences of defeat are severe now, after the Russian intervention exposed them for not actually fighting al-Ciada. If Mordor had switched to another target a few years ago, then defeat in Syria would've been much less damaging.

Posted by: Jesrad | Nov 5 2015 16:54 utc | 7

I doubt many people rely on the IBTimes for their news and certainly not for accurate reporting. I stopped reading them when they reported that 40% of American Indians were drunks.

The Russian statement, correctly interpreted, is still informative and seems to be a somewhat irrational response to the airliner bombing. Who is going to hijack their warplanes? Their AA missiles may protect them from a very unlikely hijacked airliner attack and the US has shown no desire to engage them in combat so what is the point of this statement?

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 5 2015 18:01 utc | 8

Syria has had the S-300 since before the US-inspired "uprising" in 2011. It's the reason the Yankees were trying to frame the Assad Govt for a crime 'serious' enough to justify a full scale military assault. This story sounds (to me) like an excuse for the World's Only Chickenshit Superpower & Its Chickenshit Friends, to Chicken Out.
Syria was reasonably invasion-proof in 2011 but hordes of takfiri vermin damaged and weakened it sufficiently to require help from Russia to bolster and perfect its defenses and exterminate the vermin. Syria is the only war Russia is involved with at present so whatever Syria needs, Syria gets.
Ever since the Russians got involved, all we've heard from the West's Pussies & Wusses is a lot of impotent whining. It's been obvious from the first Russian sortie that the US doesn't have a workable strategy for Syria and equally obvious that Russia not only has a strategy, but it's working.
I'm reminded that during the first week of Russia's anti-ISIS campaign, Putin said that he expected the campaign to last "about four months."
This article suggests that the Russian campaign is right on schedule.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 5 2015 18:17 utc | 9

I know ad hominem attacks are probably frowned upon around here, but nothing would make me happier than to hear Wayoutwest died slowly in a house fire.

As for Syria having the S-300, they most certainly do not. Russia attempted delivery of S-300 systems which Syria had purchased, but Israel illegally bombed them before they could be deployed. If Syria did have the S-300 the Israelis would have been much less cavalier about their intrusions into Syrian airspace, and probably into Lebanon, as well.

Posted by: Rick Sanchez | Nov 5 2015 18:30 utc | 10

I doubt many people rely on Wayoutwest for their news and certainly not for accurate reporting. I stopped reading WoW when 40% of American Indians reported that WoW is usually drunk.
But then I started reading WoW again because drunks can be very amusing - especially when they're pretending to be sober.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 5 2015 18:36 utc | 11

@ 10. You're confusing Syria with Iran's S-300 machinations. Syria offered to move some of its S-300 closer to a neighbor to protect the neighbor from "Israel" a few years ago. My recollection is that the neighbor was Lebanon.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 5 2015 18:44 utc | 12

thanks b...

good one hoarsewhisperer!

Posted by: james | Nov 5 2015 18:44 utc | 13

Kremlin blasts British government for not sharing intelligence over Egypt plane crash

Posted by: okie farmer | Nov 5 2015 19:01 utc | 14

Reactionary Riki @10

I live in a thick walled adobe so you or your Commancheros

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 5 2015 19:02 utc | 15

Michael Moore's new movie: US Has Not Won a War Since WWII

…and WWII is questionable…the Soviets did most of the heavy lifting.

Posted by: paulmeli | Nov 5 2015 19:05 utc | 16

Posted by: okie farmer | Nov 5, 2015 2:01:15 PM | 14
Kremlin blasts British government for not sharing intelligence over Egypt plane crash
gotta love it -- it's put up or shut up time ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 5 2015 19:07 utc | 17

Reactionary Ricki @10

I live in a thick walled adobe so you or your Comancheros will have little luck burning me out.

As usual the lame-brained resort to verbal diarrhea when faced with ideas they can't comprehend.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 5 2015 19:10 utc | 18

@fairleft #5

Russia/China will be patient, and eventually Turkey will have a realistic leader ...

My opinion, China busy mending its fence with Taiwan and most likely stay out unless forced to. China and Taiwan leaders will meet in Singapore this Saturday after 60 years...

Background: Singapore, a City State and former colony, gain its independent from Britain in 1963. Most Singaporeans are Chinese descendants beginning with Ming Dynasty when Zheng He (1371–1435) came to Malacca, Malaysia. Decades of forced starvation and migration during Qing Dynasty(1644–1912), ravaging civil wars including invasions by foreign powers (Japan, Russia, USA, France, Germany, Australia...) into China.

Singapore is the third China by the ethnicity and government with a population of 5.5 millions, 75% Chinese. However, the largest overseas Chinese in the world bestow on Thailand and the present King Bhumibol has Chinese's blood.

China, Taiwan to Hold Landmark Talks
If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article.

Chinese and Taiwanese heads of state will meet face to face for the first time in well over 60 years. Leaders from China and Taiwan will hold historic talks to improve relations, according to an announcement Wednesday (November 4th 2015).

The meeting will take place in Singapore on (Saturday 7th November), and will include Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Taiwanese counterpart, President Ma Ying-jeou.

A spokesperson for the president's office said the Ying-jeou hopes to “consolidate cross-strait peace and maintain the status quo.” “No agreement will be signed, nor any joint statement be released,” the spokesperson stated. Similar comments were echoed in Chinese state media. “They will exchange views on promoting the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations......................

Posted by: Jack Smith | Nov 5 2015 19:14 utc | 19

@ paulmeli | 16

…and WWII is questionable…the Soviets did most of the heavy lifting.

To be more precise, of all casualties Nazis received, 60% were done by Soviets, by US: only 2%. Yes, 30x difference, but if you would believe todays Wests propaganda, its US who won WWII. US also sold some equipment and food to Soviets, but they also sold some stuff to nazis, so its questionable how much was US total positive impact on WWII outcome, its around few %, about the same as UK's input.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 5 2015 19:20 utc | 20

@8 do you read? The threat is "someone" "hijacking" a warplane in another country and using it to attack the Russian base.

@11 hahahha - thanks for that one.

Posted by: Guest77 | Nov 5 2015 19:23 utc | 21

Can't wait till a Russian Unveils ISIS.

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 5 2015 19:24 utc | 22

@Harry #20:

I take it that's military casualties. Because I wouldn't be surprised if the US and Britain killed more German civilians than the Soviets did.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 5 2015 19:43 utc | 23

Posted by: paulmeli | Nov 5, 2015 2:05:17 PM | 16

Well, if MM's new movie takes a couple of minutes to explain Lesser Evilism in a way that even an ignoramus can understand, he'll have done more for American Education than any US scholar since Privatisation became the foundation stone of Yankee-style Totalitarian Capitalism.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 5 2015 19:44 utc | 24

Syria never got their S-300 missiles. The warehouse where they were being stored upon delivery was bombed.

Posted by: Bruno Marz | Nov 5 2015 20:12 utc | 25

@ 25 That would be allegedly stored and allegedly bombed. You just can't trust the MSM media anymore. It is all lies and disinformation to manage perception. If Russians wanted Syria to have brand new S-300, who will stand in their way?

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 5 2015 20:23 utc | 26

Russian Sukhov S-30 jet was avoiding air defense system when it entered Turkish airspace in October - Air Force

“Our fighter jet was on a combat mission in Northern Syria in very dense cloud conditions. When the aircraft was passing along the Turkish border, the onboard equipment set off an alarm indicating the plane was being targeted by some kind of air defense system. The pilot had to take a split-second decision to perform an anti-missile maneuver."

Turkey denies Russian commander’s claims over violation of Turkish airspace | Hürriyet Daily News |

Posted by: Oui | Nov 5 2015 20:30 utc | 27

Telephone conversation with British Prime Minister David Cameron

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the initiative of the British side.
November 5, 2015

The leaders exchanged views on the situation with the crash of the Russian plane over the Sinai peninsula. Vladimir Putin stressed that assessment of the causes of the crash should be based on the data that would become available in the course of the official investigation that is currently underway.

The discussion also covered joint efforts to combat international terrorism.

Posted by: okie farmer | Nov 5 2015 20:30 utc | 28

U.S. Brings Dogfighters to Counter Russians Over Syria

The Pentagon is sending F-15C Eagle tactical jets—supposedly to fight the ISIS war. But the jets only have air-to-air weapons, and ISIS has no planes. Which means the real adversary is Russia.

The other fighters, attack planes and bombers the Pentagon has deployed—including F-22s, F-16s, A-10s and B-1s—carry bombs and air-to-ground missiles and have focused on striking militants on the ground. In stark contrast, the F-15s only carry air-to-air weaponry, and their pilots train exclusively for shooting down enemy warplanes.

Posted by: Oui | Nov 5 2015 20:30 utc | 29

The MSM was furious that a Russian Su30 had violated Turkey's air space and escaped unharmed. Russia apologized for reason of bad weather. NATO mouthpieces were furious and belligerent. Then the propaganda war escalated with news of 50 Delta special forces deployed to the Turkey-Syria border, plus Apache helicopters, plus a squadron of A-10 tank killers plus air combat F-15C armed with air to air missiles. Russia just sent out two propaganda war signals. In the first instance, Russia disclosed that its fighter had been targetted with air defenses and a missile had been launched. So the Su30 entered Turkish air space due to an evasive maneuver. In other words, they just said: "your dog won't bite." This is why the MSM and NATO bullhorns were so furious. The Russian plane had successfully evaded a NATO air to air missile in the border with Turkey. Second signal sent out by the Russians: we have SAM missiles that you (NATO) do not want to challenge. They have delivered this message with sarcasm justifying it on the basis of some aircraft being hijacked in a neighboring country and attacking them. lol

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 5 2015 21:02 utc | 31

A while back, the MSM was echoing furious statements by Turkey and other NATO sources after a Su30 briefly entered Turkey's air space. RuAF apologized for reason of bad weather. Then the propaganda war escalated with the deployment of 50 Delta special forces along the border, with support from Apache helicopters and a squadron of A-10 tank killers. Obama doubled down with the announcement of the deployment of air combat fighters F-15C armed with air to air missiles. Russian sources answered with two signals. First, they said their fighter strayed into Turkish space on evasive maneuver after being targeted with air defenses and fire upon. This explains the fury from NATO sources. Not only had the Russian plane violated Turkish air space but escaped unharmed from a NATO air to air missile. In other words, the Russians are saying: "your dog won't bite." The second signal the Russians are sending through the media with sarcasm is: we have SAM missiles that you (NATO) wouldn't be wise to challenge.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 5 2015 21:20 utc | 32

The sarcasm is in the hypothetical threat alluded for the deployment. A plane could be hijacked in a neighboring country and attack our assets.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 5 2015 21:22 utc | 33

Interesting take on the news, Sun Tzu. I figured the Russians were just probing the Turkish air defenses by pressing into their airspace to gauge reaction times, possibly to collect electronic intelligence, or just to thumb their noses. Your theory definitely holds more water, but what makes you think NATO actually fired a SAM, and do you think that had anything to do with NATO pulling two of their three Patriot missile batteries out of Turkey recently? Also, do you think the F-15C's are being sacrificed in order to create the pretext for war against Russia? It doesn't sound like they'd fare too well against the S-300.

Posted by: Bruno Marz | Nov 5 2015 21:39 utc | 34


I see you can read but lack simple comprehension skills, Tass stated 'prevent attempts to hijack a warplane' Who's warplane? Their warplane, because they can protect no one else's warplanes with their defense systems at their base.

They didn't say 'prevent attempts to attack their base with a hijacked warplane' which would at least have made some sense.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 5 2015 21:39 utc | 35

@ 33 The RuAF didn't specify whether their fighter was fired upon by a SAM or an AAM. We can only speculate. I think that both Spain and Germany pulled out their Patriot batteries after word came out that RuAF had compromised their performance with their new EW jamming technology capability. So they are in need for an upgrade anyways. Also, the RuAF didn't really say what kind of SAMs are in play in Syria. We can only speculate. But the RuAF think they are well protected from any outside threats.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 5 2015 21:49 utc | 36

and fwiw, the story I read said that the plane detected it had been "locked-on" by an AA system and so diversion ... not that it had actually been fired upon

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 5 2015 21:55 utc | 37

@33 You are correct according to Jane's It was a SAM

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 5 2015 21:58 utc | 38

NATO Commander Breedlove said there are no plans to return the Patriot SAM defense batteries to Turkey as these are due for long term refurbishment.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 5 2015 22:08 utc | 39

Put @21 guest and @27 oui together and it's not too hard to guess who might 'hijack' American jets to attack Russian jets in Syria.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 5 2015 22:10 utc | 40

@ 36 Jane's link @ 37 above reads:

The pilot had to take a split-second decision to perform an anti-missile manoeuvre.
so it looks like this was beyond breaking a target lock.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 5 2015 22:13 utc | 41

@harry #20

If 60% of German casualties were from Soviet action and 2% were from American action and a roughly equivalent contribution from the Brits, who accounts for the over 30% remainder?

Posted by: Thirdeye | Nov 6 2015 0:13 utc | 42

Just a rumor:

In the meantime, the British Press is making a big deal out of a pronouncement from the Ministry of Defense that the Russian Metrojet was downed by an IED placed on board, probably at Sharm Al-Shaykh. What the British are doing is giving cover to a bomb placed on the passenger jet by an agent of the Saudi regime. That agent received the bomb from a British contractor to the Saudi General “Intelligence” Directorate. The bomb is believed to have been designed around a barometric triggering device which is technology not available yet to ISIS. Nonetheless, the British liars are kiting this story in an effort to anticipate the results of the investigation which will prove that the plane was downed by a bomb. It smells of British. It was a British operation.

Posted by: schlub | Nov 6 2015 1:23 utc | 43

What has happened to the much vaunted Russian Aggression?
. . . haven't been hearing too much about that of late have we.

The Rumsfeldianspeak "We create our own realities" from which the Russian Aggression meme was no doubt birthed, seems to have been shock & awed into silence.
The hegemon, being (in their eyes)the undisputed military power projectionists on the planet seem to have run into "technical difficulties" - not knowing how to respond. One thing is certain - candles have burned long into the night while strategy meetings fomented (fermented ??) some sort of apparently believable response.

And so, full circle back to Rumsfeld & the modified meme - like we've been reiterating at our daily press briefings for sometime, the Russian Aggression (fully trademarked in DC) has failed. They have over reached & are now on the defensive. The "Good Guys" (also trademarked & indelibly stamped into the psyche of the west) have persevered & the Russians, while appearing to have the upper-hand on the ground in Syria, are in actual fact, on the run / scared.

Well Washington/Brussels/London/et al, you carry on in your "new" reality, while we in the real world await the next round of lies & stupidity from the next daily briefing & further Russian/Arc-of-Resistance success on the ground.


Chris in Ch-Ch

Posted by: Kiwicris |

Posted by: Kiwicris | Nov 6 2015 1:37 utc | 44


Putin doesn't have the will to carry out what US propaganda calls 'Russian Aggression', he couldn't even defend the People's Republics in East Ukraine. He did threaten Aggression against the Gulf States if they supplied SAM's to the rebels in Syria but that was probably bluff and bluster.

The Sunni people of Syria are facing a lesser Russian aggression but have responded with strength and resolve. The rebel group Jund al-Aqsa just today routed the Axis of Resistance forces from the last government controlled town, Morek, on the Aleppo/Hama road, a few days ago the Islamic State routed Axis forces from the town of Maheen in Homs province capturing a large arms depot and the town.

The Axis forces did retake their Aleppo supply route from the IS after two weeks of intense bombing and fighting but that may have required too many of their overextended forces and left them open to these other attacks and setbacks.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 6 2015 2:37 utc | 45

Wayout --

You mean the Peoples Republics in Lugansk and Donetsk? They were both still up and running, last time I looked.

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 6 2015 4:04 utc | 46

Have noticed some discussion on the number of Germans killed on the eastern front compared to those killed in other theatres. The number is between 80 - 85% on the eastern front. This is also consistent with the division-months numbers -- over 80% of German army divisions were in action on the eastern front during WWII. These numbers do not include naval and airforce losses nor civilian deaths which were almost entirely due to US and British bombing. (some things never change do they -- the US can always take the lead in killing civilians)

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 6 2015 4:11 utc | 47


'Up and running'? You mean bombed out shells missing much of their population and still under attack! They are surviving under Putin's frozen conflict state.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 6 2015 4:17 utc | 48

Coming soon: The McCain Mutiny, starring...

(Disclaimer: not real news in any sense anyway, since it's ZH, which loves to constantly quote Borg News as news)

Posted by: schlub | Nov 6 2015 4:32 utc | 49


Yes, Russia fights wars the old fashioned way, by engaging enemy forces, while the US and Britain fight their wars with propaganda and by bombing civilians and civilian infrastructure and trying to get others to do their fighting for them. (Strangely, Ukrainians are like Anglos, not Russians, here.)

Although lately, things haven't been going so well on the propaganda front: it was much easier to present Russia as being "the aggressor" in the former Ukraine than it is in Syria, where Russia is simply doing the same thing the US said it would do if it wasn't so hard: destroying ISIS and other jihadi groups.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 6 2015 4:39 utc | 50

@41 "If 60% of German casualties were from Soviet action and 2% were from American action and a roughly equivalent contribution from the Brits, who accounts for the over 30% remainder?"

This might be the case where figures are being drawn from different sources.

I would well believe a <10% casualty rate on the Western/Mediterranean fronts prior to June 1944. But the general consensus from historians is that the ratio post-D-Day ran at about 70/30% Eastern/Western front.

But its complicated: the vast bulk of Wehrmacht casualties occurred in the last 18 months of the war, and even that went up massively in the last six months when, essentially, regardless of which way the German armed forces turned they came face to face with a meat-grinder.

But working out the Eastern/Western Fronts ratio in those last six months is impossible, simply because by that stage the Germans were "too busy" to keep any records.

Most likely still in that 70/30 split, but nobody knows for sure.

But that's KIA, and probably doesn't count the numbers who died of disease/illness/whatever, which may well exceed the number KIA against the Western Allies.

So it's plausible that the split is roughly this:
70% of all casualties were KIA against the Red Army.
15% of all casualties were KIA against All Other Forces.
15% of all casualties died "of other causes" on all fronts.

Though it wouldn't take much to find figures that vary those ratios considerably. But 2% for US forces looks way too low to me.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 6 2015 4:44 utc | 51

MISINFORMATION / MISDIRECTION 101 If even Obama wants you to believe that there was a bomb on board the Russian civilian passenger aircraft downed in the Sinai then this means there wasn't. There are two competing versions: internal force and external force. The MSM wants you to believe it was internal force, that means it wasn't.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 6 2015 7:56 utc | 52

@ #50

I agree that those numbers seem cooked, and poorly cooked at that. Why someone would feel the need to exaggerate the differences between the eastern and western/Mediterranean fronts when they were already so stark is beyond me.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Nov 6 2015 8:33 utc | 53

It's forbidden to boycott israeli products in France!!

What next... obliged to buy pork when Le Pen becomes president?

Posted by: Mina | Nov 6 2015 9:26 utc | 54


"I stopped reading them [the IBTimes] when they reported that 40% of American Indians were drunks."

You're showing yourself up twice, in that statement. Once for a totally inaccurate claim about the IBTimes, and a second time for deep ignorance of the subject matter.

1) The IBTimes has never written a story claiming 40% drunkenness in American Indians. I just searched their article database.

Instead, in 2012, IBTimes reported on findings by the Indian Heath Services, showing that the rate of alcoholism among Native Americans is six times the U.S. average. ("Native Americans: The Tragedy of Alcoholism, Feb 11 2012).

The only figure with "40" in it was a mention of a reservation that is home to 40,000 people, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, whose citizens had just filed a $500-million lawsuit against beer manufacturers for the devastation that alcohol has wreaked on their community for decades.

2) As it happens, 12% of all American Indians and Alaskan Natives die from alcohol-related causes. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, problem drinking, and alcoholism are an order of magnitude higher in American Indians and Alsakan Natives than in the "median" American citizen. It turns out that it entirely reasonable to assume a massive alcoholism rate amongst American Indians.

Posted by: Chikun | Nov 6 2015 9:27 utc | 55

A Kurdish guy I knew who had daily contacts with people in Eastern Syria told me about the "yellow smoke" 2 or 3 years ago already, so it's nothing new for the locals

Posted by: Mina | Nov 6 2015 9:35 utc | 56


Nothing is going to get better until we (by which I mean all 7 billion of us on this planet) just come out and say: "Hitler was right, it's always been the Jews. They run the West in their own interests. They really are monstrously controlling, racist, bigoted, and evil. They've bankrupted the Western word, and stripped the Third World of its wealth. They ruined the Middle East. They orchestrated the destruction of Iraq and Libya and Syria and Yemen and Gaza and the West Bank and Lebanon and South Sudan. They murdered 30 million Soviet citizens after they took over the Russian Empire from 1917 to 1921. They've been milking the deaths of 150,000 people in concentration camps for 70 years, and they flat out lied about gas chambers, being poisoned by delousing powder, and the phoney "Final Solution". They ran the Atlantic slave trade, and they run the modern global slave trade. Jewish bankers steal from us, Jewish media owners lie to us and teach our kids to hate themselves, Jewish judges and lawyers destroy freedom of speech, justice, and liberty. The Jews have absolute contempt for us, and will destroy us if they can. The standard Jewish word for a gentile woman is Shiksa, literally meaning "whore". The standard Jewish word for a gentile man, Shegetz, means "abomination". The filthy, evil Jews never met a lie they didn't like, a con they didn't admire, a murder they didn't celebrate, a Palestinian whose organs they didn't want to harvest and sell. We need to deal with the Jews' evil, or we just don't value human life. We need to deal with the Jews right now."

Posted by: Julius | Nov 6 2015 9:53 utc | 57

b, do you let comments like Julius's stand just so we can shake our heads at his/her foolishness? This sort of idiot-rant needs flushing, pronto. For the record, I'm gentile. But I can see why my good jewish friends would find this ridiculous tirade offensive.

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Nov 6 2015 10:24 utc | 59

@ Rhisiart Gwilym


Posted by: b | Nov 6 2015 12:02 utc | 60

Looks like the Julius/Rhisiart HamBaconEggs show.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 6 2015 13:28 utc | 61

OT: Who Was Stepan Bandera?

Lionized as a nationalist hero in Ukraine, Stepan Bandera was a Nazi sympathizer who left behind a horrific legacy.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 6 2015 13:55 utc | 62

Wayoutwest @ 9: The Russian statement, correctly interpreted, is still informative and seems to be a somewhat irrational response to the airliner bombing.

Correctly interpreted? I am not sure if the subtle task of interpretation can be left to WoW. I will interpret step by step.

1. What did Russian say. First, they used present tense to describe sending anti-aircraft weapons -- not specified by model -- to Syria. That indicates an ongoing activity, done already in the past and to be continued in the future. The other interpretation, that it refers to a single act performed right now, is implausible. Second, Russians mention "possible hijacking" as a reason, but that does not mean much -- they are pretty fast and loose with describing reasons for what they are doing (something not unique to Russians, the difference is that they are less solemn about it).

2. What are real reasons that require anti-aircraft weapons in Syria. That is simplicity itself: check who did bomb government targets in Syria. IAF for sure, plus Turkey may do it too. KSA is a distinct possibility in the future. Since it did happen in the past, there is NOTHING irrational about bringing arms to deter it. If you think about it, the fleet apparently provides adequate defense for the coastal provinces, but IAF bombed also in Damascus area etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 6 2015 14:12 utc | 63

@ Mina | 57

Is that for real?

Why not? So much benefit is there by banning (most) of US goods.

1. There will be massive boom in trade with Iran post-sanctions, and Iran wants its enemies to get as little of that pie as possible.
2. This increases self reliance.
3. Spying issue. Its no secret most if not all US modern products have backdoors in them, why would Iran want that?

Iran will still be buying Boeings and some other equipment, but it probably be more case by case basis.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 6 2015 14:24 utc | 64

Piotr Berman @ 62

Thx for very sane/sober minded "reality check" walkthrough.

Posted by: jdmckay | Nov 6 2015 15:07 utc | 65

For what it’s worth, about 2 years ago Zurich airport did a security test. They hired some varied bozos and gave them some months to effect putting bombs on planes. Reportedly, four of their attempts were successful, with objects that mimic bombs in all their characteristics ‘cepting explosive power.

Only one cache was reported by the MSM: in a food cart. This makes sense, I have seen those carts loaded on while sitting in a plane, and I know they are not checked previous (or only cursorily or ‘spot checks.’) Nor does SwissMunch (not the real name of the Co.) carry out checks, it would gut their profit margin. (I know someone who works there.)

Special veggie Korma ordered in advance - Ka BOOM.

It doesn’t take any exceptional imagination to conjure up the other three successful plants.

The shoe bomber and the panty bomber were produced to instill the idea that individuals carry explosive materials on their person (NOT) and to re-inforce authoritarian controls for ‘safety.’ Security theatre.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 6 2015 15:34 utc | 66

@Thirdeye | 41

@harry #20

If 60% of German casualties were from Soviet action and 2% were from American action and a roughly equivalent contribution from the Brits, who accounts for the over 30% remainder?

I saw extensive studies of inflicted/suffered casualties in WWII some time ago, dont have them at hand but it should be somewhere online.

Quick look at research by R. Overmans (with the endorsement of the German Armed Forces Military History Research Office of the Federal Ministry of Defense (Germany).

Basing on this study, Nazis casualties to Soviets were actually 75%!

Now about Nazis casualties to US, UK and France: "according to the report of General George Marshall the breakdown of German and Italian losses against American, British, and French forces in the war in Europe is as follows:" Battle deaths 373,600

Comparing to total Nazis losses, its 7%. Divide that between US, UK and France, and you get each was responsible for just over 2%. Of course, some sides could have inflicted more than others, we could extrapolate from their own soldiers deaths in battles: France 210k, US 407k, UK 384k. Its likely US and UK inflicted 2,5+% of Nazi losses, while France ~1,5%.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 6 2015 15:52 utc | 67

Made one mistake above, US battle casualties of 407k were total, while Europe was just part of it. I.e. US probably lost similar amount of soldiers in EU as France did, thus US inflicted losses on Germans were closer to France than UK.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 6 2015 16:06 utc | 68

Harry;Uh,not to be a flag waver,but there was another theater of WW2 over in the Pacific,where America put on a very effective(and murderous) show.And yes,in Europe,America was a junior partner to the soviets,but did the soviets have to cross an ocean?Logistics do matter,and the USA did very well at it.And with the British,they took out or diminished the submarine threat,with a huge naval effort,in the Atlantic,and their navy in the Pacific took out the Japanese sub and surface fleet threat,which was very formidable.
No credit at all due?
Adolf's biggest mistakes;Declaring war on US and going against the Soviets before taking out Britain,which would have deprived America of their giant aircraft carrier.

Posted by: dahoit | Nov 6 2015 16:43 utc | 69

@ dahoit | 68

We were talking about Germany above, not Pacific. But of course we can address it as well - most of Japanese soldiers were killed by Chinese, while US killed mostly civilians (anyone surprised?). Other than that, at least US had a greater role in defeating Japan than Germany.

Speaking of Adolf's biggest mistake, it wasnt declaring war on US (not much diff to Germany anyway), it was attacking Russia. If only Hitler was satisfied with all of Europe and half of Asia and Africa, today we would be talking about sole superpower of Germany. Personally I dont know who would be worse in todays World, that Germany or current US.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 6 2015 17:00 utc | 70


The IBTimes projected the alcohol addictions on the Pine Ridge Rez, a small isolated group, onto the whole NA population of the US. NA people do have a higher alcoholism rate than the general population but it is only about three percentage points higher about 10% compared with the GP's about 7%, still a major problem but hardly the 7%x6=42% inferred in the article.

Your link didn't work and my info came from a National study by a USG agency.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 6 2015 17:38 utc | 71

You're the racist, G-man. You're the racist for thinking genocide doesn't matter. I'm an 'evil' white, heterosexual, Northern European male - and I cry like a woman for the Syrians, Libyans, Palestinians, and millions upon millions of others the Jews have killed.

Why don't you care about those innocents, G-man?

Posted by: poontang | Nov 6 2015 22:11 utc | 72

@67 So, basically, you have confirmed my speculation: you are cherry-picking data from different studies resulting in percentages that don't add up.

Harry, you appear to be missing the forest for the trees i.e. the percentages have to add up to 100%.

Russia inflicted 75% of the casualties (according to Overmans)
UK/USA/France inflicted 7% of the casualties (according to your reading of Marshall)

Ahem. That only adds up to 82%, meaning that you have not accounted for 12% of German casualties.

So there must have been some murderous agency out that that killed nearly six times as many German soldiers as did the Armed Forces Of The United States Of America, and that Something Else isn't accounted for in your calculations.

According to you that agency wasn't "Russia". It wasn't "America". It wasn't "Britain", and it certainly wasn't "France".

So who was it?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 6 2015 22:57 utc | 73

@Harry #67

You need to be consistent with the numbers you use. It is not valid to combine the Marshall numbers with the Overmans numbers. The Overmans numbers are confirmed and presumed dead according to German records. The Marshall numbers are confirmed German KIA according to Anglo-American records.

The Overmans numbers show about a 4:1 ratio of German deaths between the eastern and western fronts until December 1944, and an undifferentiated figure for the battles within Germany with an estimated 2:1 ratio between eastern and western fronts during the final months of the ETO. So considering about 20% of German deaths until December 1944 were on the western fronts, followed by about 30% in the final months, the figure of 25% deaths on the western fronts (3:1) is reasonable. Going by Allied casualty ratios (admittedly an uncertain methodology) the Brits and Yanks are each responsible for about 40% of the 25%, or about 10% of the total German deaths. The ratio of German deaths between eastern and western fronts is stark enough without lapsing into silly exaggeration.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Nov 6 2015 23:50 utc | 74

RG at 59 --

I largely agree. It is an offensive tirade, but I'd leave it on the record. As well as the oh-so-sensitive statement of solidarity at 72.

Which millions are we talking about here? I'd be surprised if all the Middle Eastern wars and Israeli police actions killed anywhere near a million. Maybe it's the millions that died from the Black Death -- they poisoned the wells, right?

Hate the "Christ-killers," so smack them down. And then hate them all the more when they fight back.

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 7 2015 0:29 utc | 75

@ Yeah, Right | 73

Ahem. That only adds up to 82%, meaning that you have not accounted for 12% of German casualties.

Which part of its a World War do you not understand? So if 82% was because of 4 countries, there is no one else left to commit the rest of the casualties, is thats what you are saying? :) Look up all the countries involved.

You also missed my point, i.e. how much damage on Germans was done by US vs Soviets, who really won the war vs West propaganda.

@ Thirdeye | 74

It is not valid to combine the Marshall numbers with the Overmans numbers.

Quick look up didnt show any other sources for numbers to extrapolate US inflicted damage. You are free to provide your sources, too bad I dont have extensive data at hand I studied years ago about WWII.

Brits and Yanks are each responsible for about 40% of the 25%, or about 10% of the total German deaths.

Based on what? I'm pretty sure these numbers are entirely your creation. Research numbers show different picture, none of respectable data get US anywhere near 10%. Regardless whose study you would take, US vs Soviets inflicted casualties is of massively different proportions, and that was my point about actual winner of WW2.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 7 2015 0:57 utc | 76

@76 "Which part of its a World War do you not understand?"

I suppose it would be the part about your claim that the US Military was responsible for 2% of all German killed in action, whereas you can't account for 12% of all German casualties i.e. according to you for every German soldier who was killed by a GI there were six other German soldiers who were killed by..... what, exactly?

"So if 82% was because of 4 countries, there is no one else left to commit the rest of the casualties, is thats what you are saying? :) Look up all the countries involved."

No, look up all the countries that were shooting at German soldiers.

That'd be.....
Soviet Union
United Kingdom and the Commonwealth
United States of America

The rest were minnows, even if it was a large school on minnows.

You appear to be arguing that those minnows were responsible for 12% of all German military dead, which means that they killed six times as many German soldiers as did the USA.

And that sounds plausible to you, does it?

I'm suggesting that such a proposition isn't the least bit plausible.

I'm suggesting that if you want to tally the number of Germans who were Killed In Action then the contribution of USSR+UK+USA+France should equal 100%, or as near enough as to make no difference.

You are quoting values that doesn't come close to 100%. Indeed, you have a shortfall of around 12%, and the only plausible conclusion is that you have made the mistake of comparing apples with oranges i.e. you have drawn your conclusions from two different studies that are not directly comparable.

You. Have. To. Make. The. Numbers. Add. Up. To. 100%

You haven't done that yet, and you show no signs that you can.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 7 2015 2:06 utc | 77

@Harry #76

The lack of other readily-available statistical sources is not a justification for using one that is not comparable. The two statistical bases are, as Yeah Right said in post #77, like apples and oranges. Your insistence on using oranges (Marshall) when you need apples (Overman) results in your faulty total of 82%, which should be a big red flag to anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with statistics. You need your total to add up to 100%, and the further you are from that the less confidence in your analysis. An 18% discrepancy is unacceptable. It shows a huge error in your methodology.

Funny that you should object to using British and American casualty figures as an estimate of the relative portions of German casualties those forces caused when it is the same method that you used. That's ok, I'm not married to it. Another way to look at it is to compare the levels of British and American forces on the continent, which suggest that over twice as many American as British forces were engaging the Germans from late 1944 on, with proportional allotment of German casualties. Whatever. The bottom line is that somewhere in the neighborhood of 25% of German casualties occurred in the west and quite possibly the majority of that 25% resulted from the action of the American forces.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Nov 7 2015 2:52 utc | 78

Comment w/ George Galloway: Has Blair really apologized for Iraq War?

Tony Blair has denied ordering the burning of crucial Iraq War documents that are believed to have argued, weeks before the invasion of Iraq, that the war would be illegal.

The results of the British public inquiry into the 2003 invasion has again been postponed until as late as 2016. Earlier, Tony Blair said he apologized that the intelligence he received was wrong in the run-up to the war. Blair's so-called apology has drawn heavy criticism from observers worldwide, who say Blair has grossly disregarded his responsibility for one of the most controversial wars in recent times.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 7 2015 3:07 utc | 79

" If only Hitler was satisfied with all of Europe and half of Asia and Africa, today we would be talking about sole superpower of Germany"

Ah, but that's the thing about Hitler.... he would never be satisfied. I've heard similar sort of suggestions - there's a particularly amusing one from the House Select Committee on Assassinations in an interview of James Jesus Angleton.

Angleton calls Hitler a man with "race problems" which I would have to call the understatement of the century. That really had me laughing. But his point was that if Hitler had made his effort more against "the Soviet Union" as a ideology and entity, and less about the wholesale slaughter and enslavement of the civillians there, he may have won against the USSR. The idea being, to Angleton, that the Soviet citizens wouldn't fight so hard for communism. But, Angleton explains, because of his "race issues", he of course wanted to annaihilate the population which made it a fight for survival.

Those who brought Hitler to power - those in the US, those in Germany, those in the UK and elsewhere - wanted him because they were impressed by his ruthlessness and his willingness to lie and murder. And that's what they got. Exactly that. That they might have hoped later, as Angleton did, that there was rationality tucked away in this psychopath they supported - well, it simply didn't exist.

Its the exact same story, sadly, being played out in the sands of Syria today.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 7 2015 3:23 utc | 80

I find it puzzling that WWII casualty figures should somehow be so difficult to obtain and analyze.

From the Eastern and Western Front Wikis, total killed --

Eastern Front
Greater Germany --- 4,300,000
Total ---------------- 5,178,000+

Soviet --------------- 10,600,000
Total ---------------- 10,651,000

All Deaths ----------- 15,829,000

Western Front
Allies --------------- 307,990
Axis ---------------- 306,110
All deaths ---------- 611,400

The Eastern Front Wiki breaks it down by allied nationalities as well, nice table.

These figures should provide a clear indication of the magnitude of the Great Patriot War on the Eastern Front. Stalingrad and Kursk are the turning points. The Normandy invasion, while a superb feat of courage and logistics, was in the order of a mopping up, and getting some boots on the ground in advance of peace negotiations.

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 7 2015 3:49 utc | 81

As long as we're talking WW2, I came across these psychotics the other day. A battalion fielded by the German Army composed of hard core criminals and commanded by a paedophile. Along side (surprise) Ukrainian Nationalist units, these criminals were unleashed to do their worst in Belarus and in Warsaw with results that you'd expect. Even other SS murderers were shocked with their behavior.

These are the German troops portrayed in the amazing Soviet anti-war film Come and See.

The lessons of the effectiveness of aimless brutality wasn't lost on the US. Though that Nazi unit did bring to my mind the CIA's alliance with gangsters and criminals in Cuba, the best analogy on the US side are the "Provincial Recon Units" that the US filled up with the detritus of South Vietnam's prison system. These "PRCs" are the units that did the killing for the CIA's Operation Phoenix - a long operation to capture and/or murder those South Vietnamese civillians who supported or sympathized with the Communists.

And of course this is what we're seeing in Syria and Iraq today - the Saudis are turning out their prisons, giving them weapons and a flight to Iraq/Syria. This is an amazing method of war fighting, and it should, frankly, be included in the Geneva Conventions as a war crime: to field units of rapists and murderers.

I am convinced that the alliance formed between capitalism and the criminal underworld - an alliance that has seen the rise of all sorts of vicious groups from the SA in 1930s Europe to ISIS today is one of the most important historical phenomenon of the 20th Century. Whatever you want to say about Communism - they cracked down on criminality in their countries (as threats to their own power, no doubt). The US seems to have supported it at every turn, using hiding these snakes under the solid rock of "anti-Communism".

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 7 2015 4:30 utc | 82

@ Yeah, Right | 77

other German soldiers who were killed by..... what, exactly?

Why you repeating same thing over and over again instead of looking up the countries involved? And no, those 4 countries werent the only ones fighting, nor responsible for ~100% German casualties.

Since you refuse to look up these other actors, here is a list for you: Yugoslavia (were highly successful against Nazis), Poland, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, lots of partisans from German/Italy occupied countries, etc.

And same point for you and Thirdeye: Americans themselves are claiming they killed 373,600, together with UK and France.

Let this sink in, both of you are claiming its wrong, are you implying US is lying and deliberately lowering how many Nazis they killed? Your logic doesnt make any sense, why would Americans do it? They do lie how many civilians or POWs they kill, but why on Earth they would lie about killed Nazi soldiers?

Challenge for you both: take that number of 373,600, and then take total Nazi casualties by any study you choose, and then do the math how many US killed. If you dont like the math - not my problem, if you have better sources than US itself - you are most welcome to provide it.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 7 2015 5:46 utc | 83

These wars, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and others, have been a raging success. Unmitigated success.

Yemen and Syria are works in progress, but substantially complete in Syria, and getting there in Yemen.

What was for a thousand years is not longer, and cannot be recovered.

Oded Yinon understates the actual intent.

Erasing the History of the 'Middle East' is what this is about.

There have been no failures.

Posted by: Joseph | Nov 7 2015 6:24 utc | 84

@Harry #83

Your laundry list does nothing to account for the 18% discrepancy that arises from your defective methodology. Poland was on the eastern front. Czechoslovakia was occupied without firing a shot and it was on the eastern front. Germany rolled over Greece, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark with trivial casualties. The conflict in Yugoslavia was fought mostly between the Nazi puppet regime and those who opposed it, and it was in the east anyway.

The Marshall numbers that you cite for western front casualties are for confirmed German KIA in allied records. The Overmans numbers, which are the only ones that provide a basis for comparison of eastern and western front German casualties, are for confirmed KIA and missing presumed dead (a significant number of which died in captivity in the east) from German records. Apples and oranges. The casualty records from the side experiencing the casualties are inherently more reliable than those recording enemy casualties. The Overmans numbers indicate 75% casualties on the eastern front, 25% on the western fronts (Africa, Italy, France, and western Germany). That simply cannot be reconciled with your claim that Anglo-American forces accounted for only 7% of German casualties.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Nov 7 2015 8:24 utc | 85

@83 "And same point for you and Thirdeye: Americans themselves are claiming they killed 373,600, together with UK and France."

Harry, you are comparing Marshall's figures for the Western Front with Overman's figures for the Eastern front.

It should be obvious that due-diligence requires you to also compare Overman's figures for the Western Front with Marshall's figure for the Western Front.

Obviously so, because if those two figures don't match then we definitely do have a problem of the Apples Vs Oranges kind.

Marshall (total): 373,600
Overman (to end of 1944): 339,957

But you have a problem: Overman also lists total German casualties in 1945 at 1,230,045 with an estimated 75/25 split, which gives an estimate for the 1945 "Western Front" figure of 307,500.

So according to Overman the "Western Front" total most comparable with Marshall is this:
Overman (1944): 339,957
Overman (1945): 307,500
Overman (total): 647,457

Which means that you have a problem of the Apples and Oranges kind.

Indeed, it gets worse: if you look again at Overman then he lists 166,726 for Italy+North Africa, which brings the total for "Western Allies" to 814,183

There is also the "sea and air" casualties of 245,561 though I have no idea what the USSR/USA+UK split would be there, but it would push the "Western Allies" figure up near the 1 million mark.

But there is more: Overman includes in his figures a confirmed total of 459,475 dead PoW plus an estimated 700,000 "other deaths" that had actually died as PoW.

That means that there are 1,195,475 German soldiers who died *after* being removed from the conflict, and I suggest it is a fair assumption that the overwhelming majority of those deaths occurred at the hands of the USSR (whose treatment of PoW was appalling) rather than at the hands of the Western Allies.

Adding them into the "Eastern Front" casualty list (as Overman does and, therefore, so do you) is a thoroughly misleading metric of "total positive impact on WWII outcome", precisely because they were already PoWs, and so were already Out Of The Fight.

Remember, Overman was tasked with measuring "German casualties", he wasn't claiming that his figures were a measure of "Positive Impact on WWII Outcome".

So while it was valid for him to include those 1,195,475 German casualties into his figures, you should be excluding them from yours.

Apples and Oranges.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 7 2015 10:16 utc | 86

The always excellent Bhadrakumar, and related to what I was saying in @5: Putin reconnects with Turkey’s Erdogan.

Posted by: fairleft | Nov 7 2015 11:26 utc | 87

@ Thirdeye, Yeah, Right

I see its English language understanding issue with you both. I said - "take total Nazi casualties by any study you choose", and yet you continue yo insist its Marshall's apples and Overman's oranges. Wait what? Pick official US numbers, and ANY (a-n-y) research of total Nazis casualties, and extrapolate whats the % of total were killed by US. That would be the hardest numbers you can get about it. Forget Overman, forget for a second casualties inflicted by Soviets or whomever.

You have hard numbers by US, which you inexplicably reject purely on basis that you cant believe US wasnt as great vs Nazis as you choose to believe. My guess is, you both are so overwhelmed by Western propaganda since childhood years, that you cant accept US own numbers. "It must be much more than that!" Why? "Because we believe so!"

Instead of splitting hairs over assumptions and non-definite vague interpretations, use the actual US numbers, or present other source than Marshall's, which you dont have. So we go round and round, you dont accept US official kills, but have nothing else to offer than your opinions.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 7 2015 13:01 utc | 88

Oddly, having presented a suitable dataset does not seem to have resolved the matter. As Harry (at 88) rightly notes, the "splitting hairs over assumptions and... vague interpretations" continues.

So using the Wikidata, let's do the math, Barflies. The College of Higher Knowledge is now in session, welcome to Historical Statistics 101. This material will be on the exam.

As I understand it, Marshall presents US Forces casualties and kills, Overman includes all combatants, as well as civilian deaths; apples, oranges, and maybe even plums and pears. So it seems that the combat death figures presented by the Wikis on the Eastern and Western Fronts are a suitable and manageable dataset.

First, let's correct the data I presented above. The Western Front does not differentiate; all deaths are listed as "Axis" vs. "Allies." The Eastern Front wiki conveniently broke out Germans vs. Romanians, Italians, etc. on the front. The relevant data is below.

Total Axis deaths on the Eastern Front ---- 5,178,000 ---- 94.42 pct.
Total Axis deaths on the Western Front ----- 306,110 ----- 5.58 pct.
Total, all fronts ---------------------------- 5,484,110

Someone above noted an 80/20 split in German divisions deployed. The somewhat more rigorous nature of the war of extermination fought by the fascists in the East I believe would easily account higher losses there.

So the bottom line of the data here is -- as noted quite early on, the Soviets "did the heavy lifting" in the Great Patriotic War.

This would actually make the relative American kill rate for the West a minor detail. For the Western front, the figure is conveniently broken down by pre- and post-Normandy.

pre-invasion Axis deaths ----- 43,100
post-invasion Axis deaths --- 263,000

Now, this being a simple stats course, and not a Historical Methodology seminar, we need to make a down and dirty assumption. No doubt, somewhere in the Internet ether we could find force levels and/or casualty figures. I could even dig it out of earlier posts.

But let us simplistically use the distribution of beaches on D-Day to attribute casualties. There were two U.S., two British, and one Canadian. Assuming the U.S. killed 40 pct. yields the following.

US. kills --- 105,200
all others -- 157,800

As a percent of total Axis deaths, Eastern and Western Fronts, the US killed 1.92 pct. of all Axis soldiers.

For liberal arts types for whom this is too much math, here's a convenient article by a recent author on the makes clear the Soviet contriubution to the defeat of fascism, We must not forget how war was won.

German forces were defeated not by the sheer numbers (by 1943 millions of Soviet soldiers were dead or captive and the Red Army was desperate for men), but by the inventive tactics and sturdy technology of their enemy.

Astute readers will note that the Guardian published this 10 years ago; it's even less of a popular position now, oddly enough....

Let me note, on the point that started all this, we were a victor in the Pacific. While our late contribution to the war against the Reich were merely helpful, American firepower and landing forces finally defeated Japan. The article cited above notes, however, we're inclined to overlook the sacrifices made by China in her long war against Japanese aggression.

Class dismissed and the bar reopened! The mode of the dataset of all MoA drink orders for the house!

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 7 2015 16:51 utc | 89

This seems to be a good spot to note the anniversary of the October Revolution. Red Star Over Donbass has a consideration by Bulgarian Communists, very nice graphic, 'October Revolution created the conditions for true independence'

Before the eyes of millions of workers around the world, the Soviet Union created powerful industry, developed agriculture, provided citizens with free education and health care, and made culture accessible to everyone.

The October Revolution created the conditions for true independence of nations that chose the path of socialism and communism.

Today we are experiencing difficult years.... Bulgaria and the former socialist countries in Europe have become dependent on external financial manipulations and turned into bargaining chips in the political game of the big countries. The threat to peace is a reality, the world is unsustainable, economic crises -- public and private -- are routine. In pursuit of bogus dividends, the capitalist political elite sell themselves and their countries.

Communists in Kiev defied the junta, and marched in commemoration of the city's liberation from the Nazis 72 years ago.

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 7 2015 22:04 utc | 90

Wow..... Anybody who refers to scrutiny of data sources as "splitting hairs" while making a statistical argument is showing their own unfitness for making statistical arguments. It's basic social science. Confirmed enemy KIA per Marshall are a subset of total KIA, which are unknowable to the side counting enemy KIA. Loss records are the best data available and they provide the foundation of the Overmans estimates. "Forget about Overmans" is a completely unjustified argument. When two data sources are as inconsistent as those used by Marshall and Overmans, we are compelled to exercise judgment on which one is most suitable. Because of the inherent shortcomings in the Marshall numbers described above we are compelled to go with Overmans.

The OKW War Diary loss figures up to January 1945 (per Schramm) are consistent with the Overmans estimates up to December 1944 regarding the portions of German losses on the eastern and western fronts. They both show an 80%/20% east-west split. Assumptions made about whether that portion changed (per Overmans) in the last months of the war could result in a 75%/25% split by the end of the war. That possible 5% difference is all that can be legitimately debated. Playing games with data sets that are incomparable cannot change that and only serve to show that those who play them are out of their depth on basic methodology.

While the effort in the west was in no way comparable to the effort in the east, it was far more than a "mop up operation." You can bet that the 255,000 Axis troops who were taken prisoner in Tunisia in May 1943 would have been appreciated by the 980,000 strong German force at Kursk a couple of months later. The commitment of Panzer armies to Normandy, particularly at Caen and Mortain, definitely simplified Soviet planning for Operation Bagration. The commitment of German forces to the Ardennes was a factor in the German collapse in the face of the Soviet winter offensive. The 1943 air campaign, costly and ineffective as it was as strategic bombing, did have the effect of forcing the Luftwaffe to defend the homeland, taking away the German aerial advantage in the east.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Nov 7 2015 22:43 utc | 91

3rd Eye at 91 --

The Nazis lose momentum at Stalingrad and the Soviets definitely get at Kursk. Eastern Front Wiki says "The Germans' final strategic offensive in the Soviet Union ended with their defense against a major Soviet counteroffensive that lasted into August." This would have been in summer of 1943.

Instead of talking about this 80/20 split from the Wehrmacht High Command Diary, what is Overman's data for the losses? Or where might it be found? I've presented actual data of a much different death ratio. What is being measured? "Losses" may well include captured. If you were a Nazi, you were much more likely to want to surrender to the Allies, rather than the Soviets, due to the nature of the war in the East.

The war in the East, after Jun. 1944, if not before, is a controlled evacuation in good order to the Fatherland, in the hope that at least some survivors will be able to surrender to the British and Americans.

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 8 2015 0:14 utc | 92

Ah here it is, never mind. Wiki conveniently discusses German casualties in World War II.

The figures reported by the Wehrmacht High Command are in error, as according to Overman the reporting system broke down. If you were a Wehrmacht statistician, loath to give the leadership bad news, it's easy to see why you might allow this to continue.

Wiki discusses his methodology in correcting earlier figures using surveys of various records. It seems reasonable, but I am not qualified to discuss how robust it is. But I would note it is an attempt at correcting a figure thought to have been under-reported by the High Command.

He gets a total of 5,318,531 military deaths. His distribution as to front differs, he has the Western Allies killing 339,957 before 1 Jan. 1945. One could question his two-to-one split on the distribution this third of a million. And his total also includes the other fronts, e.g. Africa, Italy, etc. The reported prisoner deaths are likely to heavily break to the Eastern Front.

At this point, I see no reason not to accept the estimates offered by the particular sites on the two fronts.

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 8 2015 1:47 utc | 93

The Wehrmacht had a vital interest in knowing true losses and underreporting them would have been counter to that interest. The Germans were nothing if not top-notch record keepers. At least until the chaos became severe enough within Germany to disrupt it in the final weeks of the war.

If what you say is true about a greater portion of Germans surrendering in the west, that implies more effectiveness of Anglo-American forces at neutralizing German forces, not reflected in the casualty figures. It doesn't matter whether the troops die or go into captivity, the forces are lost. But from what I've seen so far, lumping captured with missing-presumed-dead and confirmed dead doesn't seem to change the proportions of losses.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Nov 8 2015 2:18 utc | 94

3rd Eye at 94 --

It highlights the fact that the fascists feared the treatment they would get from the Russians, who had born the full brunt of Nazi atrocities. Only a small fraction of von Paulus' surrendered command survived internment, for example. Summary justice was apparently a problem as well.

You are aware that Hitler spent much of the later part of the war denying reality? That he was as high as kite helped, of course. He only authorized withdrawals with reluctance and tirades.

I rather doubt if the data offered on the other Wiki pages is pulled out of thin air, so I'm inclined to stay with the figures I presented. As I suggested above, Overman's revision added something like a million to the OKW figures, if memory serves.

I think it reasonable to be apprehensive of a study with a methodology difficult to evaluate (what areas did they sample, were they more or less likely to have sent troops, to which front?) which in itself marks a significant correction. Others may make different choices.

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 8 2015 6:47 utc | 95

@rufus #95

That's true about the Germans being more likely to fight to the death in the east. It's an argument for using the total losses, dead + wounded + surrendered rather than just dead as a metric for the effectiveness of the opposing force. That would also provide an end run around the issue of how many missing were killed vs. how many were captured that is impossible to resolve in many cases, particularly on the eastern front where so many died in captivity.

Hitler was denying reality but that does not mean OKW was doing the same. There are plenty of accounts from German commanders of how Hitler responded to hard numbers that contradicted his fantasies.

The Overmans study reported some pretty high statistical confidence and is certain to have been peer-reviewed by statisticians. That's standard procedure for such major scholarly works. I don't think any of us here are in a position to offer a statistical critique of the Overmans study. It's the most recent study and the most complete one to date.

I'd be curious to know Overmans' justification for allocating 1/3 of the German casualties in 1945 to the western front when through 1944 it had been 1/5. But in the big picture it only results in a 5% difference, so it doesn't change it that much. 1945 also saw some spectacular mass surrenders in the west, for example 300,000 out of 400,000 defending the Ruhr in April.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Nov 8 2015 21:37 utc | 96

Churchill and Bomber harris founded aerial attacks on civilians in cities

The Blitz..who really started it:

"It began in 1940 and Churchill believed it held the secret of victory. He was convinced that raids of sufficient intensity could destroy Germany’s morale, and so his War Cabinet planned a campaign that abandoned the accepted practice of attacking the enemy’s armed forces and, instead made civilians the primary target. Night after night, RAF bombers in ever increasing numbers struck throughout Germany, usually at working class housing, because it was more densley packed." – The Peoples’ War, Angus Calder. London, Jonathan Cape, 1969.

"Hitler only undertook the bombing of British civilian targets reluctantly three months after the RAF had commenced bombing German civilian targets. Hitler would have been willing at any time to stop the slaughter. Hitler was genuinely anxious to reach with Britain an agreement confining the action of aircraft to battle zones.

Posted by: brian | Nov 8 2015 22:21 utc | 97

I have to say I stopped contributing when I read this:
Harry: "Forget Overman, forget for a second casualties inflicted by Soviets or whomever."

So Harry wants to argue about the split in total Wehrmacht casualties between the Soviets versus the Western Allies, but he wants to "forget" about the one study that uses the same methodology to examine..... the split in total Wehrmacht casualties between the Soviets versus the Western Allies.

Thirdeye: "Wow"

Ya' not wrong....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 8 2015 22:23 utc | 98

@96 " It's an argument for using the total losses, dead + wounded + surrendered rather than just dead as a metric for the effectiveness of the opposing force."

This goes back to a point I was making earlier: over a million of the German soldiers who died "on the Eastern front" actually died while being held as PoWs i.e. they were already hors de combat.

So they count as a "Wermacht casualties", sure, they do.

But they tell us very little about the relative contribution of the Soviet Union versus the Western Allies to the defeat of Germany, for the simple reason that those Western Allies weren't in the habit of killing their prisoners.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 8 2015 22:34 utc | 99

YR at 99 --

Nor were the Germans subjecting Western prisoners to death camps.

3rdeye --

I'm not saying one is wrong in accepting Overman. But I do think there are good grounds to hold other figures are correct.

I looked at the discussion notes for the "German Casualty" Wiki, nothing there suggested to me his figure was necesarily definitive. As you see, there are overlapping datasets and varied assumptions, with experts in both camps. Aas well of course the problem of the completeness of any individual dataset.

Since Overman's partisans have not produced a nice summary, it's a little difficult to say what the precise variance between the two figures might be.

It was in the notes that found the author, Overy, of The Guardian article cited above. He seems to have had a recent look at the numbers as well. While he would not put it as strong as I might, he stresses the importance of the Soviet contribution.

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 8 2015 23:41 utc | 100

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