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Cheating at Statistics 16: Back in the MiusSR

I explored the overclaim of German tank forces at the Mius Front previously, but Nipe's book is a gift that keeps on giving. For instance, the depiction he gets from German sources of the attack on July 22nd against Kalinovka hits every trope in the book: "swarms" and "waves" of Red Army forces, "deadly 88s" (Nipe goes on for an entire paragraph about using the Flak 36 to destroy T-34s from 3000-3500 meters, while actual anti-tank manuals instructed German artillerymen that it took 2-3 shots to hit a T-34 at 500-600 meters). The artistic description of the attack goes on for quite some time until we get to the part we care about: "The losses were ignored, until, in less than an hour, 130 burning or immobilized T-34s dotted the landscape in front of the high ground".

Well, if you dream, dream big. 130 tanks out of the 140 Nipe claims the Soviet attacked with! Seeing as how a Soviet mechanized corps consists of only 117 tanks (69 of them T-34s), that's an enormous loss delivered on just one day. Let's take it all the way to the top and see what the Southern Front has to say about such an enormous setback.

"Losses of our forces on July 22nd, 1943
  • Men:
    • Killed: 216
    • Wounded: 919
    • Missing: 8
  • Horses
    • Killed and wounded: 8
  • Materiel
    • Guns: 3
    • Tanks: 5
    • Planes: 22
Losses in tanks over 6 days of fighting from July 17th to July 22nd, 1943: 180 tanks in total. Of those 96 were lost irreparably (4 KV, 65 T-34, 25 T-70, 2 T-60)."

So much for 130 burning and immobilized T-34s. Not only is this figure leaps and bounds higher than actual Soviet losses, it's extremely unlikely that 72% of losses from almost a week of fighting would come from just an hour long engagement. When you consider 30-40 tanks from the 4th Guards Mechanized Corps that were allegedly knocked out the day before and the 78 tanks claimed on July 17th, this figure becomes less and less believable.

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