At the parliamentary hearings on the topic “Patriotic education of Russian citizens:“ The Immortal Regiment ”in February of this year, deputy Nikolay Zemtsov in the report-presentation reported“ sensational ”figures of Soviet losses: nearly 42 million Soviet people died in the Great Patriotic War.
Denial of "sensation", unfortunately, was not followed either by deputies or by professional historians. At first it was understandable - in preparing and conducting the noblest action “Immortal Regiment”, there was no wish to blame Nikolai Zemtsov, one of its organizers. But then the figures cited by him began to actively use to defend the Red Army and denounce the inhumanity of its command the adherents of the thesis of the “excessive price of Victory” (Igor Chubais in the “60 Minutes” program, Pavel Gutiontov in the article “Victory makes a bill”, Boris Sokolov in various interviews and etc.). There are no public refutations of the “new” numbers of Soviet casualties in the war from Rosstat, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, or professional historians.
It turned out that the author of the “discoveries” was the creator and moderator of the Soldat.ru site, Igor Ivlev, who fruitfully engaged in search work in the Arkhangelsk region. But he in vain took up the calculations of human losses. The content of his work “The loss of the population of the USSR in 1941 – 1945. Losses of servicemen and civilians during the period of the Great Patriotic War ”shows that the author’s knowledge is insufficient for a correct assessment. Consider the main mistakes Ivleva.
The components of the sensation
The casualties (F) of the entire population of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War are calculated using the formula known in demography:
P = ΔN + P - Y ± M,
where ΔН = (НН - НК) is the decline in the population of the country;
NN (NK) - the population at the beginning (end) of the war;
P is the number of births during the war;
Y is the number of deaths at the “normal” mortality rate;
M - amendment to migration and territorial changes.
In Ivlev's calculations, the last factor is not taken into account at all, and the remaining terms of the above formula are determined with gross errors.
The population at the beginning of the war (NN) Ivlev estimated at 205 millions of people. This is refuted by the simplest demographic calculations. According to estimates, based on the January 1939 census and taking into account the subsequent increase due to new territories, the population of the USSR as of January 1940 was 193 – 195 million people. This means that, according to Ivlev's calculations, in a year and a half (from January 1940-th to the end of June 1941-th) increased by 10 – 12 million. The annual growth is equal to 7 – 8 to millions of people - 3,5 – 4 percent of the country's population. But according to official statistics and demographic calculations, it has never exceeded two percent during the entire XX century.
The error lies in the counting method. The population of the USSR at the beginning of the war (205 002 405 people) Ivlev determined by summing up the Central Directorate of National Economic Accounting (TsUNKHU) of the USSR State Plan (199 920 100 people) and Marshal of the Soviet Union Matthew Zakharov about military personnel (5 XNUMNN)
But the interpretation of the first term as the exclusively civilian population of the USSR is speculation. In 1940 and 1941, records were kept according to the census. It also includes the number of military personnel. The certificate of the head of TsUNHU Ivan Sautin dated February 10, 1939 reads: 52 people - the urban population, 376 - rural residents, 962 people were transferred in a special order to the NKVD and the People’s Commissariat of Defense (106 of them were in the army and the fleet), 2 - in remote areas of the Far North. In total - 330 000 167 people. In addition, during the control rounds, 305 people were included in the control forms, in addition to those included in the census forms. After rechecking, the final number of the population of the USSR as of January 749, 4 was determined at 452. Initially, the army and navy were supposed to be issued in a separate line for the results for the republics, territories and regions. On this occasion, a letter was sent to Vyacheslav Molotov from the people's commissars of defense and the Navy Voroshilov and Frinovsky and the chief of TsUNHU Sautin with a proposal to show the previously published official number of the army and navy in 311 people, and to distribute the difference between it and the actual results of the census of military personnel by republic , edges and areas. In the final tables, the number of military personnel is not separately indicated. It is distributed by adding the corresponding numbers to the republican, regional and regional census results.
In 1940 and 1941, the statistical offices in the regions added to the census data, which took into account military personnel, the increase over the past period after the event. Thus, the total population of the USSR was calculated. In particular, the total figure of 199,9 million people on 1 July 1941 of the year is obtained as follows. The population of the USSR at the beginning of 1939 of the year according to the census was 170,6 million, and taking into account the territories attached to 1939 – 1940-m (21,3 million) - 191,9 million. The increase in the USSR population in 1939 is 3,8 million, in 1940 is 2,8 million, in the first half of 1941, 1,4 million people. Total for the time from the census to the beginning of the war - 8 millions.
We note that Ivlev contrasts his calculations with the figure given in the book “Russia and the USSR in the Wars of the Twentieth Century” (196,7 million people), which was published in 2001 by the Provisional Scientific Team (HSC) of military historians under the leadership of Colonel-General Grigory Krivosheev. VNK was created in March 1989 by a Resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU to clarify the losses of soldiers and civilians of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War. The total population losses of the USSR were estimated by the staff of the Demography Department of the Research Institute of the USSR State Statistical Committee Andreev, Darskiy and Kharkiv (hereinafter referred to as ADH), who had been doing research in this area for many years. In connection with the work of the VNK, the leadership of the State Statistics Committee of the USSR removed the security classification from the population data stored in the Central State Archive of the National Economy of the USSR. The results of OWC in this part are published in the works of ADH.History population of the USSR: 1920 – 1959 years ”(edition of 1990 of the year) and“ Population of the Soviet Union: 1922 – 1991 ”(1993) - judging by the content of Ivlev's works, he is not familiar with these books. The authors describe in detail how the figure (26,6 of a million people) in Soviet casualties in a war was obtained. In particular, after a thorough analysis of the 1939 census, ADH concluded that the official figures are too high. In the USSR, on 1 in January, 1939 was not 170,6 million, but 168,5 million people (by the way, many demographers argue that at that date the population of the USSR was even smaller - between 167 and 168 millions). The population of the territories attached to the USSR in 1939 – 1940 years, ADH determined in 20,2 million. With their account in the USSR on January 1 1939, according to calculations ADH, there were188,7 million people. Accordingly, by the beginning of the war, the country's population due to growth (8 million) is estimated at 196,7 million, which is 8,3 million people less than the corresponding Ivlev figure.
The estimated population of the USSR at the end of the war (NK - 169,8 million on 1 July 1945-th) almost coincides with the data of ADH (170,5 million on 1 January 1946-th), obtained by shifting the ages from the 1959 census. But Ivlev rejects him. He writes: “... the state commission, ignoring or not finding the documents of the USSR State Planning Committee, used the methodically incorrect way of calculating the so-called back and forth movement from the reference indicators.” This is an incompetent, amateurish opinion. The age-shifting method (in the West, it is called the component method) was developed by the famous American demographer Pascal Welpton, who headed the United Nations Demography Division in 50. The method is considered to be one of the most effective tools for forecasting demographic processes, including the assessment of casualties during the war years. Using the age shift method, the total population of the USSR (170,5 million) was estimated on 31 December 1945 of the year and the number of generations born before 22 June 1941 of the year (159,5 million people).
Ivlev went the other way. The population of the USSR at the end of the war (169 809 524 man) he determined by summing up the data of republican statisticians (151 165 200) with the number of aircraft (12 839 800) and displaced persons (5 804 524 people). The population size at the end of the war could not be determined by the population census 1939 of the year due to uncontrolled wartime migration of people, the inability to determine the number of births and deaths in the occupied territories. Therefore, the figures given by Ivlev were obtained in the only possible way at that time - an indicative calculation of the actual urban and rural population. It is clear that the personnel of the Red Army (much of which by 1 July 1945 was outside the USSR) and displaced persons who were at that time outside the country are not covered by these calculations. Therefore, methodically counting Ivlev of the USSR population by July 1, 1945, is correct. Its accuracy is not higher than the accuracy of the ADH, since the data on the population of the RSFSR, Moldavian and Karelian-Finnish SSR are designated by the republican statistics departments as approximate or preliminary.
The number of births (R) during the war years (17,6 million people) Ivlev calculated as follows: according to the document, the CSB determined that in 1941, in the RSFSR, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, 2,9 a million people were born. Then, in proportion to the population, he extrapolated this data to the entire territory of the USSR and received 4,4 for a million children in 1941. And by a simple multiplication by four, the total number of births in the USSR during the war years (from 1 July 1941-th to 1 July 1945-th) was established.
In these calculations there are three rough assumptions. Since August 1941, a number of regions of the RSFSR have been partially or fully occupied by the Germans and no information on the birth rate has been received by the CSB. Therefore, information from the archived Centrostat document cannot be considered reliable. Further, it is incorrect to distribute data on the birth rate in the territories indicated in the document over the entire territory of the USSR, since, say, the Baltic states lagged far behind the RSFSR, the Caucasian and Central Asian republics. Thirdly, one cannot extrapolate the birth rate in 1941 for the next years of the war.
Studies show the non-linear nature of changes in the birth rate in the USSR during the war. According to a number of demographers (Boris Urlanis, Alexander Kvashi, Vladimir Gelfand, etc.), in 1941, it was slightly different from the birth rate of the prewar 1940, but in 1943 was twice as low and began to grow slowly in 1944. According to the former head of the Center for Social Demography of ISPI RAS, Doctor of Economic Sciences Leonid Rybakovsky (the book “Human losses of the USSR and Russia in the Great Patriotic War, 2001), about 15 million people were born during the war. Thus, the number of Ivlev is overestimated by more than two million.
It is important to note that the inability to correctly calculate this forced the ADH to modify the algorithm for estimating the total population loss so as to exclude those born during the war. For this, ADH set the number of generations born before the war (159,5 million) at the end of the war, and the total population losses of the USSR were calculated using the formula:
P = ΔН1 - U1 + ΔUD
where: ΔН1 = (НН - НК1) is the decline in the population of the USSR from the generations born before the start of the war;
NK1 - the number at the end of the war generations born before the outbreak of war;
У1 - the number of deaths from generations born before the start of the war, with the "normal" mortality rate;
ΔUD is the excess of infant mortality during the war over infant mortality in “normal” conditions.
The number of deaths (Y) in the war (10,8 million) Ivlev received, using the same rough assumptions as in the counting of births. But his main mistake was that he counted the number of “naturally” dead, and it was necessary to count the number of dead at the “normal” mortality rate. The latter concept is much broader than “natural mortality”. In normal conditions of life of any state, except for mortality from natural causes, life is claimed by occupational injuries, murder and suicide, traffic accidents, fires, and emergency situations. In order to correctly assess the impact of war on the level of casualties, it is necessary to exclude mortality not only for natural reasons, but also for all others, except those caused by war. Therefore, the death rate of a pre-war year is taken as the “normal” level. In our demographics for the Great Patriotic War, the peaceful 1940 year was adopted as the “normal” level, when 4,2 million people died. Consequently, in four years the “normal” mortality of the USSR population would be 16,8 million, which is six million more than the “natural” loss calculated by Ivlev.
ADH counted the “normal” mortality not of the entire population of the USSR, but of the generations born before the start of the war. It turned out 11,9 million. In addition, they calculated that in the war of children died on 1,3 million more than in "normal" conditions. However, for some reason, Ivlev believes that the latter figure is an estimate of infant mortality during the war years. This is not so: it shows only “redundancy” - the excess of the number of dead children compared with pre-war.
The considered errors say that the total overstatement of the total population losses was at least 13 million people. If everything is fixed, then the total losses (P) of the population of the USSR will be equal:
P = (199,9 million - 169,8 million) + 15 million - 16,8 million = 28,3 million people.
ADH has a total loss (P) of the population of the USSR almost two million lower:
P = (196,7 million - 159,5 million) - 11,9 million + 1,3 million = 26,6 million.
The difference is mainly explained by the ADH adjustment of the population of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the war in the direction of decreasing. It should be noted that when counting losses, they estimated external migration during the war years and after it to 622 thousands of people, but in reality, as a result of emigration and post-war population movements during the territorial changes, much more citizens left the USSR. Consequently, the country's casualties in the war are less than 26,6 million people — roughly in the 23 – 25 million range.
Western Formula Account
The irretrievable losses of the Red Army, Igor Ivlev, estimates at 19,5 a million military personnel, and this cannot be considered correct, since it does not correlate with the estimates of the losses of the male population of the country. Demographer Vladimir Gelfand and ADH independently of each other, using a detailed method of age movements, got that in the USSR only 15,8 – 16,1 of a million men of military age died during the war (military and civilian: who in 1941 was 14 years and in 1946 could be 56 years). According to Ivlev's figures, 3,4 – 3,7 million more died in the Red Army during the war than all (both military and civilian) men of the Soviet Union of military age (apparently, about ten million aliens fought on the Red Army side).
Losses of the Red Army Ivlev determined by drawing up a balance of the Armed Forces over 1941 – 1945 years (see table). However, it has major flaws.
1. The number of people involved in the Armed Forces is defined in 37,6611 million, but this includes 2,2373 million for the second time. This is a double count. In addition, Ivlev takes mobilized from June 22 to December 31 1941, 14 million people. However, according to the General Staff Operations Directorate (from 1 in May 1942), from the beginning of the war until January 1, 1942 was mobilized less by 2,210 million - 11,790 million people.
2. Ivlev mistakenly excluded from a loss, not related to irretrievable losses, most of the military transferred to industry, local air defense and military security units (3,6146 - 0,0947 = 3,5119 million), aimed at staffing troops and NKVD (not part of the Armed Forces), special formations other departments (1,1746 million) and transferred to the manning units and parts of the Polish Army, the Czechoslovak and Romanian armies (0,2504 million). Excluding them from the loss, not related to irretrievable losses, he motivated by the fact that they remained in the ranks of the Armed Forces. This is not the case, since everyone was excluded from the lists of the Red Army. For example, those drafted into the Armed Forces, but transferred to industry as part of the workers' columns, became conscripted - fit for military service, but in reserve. This confirms the GKO Resolution of 26 July 1942 of the year No. 2100CC, where in paragraph 6 it was determined: “To oblige the people's commissariats to 20 of August, with. to transfer to the army ... b) 50 000 people of military service, eligible for military service, aged up to 45 from among those transferred to the people's commissariats as part of working convoys (Appendix No. 2 - calculation of conscription for people's commissariats) ”. Appendix No. 2 had the name "Calculation of conscription of military service, suitable for the system, from the working columns transferred to the People's Commissars". In addition, Ivlev underestimated the number of servicemen who returned from captivity after the war (0,9493 million instead of 1,550 million people, according to Viktor Zemskov).
With a double count, inaccuracies in determining the number of those called up in 1941 and the unlawful exclusion of a number of categories of servicemen from loss, not related to irretrievable losses, the balance has nothing to do with reality. When correcting errors, the number of people drawn into the Armed Forces, reduced by Ivlev, will decrease to 33,2138 million, and the total loss of the Armed Forces to the war will decrease to 20,3740 million people. When taking into account the categories of loss, which are not related to irretrievable losses, they are reduced in balance to 9,4283 million, which is comparable to the data of the military historians group published in 1993 year: 9,1684 million people (including 0,5 million designed, but captured by the Germans before their arrival) to the troops).
The 19,5 figure of the million dead Soviet soldiers is contrary to historical experience. In this situation, the Wehrmacht should have missed at least 9,5 million people. But his real losses on the Soviet-German front, according to modern German data, were less than two times less. Consequently, the irrecoverable losses of the Red Army are more than two times less than the figure of Ivlev 19,5 million, that is no more than 9,5 million people, which is again comparable with the figures of military historians. However, their data is also somewhat overestimated, since the calculations do not take into account the “normal” mortality of servicemen, and also double counting is not completely excluded. The real losses of the Red Army, apparently, did not exceed nine million people.
Casualties remain a central theme in a multi-year western project to belittle the role of the Soviet Union in defeating fascism. But judging by the lack of reaction to Ivlev's erroneous calculations, the corresponding studies are not conducted in contemporary Russian historical science. Therefore, amateurish figures, which sometimes overestimate the losses of the Red Army on the Soviet-German front and slander the combat skills of Soviet soldiers and military leaders, are walking on the Internet.