"Penetration from the Rozhan foothold, destruction of the Przasnysz garrison, and offensive battles in East Prussia, before the outskirts of the Koenigsberg fortification region, January 14th - February 6th, 1945"
This looks good, let's see the ratios of forces. At the start of the offensive, the ratio of Soviet to German tanks and self-propelled guns shows an advantage to the Soviet side, but not a great one: 1.5 to 1.
On the next day, the enemy calls in reserves. The Soviet 3rd Army still has 131 tanks, but now the enemy has 204 tanks instead of 84, a ratio of 0.6 to 1!
On January 16th, the Germans counterattack. Those buying into the myth of superior German armour would expect the Red Army to suffer a crushing defeat when their enemy has nearly twice as many tanks, but no such thing happened. On January 17th, the German tank division begins retreating. "After four days of fierce fighting, the defeated enemy started rolling back without pause to the nort
h. Our forces crossed the south border of East Prussia and reached Neidenburg on the 7th day of the operation, despite only being scheduled to do so by the 8th day." 78 enemy tanks were captured or destroyed.
The next ratio is calculated on January 27th, at Ortelsburg. A much smaller Soviet force encounters the majority of the retreating Grossdeutchsland division and some infantry divisions. The ratios are nearly even: the Red Army unit has 10% more infantry companies (German companies are estimated to be 50-60 men per company on average, Soviet companies are currently 40-50 men), 50% more machineguns, and 30% less tanks. Surely the Germans will win this time?
"By February 2nd, the army, having crushed enemy resistance and moved forward by 5 kilometers..." Oops, looks like the Germans can't win even they have lots more tanks.
Continuing on in the document, for an offensive on February 14th, the 3rd Army has only 31 tanks and SPGs in the offensive zone, whereas the enemy has 40. You can already guess where the Germans' advantage in armour got them: the Red Army advanced 6-11 kilometers in the first day of the offensive. By February 19th, the enemy is down to 36 tanks, while the Red Army is still at 31.
The next encounter that's relatively close is on March 25th, for Heiligenbeil. The Soviets have 40% more tanks. The outcome is predictable. There is no data for this battle, but the total German losses "for the last period of the operation" consist of 100 captured vehicles and 143 destroyed, 225 captured and 387 destroyed in total.
I'll also post the conclusions written up by the army commander.
- Use of tanks and SPGs:
- The tanks and SPGs mostly met their given objectives, despite powerful anti-tank defenses and difficult terrain.
- Armoured and mechanized forces of the Army drew most of the tanks of the German Grossdeutschland division to them, and caused significant losses to the enemy forces. Their contribution ensured the destruction of the Przasnysz garrison.
- Practice shows that tanks and SPGs should be used in a centralized manner, with special care taken when choosing the direction of deployment.
- Tanks and SPGs should move in with the first wave of infantry, and not fall behind in any case. Only leave the barest minimum in reserve.
When the enemy defenses are penetrated to a distance of 1-3 km, tanks and SPGs can pick up tank riders, and rush ahead of advancing infantry (examples: tanks and SPGs in the Podos-Stary battle, capture of the Chorzele town by 66th Tank Regiment and 1294th SPG Regiment, and others).
- In winter conditions (January-February), the use of tanks played a positive role.
- Poor use of tanks and SPGs:
- The 40th Infantry Corps split up an SPG regiment and used it in a decentralized fashion.
- Some tank and SPG unit commanders prefer to sit in basements rather than observe the battlefield (35th Infantry Corps, 1888th SPG Regiment).
- Some crews are poorly trained (poor orienteering, slow movement, slow rate of fire).
- Some tanks lag behind advancing infantry.
- Some units have poor cohesion."