Despite the best efforts of a number of historians, many aspects of the ferocious struggle between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during the Second World War remain obscure or shrouded in myth. One of the most persistent of these is the notion—largely created by many former members of its own officer corps in the immediate postwar period—that the German Army was a paragon of military professionalism and operational proficiency whose defeat on the Eastern Front was solely attributable to the amateurish meddling of a crazed former Corporal and the overwhelming numerical superiority of the Red Army. A key pillar upon which the argument of German numerical-weakness vis-à-vis the Red Army has been constructed is the assertion that Germany was simply incapable of providing its army with the necessary quantities of men and equipment needed to replace its losses. In consequence, as their losses outstripped the availability of replacements, German field formations became progressively weaker until they were incapable of securing their objectives.
This work seeks to address the notion of German numerical-weakness in terms of Germany's ability to replace its losses and regenerate its military strength, and assess just how accurate this argument was during the crucial first half of the Russo-German War.