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"Wiking" Panzer Division Reconnaisance

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  • "Wiking" Panzer Division Reconnaisance

    I have been interested in what the Germans used for reconnaisance after discontinuation of the Pz II (my earlier post "Reconnaisance Vehicles"), and came across this today reading Panzer Aces 2. A reconnaisance platoon of a regiment of the Wiking Panzer Division was given the task of conducting a reconnaisance of terrain for an upcoming battle for Kovel in April 1944, and the paltoon conprised five Panthers! Forget armored cars, half-tracks...Panthers. They were all white washed, and one in particular was said to have its engine compartment sound proofed with special insulation. Apparently it was fairly quiet as the Panther was able to reconnoiter right under the noses of the Russians without being detected. Very interesting...I thought.

  • #2
    I will have to get my copy out and read that one again.

    Talk about a sledge hammer to drive a nail in, maybe that is all the Germans could muster up, at the time. Or they wanted to use the sledge hammer, knowing the Germans sometimes, expecting hard armoured contact with this recon "in force".

    Cheers

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    • #3
      That is a reversal of standard German "passive" recon. I thought German recon was more look, see, and if engaged retreat as opposed to US recon which was meant to stand and fight.
      If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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      • #4
        Since I haven't the article to read, I'd guess this recce was important and dangerous enough to warrant such heavy duty assets to go forward. Given the late date in the war I would not remiss in judging this recce to be dangerous.
        Eternal War(gaming) Armoured Struggle Car Bob

        History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis.
        Lazarus Long

        Draw the blinds on yesterday and it's all so much scarier....
        David Bowie

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        • #5
          PzKfwBob, In most of what I read in "Panzer Aces 2," and in "the German defeat in the East," the Germans conducted a reconnaisance whenever a counter-attack was planned. I have not ever read where they counter-attacked blindly.

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          • #6
            Tom D

            How about in Normandy? I did'nt read much there, Germans charged in, various arty (ship and ground) took care of them. Also Villers Bocage with Wittmann and Co charging into the town, but it did change hands a couple times.

            Just a thought.....

            TRDG

            Tom

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            • #7
              I do not know much about in Normandy, although they had quite a few Sd Kfz 234's there....

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              • #8
                They certainly got around.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Division_Wiking

                "Several obstacle belts had to be breached before the Georgian Road (along which American supplies were transported) could be reached."



                [edit] The Caucasus
                By late September 1942, Wiking was in a position to launch an assault to capture the vital city of Grozny. Working in cooperation with General der Panzertruppen Traugott Herr's 13.Panzer-Division, a plan was arranged to capture the city. As they reached the Terek River, the Soviet defences solidified. Several obstacle belts had to be breached before the Georgian Road (along which American supplies were transported) could be reached. Realising the difficult situation, Steiner divided his division into four columns, each with separate objectives, but all aimed at breaching the Soviet defences and opening a road to the Caspian Sea.

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                • #9
                  Yes, they did, and are well represented in "Panzer Aces 2." But the issue is - reconnaissance. Do you know about that in Normandy?

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                  • #10
                    Recon

                    Originally posted by TRDG View Post
                    How about in Normandy? I did'nt read much there, Germans charged in, various arty (ship and ground) took care of them. Also Villers Bocage with Wittmann and Co charging into the town, but it did change hands a couple times.

                    Just a thought.....

                    TRDG

                    Tom
                    Yes, but here I think they were using the recon units as a sort of first wave and still unaware of what allied artillery, naval gunfire and air power could do. Later of course they were misused to plug gaps as the situation became critical there.

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                    • #11
                      Roger on that.

                      That very well could be, now might you be suggesting that Wittmann would have been like the Panthers (recon). Without the stealth and lack of shooting, more of a probing attack/recon?

                      Cheers

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                      • #12
                        This is from "tiger Ace - The Life Story of Panzer Commander Michael Wittmann," by Gary L. Simpson, page 274:

                        "On the morning of June 13, 1944, Michael Wittmann...The 30-year old panzer commander was very anxious to maneuver his vehicles under his command out of their nearby staging area, but insisted that he alone and his Tiger I crew be allowed to reconnoiter the area....

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                        • #13
                          Yep, you got that one right, did'nt remember that one.

                          Cheers, to a good memory!!

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