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Elite Units of the German Army 1939-1945

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  • 16pz was another relatively unknown division that was also excellent.


    • My notes, Barbarossa Derailed I:

      I classify Pz38T as medium this time around. I don't include command panzers.


      3.Pz: 58 light, 142 medium

      4.Pz: 44 light, 125 medium

      7.Pz: 53 light, 197 medium

      10.Pz: 45 light, 125 medium

      12.Pz: 73 light, 139 medium

      17.Pz: 56 light, 136 medium

      18.Pz: 56 light, 150 medium

      19.Pz: 77 light, 140 medium

      20.Pz: 75 light, 152 medium

      SS Reich (mot.)
      SS Totenkopf (mot.)
      Reinforced Regiment GD (mot.)


      Of interest: The Minsk encirclement, 1 July 1941:

      It took 13 divisions plus IR-GD to encircle 3A, 10A, and 18A

      Of these mobile forces: 12.Pz, 17.Pz, 19.Pz, 14.ID (mot.), 10.ID (mot.), 29.ID (mot.), IR-GD.

      It took 4 divisions to encircle 2 rifle divisions.

      The outer encirclement ring was held by 1.Calvary, 3.Pz, 4. Pz, 7.Pz, 10.Pz, 18.Pz, 18.ID (mot.) , 20.ID(mot.), SS-Reich. These 9 divisions were all mobile divisions.

      No wonder the Wehrmacht could rarely perform big encirclements after Barbarossa; it required way too many forces, particularly mobile forces.. to execute. Much of AGC (the infantry divisions) were still in the rear catching up.
      Last edited by Cult Icon; 09 Jan 15, 14:12.


      • Originally posted by krichter33 View Post
        16pz was another relatively unknown division that was also excellent.
        Bake was a panzer battalion commander in the division.

        16.Pz distinguished itself in 41', and then did so again in 42'. Of interest is that it was built up again for the summer offensive, and help complete two encirclements in two preliminary operations (Wilhelm, Fredicus II)with 6th Army. It played a leading role in 'Case Blue', and then in the movements towards Stalingrad front. By the time it reaches the city, it is the weaker of the two panzer divisions due to all the combat and movement it did. So 24.Pz gets the harder assignments in Stalingrad.

        I am still reading the book (didn't get up to the Caucasus), but so far 11.Pz and 16.Pz have distinguished themselves particularly and show a certain 'mastery' of maneuver warfare.


        • Which book?


          • "To the Gates of Stalingrad".


            • Operation Wirbelwind: A failure 11-24 August 1942. It is aimed at pinching off and destroying Soviet 10th and 16th Army.

              9.Pz, 11.Pz, 17.Pz, 20.Pz, 25. ID (mot.) and 4 infantry divisions are deployed in one pincer. The results resemble northern face of Citadel, and the massed mobile divisions fail to break through 16A's strong fortifications reinforced with soviet armored formations. Runners down to 200 in total.

              Western Front counterstroke: 5 x tank corps: 700 tanks.

              They fail as well, and lose 500 tanks.

              A thread about it: The 9th Panzer in Operation Wirbelwind

              Last edited by Cult Icon; 12 Jan 15, 21:16.


              • Truly whopper of a newsreel: August 1942, a must-see

                1.Blau II, Advance to the Great Bend of the Don, The Volga

                2. Caucasus


                • Great video!!!


                  • "To the Gates of Stalingrad" and "Armageddon at Stalingrad" have an informative, although too short, operational history of the Caucasus.

                    AGA accomplished more than typically believed. It has good success against Soviet forces until August 15th and succeed in inflicting high losses. Then their offensive actions become limited by logistics and the main effort at Stalingrad along with soviet diversionary operations in the North and Center. As the month comes to a close, several strong divisions leave the Caucasus to be shifted elsewhere and the German force the Caucasus shrinks. Their offensive operations become constrained, limited in the forces that can move, and based around stockpiling supplies, and waiting until they are sufficient.

                    The Soviets are similarly constrained by poor logistics, and very often the Germans actually have more tanks than they do. The battles are small compared to the drama up north with both sides not committing much in the way of forces.

                    The terrain favors defense, and both sides can commit fewer forces to hold the line than typical. But sides have less forces than is optimal for attacking the theater. Many of the ops. are surgical in nature, relying on maneuver and craftiness.

                    This was a theater that required more in the way of various types of special forces working together (eg. Brandenburgers, cavalry, Jager, Mountain, mechanized/armor) and much larger numbers of infantry on both sides.

                    Kleist's Nov offensive is finally defeated 72 KM from Grozny with 13.Pz getting badly beaten by a counterstroke by 10 RC and 11 GRC, reinforced with 4 brigades of tanks. Glantz says: serious lack of infantry impaired Kleist's operation.

                    As far as I can tell, the divisions that were most heavily used, and had the greatest impact in the battle of the Caucasus:

                    1. 3rd Panzer Division

                    2. 13rd Panzer Division

                    3. 23rd Panzer Division

                    These were used in nearly every major offensive. Of the three, 23rd Panzer Division sees the most action. It is interesting to see this, as the divisional history is quite easily available in the US. Ditto for 3rd Panzer's history.


                    • An excellent book that I read from the German perspective about the Caucasus is "The Caucasus and the Oil" by Wilhelm Tieke. It is the most detailed book I have read about the campaign.


                      • Originally posted by krichter33 View Post
                        An excellent book that I read from the German perspective about the Caucasus is "The Caucasus and the Oil" by Wilhelm Tieke. It is the most detailed book I have read about the campaign.
                        Glantz does cite from that book frequently.

                        Stalingrad Front's Kotluban offensive 3-12 Sept. 1942 (4TA, 24A, 1GA, 66A) against 14th Panzer Korps (3.ID (mot.), 60.ID (mot.), 16.Pz), 2 infantry divisions of 8 Army Korps and Fliegerkorps 8.

                        The hammer drops most heavily on 3.ID (mot.).

                        250,000 troops and 400 tanks take part, losing 1/3rd of their force and 300 tanks. 3.ID themselves claim 355 Soviet tanks knocked out, 61 guns, 67 Katiushas, and 3,939 POWs at a cost of 710 German casualties. The LW flies 2,000 sorties against the offensive.

                        The 14th PzK, which controls the land bridge north of Stalingrad, is impaired from advancing into the factory sector and must post 2/3rds of their forces northward rather than towards the city. This effectively distorts and slows the German advance into the city and shifts Fliegerkorps to the crisis point.


                        • According to the research presented in "A bias for action : the German 7th Panzer Division in France & Russia 1940-1941", 7.Pz commanded by Rommel and Funck performed exceedingly well and above the norm.


                          Vinogradov’s attack commenced at 0800 hours on 7 July , a sunny and warm day, with the 18th Tank Division probing toward Senno with a tank battalion. However, Oberstleutnant Wolfgang Thomale’s III/ Pz.Regt 25 had arrived during the night to reinforce the motorcycle infantry and the Pz. 38( t) and panzerjäger repulsed the first attack. After the initial attack failed, the Soviets seemed uncertain what to do and wasted precious hours until finally renewing the attack on Senno at 1630 hours. Again, Kampfgruppe Thomale repulsed this Soviet attack and a third at 1900 hours which included two KV-II and one T-34 tanks. During the course of the day, Thomale’s troops destroyed a total of seventeen Soviet tanks (including both KV-II), at a cost of four of his own tanks and a 5cm Pak gun. 47 Further north, the 14th Tank Division encountered Kampfgruppe von Boineburg, which included Hauptmann Adelbert Schulz’s I/ Pz.Regt 25, II/ Schützen Regiment 7 and 1./ Panzerjäger-

                          Abteilung 8 with six 8.8cm flak guns mounted on an Sd.Kfz. 8 chassis. The Soviet attack in this sector was more powerful and included infantry support, but advanced at a slow pace which allowed the Germans time to react. While the German panzerjägers and four artillery units pounded the approaching Soviet armour, Hauptmann Schulz maneuvered his panzer battalion to strike the flank of the Soviet formation. By using fire and maneuver in the defense, Kampfgruppe von Boineburg shattered the 14th Tank Division’s attack and sent it reeling with the loss of forty-three tanks. Two of the self-propelled 8.8cm flak guns , which had a very high profile, were destroyed, but otherwise proved useful against the Soviet heavy and medium tanks. By the end of the day, Funck’s 7. Panzer-Division had repulsed both Soviet tank divisions and knocked out 103 Soviet tanks at a cost of eight of their own and 136 casualties.

                          Forczyk, Robert (2014-02-24). Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front 1941-1942: Schwerpunkt (Kindle Locations 2009-2015). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.


                          • Stolfi's "A Bias for Action" has now been published as "7th Panzer Division."



                            • ^

                              That's how I found it- in a bookstore a few weeks ago. I searched it found the whole thing hosted online :-)

                              May, 1942: Kharkov II

                              Von Kleist’s forces suffered the bulk of German armoured losses, since they were on the offensive. Generalmajor Hermann Breith’s 3. Panzer-Division knocked out sixty-two enemy tanks, including five KV-1 and thirty-six T -34, at a cost of ten of its own panzers (seven Pz.III, three Pz.IV), while Generalmajor Hans Freiherr von Boineburg-Lengsfeld’s 23. Panzer-Division knocked out 260 Soviet tanks, including fifteen KV-1 and 116 T-34, for the loss of just thirteen of its own tanks.

                              Forczyk, Robert (2014-02-24). Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front 1941-1942: Schwerpunkt (Kindle Locations 4718-4721). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.
                              The Divisional history of 23.Pz claims something in the region of 2,800 enemy tank kills in WW2. This is further impressive as this division did not use many tanks themselves- in fact, less than most divisions .

                              The Panzer Regiment was clearly something special (It was also used in Bake's Heavy PR). Its origins was as a panzer reserve unit IIRC.


                              • These important surgical operations I always found interesting, yet they are often ignored. Essentially they softened the eastern front before the summer 1942 offensive:

                                Between10 May and 4 July, a period of just eight weeks, Heeresgruppe Süd managed to encircle and destroy major parts of nine Soviet armies in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine, inflicting over 612,000 casualties and the loss of 1,400 tanks . Von Bock’s subordinate armies accomplished these victories at a cost of 67,000 German casualties and 140 tanks and assault guns, yielding an exchange ratio of 9– 1 in personnel and 10– 1 in armour.

                                By 20 May, von Manstein’s forces had occupied Kerch and eliminated Kozlov’s Crimean Front in less than two weeks. At a cost of just 3,397 German casualties , three Soviet armies had been smashed and 175,000 troops lost. The Red Army lost four tank brigades and three OTBs with 238 tanks, including forty-one KV-1, against only eight tanks (one Pz.II, four Pz.III, three Pz. 38( t)) from 22. Panzer-Division and three assault guns. Indeed, the Germans even managed to recover six of their tanks that had been lost in March and pressed into Soviet service.
                                1. Kharkov II (Bock)
                                2. Kerch (Manstein)
                                3. Wilhelm (Paulus)
                                4. Fredericus II (Kleist)
                                5. Sevastapol (Manstein)

                                Of these: 3.Pz, 23.Pz, 14.Pz, and 16.Pz were heavily used, and gathered a lot of experience with only marginal losses. 22. Pz was also used at Kerch.

                                The first four divisions would later become key Stalingrad and Caucasus divisions.
                                Last edited by Cult Icon; 27 Jan 15, 23:38.


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