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Elite Units of the German Army 1939-1945

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  • Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
    I don't know about that. I'm reading the combat history of the 23rd Panzer division and it seems that the panzer regiment demonstrates a consistent ability to lose most of its new tanks in about 2 weeks of combat. IIRC II/23 goes from 85 new panthers to 5 between 5/9/43 and 12/9/43 with over 20 total losses.
    I was just skimming through the war diary of the division from that period.

    Quote from the 23. Pz.Div. war diary entry of 25th September 1943:

    "Seit Monaten ist der Division keine Gelegenheit gegeben worden, für die technische Wartung sämtlicher Fahrzeuge Sorge zu tragen, da ununterbrochener Einsatz und grosse Marschleistungen keinen Tag Ruhe gönnen. Die Zahl der einsatzbereiten gepanzerten Fahrzeuge vor allem, sinken von Tag zu Tag, so dass die Hauptkampfkraft der Division täglich schwächer wird."

    "Since months the division has received no opportunity to take care of the maintenance of all its vehicles, as uninterrupted action and huge march performances left not a single day to rest. The number of operational armored vehicles especially shrinks from day to day so that the main fighting power of the division becomes weaker every day."

    Comment


    • I read Panzer Battles years ago, but remember really liking it. It is of course German biased and mostly tactical in nature, but fascinating nonetheless. The book is a classic and should still be read as long as one realizes the time period it was written in, and supplement it with more recent works. His idea of an anti tank "Panzerjager" division is interesting. I wonder how that would have been formed, mobile guns or towed?

      Comment


      • Probably towed..the difference between Soviet AT gun production and fielding vs. German on the Eastern front was very severe. The Soviets fielded IIRC over 100,000 while the German was maybe one fourth or one fifth of that.

        The 48PzK towards Kiev section gives the impression that it was almost a Panzergruppe/Panzer Army (650 tanks) but with a weak infantry element. Unlike Barbarossa, there was no Infantry army supporting the mass of armor.

        The operations that followed were heavily impaired due to the great lack of infantry. Otherwise, serious encirclements were possible- but the Germans were out of infantry at this stage of the war. Some of Balck's maneuvers were not dissimilar to what was achieved in Barbarossa with the Panzergruppes but without infantry what they did ended with only minor victories.
        Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
        Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
        Barbarossa Derailed I & II
        Battle of Kalinin October 1941

        Comment


        • In the series "Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Organisational and Statistical Analysis", the combat models conclude that the German Panzer Divisions of June, 1941 were the most powerful formations fielded by the German army in WW2. The combat model rates them even higher than their 1940 France iterations.

          It also rates the K-battalion (1,350 motorcycles)and the Pioneer battalions very highly as the most effective infantry battalions in combat.

          -----

          Sept 1941: Drive to Leningrad. 1.Pz, 6.Pz, and 36. Mot. form the spearhead.
          Last edited by Cult Icon; 26 Mar 15, 20:13.
          Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
          Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
          Barbarossa Derailed I & II
          Battle of Kalinin October 1941

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
            I found a copy of this osprey book and I wanted to post the author's interesting choices to see if they are agreeable:

            1. Grossdeutschland

            2. Feldherrnhalle

            3. Infantry regiment 119 and 19 'List' (In honor of Adolf Hitler)

            4. Panzergrenadier division Brandenburg

            5. Cavalry regiment 5 'von Mackenson'

            6. 44th Reichgrenadier division


            7. 116th Panzer division Windhund

            8. 21st Panzer division

            9. 24th Panzer division

            10. Panzer Lehr division

            11. 3rd Mountain

            12. 5th Mountain

            13. Tiger tank battalion 1-10 (first ten)


            I must admit that I never heard of the bolded outside of this volume.
            I don't think I ever met any of the 'elites', the ordinary ones were good enough for me. lcm1
            'By Horse by Tram'.


            I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
            " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

            Comment


            • Received a short unit history with 150 pages text. The text however, appears to be good.

              9.Pz, 1940-1943. I remember this unit best from its actions in 1942.

              56 Knight's Crosses

              The number of awarded
              decorations places the 9th Panzer Division in second place among the Wehrmacht’s
              armoured divisions
              The first place went to 4.Pz, with 84 Knight's Crosses
              Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
              Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
              Barbarossa Derailed I & II
              Battle of Kalinin October 1941

              Comment


              • The 1. Geb.Div.'s performance in the first week of Barbarossa was very impressive. They destroyed/captured 200 Soviet tanks (about 2/3 T-34 and KV's it appears) and seemingly most of them in close combat after the 3.7cm Pak had proven to be mostly useless.

                Comment


                • I go a copy of "Tigers of the Death's Head". It is the only truly 'coherent' "Tiger Tank" unit history I have ever encountered. It looks worth reading, although I probably won't do it anytime soon.
                  Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                  Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                  Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                  Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                  Comment


                  • Found an interesting and rare gem a while ago:

                    The newsreel has extensive footage of a SS mobile division (either 2.SS, 3.SS or 5.SS) in either July or August 1943. The whole formation is depicted. Since there are tigers involved it may be of either 2.SS or 3.SS.

                    This footage claims to be of the battle of Orel in July 1943 after the failure of Kursk. The other culprit is August 1943, the Belgorod-Kharkov offensive/4th Battle of Kharkov. I don't think there were any SS armored formations at Orel so it may be in August 1943.

                    Other suspects: Izyum bridgehead or Mius (however the terrain does not look like Mius at all). Or it may be footage from Kursk.

                    Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                    Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                    Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                    Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by NagaSadow View Post
                      The 1. Geb.Div.'s performance in the first week of Barbarossa was very impressive. They destroyed/captured 200 Soviet tanks (about 2/3 T-34 and KV's it appears) and seemingly most of them in close combat after the 3.7cm Pak had proven to be mostly useless.
                      You have a source for this claim ?

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
                        In the series "Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Organisational and Statistical Analysis", the combat models conclude that the German Panzer Divisions of June, 1941 were the most powerful formations fielded by the German army in WW2. The combat model rates them even higher than their 1940 France iterations.

                        It also rates the K-battalion (1,350 motorcycles)and the Pioneer battalions very highly as the most effective infantry battalions in combat.

                        -----

                        Sept 1941: Drive to Leningrad. 1.Pz, 6.Pz, and 36. Mot. form the spearhead.
                        Halder said : the PzD of 1941 are not the PzD of 1940.(Source : Germany and WWII Tome IV German edition P 271)

                        Comment


                        • 9.Pz took part in the 1940-1941 campaigns in the west. It also demolished a mech. corps early in Barbarossa fighting with AGS- PzGruppe I. It take part in the Uman pocket and links with 3.Pz in the Kiev pocket. It takes part in Typhoon and winter 41-42, where it is rebuilt afterwards. In June-July 1942 there were many engagements with several nascent 5TA with its tank corps (which had heavy losses everywhere in the summer of 42') in Blau I and when it was posted on the Vozoneth Axis, four tank corps attacked towards the city and 9.Pz was one of the divisions performing mobile defense there, inflicting grave tank losses with the highest daily claim being 96 tank kills. Then finally, in early August it took part in a surprisingly large and unknown AGC offensive (army sized) called 'Wirbelwind' which was called off after it stalled after less than two weeks.

                          "To the Gates of Stalingrad" has details about all these operations.

                          What is notable is continuously high number of operational tanks- implying good maintenance and efficient use. As typical, replacement flow was low in Case Blue. In August 20th 1942 it still has 94 operable tanks after all these heavy battles. On August 31st it has 95 operable tanks after absorbing 9 replacements.
                          The division, however, took significant infantry losses.

                          As a coincidence, that day, the 394 day [August 18 1942.] of the Russian Campaign, marks the destruction
                          of the 1000th Soviet tank by the 9th Panzer Division.
                          This is the fastest '1,000 tank kill' claim I have ever read of. 11.Pz gets their 1,000 in IIRC in the winter of 1942.

                          Of note is that this is an Austrian division- which may have made awarding Knight's Crosses easier. (good for the image thing).


                          In Sept. it is still a fire brigade, fighting against 3TA and in more armored battles. Sept. 30 it has 91 panzers operable. 17th Knight's Cross awarded.

                          In Nov 18, 1942 it has 102 panzers , defends against Operation Mars and inflicts grave losses as I remember from 'Zhukov's Greatest Defeat'.

                          It fights in Rzhev into 43', gets used as a fire brigade, and then prepares for Citadel starting April 20. Its panzer troops were the cadre for the new PB-51 (Panther tank). It loses two out of three panzer battalions to the Panther unit- but the last battalion is refitted and stays with the division. It is assigned to Model's command in the North face of Kursk.
                          Last edited by Cult Icon; 18 Apr 15, 00:48.
                          Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                          Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                          Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                          Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                          Comment


                          • What book is this from? Is there a 9th Pz division history in English?

                            Comment


                            • Here's his argument:

                              As far as tome IV goes, I think Halder mentions it in passing. The post France 1940 buildup for Barbarossa entailed a certain 'watering down' of the units. However, the splitting of armor does make sense to me- 230 tanks with that level of support is more reasonable, but only if these 230 tanks could be maintained along with replacement mot. Infantry, which they were not.

                              http://www.operationbarbarossa.net/ww2-myths/

                              Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                              Halder said : the PzD of 1941 are not the PzD of 1940.(Source : Germany and WWII Tome IV German edition P 271)
                              Last edited by Cult Icon; 18 Apr 15, 10:05.
                              Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                              Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                              Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                              Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                              Comment

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