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Death of the Leaping Horseman & Endgame in Stalingrad

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  • Death of the Leaping Horseman & Endgame in Stalingrad

    I find this book particularly interesting due to the level of real war details. Most divisional histories are dry and abstract but this one is not. The 24th Panzer is particularly important due to it being the strongest formation on the eastern front and also responsible for taking much of the city of Stalingrad.

    I will answer questions and post comments as I read it.

    This history covers August 12th 1942 to Nov. 20th 1942.

    The 24th Panzer division starts its operations on June 28th 1942, charges eastwards and reaches the city of Voronezh. It then moves southeast along the Don. During the first two weeks of August, it completes the largest encirclement of the summer offensive: much of Soviet 64th Army is captured and the division processes its 13,500th prisoner.

    The diary starts on August 12th, where is posed to charge towards Stalingrad. 100 tanks have been rendered non-operational at this point, and only ~85 are in shape to fight. They are pausing to rearm and to refuel.
    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

  • #2
    The division works closely with 14th Panzer on its north and has access to air support.

    The division's ration strength is ~14,140 men. It has 3 special units subordinated to it which raises its manpower to ~15,690:

    - a Brandenburg 800 commando company of 354 men trained to blend in with the red army. They are equipped with russian uniforms, trucks, and other equipment. They are to be deployed forward of the panzer division.

    -Independent Flak battalion

    -Heavy artillery battalion

    On the 20th August, they execute an operation towards the city, which is burning 'orange' across two lakes and villages held by the soviets. 16th Panzer is attacking north of their position. The division is on the move.

    The 2 panzer battalions take a lot of weapons fire that target vision slits and other devices. The tank commanders cannot lift up their head and they must use their copulas for vision. A Lt pokes his head up and gets shot in the head. He is one of the two officers killed this day.

    Every two hours a VVS bomber squadron attacks them. The division orders continuous air cover from Fliegerkorps 8. Air support is called and fighter bombers chase them. They reach a village fortified with anti-tank guns. The division called for stuka support. The support comes one hour later and flattens it.

    They attack the soviets all day but don't defeat them. 100 men are killed and wounded (mostly from 2 motorized infantry regiments).

    25 tanks are further non-operational, but due to mines or mechanical problems. A large quantity of shells are consumed. The city is also being carpet bombed with mediums.

    At the end of the day, they plan for air support mission for the next day for a renewed attack.
    Last edited by Cult Icon; 20 Aug 14, 01:42.
    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


    • #3
      Funnily enough I'm reading the exact same book.

      I find the lack of bigger picture maps annoying. I solved this by grabbing "To the Gates of Stalingrad" by Glantz.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree, although the 'zooming' in map screenshots are helpful.

        It's a very good book but the composition of the 'kampfgruppen' and various units could use some clarifying with a detailed appendix. I am still not sure as to say, what Infantry brigade Boich is armed with. (it may have been mentioned, but I probably missed it). Like many panzer divisions, they mixed & matched various arms together to suit their missions so the unit strength and equipment allocated is unclear.

        edit: I now found the oob: page 133.

        7th Sept 1942:

        The division is split up into these battle groups:

        1. Assault Group Broich

        2. Defensive Group Hellermann

        3. Security Group Salzer

        4. Division reserve

        5. 3rd battalion/ Panzer Regiment 24. (2 command panzers, 14 lights, 31 mediums)

        The Division reserve makes sense, as for the security group.

        But the 'assault' and the 'defensive' group are unexpected. The assault group is weaker than the defense group outside of the 2 flak companies. Since they are both attacking, why did the division differentiate I wonder?
        Last edited by Cult Icon; 21 Aug 14, 22:08.
        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


        • #5
          23rd August 1942

          Several hundred casualties are suffered in prior days against soviet fortifications.

          After fending off soviet counterattacks the previous day (a brigade commander wins the knight's cross for leading a successful breakthrough), the division is once again attacked. POW indicates that it is motor regiment (~ my guess: 1,000 men max) with 76mm infantry support guns. They are attacking with Stalin organs and long range artillery.

          The 24th panzer responds with 2 artillery battalions. Spotter planes are ordered and direct the fire.

          heavy artillery battalion 800 suppresses 3 out of 8 soviet artillery batteries.

          24th Panzer beats off the attack, and then attack the soviets with 14th Panzer.

          During a pause, the command panzers halt and dismount. Then they are bracketed with artillery, killing and wounding several men, including officers.

          The respected commander of Panzer Regiment 24, Colonel Riebel, is killed instantly. His professional background was in calvary and mobile forces. He is replaced and an order is sent for a new regiment commander.

          A cemetery and funeral are arranged and executed at the same day.

          eulogy: "You now rest in German soil, comrade Riebel".

          The next day mission is the same.

          Between 17th to 23rd August:

          660 prisoners taken (including 200 uniformed women). Note: Most pows are wounded and the comment is that 'few prisoners' are taken in the fighting, which indicates that most soviet casualties are deaths.

          An interesting tidbit: 152 EK II and 54 Panzer combat badge in bronze awarded. Apparently (and I did not know this), these medals are awarded like candy bars).

          August 24th 1942

          Quiet day. Preparing for the next attack with 14th Panzer and 29th (mot) division. Division receives 29th's STUG battalion. Storch performs recon over soviet positions. Large shipment of equipment and ammunition ordered.

          Operational panzer strength increases as repairs are completed.

          2 squads of Brandenburg commandos in soviet uniform perform recon and bring back 'good results'.
          Last edited by Cult Icon; 22 Aug 14, 02:40.
          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


          • #6
            Wonder what the 'good results' comprised of?
            SPORTS FREAK/ PANZERBLITZ COMMANDER/ CC2 COMMANDER

            Comment


            • #7
              ^

              Unfortunately, it doesn't say.

              25th August 1942

              Korps renew their attack with 14th Panzer. 'Ferocious' artillery fire overwhelms the panzer regiment. They are fired on by artillery, mortars, stalin organs, and dug in soviet tanks which were transported from Stalingrad factories without engines.

              German artillery and stukas support the attacking infantry with rolling strikes but the attack gains little ground with disproportionately high losses on the German side.

              T-34s now join the fray and launch strong attacks. At 0805 hours 14th Panzer reports to Korps that they only have 5 panzers left. Advise that 24th Panzer continues without them.

              24th Panzer lunges forward and takes the hill with 'good air support'. Processes 160 prisoners. German war correspondent is with them and observes the action on the hill.

              By midday a village is approached and engineers clear a 100 meters wide gap through a deep belt of mines. 24th infiltrates through the gap and takes the hills south of the villiage.

              Panzers penetration and blast the field fortifications which are arrayed in depth. Anti-tank guns and artillery batteries are destroyed. A mistake is made when a platoon of infantry attacks without armored support, and takes heavy losses.

              The panzer spearhead bogs down in front of fortified bunker positions and mine barriers. They get bracketed by artillery and mortar fire while a motorized infantry brigade are right behind them. Heavy casualties are taken, and the regimental surgeon is killed by artillery salvo. Vehicles are knocked out, and only 13 panzers are left operational.

              Prisoner count bumps up to 260. The division is isolated from 14th panzer.

              General von Hausenschild, 24th Panzer: "One russian tank was hit 10 times without success, 3 were shot up, and 2 others withdrew on fire".

              Prisoner count bumps up to 350. They are troops from 2 different soviet rifle divisions.

              12 Soviet tanks make a counterattack. 4 are destroyed, but "many of our own are destroyed. The tanks stubbornly stand in position with a good view and outflank us from the west. Despite many hits, they have not moved".

              Colonel von Lengerke, commander of their Panzergrenadier regiment, is killed.

              The attack is reconsidered and alternate strategies are discussed with the top dogs, General Kempf and Generaloberst Hoth.

              They decide to dig in. 94th Infantry division is now on route to relieve 24th and 14th panzer during the night. 24th is to withdraw for another assignment.

              230 men are killed and wounded. Many wounded are evacuated to Stalino by air (near Rostov) for hospitalization.

              Panzer situation improves overnight: 12 light, 45 medium, 2 command panzers ready for action.
              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


              • #8
                26th August 1942:

                Evacuation of 24th and 14th Panzer, relief by 94th Infantry.

                General Kempf notifies that the resources of the entire Luftflotte are now available to support them. (this is clearly serious business: LF 4 was most of the LW in the Soviet Union)

                Strategy talks. A new German attack supported by the entire Luftflotte with Romanian Armeekorps is planned for the next day.

                24th panzer had advanced 30 KM in from 12-26th August 1942. Ring around Stalingrad had narrowed.

                1,425 prisoners taken during the same period. 14,885 prisoners taken since June 28th, 1942.

                Total casualties for 24th panzer division since June 28, 1942: 108 officers, 2,483 ncos and men.

                Combat element losses since 28th June: ~36, 28, 28 % of 3 major infantry units, 10-17% of supporting arms.

                Major von Winterfeld named as new commander of Panzer regiment (now only a battalion) 24.

                Oberstleutant von Hellermann, former commander of motorcycle battalion, takes command of Panzer regiment to replace Oberst von Lengerke.

                Another commander suffers a nervous breakdown and is sent home.

                Funeral ceremony of the respected von Lengerke is completed in front of the division.

                General Kempf orders: "indicated that the Armee should take measures to unconditionally stop the roaming of Russian civilians from village to village, on the grounds of espionage."

                Strategy planning for the next major attack.

                28th August 1942

                Major attack: Objective for Korps: destroy several soviet divisions holding a railline with double envelopment.

                24th Panzer Division regrouped into these combined arms entities:

                1. Armored assault group with all the medium tanks
                2. Infantry Brigade supported by all the light tanks. Reinforced with stug battalion.
                3. Flak group, reinforced by Flak regiment 5
                4. Reserve:

                -towed Anti-tank (~35 x 50mm guns) and motorcycle infantry battalion group (cycles, 250 halftracks, and armored cars of various types) reinforced with flak battalion.

                -armored engineers with bridging company

                -Signals battalion with flak platoon

                -Brandenburger company

                Panzer situation: 13 lights, 36 mediums, 3 command panzers
                Last edited by Cult Icon; 22 Aug 14, 23:17.
                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


                • #9
                  29th August 1942

                  The attack. Artillery fires support a wave of Panzers followed by mechanized infantry and engineers fighting from their halftracks with MGs and 37mm guns. The tanks are fired upon by antittank weapons, including many anti-tank rifles firing from foxholes. (I'm guessing either a platoon of company of AT riflemen).

                  Several panzers and halftracks are knocked out. Advance continues. Soviet tanks sighted. Panzers halt next to a farm.

                  Stukas were ordered and meant to eliminate soviet nests on both flanks but a radio message comes in announcing a delay. Panzer attack stops because of tardy Stukas. Storch recon plane flies overhead and reports losses. Storch planes are following the panzer spearhead and reporting observation.

                  4 Panzer III, 1 Panzer IV long, and 1 Panzer II knocked out.

                  note: Major General von Hausenchild, divisional commander 24 Panzer travels in a 251/6 with powerful radio and an Enigma decoding machine.

                  "Brave russian soldiers continue to hold out"

                  Pioneers are conducting bridging operation.

                  Radio message: "8 panzers knocked out. Strong AT fire"

                  The panzer spearhead then gets bracketed by soviet artillery concentration, and is forced to advance to get out of the kill zone.

                  Soviet defense position knocked out by a flanking thrust by the motorcycle battalion.

                  Another bad radio message: "Entire Stug battalion knocked out. The last gun of Stug battalion 243 has been knocked out"

                  Division continues to advance deep into defensive depths. 3 stalin organs mounted on T-60 (?) chasis along with several artillery batteries are captured.

                  Powerful defense fortifications with remote control flamethrowers and tank trench are encountered. Pioneers blow up the tank trench and create a passage way. The remote control flamethrowers, used in an ambush style, cost the pioneers injuries .

                  Personal Account: When the armored halftrack mounted pioneer platoon drove towards the area, 12 flamethrowers opened up at once, burning armored vehicles and injuring men inside, but no one burnt was killed.

                  The soviets, now close to being overrun blew up their bunkers. Numerous At, AA, and Stalin organs once again captured. Soviet column disarmed.

                  Division commanders orders raiding party to take the next bridge. He calls this 'Operation Hovel'

                  The Brandenburg commandos in russian lorries and soviet uniforms will be used. They are armed with SMGs, grenades, and AT weapons (soviet AT grenades?). Behind them are 2 panzers 200-300 meters away.

                  It is a farce. The panzers pretend to 'chase' the lorries, firing MGs at them while the commandos toss grenades here and there while the soviets watch.

                  The commandos drive to the bridge but at the same time, both panzer iiis are knocked out by shells. Operation fails.

                  700 prisoners are taken today.

                  own losses: 170 men killed or wounded.
                  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


                  • #10
                    30 August 1942

                    Enemy tanks observed north of hill 130. Stukas are called in and destroy some of them. Infantry brigade moves forward and assault soviet defense fortifications- trenches, foxholes, and bunkers. The Soviets are routed, 1000 prisoners taken while columns of soviets flee the area.

                    "T-34s scurring around, after being disturbed by the stuka attack"

                    Infantry brigade advances 25 KM. Several T-34s menage the east flank, using hit and run tactics at assembled German units.

                    Division creates a bridgehead. Panzers ordered to advance again and beat off counterattacks supported by soviet tanks. Forward elements clear more bunkers.

                    Mid-day Prisoner bag is up to 1,500.

                    An entire soviet rifle brigade marches towards the Germans and surrenders with little resistance. The commander, a colonel, committed suicide with 3 bullet holes to the head. 1,700 prisoners taken.

                    Soviet 23rd Tank brigade with T-34s and KV-1s launch a counterattack. This is stopped by Flak 88mm battery and a stukagruppen. The Werfer battalion also brackets the soviet armor. The Stukagruppen is credited for causing the brigade to retreat with losses. The 88's destroy 4 x T-34.

                    Standing beyond range of the 88's are 20 Soviet 'heavy tanks' while 24th panzer consolidates the bridgehead.

                    General Kempf to Generaloberst Hoth: Korps have 7,000 prisoners, numerous soviet divisions smashed. Comments that operations the next day will be difficult due to the soviet tanks.

                    Commander of Infantry brigade wins the Knight's cross. 24th Panzer took 2,100 prisoners today.

                    ~85 men killed and wounded. 24th Panzer has penetrated 30 KM deep in a day.

                    31 August 1942

                    Division advances, and is blocked by 20-25 Soviet tanks. Their armor bounces off the german shells.

                    88 battery is brought up and opens fire. 1 88 is lost. Stukas also called in to attack the soviet tanks, destroying 3 of them while the panzers open up. The Soviet tanks withdraw, and hundreds of soviet infantry give themselves up to the panzers.

                    Advances continues for 25 KM, and Soviet tanks appear again, knocking out 3 x 88mm guns.

                    Commanders talk. Either continue the spearhead to link up with 4th Panzer Army at the railway line or eliminate the enemy on their flank. The former decision is chosen. Fliegerkorps 8 promises "the heaviest air support".

                    The panzers reach the railline with mechanized infantry and the motorcycle battalion. They clear the bunkers and destroy an armored train with panzerpioneers (who detonate the track) and a flak 88 firing 400 meters away. The motorcycle battalion gets bracketed by stalin organs and takes losses.

                    The Panzers proceed to attack Soviet rear area services.

                    Divisional HQ: Numerous enemy groups converging on the 24th Panzer division. Prisoners rose from 1,000 to 2,000 with one battalion giving up without firing a shot. 4 enemy tanks destroyed. Enemy position at X with 3 battalions rolled over.

                    Request: strong fighter protection.

                    Recon elements are pushed forward. Division has 9 light, 23 medium, and 1 command panzer operational.

                    76mm SPGs of Panzerjager battalion 670 arrive and is now subordinate to 24th Panzer.

                    Divisional commander addresses his men and orders that captured enemy equipment to be not destroyed. He also says to avoid destroying foodstuffs with careless fire (hay, livestock, horses). Another order: The panzer regiment has been withdrawing panzers from action due to negligible damage. Lightly damaged panzers that can still fight must continue fighting.

                    ~75 men killed or wounded.
                    Last edited by Cult Icon; 23 Aug 14, 01:26.
                    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


                    • #11
                      1st September 1942

                      Division ration strength: 13,723 men

                      Subordinated units:

                      1. Flak battalion
                      2. 1st battalion Werfer Regiment
                      3. Brandenburg
                      4. Replacement Battalion
                      5. Flak Regiment

                      Total: 17,127 men


                      Lost 1 officer and a lot of NCOs (gathered together) to a violent artillery strike.

                      Soviet counterattack with '4-6 tanks' and 2 infantry battalions (up 1,000 men) beaten back.

                      Recon establishes that enemy has strengthened itself against division and reinforced with a lot more artillery.

                      Panzer situation: 14 light, 42 medium, 1 command panzer.

                      Korps: 3,200 prisoners taken, 24th panzer: 1,300 prisoners taken.

                      own losses: 110 dead and injured.

                      24th Panzer division re-grouping:

                      Group Broch (all panzers, commandos, and SPGs merged in this more powerful group) (assault group)

                      Group Edelsheim (stronger in flak) (defense group)

                      Division Reserves: Signals battalion, motorcycle battalion, half armored engineer battalion

                      2nd Sept. 1942

                      Counterattack by soviet battalion (~up to 500 men) with heavy tanks repulsed.

                      Very strong VVS air attacks against division while it advances. This continues all day. Several soft skin vehicles are lost. These aircraft (IL-2s?) have fighter protection.

                      Now 12 KM from Stalingrad.

                      Reports: Soviet defense is poorly executed; 1,400 prisoners taken.

                      Prisoners August 29th to Sept 2nd: 11,000 taken.

                      Order: on the 3rd of Sept, Attack into Stalingrad.

                      Luftwaffe liasion officers will support 24th Panzer and coordinate actions with Stukas and fighter-bombers.

                      Own losses: 250 men killed and wounded today.
                      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


                      • #12
                        3rd Sept 1942

                        Recon in force of infantry and panzers shot at once they crossed the railway line. Connection with 71st Infantry division. Soviet tanks have disappeared.

                        Division commander and several high rankers get minor wounds after being bracketed by artillery.

                        Commander of armored artillery regiment receives grievous wounds and is evacuated. He is replaced by Major von Pawel. Personnel talks: Division is trying to get Oberstleutant Hyazinth Graf von Strachwitz as their new commander of Panzerregiment 24. He is currently a panzer battalion commander of 16th Panzer.

                        Renewed attack by panzer spearhead with 14th panzer with strong air support. One of the panzer company commanders gets shot in the head by a sniper. Several soviet artillery batteries destroyed.

                        3,000 soviet prisoners taken.

                        Signal officer is killed when his car detonates a mine. All other passengers are wounded.

                        140 men are killed and wounded today.

                        4th Sept 1942

                        Attack is continued at dawn and is preceded by Stuka attacks. Fighters are also present.

                        Ground troops assault while enemy is suppressed by the air strikes. A squadron of Henschel assault aircraft also appears for support.

                        The soviets also fire captured German flares and confuse the pilots. This causes a friendly fire accident as Stukas also hit german forces. Vehicles, an AT gun, and several dead and wounded result.

                        Several heavy AT guns overrun. 2 Panzer IVs burn by hits from T-34s. A Marder III knocks out one T-34 and the other 5 withdraw. Several T-34s knocked out by infantry.

                        The T-34s are a problem and are 'well camouflaged'. They are forming blocking positions that limit the division's movement.

                        Graf von Bernstoff, battalion commander of motorized infantry is killed. He is replaced by Graf Wildenfels. 24th Panzer reaches the edge of the city, becoming the first German soldiers that reach Stalingrad.

                        The city is difficult to approach and many german soldiers halt in a forest on the outskirts. "very strong AT, tank, and infantry defense" cited.

                        Soviets launch an infantry counterattack, which is stopped in a few minutes by armored artillery fire.

                        'Here, the continuous multiple enemy defensive belts were deeply penetrated'

                        ~175 men killed and wounded.

                        Colonel von Edelsheim: important future commander of KG Edelsheim and commander of PzG regiment 26:




                        Note: This is a blue blood prussian division, and much- perhaps the greater half (?)- of the officer core are 'vons'. There are also many 'Grafs'. The appendix is very long and have short bios for all their officers, much of which will die.
                        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


                        • #13
                          5th Sept 1942:

                          During the night, strong Soviet artillery fire is laid upon the sector of the 14th and 24th Panzer. Stalin organs and bombers launch several strikes.

                          24th panzer's infantry positions are smothered by artillery, stalin organs, and 'above all by mortars (I'm guessing 120mm and 81mm) in unheard of concentrations'. High german infantry casualties and in many cases direct hits on foxholes. More heavy air attacks are followed.

                          29. Infantry (mot) and 14th Panzer's assault breaks down under heavy fire. Division commanders rethink strategy with Hoth and Kempf, and then regroup the 3 divisions for another attack plan.

                          Soviet supply lorries get lost and are immediately captured by the division.

                          Several strong soviet infantry counterattacks, supported by strong artillery are made, and fighting gets 'hand to hand'.

                          Panzer situation: 10 light, 25 medium, 1 command panzer.

                          2 T-34s destroyed, 1 AT gun, 320 prisoners.

                          Due to weak panzer strength, the korps' panzers are now combined into one grouping with joint commanders from each division.

                          ~215 dead and wounded today.

                          Sept 6th 1942

                          A soviet battalion attacks division at night and is repelled. More bombing and Stalin organ attacks during the night. During the day, the division is constantly bombed with heavy artillery, air attacks, mortars, and missiles. At the same time.......:

                          Strategy conference with General Hoth, Kempf, and all the division commanders and chiefs of staff. Luftwaffe commanders Fiebig (fliegerkorps commander) and others are present.

                          An operational plan for the next major attack is set up with joint operations and every commander playing a part.

                          At the front, the 24th panzer is facing artillery ammunition shortages. Soviet regiment attacks through the forest on a 3 KM wide front. They are repelled but they are only repulsed after 'hand to hand combat'. The soviet regiment then positions itself a mere 100 meters away from 24th panzer division's troops.

                          Battalion Signals, monitoring soviet communications, indicates that Soviets has recognized the new regrouping of the korps.

                          The order of Panzer replacement parts arrive to the division. Ammunition shortages will impede the next attack.

                          140 men killed and wounded today.

                          31st August to 6th Sept:

                          4,910 prisoners taken.

                          7th Sept 1942:

                          Soviet recon in force with a single tank. The scouts are repelled but the soviet tank digs in. Soviets send recon probes all day but each one is repulsed. The usual firepower attacks all day. An air attack lightly wounds General Kempf but he continues working.

                          Divisions perform extensive recon in preparation for the next big push. Soviet artillery and rockets harrasses the korps' assembly and regrouping efforts.

                          Panzer situation: 14 light, 31 medium, 2 command panzers

                          700 soviet prisoners taken.

                          ~50 men dead and wounded today.

                          Regrouping:

                          1. Assault Group Broich
                          2. Defense Group Hellermann
                          3. Division reserve

                          4. Panzer regiment 24 is now subordinated to 14th Panzer as is Security group Salzer
                          Last edited by Cult Icon; 23 Aug 14, 14:31.
                          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


                          • #14
                            8th Sept 1942


                            Objective is to attack through and reach the volga with the rest of the korps. Heavy action with LW air support.

                            First battalion, Flak Regiment 25 destroyed 20 tanks including 2 x KV-1.

                            Divisional commander is severely wounded by devastating mortar shell while talking to motorcycle battalion leaders. They were standing together, far forward while soviet artillery was dropping nearby. Several leaders are also killed and wounded. Commander of motorcycle battalion, von der Groeben, is killed on the spot.

                            3 officers dead, 9 officers wounded. A 'gaping hole had been torn in the officer ranks of the 24th Panzer division'.

                            Command of the 24th Panzer division is passed over to Infantry Brigade commander, Colonel Freiherr von Broich. Command of motorcycle battalion is passed to Rittmeister von Langenn-Steinkeller.

                            Other staff commands are changed, as well.

                            Motorized infantry regiment 21 with zero panzers gains ground slowly against strong soviet units with tanks under continuous losses from massed mortar and Stalin organ fire. This is accomplished on 'unsurveyable' bush terrain. Division takes 250 prisoners and takes the Leather factory and the terrain around it.

                            71st Infantry division stalls and the soviets shift & concentrate their firepower on the 24th Panzer.

                            The Korps Panzer KG destroys 10 T-34, 2 KV1, 1 T-60. 1 KV-1 is damaged.

                            5 Panzers are total losses and a further 33 are damaged. Of the knocked out panzers, 28 are from 24th Panzer division.

                            Artillery ammunition is heavily depleted. Army Chief of staff promises new shipment.

                            Soviets are observed to be massing significant forces against the division, and look to be grouping to retake the Leather factory.

                            Nighttime. The Korps panzer KG knocks out a few more tanks. The panzer KG is 'practically gutted' and the knocked out tanks need repair.

                            Soviets counterattack Defense Group Hellermann and are repelled.

                            Overall, progress has been made towards objective. Small recon patrols are sent out and discover a good assault path. General Kempf sends message congratulating the Korps. New attack missions are assigned.

                            440 prisoners taken

                            Own Losses heavy: 270 men dead and wounded.

                            28 out of 47 Korps Panzer KG are knocked out.

                            24th Panzer's Panzer situation: 9 lights, 10 mediums.
                            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

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                            • #15
                              9th Sept 1942

                              Several battalion and regiment sized soviet attacks repelled. Division spots soviets assembling for a larger attacks, and Stukas are called-in to 'crush the massing soviet forces'. Fliegerkorps 8 say: In '1 to 1 1/2 hours'.

                              2,300 prisoners taken by Korps. 1,600 are taken by 24th Panzer.

                              ~115 men dead and wounded today.

                              10th Sept 1942

                              Enemy recon probes are repulsed.

                              Under Hoth and Kempf, commanders discuss strategy for the attack on Stalingrad.

                              Motorcycle battalion conducts raids and captures a few enemy posts. Divisional lines are improved.

                              Interrogations with deserters reveal that infantry losses among soviets were very high and the backbone of the soviet defense were large quantities of artillery that were 'built up over the past few weeks into tremendous concentrations'. The massing of artillery resulted from front line soviet infantry units being bleed white of infantry in earlier battles. Their artillery elements were grabbed and combined together for the defense of Stalingrad.

                              A Soviet artilllery train is spotting and knocked out. Soviet heavy artillery batteries are identified on the east shore of the Volga.

                              Korps took 3,000 prisoners.

                              Korps Panzer KG is down to 6 lights, 16 mediums, and 2 command panzers.

                              (My comment: basically, this is not a panzer korps anymore but a motorized infantry korps...)

                              11th Sept 1942

                              24th Panzer Ration strength: 12,560 men

                              Subordinated units.

                              Flak battalion
                              RAD Group K22 (??? don't know what this is)
                              Training company
                              Tank hunting battalion
                              Flak Regiment

                              Total: 15,401 men

                              During the night, a soviet tank performed a hit and run attack, 'firing wildly. Not much damage, no deaths.

                              Division's lines are steady and holding. The German units on its flanks are pushing steadily forward and aligning themselves with 24th Panzer, which had attacked to the deepest point and formed a salient.

                              The advancing flanks relieves 24th panzer of much harmful soviet firepower. Stalingrad is now encircled from the south and the west.

                              Panzer battalion is returned to 24th Panzer are Korps Panzer KG is disbanded. 4 Light, 10 medium, and 2 command panzers operational.

                              Generaloberst Hoth's 'big time' message to the troops:

                              ".....4th Panzer Army will succeed in wrenching Stalingrad, the city of Stalin, away from the Soviets.

                              The fame won will be unforgettable to you , the German Army, and your descendants. It comes down to each man. Everyone double your strength. The weight of German weapons will break the last of the enemy's will to resist. Long Live the Fuhrer!!"


                              The Plan: Urban warfare.

                              Regrouping:

                              Assault Group Edelsheim is beefed up by transferring units from Defense Group Hellermann. Edelsheim's men get all flamethrowers from panzerpioneer battalion plus 5 x 76mm SPG and 2 X 88mm guns. Several 20mm Halftracks are transferred, 'not for AA but for sweeping away tough enemy resistance'.

                              Assault groups are formed, based around flamethrowers, AA, AT guns, artillery pieces. Explosives and hand grenades are supplied in quantity to assault spearheads.

                              Panzers and halftracks follow the assault infantry to provide fire support.

                              Precautions made: Many buildings probably wired with explosives, prisoners are to be interrogated for this information. Detailed maps of the city are distributed.

                              90 prisoners taken.

                              95 men are killed and wounded today.
                              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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