10/08/2014 at 00:16 #3941
I have been wondering about the use of Pz III and Pz IVs in German Panzer Divisions in 1943. Specifically for the Kursk operation, but I guess the question has wider application. I have been looking on t’interweb thingy but without much luck – very few orbats go down to individual AFV type.
So my question is, would a Panzer Regiment’ 2 constituent Battalions have operated a mix of III and IV’s? Or would the presumably smaller number of IIIs been concentrated into just the one battalion? How about Company organisation – would companies been made up entirely of IIIs or IVs?
Presumably at Zug level they would all have been of the same type to ease logistics and maintenance considerations as much as possible. (Although I do appreciate there was a good deal of interchangeability, but of course the main armament was completely different.)
If anyone can point me to a source I’d be very grateful – thanks!10/08/2014 at 09:55 #3955NTMParticipant
I’ve tried without much luck to find the same info for the units on Sicily. Overall totals are relatively easy to find but breakdown at battalion and company have so far proved elusive.10/08/2014 at 11:22 #3960James (olicana) RoachParticipant
I would presume that it would be similar to the earlier mix with tanks concentrated by type into companies (presumably to ease the resupply of ammunition and spares) and types of companies divided as equally as possible between battalions. Certainly, all of the orbats I’ve seen showing the composition of two battalion regiments show the breakdown of one battalion and a note saying ‘same as other battalion’ on the other. Unfortunately the latest I have is for May 42, and for the desert at that.
Having said that, earlier in the war (DAK 41), when the mix was Mk IIs, IIIs & IVs all of the III and IV companies had a platoon of Mk IIs. As soon as the IIs were lost (they were not replaced) they became companies solely of either IIIs or IVs mixed two to one in each battalion. The IIs, BTW, were used to screen flanks whilst they lasted (not long).
However it was done, from earlier form, it is probable that both battalions would be relatively equal in hitting power.
It’s not what you want, but I hope it helps.
My whoring and daubing:
http://olicanalad.blogspot.co.uk/12/08/2014 at 02:49 #4096piers brandParticipant
Which unit at Kursk you looking for info on?13/08/2014 at 07:12 #4222quidveritasParticipant
The short answer is “it depends”. On the year and in some cases, the theater. SS outfits and Elite outfits like Gross Deutschland and Lehr often had unique organizations for reasons I will not discuss here.
Parts and maintenance and repair issues often dictated that units be homogenous. (two types of tanks literally doubles the inventory of spare parts needed).
The 1940 Tank Division actually had 4 different TO&E !
The 41 Tank Division had one tank regiment of three battalions. (African units had two battalions). Each battalion consisted of three companies of 22 tanks (2 Pz III and one Pz IV). Each company was entirely Pz III or Pz IV. Hard to tell how they were actually employed. You can find some interesting accounts that make you wonder what was going on — I suspect the regimental/battalion CO had great latitude.
The next big armored division shake-up took place in June of 44 (officially). Panzer III’s long gone by then.
Hope that helps.13/08/2014 at 20:57 #4326
“I have been wondering about the use of Pz III and Pz IVs in German Panzer Divisions in 1943. Specifically for the Kursk operation…”
Sorry you haven’t had more useful answers. Earlier unit composition isn’t particularly helpful for Kursk, except to note that companies were typically homogeneous–by mark, not necessarily by variant. Do you have access to a copy of the second volume Jentz’s Panzertruppen? I’ll see if I can summarize.
The most typical Heer structure probably was two battalions, each with a headquarters and one medium company equipped with Pz IV, and two (or three) light companies equipped with Pz III. Medium companies that were short Pz IVs were occasionally filled out with a platoon of Pz III. Light company structure, as mentioned, could be all of one variant or include mixed variants. Any remaining Pz II would typically be a platoon in the regimental headquarters. In some cases, a Pz III Flamm platoon was attached to one or more battalions.
There were exceptions: for example Pz Regt Grossdeutchland, with one battalion of Pz IV, a second battalion mixed as above, and a heavy company of Tiger Ia.
Confusing? It is to me… And that’s without getting into the Panther-equipped battalions!
Allen15/08/2014 at 03:55 #4515
Thanks so much for all of your responses. I think Allen’s summary is as good a summary as I’ll find. Thanks mate!15/08/2014 at 04:45 #4518
No problem, Sparker. That’s the best I can come up with!
Allen16/08/2014 at 16:32 #4695
Ah! A gentleman on the other forum seems to be trying to answer your question:
Allen16/08/2014 at 19:09 #4719Edward SturgesParticipant
For some reason yesterday I couldn’t post using an iPad so resorted to TMP as indicated above. Reported below as it’s my own post.
“A question was asked on another site that I can’t for some reason post on about the company allocation of Panzer III and IV in 1943.
I don’t have a full picture but Didier Lodieu’s III Pz Korps at Kursk has some data:
Pz-Div.6: II/Pz-Rgt.11 (I/ was in Germany re equipping)
HQ: 6 Pz II, 7 Pz III lg, 8 Pz III(75)
5.kp: 4 Pz III(75), 10 Pz III lg, 6 Pz IV lg
6.kp: 4 Pz III(75), 8 Pz III lg, 7 Pz IV lg
7.kp: 4 Pz III(75), 7 Pz III lg, 8 Pz IV lg
8.kp: 3 Pz III(75), 9 Pz III lg, 8 Pz IV lg + (att?) 13 flammpanzers
Stab: 3 PzBef, 4 Pz II
HQ: 2 PzBef, 4 Pz II
1 kp: 2 Pz IV, 13 Pz III
2.kp: 2 Pz IV, 14 Pz III
3.kp: 15 Pz IV
HQ: 2 PzBef, 4 Pz II
4.kp: 2 Pz IV, 14 Pz III
5.kp: 2 Pz IV, 14 Pz III
6.kp: 15 Pz IV
Stab: 2 PzBef, 1 Pz III lg
HQ: 1 Pz III lg, 1 Pz III kz, 1 Pz III(75)
1 kp: 5 Pz III lg, 3 Pz III(75)
2.kp: 5 Pz III lg, 3 Pz III(75)
3.kp: 9 Pz IV lg
4.kp: 9 Pz IV lg, 2 Pz IV kz
HQ: 2 PzBef, 5 Pz III lg, 1 Pz III kz
5.kp: 5 Pz III lg, 3 Pz III(75)
6.kp: 9 Pz IV lg
7.kp: 9 Pz IV lg
Note that I haven’t corroborated the totals and some of the allocations e.g. Pz-Div.6 I/Pz-Rgt.11 HQ look odd.
Anyway, the net result is consistently inconsistent.
Note that Jentz’s Panzertruppen vol 2 gives an allocation for Pz-Rgt.11 in April 1943 down to platoon (zug).”
Edward16/08/2014 at 23:36 #4732
Thank you so much Edward that’s exactly the info I was looking for! I think its a fair assumption that other Pz Divs had mixed companies in the same way.
Much appreciated mate!
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