Joined: 13 Mar 2007
|Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:09 pm Post subject: 10th SS Panzer Division at Arnhem
|Having survived Xmas, New Year & the other halfs birthday, I have eventually got around to posting something in response to Alcal's request.
Please note this is a rough & ready "work in progress" & I can claim no definitive knowledge on the subject, this is just what I have compiled from various sources, none alas primary.
J Dugdale "Panzer & Panzergrenadier Divisions & Panzer Brigades" Vol 1
J Dugdale "Waffen SS Panzer Divisions in Normandy"
W Tielke "In the Firestorm of the last years of the war"
R Kershaw "It never snows in September"
M Zwarts "German Armoured units at Arnhem"
Dugdale provides the best & most comprehensive orbat, but there are problems. He does not specify his source (which does produce comment on occaission) but that in itself is not the main problem, since I believe the info is accurate.
The OoBs are obviously from the Meldung (report on equipment & manpower held by the division). 9th SS is from 3/9/44 & 10th SS from 5/9/44. For the 10th SS at least this coincides with the order from II SS Korps HQ to concentrate at Arnhem preparatory to reorganisation.
Thus the Meldung as reproduced in Dugdale details all the equipment held under command BEFORE reorganisation AND without any additional resources, troop movements etc immediately after the Meldung was completed. It also probably does not include any "additional" resources "acquired" by the division.
The upshot is that I don't think the following is 100% accurate, but I am not sure such a thing is possible given the situation & frequent reorganisations, attachments etc.
Suffice to note that on arrival in Arnhem the various components were reorganised & II SS Pz Korps decided that 10th SS would remain & 9th SS reorganise in Germany. This was based on the fact that 10th SS were expecting their I abt from the Panzer regt (which in the event never arrived) & the recently equipped SS Panzerjager abt 10. Frundsbergers however believed that the real reason was that Bittrich favoured 9th SS as he had been there CO.........
9th SS were to retain any vehicles which could not be repaired in the field workshops & would need repairing in Germany. Other vehicles were to be turned over to 10th SS, along with some troops. The alacrity with which 9th SS obeyed is well known..........
10th SS Panzerdivision "Frundsberg"
Divisional HQ, signals & escort company (Begleit).
No definitive details, usual HQ/radio vehicles
SS Panzer Regt 10, IIabt
2x companies of armour, 6th with Panzer IV & 7th with Stug III
(Numbers vary, up to 16 Pz IV & 4 Stug. Lowest number given is "8 tanks")
KG Reinhold formed from dismounted tank crews, approx 2 companies (5th & 8th?)
2x SdKfz 7/1 SP AA (Zwarts gives these to Flak abt 10)
There is some evidence that Panthers later joined the unit. Zwarts assumed this was the missing I Abt. Unfortunately this is unlikely as the I Abt did not rejoin the division until 1945 (see Feldgrau forum for an interesting discussion on the subject).
However it seems some Panthers entered "the Island" after the Arnhem road bridge was cleared. They seem to have come with KG Knaust.
The most likely source is SS Pz Div 9 who had up to 5 Panthers (2 under repair). Harmel cryptically notes that the only armour available to Frundsberg were the "Pz IV abt & Panzerjager abt" apart from "those in Arnheim under repair". This could refer to the tanks from 10th SS or may indeed include 9th SS vehicles as well. Numbers given vary from 3 to 5 to 8.
At most we are talking 1 model Panther...........
SS Panzer Grenadier Regt Frundsberg
The PzGren regts were combined into one regt. However this was after the Meldung in Dugdale. Losses in Normandy & during the retreat had been severe. Strength is given as "1 1/2 btns" per regt.
It appears that all the Pak troops & equipment had been stripped out of the PzGren units & formed into a company of 3 platoons, total of 12 75mm guns. These were attached to Panzerjager abt 10.
The remnants comprised roughly 4 btns. One from 21 PzGren regt (KG Richter) was immediately detached to KG Heinke along with KG Segler from 9th SS (which was attached to 10th SS then sent to the front due to pressing need). KG Euling was drafted in from 9th SS.
Euling was made up of 2 companies, total strength 100 men, partly motorised, partly mounted on bicycles. Also sometimes refered to as II/22 & the "Ghost" btn.
The other btns were organised into 2 rifle & 1 heavy weapons companies (this would be MGs & mortars as no other weapons held).
21st PzGren regt held a large number of SPW but they were supposed to turn these over to the Aufklarungs Abt. Looking at the reported strength of this unit later it appears few if any were in fact turned over (either that or KG Brinkman is stronger than reports indicate). It may be that KG Richter received them all or the majority.
10th SS Auflarungs Abt (KG Brinkman)
HQ: 2 VW/Schwimm, 2 M/cycles, 1x 251/3, 1x 250/3(probably an exWH "alt"), 4x 250/1 (probably "Neu")
1st Coy: 2xVW, 4xM/cycle, 3x 231, 6x 222, 2x250/9
3rd Coy: 1x Scwimm, 2 solo M/C, 2x 250/3, 5x 250/1, 1x 250/7, 1x 250/10, 4x trucks
5th Coy: 1x VW, 1 Civilian car, 2x M/C, 1x 251/3, 3x 251/1, 3x 251/9, 1x 251/5, 1 civilian truck.
Supply Coy: 3x cars, 4x lt trucks, 17x med trucks, 2x heavy trucks, 1x sdkfz7
As noted this unit was supposed to receive all the SPW from the Panzer Grenadier regts (total 36 mSPW). It had at least 1x "Beep" painted in 3-colour camo. I don't think Zwarts' Panhard is correct (as he admits it is a long shot).
1x coy mounted on bicycles (!) were detached & attached to KG Heinke.
10th SS Flakabt
1x 88mm (towed) 2x 2cm (towed) 1x 3.7cm (towed). Probably included 3x sdkfz 10/4 SP 2cm from PzGren & very possibly the 2x sdkfz 7/1 from Pz Regt 10, as it seems the reorganisation concentrated equipment in the appropriate unit.
10th SS Pioneer Abt
1x coy was despatched with KG Heinke.
2x companies under the CO Brandt were sent to Nijmigen. One operated the ferry crossing at Pannerdorn & the other acted as combat engineers.
KG Baumgaertel appears to be the combat element with possibly Munski commanding the pioneers at the ferry. Some sources put both coys in Nijmegen.
10th SS Artillerie Regt
No SP guns available. Dugdale gives 4x 10.5cm & 2x 15cm towed guns.
1 batterie sent with KG Heinke (as KG Krause) of "10cm" guns.
The unit acquired a number of "new howitzers" from an armaments train during the retreat. These are given as "12" (Tielke) or "20" (Dugdale).
Heinz Harmel (in Kershaw) gives the unit as having "4 batteries of 6 guns"
I would guess that 2-4 guns were dispatched with Krause, leaving the unit with up to 22-24 guns (towed).
10th SS Panzerjager Abt (KG Roestel)
21x Jagdpanzer IV in 2 coys (1 in HQ) of 3 platoons each.
12x Pak 40 in 1x coy (3 platoons) towed by a mix of Sdkfz10, Mauleiter & lt trucks (from PzGren regts).
Dispatched with KG Heinke on arrival (although I have seen comments on a forum that may indicate the Jgpnz IV with Heinke came from elsewhere).
In Nijmegen, KG Euling was reinforced with what Kershaw describes as "Panzerjager IV" but Tielke calls "Stug", total of 4. This would neatly match Panzerkompanie 7 with 4x Stug............
I hope this is of interest & would welcome any further comments/information.