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ORBAT - 21st Panzer Division - Operation Bluecoat August 194
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fourpipers
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:10 am    Post subject: ORBAT - 21st Panzer Division - Operation Bluecoat August 194 Reply with quote

All,

just wonering if anyone could recommend books that cover the actions of 21st Panzer Division during Operation Bluecoat. I am particulary interested in the actions around Points 309 and 226 on the 1st August 1944.

I have the excellent Operation Bluecoat in the Battleground Europe series by ian Daglish but very few cross references to flesh out my research.

What do I know:

1. As of 1 August they had 42 Panzer IVs (all types) and 21 assault guns
2. Attached were 13 King Tigers from 3rd company, Heavy Panzer Battlion 503
3. Infantry brought up to strength with 2000 men from 16th Luftwaffedivision
4. APCs were also brought up to strength with new vehicles straight from the factories
5. The infantry supporting the attack against hill 309 were most probably from 192nd Pz Grenadier Regiment as part (at least) of the 125th Pz Gren Regt was reported fighting elsewhere and the battle does not feature in Hans Von's Luck's Panzer Commander
6. The artillery of the division supported the attack

BTW can anyone help me out with access to a scenario on HIll 309 in an issue of the SOTWCW (1999) ?

As always good ORBATs and maps make such a difference. Any help appreciated,

cheers

Mark
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Richard B.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:24 pm    Post subject: Re: ORBAT - 21st Panzer Division - Operation Bluecoat August Reply with quote

fourpipers wrote:

BTW can anyone help me out with access to a scenario on HIll 309 in an issue of the SOTWCW (1999) ?

cheers Mark


I`ve sent you photo copies of this article, havn`t you received them?
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Panzer21
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:28 pm    Post subject: Re: ORBAT - 21st Panzer Division - Operation Bluecoat August Reply with quote

fourpipers wrote:
All,

just wonering if anyone could recommend books that cover the actions of 21st Panzer Division during Operation Bluecoat. I am particulary interested in the actions around Points 309 and 226 on the 1st August 1944.

I have the excellent Operation Bluecoat in the Battleground Europe series by ian Daglish but very few cross references to flesh out my research.

What do I know:

1. As of 1 August they had 42 Panzer IVs (all types) and 21 assault guns
2. Attached were 13 King Tigers from 3rd company, Heavy Panzer Battlion 503
3. Infantry brought up to strength with 2000 men from 16th Luftwaffedivision
4. APCs were also brought up to strength with new vehicles straight from the factories
5. The infantry supporting the attack against hill 309 were most probably from 192nd Pz Grenadier Regiment as part (at least) of the 125th Pz Gren Regt was reported fighting elsewhere and the battle does not feature in Hans Von's Luck's Panzer Commander
6. The artillery of the division supported the attack

BTW can anyone help me out with access to a scenario on HIll 309 in an issue of the SOTWCW (1999) ?

As always good ORBATs and maps make such a difference. Any help appreciated,

cheers

Mark


I'll have a look in Perigault's book on 21st Panzer & I recently got hold of a copy of Feuctinger's de-brief after the war which concentrates on actions against the Yanks.
There is also a new German divisional history which has just been published, but I don't (yet) have a copy (& it's in German to boot!)
Neil
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Alanmccoubrey
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, According to Perigault, II/192 and the Assault Gun Bn were not with the division at this time, they were Panzer Group West reserve. II/PR 22 had been withdrawn to Germany for training on Panther and all tanks transfered to I/22 which on 270744 had 40 runners. The heavies were from 1. and 2./503 The only mention of v Luck is at the end of the fighting when the two "breakout" KGs are listed, one was his and made up of 125, I and II. PAR 155, Felders 200 and Panzer Bn 200 (I think a typo for Pz PI 200)) and the other Rauch's of 192, I/PR 22 and III/PAR 155. Alan
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Panzer21
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>just wonering if anyone could recommend books that cover the actions
of 21st Panzer Division during Operation Bluecoat. I am particulary
interested in the actions around Points 309 and 226 on the 1st August
1944.

I have the excellent Operation Bluecoat in the Battleground Europe
series by ian Daglish but very few cross references to flesh out my
research.

What do I know:<

I suspect you should write "know" as all facts are subject to interpretation..........Smile
Comments follow:

>1. As of 1 August they had 42 Panzer IVs (all types) and 21 assault
guns<

Sources I have seen suggest at most 20 Panzer IVs. Unable to confirm numbers of assault guns (assume Hotchkiss SPGs of Stg Abt 200).

>2. Attached were 13 King Tigers from 3rd company, Heavy Panzer
Battalion 503<

Unlikely. sPzAbt 503 sent its 3rd company to be re-equipped with Konigstigers but did not return until Falaise. The 1st company had 12 Kingtigers on arrival in Normandy, the rest of the btn being equipped with Tiger 1s. Zetterling shows the abt as having 11 tanks ready for service with an unknown number in short term repair.

>3. Infantry brought up to strength with 2000 men from 16th
Luftwaffedivision<

Perrigault gives 1500 men at most. The division may have received other replacements to bring the total up to 2000.

>4. APCs were also brought up to strength with new vehicles straight
from the factories<

Source? I have seen nothing to support the contention that the gepanzert btns of the PG regts received any more apcs until well after Normandy. Given the parlous state of the German war industry & how little replacement equipment was sent to other formations in Normandy, I suggest a complete re-equipment to be unlikely. Furthermore, it appears that the PG units had suffered considerable casualties from being in action since 6th June (hence the drafting in of Luftwaffe replacements).
21st Panzer was unusual in having 2 out of 4 btns gepanzert, since most units were lucky to have 1 to 11/2 out of 4 or 6 (Lehr being the most unusual in having all 4 btns gp).
Dugdale shows 21st Pnz with very few apcs by 1st Sept. While the division did suffer between 1st Aug & 1st Sept, it is unlikely they suffered 80-90% losses in apcs that a re-equipment would suggest.
I would contend that if they received any apcs, the numbers are likely to have been small. In German practice the aufklarungs abt usually got priority in assignment of apcs.

>5. The infantry supporting the attack against hill 309 were most
probably from 192nd Pz Grenadier Regiment as part (at least) of the
125th Pz Gren Regt was reported fighting elsewhere and the battle
does not feature in Hans Von's Luck's Panzer Commander
6. The artillery of the division supported the attack<

All Perrigault says is that the division formed into 2 kampfgruppen each based around one of the PG regts. 192nd is the most likely contender.

Neil
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fourpipers
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree - unfortunately my sources are scarce hence the request for other references. Numbers of tanks (especially German at any one time are always a bit rubbery)

>1. As of 1 August they had 42 Panzer IVs (all types) and 21 assault
guns<[taken from Ian Daglish page 92 - unsure of his source]

Sources [????which ???? as of what date??] I have seen suggest at most 20 Panzer IVs. Unable to confirm numbers of assault guns (assume Hotchkiss SPGs of Stg Abt 200).

>2. Attached were 13 King Tigers from 3rd company, Heavy Panzer
Battalion 503<[once again Ian Daglish page 92]

[This thread shows Tiger IIs in sPzAbt 503 on 8th August]
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?p=224662&highlight=&sid=1a8a6b350d8ed34c556e3c3688f48b22

[Tigers in Combat page 133-134 by Wolfgang Schneider has 3rd Company receiving 13 King Tigers AFTER they were withdrawn from Normandy. He also has 15 "tigers" attached to KG von Oppeln - Bronikowski (i.e. 22nd Panzer Regiment) Tiger IIs mentioned in this group at Mont Pincon. Panzers in Normandy also supports this - therefore no 3rd Company on the 1st August !]

Unlikely. sPzAbt 503 sent its 3rd company to be re-equipped with Konigstigers but did not return until Falaise. The 1st company had 12 Kingtigers on arrival in Normandy, the rest of the btn being equipped with Tiger 1s. Zetterling shows the abt as having 11 tanks ready for service with an unknown number in short term repair. [as of what date ???]

>3. Infantry brought up to strength with 2000 men from 16th
Luftwaffedivision<

Perrigault gives 1500 men at most. The division may have received other replacements to bring the total up to 2000.

[what it the Perrigault book like for Normandy ? I have considered buying it but was unsure as it covers other theatres as well]

>4. APCs were also brought up to strength with new vehicles straight
from the factories<[this is in Panzer Commander page 202 - he mentions that they received factory fresh APCs and well-trained replacements just prior to Op Bluecoat and marvels at "logistics" that achieved this and OP Bluecoat by Ian Daglish- could be just repeating the same info]

Source? I have seen nothing to support the contention that the gepanzert btns of the PG regts received any more apcs until well after Normandy. Given the parlous state of the German war industry & how little replacement equipment was sent to other formations in Normandy, I suggest a complete re-equipment to be unlikely. Furthermore, it appears that the PG units had suffered considerable casualties from being in action since 6th June (hence the drafting in of Luftwaffe replacements).
21st Panzer was unusual in having 2 out of 4 btns gepanzert, since most units were lucky to have 1 to 11/2 out of 4 or 6 (Lehr being the most unusual in having all 4 btns gp).
Dugdale shows 21st Pnz with very few apcs by 1st Sept. While the division did suffer between 1st Aug & 1st Sept, it is unlikely they suffered 80-90% losses in apcs that a re-equipment would suggest.
I would contend that if they received any apcs, the numbers are likely to have been small. In German practice the aufklarungs abt usually got priority in assignment of apcs.
[makes sense]

>5. The infantry supporting the attack against hill 309 were most
probably from 192nd Pz Grenadier Regiment as part (at least) of the
125th Pz Gren Regt was reported fighting elsewhere and the battle
does not feature in Hans Von's Luck's Panzer Commander
6. The artillery of the division supported the attack<

All Perrigault says is that the division formed into 2 kampfgruppen each based around one of the PG regts. 192nd is the most likely contender.

Neil[/quote]
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Panzer21
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree - unfortunately my sources are scarce hence the request for other references. Numbers of tanks (especially German at any one time are always a bit rubbery)

>1. As of 1 August they had 42 Panzer IVs (all types) and 21 assault
guns<[taken from Ian Daglish page 92 - unsure of his source]

Sources [????which ???? as of what date??] I have seen suggest at most 20 Panzer IVs. Unable to confirm numbers of assault guns (assume Hotchkiss SPGs of Stg Abt 200).<

Sorry classic case of trying to remember things in your head instead of quoting from an open book..... Embarassed
I had the figure of "20" in my head, possibly from Perrigault. I also had a different date in my head Embarassed Embarassed
Zetterling gives PzIV strength as 42 combat ready & 16 in short-term repair on 1 Aug. By the 4 Aug this was down to 26 combat ready & two days later 20 (with either none or an unknown number in repair).
They seem to have stayed at around 19-20 until 11 Aug. By the 22 Aug they were down to 10 tanks. Perrigault reports none of these 10 survived the retreat (which is borne out by Dugdale's figures for 1 Sept).


>2. Attached were 13 King Tigers from 3rd company, Heavy Panzer
Battalion 503<[once again Ian Daglish page 92]

[This thread shows Tiger IIs in sPzAbt 503 on 8th August]
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?p=224662&highlight=&sid=1a8a6b350d8ed34c556e3c3688f48b22

[Tigers in Combat page 133-134 by Wolfgang Schneider has 3rd Company receiving 13 King Tigers AFTER they were withdrawn from Normandy. He also has 15 "tigers" attached to KG von Oppeln - Bronikowski (i.e. 22nd Panzer Regiment) Tiger IIs mentioned in this group at Mont Pincon. Panzers in Normandy also supports this - therefore no 3rd Company on the 1st August !]

Unlikely. sPzAbt 503 sent its 3rd company to be re-equipped with Konigstigers but did not return until Falaise. The 1st company had 12 Kingtigers on arrival in Normandy, the rest of the btn being equipped with Tiger 1s. Zetterling shows the abt as having 11 tanks ready for service with an unknown number in short term repair. [as of what date ???]<

The "11" is from 6 Aug Embarassed
As of 1 Aug they had 13 tanks operational & 16 in short term repair. No idea on types. Only 12 Kingtigers were sent to the unit before 1 Aug (sent 12 June). The 3rd coy with 14 Tiger IIs were not dispatched until 11 Aug fro Mailly.

>3. Infantry brought up to strength with 2000 men from 16th
Luftwaffedivision<

Perrigault gives 1500 men at most. The division may have received other replacements to bring the total up to 2000.

[what it the Perrigault book like for Normandy ? I have considered buying it but was unsure as it covers other theatres as well]<

Well half or more of the book in for North Africa. As I'm a 21 Panzer nut for both theatres it was an easy buy for me. It IS pricey & the French text contains much more info than the English translation/summary.
The new book by Kortenhaus appeals, but it is all in German.........

>4. APCs were also brought up to strength with new vehicles straight
from the factories<[this is in Panzer Commander page 202 - he mentions that they received factory fresh APCs and well-trained replacements just prior to Op Bluecoat and marvels at "logistics" that achieved this and OP Bluecoat by Ian Daglish- could be just repeating the same info]

Source? I have seen nothing to support the contention that the gepanzert btns of the PG regts received any more apcs until well after Normandy. Given the parlous state of the German war industry & how little replacement equipment was sent to other formations in Normandy, I suggest a complete re-equipment to be unlikely. Furthermore, it appears that the PG units had suffered considerable casualties from being in action since 6th June (hence the drafting in of Luftwaffe replacements).
21st Panzer was unusual in having 2 out of 4 btns gepanzert, since most units were lucky to have 1 to 11/2 out of 4 or 6 (Lehr being the most unusual in having all 4 btns gp).
Dugdale shows 21st Pnz with very few apcs by 1st Sept. While the division did suffer between 1st Aug & 1st Sept, it is unlikely they suffered 80-90% losses in apcs that a re-equipment would suggest.
I would contend that if they received any apcs, the numbers are likely to have been small. In German practice the aufklarungs abt usually got priority in assignment of apcs.
[makes sense]<quote][/quote]

Ah Von Luck........
IIRC the AA was attached to his KG so maybe they got 'em?
In any case wasn't his btn the non-gepanzert one? I wonder just how many apcs they got.
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Alanmccoubrey
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, Perigault makes a point of saying that the excellent work of the repair service brought the strength back up to 40 tanks.

Neil, both the Pz Gren Regts had an armoured battalion.
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Panzer21
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alanmccoubrey wrote:
Mark, Perigault makes a point of saying that the excellent work of the repair service brought the strength back up to 40 tanks.

Neil, both the Pz Gren Regts had an armoured battalion.


Yes Alan I know........... Very Happy However Von Luck seems to have started with the "unarmoured" btn in his KG (II Btn 125? IIRC). Of course we are talking of a later time frame here.

My problem is with the concept of a unit being "brought back up to strength" with APCs at this stage of the war.
Reading accounts of various units (such as the 9th, 10th & 12th SS) suggests re-equipping was very much a case of dribs & drabs of often less than full numbers of equipment. Just how much spare equipment did Germany have at this stage of the war?

As I see it we are dealing with several issues here:
What losses in SPW had the units suffered?
What are we talking about in replacement numbers of SPWs?
Is Von Luck talking about one btn? Regt? Both regts?

This leaves us with an unquantifiable number of SPW. In fact since VL may only be talking about 125 PG, so the 192 PG may not have got any at all.

I guess it comes down to an educated guess when it comes to making a scenario.
Neil
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A must is Panzer Commander, memoirs of Hans Von Luck. He was in charge of the 21st panzer division from the onset of D-day onwards.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HansVonLucke wrote:
A must is Panzer Commander, memoirs of Hans Von Luck. He was in charge of the 21st panzer division from the onset of D-day onwards.


Actually no he wasn't......... Very Happy
He WAS in charge of KG Luck which was roughly 1/3rd of the division, based around his own PG Regt.
His memoires are a good read, but like all memoires should be approached with caution.

For the record Feuctinger was the CO of the (Neu) 21st Panzer. You can read his de-brief by US forces after the war, although sadly his US captors were only interested in the part played by 21 Pnz against US forces.
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Akosion
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Panzer21 wrote:
For the record Feuctinger was the CO of the (Neu) 21st Panzer. You can read his de-brief by US forces after the war, although sadly his US captors were only interested in the part played by 21 Pnz against US forces.


Neil, I'm sure they were also VERY interested in his intimate knowledge of Paris' more civilised...ahem....distractions, but that part didn't make in into the report. Smile
Kortenhaus' history on the 21. PD has a sadly very short description of a meeting between Feuchtinger and Rommel sometime after the landings, where Rommel berates him for being away to the city of light on D-Day, and the phrasing of the account suggests that Feuchtinger had a few things to say about his superior's decision to be in Ulm for his wife's birthday at the same time. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that one Smile.
I've posted some info from Kortenhaus at the ToB forum- it's at http://www.testofbattle.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1543 .
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Panzer21
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Akosion wrote:
Panzer21 wrote:
For the record Feuctinger was the CO of the (Neu) 21st Panzer. You can read his de-brief by US forces after the war, although sadly his US captors were only interested in the part played by 21 Pnz against US forces.


Neil, I'm sure they were also VERY interested in his intimate knowledge of Paris' more civilised...ahem....distractions, but that part didn't make in into the report. Smile
Kortenhaus' history on the 21. PD has a sadly very short description of a meeting between Feuchtinger and Rommel sometime after the landings, where Rommel berates him for being away to the city of light on D-Day, and the phrasing of the account suggests that Feuchtinger had a few things to say about his superior's decision to be in Ulm for his wife's birthday at the same time. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that one Smile.
I've posted some info from Kortenhaus at the ToB forum- it's at http://www.testofbattle.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1543 .
Aris K.


Aris,
I'm sure the professional historians of the US army did not concern themselves with such matters...... Very Happy Very Happy
I saw the info on ToB. As you posted that the PG btns were 200 strong it follows that it probably didn't take many SPW to "fully" re-equip them........ Very Happy

I am sorely tempted by the Kortenhaus book (even with my poor German), but Helion are offering it for a whopping 45 GBP. I note in Germany it retails for 35 euros, so even with postage it would work out cheaper. My problem is finding a German bookseller I can buy it from!
There is a one on ebay but he doesn't take paypal & I found an online retailer who took cards, but his online cart got scrambled by being unable to load characters or something similar. I shall have to resort to my trusty electronic translator & contact them.
Neil
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Akosion
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neil,
Kortenhaus is quite good, especially for Normandy. His "play-by-play" on how and when the varioius units in Normandy were alerted on June 6 is particularly interesting. Be warned though he has relatively few maps or charts, it's mostly a narrative. If you have Aberger's history of 21. PD in Africa, it's a bit similar, but without the extremely detailed equipment information Aberger often includes.
I always use zinnfigur.com for my German books, and they've never been anything shotr of excellent.
Aris K.
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Panzer21
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Akosion wrote:
Neil,
Kortenhaus is quite good, especially for Normandy. His "play-by-play" on how and when the varioius units in Normandy were alerted on June 6 is particularly interesting. Be warned though he has relatively few maps or charts, it's mostly a narrative. If you have Aberger's history of 21. PD in Africa, it's a bit similar, but without the extremely detailed equipment information Aberger often includes.
I always use zinnfigur.com for my German books, and they've never been anything shotr of excellent.
Aris K.


Thanks Aris.
Is the Aberger book titled something like "Battles/[fights] of the 21st Panzer" ("die schlachte 21PD")?
Neil
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