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#26 DocCasualty

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 08:45 PM

Not necessarily due to bad leadership. . . I dont know details of the engagement, but I the terrain looked to favoured the American defence against the German counter-attack. It was not Panzer country where line of sight of greater distances gave the advantage to the Germans like in the East. That is not to say the US had it easy, because it would have still been a very hard fight.


Well, I don't want to beat a dead horse here, but I think this all does speak to poor leadership in this instance, accompanied by the other mitigating factors. I think it underscores that Bäke failed to appreciate the terrain he was fighting in, let alone the capabilities of his Western foes.

Here is a quote that in part implicates the German lack of radio communications in their tanks:

German unit records show complaints about the lack of effective reconnaissance, but Bäke appears to have lost effective control of the brigade by early morning as the various columns became scattered in the hilly farmlands. US artillery forward observers reported that the Germans were suffering from communications problems, and that they could see panzer crews running from tank to tank to carry messages, even in the midst of artillery strikes.

However, my take is that Bäke split up his forces as he had done effectively in the East in the past. He did not take into account the hilly terrain, let alone the type of forces and weapons he was against. Once things began to go awry, their was no effective communications between the units and they became lambs taken to the slaughter.

Luck played a part for the American artillery, at least IMHO with regards to the 949th FA Bn's successful strike in Mairy. The portion of the 106th main column attempting to infiltrate the village was on a "sunken road" (my father referred to it as a valley). The lead tank was disabled by infantry with a bazooka, setting the trap. It just so happened that Lt. J. Russell Major, FO of Battery B of the 949th, was on the high ground and saw this unfold before his eyes, called in the coordinates and 5 Panthers and 20 half-tracks were knocked out by over 300 HE rounds from the 155mm Howitzers. Again, I think the Germans/Bäke failed to appreciate the terrain, setting themselves up for this debacle.



"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederic II of Prussia
"In 9 months and 3 days of combat on the Continent the 949th FA Bn had fired 51,000 rounds of ammunition, approximately 2,550 tons." - Unit History


#27 BWilson

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 03:22 AM

Zaloga had this to say in Lorraine 1944: Patton vs. Manteuffel:

And according to Zaloga "the attack (on the 90th Division) was ordered for the night of 6 September, but was delayed by the late arrival of the 59th Inf. Rgt.", so it seems impossible they could have fought elsewhere the day prior to Mairy.


Doc, my guess at this point is that the remnants of the 106th Brigade retreated north after being defeated south of Aumetz; and then found their line of retreat being approached from the west by the 5th Armored Division. Thus the action between Bascharage and Luxembourg City.

There is a curious gap in the U.S. official histories here. The Siegfried Line Campaign should be the volume to cover this action, but it only mentions actions north of Luxembourg City, while The Lorraine Campaign covers actions south of the Luxembourg-France border, so the actions around Luxembourg City itself apparently are not addressed in the official histories.

Cheers

BW

#28 DocCasualty

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 05:28 AM

I fear I may have wandered too far off topic already, but I did run across an opinion about just how ill-conceived the Panzer Brigades were from their inception. It makes a lot of sense to me and certainly paints a picture that apparently doomed any of their commanders. Panzer-Brigades in the West 1944



"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederic II of Prussia
"In 9 months and 3 days of combat on the Continent the 949th FA Bn had fired 51,000 rounds of ammunition, approximately 2,550 tons." - Unit History


#29 Wolfy

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 06:14 AM

Good read. It really shows how bad these formations were against Allied divisions. No Artillery, engineers, repair/recovery services, or Armored Recon, just poorly trained tanks and armored halftrack infantry haphazardly attacking multi-armed Allied formations.

On the other hand, their makeup really reminds me of KG Peiper in the Ardennes offensive. His outfit was more well balanced because it did have artillery and engineers but it was excessively tank heavy, infantry light, and lacking in Armored recon.

His behavior in the Ardennes offensive also seems very "East Front" style. Attacking headfirst with Armor and Mounted infantry with all weapons blazing.

Edited by Wolfy, 19 May 2009 - 06:24 AM.


#30 DocCasualty

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 06:48 AM

On the other hand, their makeup really reminds me of KG Peiper . . . His behavior in the Ardennes offensive also seems very "East Front" style. Attacking headfirst with Armor and Mounted infantry with all weapons blazing.

I'm sure they were using what had worked for them in the past, though I guess all of these discussions carry a proviso to the effect of the state of the Wehrmacht at the time.

Has there been much written about this difference between East and West front warfare for the Germans, a need to change tactics based on different foes, terrain, etc? I know the Western Allies had studied what happened in the East as they made their preparations for invading the Continent and had for an example over-estimated the amount of AAA they needed, unable to predict how devastated the LuftWaffe would be at that point. I really don't know if there was other Allied doctrine that was forged from these observations or if they simply came to the fight with a different style than the Russians, based on their own war college dogmas.



"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederic II of Prussia
"In 9 months and 3 days of combat on the Continent the 949th FA Bn had fired 51,000 rounds of ammunition, approximately 2,550 tons." - Unit History


#31 Wolfy

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:05 AM

I'm not sure if it's an equal comparison. The Panzer divisions were still very effective in Normandy and were combined arms formations adequately equipped with armored recon, artillery, motorized infantry, and engineers, unlike the Panzer Brigades.

Peiper's KG was meant to advance with two reinforced motorized infantry regiments and an armored recon outfit but they got separated and he just attacked forward on his own..

I think, as far as the German experience went, fighting an Allied Infantry division was more akin to fighting an "tank lighter and infantry stronger" armored division since Allied infantry divisions were fully mobile and had two battalions of armor. Not only that, but Allied Artillery and Air support was just stellar.

Those Soviet Infantry divisions were weak, slow foot and horse drawn units with little or no Armor that could be splattered more easily by aggressive Armor and mounted infantry assault. They often were understrength, always more lightly equipped, and often had half the personnel enjoyed by an Allied infantry division.

Edited by Wolfy, 19 May 2009 - 07:28 AM.


#32 BWilson

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 03:22 PM

BTW, I've asked the sole Luxembourger I know if he can track anything down about the "destroyed US tank battalion". He said he'd look in the local libraries for detail on the liberation of the city -- perhaps something will emerge.

Also -- found the liberation of Luxembourg City in the U.S. official history. It is at the very end of Blumenson's Breakout and Pursuit, but does not mention any of the fighting the 5th Armored Division recorded in its AAR.

Cheers

BW

Edited by BWilson, 19 May 2009 - 04:10 PM.
add bit about official history


#33 DocCasualty

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 03:46 PM

BTW, I've asked the sole Luxembourger I know if he can track anything down about the "destroyed US tank battalion". He said he'd look in the local libraries for detail on the liberation of the city -- perhaps something will emerge.

Cheers

BW

Please let us know if anything turns up. I've been looking at some online AARs and Googling around and think there must be some error in the reported units involved, as I can't find any correlation for the dates, units and location either.



"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederic II of Prussia
"In 9 months and 3 days of combat on the Continent the 949th FA Bn had fired 51,000 rounds of ammunition, approximately 2,550 tons." - Unit History


#34 BWilson

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 04:33 PM

Some more on the action in front of Luxembourg City:

On 9 September, however, the Fifth Armored got the green light to resume its offensive. But its operations were to continue on a day-to-day basis, depending on the supply of gasoline. Its advance, led by CC A and CC R, was to cut across the lower corner of Belgium and strike into the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. CC A, on the right and followed by Division Headquarters and CC B, would drive through Virton and Aubange to Luxembourg City. CC R, on the left, would advance in the direction of Izel, St. Marie, Arlon and Guirsch to Mersch.

As the German soldiers felt this armor pressing closer toward their homeland, their opposition stiffened. They fought with greater fury and filled the paths of the advancing tanks and half- tracks with numerous roadblocks, craters and blown bridges.

Pressing rapidly through Combat Team 110 of the 28th Division, CC A trundled through Aubange, crossed the Luxembourg border and started up the main highway leading to the capital city. At Athus it smashed into an enemy column and destroyed 29 trucks and horse-drawn vehicles, three antitank guns and a large body of bicycle troops. This was accomplished without losing a single man or vehicle. About midafternoon 30 enemy vehicles and two tanks were discovered on the north flank approaching the city of Luxembourg. Pummeled by fire from the artillery pieces and fighter-bombers, all of them were demolished.

When Lt. William Blakely's C Co., 34th Tank Bn., spilled out onto the open terrain west of the city, its lead tank was knocked out by fire from two Mark V tanks, which were on the north. The column pushed forward about 200 yards and destroyed a German tank with a hit in its rear. But then additional enemy tanks in well-protected positions on the south flank opened up and C Co. lost another tank. Lt. Blakely then pulled his tanks back to the cover of a defiladed position and called for air support.

Eight P-47s strafed and bombed the enemy tanks but did not damage them. Then the tank destroyers of A Co., 628th T. D. Bn., fired at them but the shells glanced off the thick front plates of the Panthers without harming them. Finally, a big M7 of the 400th Artillery Bn. was brought forward and with its 155 gun firing direct it smashed one of the German tanks. The others immediately fell back. But at 8 that evening A Co., 628th T. D. Bn., succeeded in outflanking three Mark Vs and destroyed them. At dark the combat command assembled four miles west of Luxembourg City and prepared to enter it the next morning.


Doesn't sound anything like the description in Stoves' work. This description is from Paths of Armor, the history of the division written immediately after the war. It can be seen online at http://www.5ad.org/P..._Armor.html#All

Cheers

BW

Edited by BWilson, 19 May 2009 - 04:35 PM.
add URL


#35 BWilson

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 03:48 AM

I think, as far as the German experience went, fighting an Allied Infantry division was more akin to fighting an "tank lighter and infantry stronger" armored division since Allied infantry divisions were fully mobile and had two battalions of armor.


Normally one battalion of tanks supported a U.S. infantry division. Until late in the campaign, towed 3-inch guns were as often the equipment of an attached TD battalion as self-propelled TD's. Sometimes, infantry divisions had only one of the assets attached or neither. The British Army operated differently. They had army tank brigades of three battalions that were used in support of their infantry divisions. The TD mission was performed by corps and division antitank regiments, of which about half the equipment was self-propelled. The French infantry divisions normally had a TD battalion (M10's) attached from army assets but the French did not have independent tank battalions in support of their infantry divisions like the U.S. did.

Also, "fully mobile" is not really accurate. Diverting trucks from other intended uses, a U.S. infantry division could fully motorize one regiment. The infantry in all Allied infantry divisions were expected to walk, although they had trucks to carry and tow their heavier equipment. A few French mountain infantry units used horses and mules, but that was by design and not necessity.

Cheers

BW

Edited by BWilson, 20 May 2009 - 03:54 AM.
comment on "fully mobile"

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#36 Triple C

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 04:52 AM

US infantry need quartermaster trucks (several companies?) to become fully mobile. In breakout operations, trucks would be attached the assault & exploitation Corps to fully motorize its infantry division(s), even though, as a rule, the American infantrymen's heavy weapons were motorized and that was a big factor in their effectiveness in defensive actions. Towed tank destroyer battalions outnumbered the SP ones even in Dec. 44, if memory serves. It was the lesson of the Ardennes that convinced the army to convert as many towed TD battalions to self-propelled TD Bn. as possible.

Bäke was in a tough spot really. The mentality and the well honed shock tactics that served the Wehrmacht so well in the East simply was not applicable. Apparently they believed that a panzer brigade could hit exploiting Red Army infantry so hard that it would be virtually unstoppable, and von Manteuffel, after a scathing review on the unsuitability and poor combat power of the pz. bde. at the Western Front, expressed confidence that this type of unit would be useful in the East.

Bäke's formation, again from my prematurely aged memory, was the kind of panzer formation typical of the new panzer brigades; it was full of troops that that been recently combed out or drafted with a sprinkling of Eastern Front veterans. This in its worst form combined the battle fatigue or arrogance of over-hardened troops with the inexperience and fragility of new recruits. They also had the misfortune of acting on bad intellegence. The 90th Infantry Division's performance in Normandy was downright uninspired, and two generals lost their jobs commanding the division. Unfortunately for the 106th Pz. Bde., the replacement, McLain, is an officer of undisputed drive and skill. It was basically a standard encounter for the 90th ID from what I have recalled; the rifle line was bent, the infantrymen called artillery strikes on target, and counterattacked. The choice of ground really wasn't Bäke's fault exactly if I understand the operational situation correctly: Patton's Third Army, so it would look to the Germans, was poised to blast its into Germany proper before the Metz line could be manned. The Seventh Army opposite to Patton was the strongest German army in NW Europe at that point and to stop Patton was so vital that the destruction of a Pz. Bde. in a hasty attack was probably viewed as a necessary price to deny the Third Army momentum.

Nor was pushing tanks and mounted infantry ahead in a frontal assault with all weapons firing a uniquely German practice. Patton thought the solution to the bocage stalemate was to push two columns of armor and fire the artillery over the lead tanks with airbursts; that was in effect what Collins did. This was also the tactic that made the 2d, 4th and 6th AD such fabulous units--firing on the move, attack attack attack. The difference of course was that the Americans had artillery and air superiority well covered.

Edited by Triple C, 20 May 2009 - 05:03 AM.

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#37 BWilson

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 04:04 PM

Okay, the gentleman from Luxembourg that I contacted, who goes by the handle "Caranorn" on the internet, checked out the battle before Luxembourg City and had this to say about the battle and that of Aumetz between the 106. Panzer Brigade and the U.S. 90th Infantry Division.

It goes without saying that I am both humbled and touched by his willingness to go and research a battle because of a request that came out of the blue from the internet from someone who is essentially a stranger. A hearty THANKS! to Caranorn for contributing a Luxembourger's view and knowledge to this thread. :)
=======================================
Caranorn's comments on the action in front of Luxembourg City:

There was a small "action at Dippach" (actually at Bertrange, about halfway between Dippach and Luxembourg City, but US reports only seem to name Dippach). I had entirely forgotten that US forces entered Luxembourg from Belgium in September 1944, that way the Dippach-Luxembourg road is a much more logical choice. Anyhow, at Bertrange, the 106. Panzerbrigade apparently laid a small ambush for the advancing US forces. This ambush consisted of 2 Panther tanks in an advanced position with preplotted fields of fire and a number of other Panthers (that day the brigade only seems to have had 8 operational tanks, so at most 6 in that group) further down the road. A Troop of Shermans advanced along the road to Luxembourg and was fired at by the two advance Panthers just in front of Bertrange. One Sherman was destroyed and the ambushing Panthers started withdrawing while the second group of Panthers briefly advanced to cover their retreat. The four remaining Shermans pursued the retreating Panthers scoring at least one hit (with no apparent effect I assume). A second Sherman was destroyed and some Tank Destroyers were called in as reinforcements. These arrived via a different road and engaged the Panthers (I assume still just the two withdrawing ones) from the flank with no noticeable effect. At that point air support was called, as the dedicated support for that Combat Command was not available (new airfield in France inoperational) they put out a call on all frequencies and eight P-47 turned up. By this time the Panthers had withdrawn into nearby woods and the US tanks (maybe also the tank destroyers, not sure what kind of ammo they had in stock) fired white-phosphorus (or similar) to mark the Panthers for the P-47s. But the P-47's cannon and machine guns were ineffective against the Panthers' armour. Finally, a 155mm self propelled gun was brought up to operate as an assault gun, firing direct at the Panthers. Neverless the 106. seems to have suffered no casualties (at least no vehicles) before nightfall when the brigade withdrew through Luxembourg City.

Apparently this action led to at least half a day's delay of the US advance. But no major losses. Also the fighting only took place on that one day, September 9. Another side effect of this action was that the air raid sirens in Luxembourg City were activated for the last time by the German authorities (because of the P-47s), the noise of the fighting (a lot of ammo seems to have been used up, in at least one note I read about US shots (apparently 75mm, 76mm or 3") ricocheting off a Panther vertically) seems to have panicked the remaining german civil administration in Luxembourg City who promptly fled for Germany for the second time that week.

All in all, a far smaller engagement than what seems to be described in Stoves'.

If you are interested I can look up what small units were actually engaged (I'm pretty sure the troops/company/battalion/cc were noted down in one of the histories I read). The 106. Panzerbrigade continued to operate in Luxembourg for a couple of days when it was finally withdrawn across the Moselle (apparently the last unit to do so in the sector as it's flanking units had evaporated or withdrawn the day before) to refit near Trier. The 5th Armored Division on the other hand continued to advance through Luxembourg in a north-easterly direction in the following days and breached the Westwall on September 14 near Stolzembourg.

Other casualties of the 5th Armored and the Cavalry Group operating in that vicinity seem to have been one M8 scout car (by an anti-tank gun) on the 8th and a third Sherman (by a Panther) on the 10th.


Caranorn's comments on the Aumetz action:

As far as I can tell the problem the 106. Panzer faced at Aumetz was that it had an army level attack order but no means to reconoiter the area it was supposed to attack. Iirc the brigade only had 8 unarmoured recon vehicles.

Also, the brigade went into the atack in three columns, one forward and two in support. The two reserve columns got engaged before Bäke knew what exactly he was facing (now that would have been his mistake as I'm pretty certain he had that kind of control over his command). Also the brigade had no dedicated artillery, obviously no air support of any kind.

As a consequence of the Aumetz battle, 1st Army commander von der Chevalerie was sacked (so apparently it was decided Bäke was not to blame and von der Chevalerie who had squandered his newly arrived mobile unit within a single day was)...

Now that I think about it, I seem to recall that the 106. made a 30 KM advance during the Aumetz fighting, but maybe I've got something mixed up there (could even be thinking of an US reconnaisance in force around that time). In any case, the brigade ended up in a very bad position among US troops (I never recalled the 90th US as a good unit, but maybe it made up it's bad Normandy record later in the war)...


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#38 DocCasualty

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 05:37 PM

Thanks to both of you for that information. This still seems somewhat confusing to me that the 106. was engaged with the 90th Inf. in AuMetz on the night of the 7th, decimated the day of the 8th and then was engaged with the 5th Armored in Luxembourg on the 8th? Was this like a reserve of the 106. or what was left of them when they limped back?



"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederic II of Prussia
"In 9 months and 3 days of combat on the Continent the 949th FA Bn had fired 51,000 rounds of ammunition, approximately 2,550 tons." - Unit History


#39 BWilson

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 06:05 PM

Thanks to both of you for that information. This still seems somewhat confusing to me that the 106. was engaged with the 90th Inf. in AuMetz on the night of the 7th, decimated the day of the 8th and then was engaged with the 5th Armored in Luxembourg on the 8th? Was this like a reserve of the 106. or what was left of them when they limped back?


Doc, my guess is that it was remnants of the 106. -- the action near Dippach took place on the 9th, not the 8th. They were probably withdrawing when the U.S. thrust into Luxembourg approached their withdrawal route from the west.

Cheers

BW

#40 DocCasualty

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 06:14 PM

That makes sense. Yes, I see now you/he had indicated 9 Sep in the post. Thanks, again!



"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederic II of Prussia
"In 9 months and 3 days of combat on the Continent the 949th FA Bn had fired 51,000 rounds of ammunition, approximately 2,550 tons." - Unit History


#41 BWilson

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 07:46 AM

I posted earlier, "Bäke was a competent armored commander and I would go so far as to assume that he was very good at the echelons of regiment and below."

Considering the material that we've seen and discussed the last couple of days, I now think that comment may be a key to understanding why I felt as if something was incomplete about Bäke's record as presented on the internet (and apparently, in books as well).

Bäke was good at what he did -- but only to a certain point. His limitations, as I understand them from the information available, were that he did not seem to exhibit any particular genius for combat at echelons above regiment, and that his flair for armored combat seems to have been limited to the Eastern Front.

By the time he became a brigade commander, and later, a Generalmajor, I wonder if his meteoric rise through the ranks had not become in some regards a hindrance -- if perhaps, some of the older officers he was at that point commanding did not tend to perceive him as being a sort of "boy wonder" whose magic had waned. In other words, did Bäke in some ways fulfill the Peter Principle by rising to too high a rank too swiftly?

The record of the 106. Brigade, and later, the FHH-2 (former 13.) Panzer Division are decidedly average, but without more information it is difficult to say how much of this record is attributable to Bäke and how much was the result of the overall military environment which was in any case very unfavorable for the Germans in the final eight months of the war.

The situation has been muddied by the selective presentation of information (in books and various internet sites) by those who wish to promote Bäke's record -- and I'm sorry to say that I can only ascribe such selective presentation to intellectual dishonesty, or at the least, laziness that simply copied what information that was already easily available.

Cheers

BW

Edited by BWilson, 23 May 2009 - 07:48 AM.
clarification


#42 Wolfy

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 08:04 AM

How big was Bake's divisional command? By March 1945, most of those Panzer divisions resembled understrength armored infantry divisions more than anything else. His new Panzer outfit probably was similar to his usual commands in armor strength for the exception of the fact that he would receive command of two (probably understrength) motorized infantry regiments.

I know that German Panzer divisions were cut down to two small battalions by Dec 1945 to around 90-100 tanks. I'm sure that March 1945 Panzer divisions were even weaker. This was a far cry from the 250-200 tanks in a Panzer division during 1941-1944.

#43 BWilson

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 08:26 AM

How big was Bake's divisional command? By March 1945, most of those Panzer divisions resembled understrength armored infantry divisions more than anything else. His new Panzer outfit probably was similar to his usual commands in armor strength for the exception of the fact that he would receive command of two (probably understrength) motorized infantry regiments.

I know that German Panzer divisions were cut down to two small battalions by Dec 1945 to around 90-100 tanks. I'm sure that March 1945 Panzer divisions were even weaker. This was a far cry from the 250-200 tanks in a Panzer division during 1941-1944.


Per Stoves, the division had a Panzer "regiment", a motorized infantry regiment, a reconnaissance battalion, two artillery battalions, as well division services. Probably something like the 106. Brigade's strength when Bäke assumed command of it.

The tank strength of the division would have varied, but Jentz (in Panzertruppen) mentions the unit getting 21 Panthers and 20 Mk IV tanks between 11-12 March 1945. By 15 March, the division totals showed 18 Mk IV and five Panthers -- either the new tanks had not yet arrived or combat had quickly whittled the new division down. In any case, the division's Panzer regiment did not appear to have many more tanks than an early war battalion.

Cheers

BW

#44 Wolfy

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 08:35 AM

Per Stoves, the division had a Panzer "regiment", a motorized infantry regiment, a reconnaissance battalion, two artillery battalions, as well division services. Probably something like the 106. Brigade's strength when Bäke assumed command of it.

The tank strength of the division would have varied, but Jentz (in Panzertruppen) mentions the unit getting 21 Panthers and 20 Mk IV tanks between 11-12 March 1945. By 15 March, the division totals showed 18 Mk IV and five Panthers -- either the new tanks had not yet arrived or combat had quickly whittled the new division down. In any case, the division's Panzer regiment did not appear to have many more tanks than an early war battalion.


Did the 106th have recon/artillery/service elements? I thought it was just a unit composed of mounted armored infantry and tanks.

So he basically received a single mixed Panzer battalion correspondingly supported by all arms.

#45 BWilson

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 08:44 AM

Did the 106th have recon/artillery/service elements? I thought it was just a unit composed of mounted armored infantry and tanks.

So he basically received a single mixed Panzer battalion correspondingly supported by all arms.


Yeah, you're right about the 106. -- it had a Panzer battalion, a half-track-mounted PG battalion, a Jagdpanzer IV-equipped AT company, an armored engineer company, but no artillery mentioned.

Cheers

BW

#46 Wolfy

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 09:21 AM

Did his divisional-by-name command have an armored recon battalion or a "soft" one? Was there a SPW company/battalion in his panzergrenadier regiment?

How well did the improvised unit perform in the final months of the war?

#47 BWilson

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 09:37 AM

Did his divisional-by-name command have an armored recon battalion or a "soft" one? Was there a SPW company/battalion in his panzergrenadier regiment?

How well did the improvised unit perform in the final months of the war?


Wolfy, Stoves' work does not answer these questions about the FHH-2's organisation.

I think your last question might be difficult to obtain a firm answer for. Many of the memoirs of German generals and other books on the Eastern Front tend to give the final months of the war a very brief treatment. Stoves claims that on 6 May 1945, the FHH-2 shot up 30+ T-34's and then surrendered to the Americans near Budvar, Czech Republic. This claim may be true or it may again simply be copied from the unit war diary with no real attempt at verification done. Given the discrepancy between Stoves' claim for what happened west of Luxembourg City and other records, I'm skeptical of the claim.

BTW, I guess some of this got discussed not to long before in this forum. Here is the link to a post by T.A. Gardner: http://www.ww2f.com/...html#post307945

Cheers

BW

#48 Wolfy

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 09:48 AM

I read that thread, but it doesn't say much about Bake's final command.

#49 BWilson

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 05:55 PM

Some information on the organization of units that Bäke commanded in from July 1944 forward -- provided by Caranorn:
===================
I can give you the Oob for the 106. as well as FHH2 as given in Tessin's...

Panzer-Brigade 106 "Feldherrnhalle":

Panzer-Abteilung 2106 (Panther) (4 Kp.)
Panzergrenadier-Battalion 2106 (5 Kp.)
Pionier-Kompanie 2106
Brigade-Einheiten 2106 (none listed under that number)

Panzer-Division Feldherrnhalle 2:

Panzergrenadier-Regiment FH3 (I. (gp.) 1-4, II. 5-8, III. 9-12, 13, 14)
Panzer-Regiment FH2 (II. 5-8, III. 9-12)
Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 13 (4 Kp.)
Panzerjäger-Abteilung FH2 (3 Kp.)
Panzer-Artillerie Regiment FH2 (I. (Sfl.) 1-3, II. 4-5, III. (schw.) 7-9)
Heeres-Flakartillerie-Abteilung FH2 (5 Bttr.)
Panzer-Pionier-Battalion FH2 (3 Kp.)
Panzer Nachrichten Abteilung 13

All of that doesn't mean that any and all those subunits were present with
the respective units, particularly in 1945, but allready in 1944 units would
be sent too the front lacking entire battalions, ocasionally ending up
engaged peace-meal. Though it's interesting to note that FH2 whad it's
Panther Battalion detatched to Italy and had a 3rd Battalion instead
(apparently from FH1).

#50 C.Evans

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 02:22 AM

This is what I have found to date. The (easily accessible) records concerning him are irritatingly vague.

I suppose his notability might be because of his holding the Knight's Cross with oakleaves and swords.

BTW, the division he took over on 9 March 1945 was the FHH (formerly the 13th Panzer).

Cheers

BW


I wish Paul were still here-he could tell it much better than I but-Bake not only being a RKT w/ Oaks and Swords, plus his single-handed destruction with defensive weapone (i.e) concentrated magnetic grenade charges and such, but was brave and popular as hell with his troops. Bake never destroyed any tanks using a panzerfaust. He had to run up to the tank, place his charge-pull the switch and run like hell. The man inspite of his physical looks-was one of the meanest 7 bravest ba*****s on the Russian Steppes.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
:snoopy: :ww1ace:
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