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Volksgrenadier


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#1 Richard

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 06:29 PM

Anyone got any good information on the Volksgrenadier Divisions I had a look around on the web not much information or so any books?

#2 jpatterson

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 10:37 PM

Try any book on the Bulge, they should contain some info anyhow. Not sure or am not aware of any specific ones.

Later

#3 Richard

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 09:51 AM

Thanks jpatterson I got three on the Bulge but I am looking for a good general history of the Volksgrenadier and the Divisions. It's interesting even after 60 years of the end of WW2 there are still gaps in the history books not filled.

#4 Stevin

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 12:45 PM

AFAIK the only books on the subject are published in German. Few are translated and published by Schiffer or JJF.

I know the GROSSDEUTSCHLAND Division has most books written on it. If German is not a problem, try www.ebay.de Books on the Volksgrenadiers are often offered for auction there.
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#5 Martin Bull

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 03:08 PM

I'm not aware of anything specific to the VGD ; the best overall description of their organization, structure and history that I've come across is in Roland Gaul's 'The Battle Of The Bulge In Luxembourg : The Southern Flank Vol. I - The Germans'( Schiffer 1995 ).
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#6 Kai-Petri

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 04:18 PM

Try this:

http://www.feldgrau.com/VGrenDiv1b.php
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#7 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 04:44 PM

Exactly what are you looking for? A TO&E? Individual unit histories? The former is readily available, I have that in detail. TO&E's both as organized (a rarity in reality) and as actually deployed, in at least some cases.
Unit histories are a bit harder as many are very sketchy where these units were organized from scratch late in the war. The VG divisions renamed such from regular infantry divisions (like the 12th for example) have good histories available.

#8 Richard

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 04:46 PM

Yes I saw that site Kai-Petri that was the only one that I found usfull. I have been dipping in out there. smile.gif

#9 Richard

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 07:09 PM

Originally posted by T. A. Gardner:
Exactly what are you looking for?

Bit of a two fold search this myself and a friend
OK are shall separate the search

1. A good general overview history of the Volksgrenadier with out going to deep.

2. A guide to the individual divisions (the website I found has been helpful on this one) but of course a book version would be nice.

#10 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 05:04 AM

On the first one without going into detail, the Volksgrenadier division was born out of the takeover of the German replacement system by Himmler in early 1944.
Volksgrenadier divisions were infantry divisions that were rebuilt under this new replacement system. Their designation noted that they now drew their replacements from Himmler's replacement system under control of the SS instead of from their previous Werkreis. Where new divisions were formed they did not receive a Werkreis number for replacement purposes.
The divisions themselves were organized on a lower scale of equipment reflecting the pathetic state of material available in Germany at the time.
Few VG divisions actually were built or rebuilt to the full intended establishment. A few that were rebuilt on the remains of a previous Wehrmacht division, like the 12th, remained on the Type 44 Infantry division TO&E. The vast bulk however were formed using whatever local units were available. Frequently their artillery regiment was short on pieces. Anti-tank guns and self-propelled guns (usually the ubiquitious Hetzer) were almost always below establishment. It was rare to find the authorized 12cm mortars as these were in very short supply. Instead, additional 8.1cm mortars were often supplied.

Here are three examples from Metz in late 44:

462nd VG Division (MajGen Lübbe, relieved 14 Nov by LtGen Kittel)
(The 462nd Division Number was redesignated a VG division in late October)

1215 VG Reg (from Fahrenjunkerschule Reg) (Oberst Stössel)
1216 VG Reg (from Unterführerschule Reg) (Oberst Stolz)
1217 VG Reg (formed from local units) (Oberstlt Richter)
1462 Artillerie Reg (Oberst Palm)
2 batteries 7.62mm ®, 1 battery 10.5cm howitzers
1462 Pzjr Abt (Hpt Lautenschlager)
(10 anti-tank guns)
1462 Füsilier Abt (initially company) (Hpt Voss)
1462 Pioneer Abt (Hpt Hasselmann)
1462 Nach Abt. (Hpt Fremel)
Divisional services number is 1462

19th VG Division (GenMaj Britzelmayer)

59th, 73rd and, 74th VG Regiments
119th Artillery Regiment
(2 light battalions, 1 medium battalion)
119th PzJr Abt (11 Hetzers)
Divisional services number 119
(about 8,500 men)

416th VG Division (Genlt Pflieger)
(Locally this unit was widely known as the Schlagsahne Division or “Whipped Cream Division” due to its being manned mostly by unfit troops)
712th, 713th and 714th VG Regiments
416th Artillery Regiment
(equipped with Danish 7.5cm guns and 1 battalion of 12.2cm ® Howitzers)
416th Pzjr Abt
Divisional services number 416
(about 8,500 men)

Note the wide variation in equipment, particularly artillery. Also of note is how all three are understrength at about 9,000 men instead of the establishment 12,500 or so. This is very typical of all VG divisions. Both the 416th and 462nd were formed 'on the spot' using local troops. This made both more an aglomeration of small units than a coherent division as none of the components had trained or served together previous to being thrust into their division.

#11 Richard

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 04:12 PM

Thanks T. A. Gardner,

I have passed the Information on, let you what my friend thinks of it, as for myself very interesting. smile.gif

#12 Richard

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 07:13 PM

T. A. Gardner, Just got an email my friend sends his thanks and do you have anymore info in detail if possible. graemlins/salute.gif

As for the second part of the search which I wanted the web site with the info is ok so that's me done. smile.gif

#13 Richard

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 01:54 PM

T. A. Gardner, got a second email don't panic he has found a source of info and thanks you again for your help. Well that's it both sorted.

#14 CrazyD

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 07:26 AM

TA(G)- just out of curiousity, as that's some impressive info you put together- what was the leadership of the VG divisions like? Would the regiments be led by more experienced officers, seasoned vets- to make up (somewhat) for the lower troop quality? And the Generals leading the divisions- of the same quality as the "average" german division, or less-successful or popular generals?

Just wondering, not an urgent request.

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#15 Kai-Petri

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 03:46 PM

I recall reading that one of the many reasons why Wacht am Rhein failed was that the Volksgrenadier divisions were meant to take the US positions after which the panzers could push on without taking part in the first fights. However the VG´s could not do it and thus the Germans had to send tanks to get the attack going. This delayed the attack in the most important phase.Not that it ever had any good chances...

Well, now I understand why the VG´s could not do it because they were so poorly equipped...
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