fate of 20. Panzergrenadier Division

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fate of 20. Panzergrenadier Division

Postby genstab » 21 Dec 2005 17:51

I'm coming across various scenarios on the end of 20. Panzergrenadier Division. Either it met its end under LVI Panzerkorps in Berlin (many accounts) or as Le Tissier says in "Slaughter at Halbe" as an ad hoc armored brigade under 3. Panzerarmee (separated from its commader. GM Scholze who was in Berlin)- and there is one mention of its being with 4. Panzerarmee. If some of our best scholars can help me out with this one I'd greatly appreciate it.

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Postby JC » 21 Dec 2005 19:57

Genstab,

Army Group Center by Werner Haupt and Last year of the German Army by Lucas, both indicate that 20 PgD was part of XI SS Korps/9 Armee at the Oder in mid April. Quiet Flows the Rhine by French MacLean indicates that at the end of April the division was in Potsdam (and still part of XI SS K.) where Scholze committed suicide to avoid capture.

BR.......JC

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Postby Glynwed » 22 Dec 2005 09:43

According to my research:

Until 15.April 1945, the 20.PzGrD (Oberst Georg Scholze, some 8.000 soldiers, 15xPzKpfw IV+15xJgPz IV/70) was part of XI.SS-Armee Korps (SS-Obergruppenführer Matthias Kleinheisterkamp) alongside with 9.FallD, 303.ID, 169.ID, 712.ID and PzGrD "Kurmark".

At night 15.April 1945 (after russians reconnaisance in force which take place from 13. to 15.April) the commander of 9.Armee (General der Infanterie Theodor Busse) ordered to LVI.PzK with PzD "Munchenberg" to take command over 9.FallD and 20.PzGrD. The 20.PzGrD was underpowered after heavy looses, so commander of LVI.PzK (General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling) decide to make from 20.PzGrD and PzD "Munchenberg" one battle group under command of Generalmajor Werner Mummert (commander of "Munchenberg").

After fighting at Seelow (16.-17.4) and Munchenberg (19.4.), division slowly retreat to Berlin. Here is possible, that some part of 20.PzGrD were cut-off from it´s command and came under command of XI.SS-AK, which later fight at Halbe. But the bone of the division fight its way with LVI.PzK to Berlin, which was reached at 22.April. At that time, the 20.PzGrD numbered only some 1.000 soldiers!!!

Later the 20.PzGrD became part of Verteidigungs Bereich "Potsdam", which garrisone were at end of April relived by attack of 12.Armee (Division von Hutten).

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Postby Jan-Hendrik » 22 Dec 2005 14:31

http://www.diedeutschewehrmacht.de/armabt%20Spree.htm

lists the division under the "Armeeabteilung Spree" together withe the "Friedrich Ludwig Jahn" ...


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20. Panzergrenadier Division

Postby genstab » 23 Dec 2005 13:18

See, guys, this is what I mean. There are many variations. Le Tissier in "Slaughter at Halbe" says the "Seydlitz men" (Germans captured at Stalingrad who switched sides) tricked the division into going a different direction than its commander which is why it ended up an armored brigade under 3. Panzerarmee and Scholz committed suicide in Berlin. Tessin's last word on it was from the 12.4.45 O/B when it was still under XI SS Corps. The best source I have on Panzer and motorized formations is Stoves, which (and unfortunately I don't read German) I believe says the division was fighting at Seelow from 16 to 18 April with Pz Div Muncheberg and 18. Pz Gren under Gen. Weidling (LVI Pz Korps)
while a remnant of the battlegroup under Gen. Scholze with a part of 18 Pz Grenadier defended Potsdam till the end of April. Then the "restgruppe" 20. Pz Gren was in the Halbe pocket with athe remnants of 9. Armee and 4. Pz Armee- then on 5 May remnants entered U.S. captivity. So I don't know where LeTissier got the bit about most of the division being with 3. Panzerarmee.

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Genstab

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Postby Jan-Hendrik » 23 Dec 2005 13:25

I think the source for ending at "Armeeabteilung Spree" is Wilhelm Tieke , but unfortunatly I have lend my copy to a friend ( and phoning to Wilhelm is , due to his health , at the moment not such a good idea :cry: ) , so I could not look it up at the moment . Generarly I must say Tieke is more reliable in the term of unit fates than LeTissier ...


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20. Panzergrenadier Division

Postby genstab » 23 Dec 2005 15:33

Thank you, Jan-Hendrik. If you find out from Mr. Tieke's book in the future please let me know. I'll be trying to perfect my forthcoming O/B book as long as I live- perhaps a revised edition one day if I get enough to add- and as you know, new information is always turning up.

Merry Christmas!
Best,
Genstab

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Postby Jan-Hendrik » 23 Dec 2005 15:37

I think the quickest way would be to ask Mr.Linzmaier directly ( http://www.deutschewehrmacht.de ) , he has "his" Tieke always close to his Computer :wink:

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20. PANZERGRENADIER DIVISION

Postby genstab » 23 Dec 2005 20:30

Okay, Jan-Henerik, I'll ask Mr. Linzmaier- but what's the name of Tiele's book? It's one I don't have (though I have another by him)

Thanks,
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Postby Jan-Hendrik » 23 Dec 2005 20:39

"Das Ende zwischen Oder und Elbe - Der Kampf um Berlin" :wink:

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Postby Oberjunker » 23 Dec 2005 22:29

If you have ever been to Seelow, you will quickly realize that the route of retreat towards Berlin would lead you by Halbe on the way. Being that its mostly wooded many of the units retreated in that direction until they could meet up with Steiners 3.SS-Pz.Korps. Like many other Divisions in the area retreating at the time, it could have been split up, leading to the varied accounts of the final location of the Divsions fate.

Man the area around Seelow is intense, the hills still have Schutzengraeber lying about. It must have been a chilly place to be in April 45.

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20. Panzergrenadier Division

Postby genstab » 23 Dec 2005 22:44

Thanks, guys. And that on-the-spot description helps! Merry Christmas!

Genstab

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fate of 20.Pz.Gr.Div.

Postby Tom Nutter » 24 Dec 2005 04:16

Genstab, this is from Schmitz, et al., DIE DEUTSCHEN DIVISIONEN 1939-1945, Band 4. It is the text that accompanies Karte 133, p. 544. Unfortunately, it is in German, but I think you will get the drift.

"1945. Schlesien und Brandenburg-Berlin. 28.1 bis 2.2.1945. Die Division verteidigt den Brueckenkopf Oderbeltsch und bezieht anschliessend einen Unterkunftsraum im Verband des Pz.Korps "GD" im Raum Heerwegen.
Vom 4.-8.2.1945 Angriffs und Abwehrkaempfe im Raum Raudten an der Bahnlinie nach Steinau und im Raum Mlitsch (5 km suedl. Raudten).
Rueckzugskaempfe suedl. Primkenau vorbei (10.2.), ueber Sprottau (12.2.) in den Raum Sagan.
Vom 13. bis 16.2 Angriffs-und Abwehrkaempfe im Brueckenkopf Sagan und im Frontbogen nordostw. Sorau (bis 18.2.).
Im Verband des Pz. Korps "GD" setzt sich die Division ueber Gr.Selte und Lichtenberg hinter die Lausitzer Neisse suedostw. Muskau ab (21.2.). Die Reste der Diviison werden herausgezogen und verlegen Anfang Maerz zur Auffrischung in einen Unterkunftsraum suedlich Stettin.
Einsatz ab 22.3. Die Division wird ab 23.3 im Oderabschnitt Kuestrin im Raum Seelow-Golzow eingesetzt. Vom 27. bis 28.3. Entsatzangriffe gegen die eingeschlossene Festung Kuestrin. Kaempfe im Raum Golzow.
Vom 29.3 bis 15.4. Abwehrkaempfe beiderseits der Reichsstrasse 1 und an der Bahnlinie von Berlin nach Kuestrin (Ostbahn) im Raum Seelow-Golzow.
Ab 16.4. Rueckzugskaempfe uebver die Hardenberg-Stellung beiderseits Seelow, ueber Werbig, Gusow, Goerlsdorf, Diedersdorf-Worin, weiter ueber Muencheberg (21.4.), Ruedersdorf und Petershagen, Dahlwitz, Karlshorst auf den Stadtrand von Berlin.
In der Nacht vom 23.4. wird die Spree zwischen Mueggelsee und Treptow ueberschritten.
Im Verband des LVI.Pz.Korps wird die Division im Verteidigungs-Abschnitt "E" (Zehlendorf, Grunewald, Wannsee) eingesetzt. Teile werden am Teltow-Kanal bei Kl. Machnow und Lankwitz eingesetzt (Offenhalten der Bruecken ueber den Teltow-Kanal fuer die zum Entsatz auf Berlin angreifende 12.Armee (Armee Wenck) (25.4.).
In den Abwehrkaempfen ab 25.4 im suedl. Grunewald, Avus-Abschnitt und am Wannsee werden die Reste der Division gegen den Wannsee abgedraengt (Unterstellung unter Kgr.Gen.Lt. Reymann, Potsdam).
In der Nacht zum 2.5.1945 versuchen die Reste der 20.Pz.Gren.Div. ueber Potsdamer Chaussee nach Suedwesten auszubrechen Nur kleinen Gruppen gelingt der Durchbruch zu den eigenen Linien."

The last map (Karte 134, p 546-547 shows the division positioned between Wilmersdorf and Zehlendorf.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Tom

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Postby Glynwed » 24 Dec 2005 12:51

Oberjunker wrote:If you have ever been to Seelow, you will quickly realize that the route of retreat towards Berlin would lead you by Halbe on the way. Being that its mostly wooded many of the units retreated in that direction until they could meet up with Steiners 3.SS-Pz.Korps.

Well, the only units, which can (and which did) meet up fith Steiners forces are divisions of CI.Armee Korps. And retreat from Seelow to Berlin via Halbe....the little bit wild story. :oops:
If I can suggest, take a look on 4 maps at that article:
http://www.fronta.cz/index.php?clanek=189

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20. Panzergrenadier Division

Postby genstab » 24 Dec 2005 15:09

Tom-
Many thanks for posting the whole excerpt from Schmitz. Tessin didn't cover the end of the division. I believe he is saying it was with Armeeabt. Spree (Reymann) from 25 April, and the remnants of the division didn't leave Berlin till after 2 May if at all. But where actually is the last location, between Wilmersdorf and Zehlendorf? Is that outside Berlin and anywhere near the U.S. Army forces- or are they parts of Berlin?? Was the last map (134) dated?

Thanks again for your contributiion. (It'd be nice to be able to afford refderences such as Schmitz- I'm lucky to have photocopies of Tessin's unit pages from division up in binders- just buying a set of "Die Geheimen Tagesberichte" was expensive enough!). I have asked Mr. Linzmaier if he could look up what Tieke has to say for us.

Glyynwed- unfortunately I can't magnify the maps properly to be able to read them or print them. Can you sum up for us where the division was on the dates they cover? I know there are others besides myself who would appreciate your help.

Man, and this was just one division! I hope there weren't others whose presence in LVI Panzerkorps at the end was as questionable or we could be at this for a while!

Best regards,
Genstab


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