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How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

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How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

Postby ColinWright on 22 Feb 2013 08:41

The TOE's for 164. and 90. Leicht at El Alamein contain really incredible totals for towed 7.62 cm AT.

Something around 300 would have had to have been sent...just how many actually were, and when?

I have a total of 117 pieces by May 1942. 20 in early January, 14 later in the month, presumably the remaining 83 over the next three months.

But after that? If the information exists, and someone has it, I'm interested in figures right through May 1943. It's possible the figures would be conflated with those for German 7.5 cm AT pieces, so those might numbers be relevant as well -- or might even refer to the 7.62 cm pieces.

Note that I am interested in towed AT guns. The data on Marders and Dianas is pretty accessible -- but what about all the towed 7.62 cm guns? Any help would be much appreciated.
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Re: How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

Postby David W on 22 Feb 2013 20:36

Colin.
This is a question dear to my own heart, and one I have been seeking an answer to for many years.
I will see if I have anything to add or ask with regard to the figures that you have already posted above.
With regard to the T.o&E or K.s.t.n, it is well worth remembering that they are or were purely theoretical.
Speak again soon.
Best wishes,
David.
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Re: How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

Postby David W on 22 Feb 2013 20:48

Colin.
You have in fact done far better than me. Upon checking my records, I can only place 29 in North Africa by April 1942, and none at all in January.
I would be very interested in more detailed figures and sources if you have them.
Many thanks,
David.
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Re: How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

Postby ColinWright on 23 Feb 2013 03:43

David W wrote:Colin.
You have in fact done far better than me. Upon checking my records, I can only place 29 in North Africa by April 1942, and none at all in January.
I would be very interested in more detailed figures and sources if you have them.
Many thanks,
David.


I went by some reference to the first batch arriving in early January 1942 and the second in late February; I don't have further information at this point.

...wait, I do.

viewtopic.php?f=56&t=132880

Go about half-way down the page. There's a loading list for convoy M.43: 20 76.2 guns. Specifically...

"The datas for german cargoes loaded in january 42 for Africa was :

03.01 from naples (Convoy M43) :

in Monginevro : 11 Panzer and 816 tons (including 418 t fuel)

in Lerici : 14 Pz, 4 armoured cars, 2 x 5cm Pak, half mixed Aufklarung-kompanie 588 (? men) and 1.054 tons (including 498 t ammunitions)

in Bixio : 8 Pz, 4 arm. cars, 1 Pak 5cm and half mixed Aufklarung-kompanie 588 (? men) and 1.057 tons (including 498 t ammunitions) ;

in Monvisio : 8 tanks, 2 arm. cars, 2 Flak 43, 2 guns 8,8cm and 10 guns 7,62cm and 542 tons (not specified)

in the Cino Allegri : 13 Pz, 9 Arm. cars, 10 x 7,62cm guns, 10 Pak 38, 3 self-propelled 7,62cm and 2 self-propelled 4,75cm and 1.348 tons (including 878 t fuel) ..."


Presumably, whether Afrika actually got these guns could be ascertained by determining whether the ships in question succeeded in getting to North Africa. What the actual primary source of this information is, I couldn't say. Then too, the 76.2 mm guns in question might have been destined for use as field artillery...

What fun. As I recall from the hazy mists of last night, more came in towards the end of February.

In any case, your data doesn't actually contradict mine. I have 26 actually issued to 90.Leicht by 15 March; and 32 by 15 May -- more or less fits with your '29 by April 1942.'

And then more flooded in; '117 by May 1942' -- and that too fits with what I've read.

It's after that that primarily concerns me. Some allegedly HUGE number by October -- but were they actually there, and if so, when did they come?
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Re: How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

Postby David W on 23 Feb 2013 08:42

Thanks Colin.

Let's hope someone can fill in the blanks.

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Re: How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

Postby Urmel on 23 Feb 2013 23:01

ColinWright wrote:Presumably, whether Afrika actually got these guns could be ascertained by determining whether the ships in question succeeded in getting to North Africa. What the actual primary source of this information is, I couldn't say. Then too, the 76.2 mm guns in question might have been destined for use as field artillery...


All of these ships got through. The primary source are the actual loading lists, it doesn't get better than this.

Afrika-Art. Abt. was supposed to be equipped with 7,5cm mountain guns on establishment, but some people suspect that they may have ended up with 7,62cm guns instead. In any case, the proposal in Jan/Feb 42 was to equip each rifle battalion in 90. Leichte with 24 7,62cm guns. So my guess is that these 20 guns were actually used as AT guns.

http://crusaderproject.wordpress.com/20 ... on-learnt/
The excellence of [German] forward repair and recovery organisation gives us a salutary lesson in this respect. 7 Armoured Division report, Sept. 1941

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Re: How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

Postby Urmel on 23 Feb 2013 23:24

For January/February, I am just going through them.

20 guns on M.43

Thereafter:

Atlas - 1x Russian gun
Lerici - 5x Russian AT gun 7,62cm
Monginevro - 6x Russian AT gun
Monviso - 4x Russian guns
Vettor Pisani - 3x Russian guns

Atlas ran alone. All the others crossed over with either Operation T.18 or K.7 on 23 January or 21 February 42 respectively. All arrived.

That's 39 guns right there.
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Re: How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

Postby David W on 24 Feb 2013 00:41

Nice work!

My mistake in my post above, the 29 I have by end April, should read 39. Which still leaves me badly short of Colin's 117 by May!

Afrika Artillerie Abteilung had 5x 7.62 in February '42. 5x 7.62 & 5x 7.5 GebK in late April '42.
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Re: How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

Postby ColinWright on 24 Feb 2013 01:43

Urmel wrote:
ColinWright wrote:Presumably, whether Afrika actually got these guns could be ascertained by determining whether the ships in question succeeded in getting to North Africa. What the actual primary source of this information is, I couldn't say. Then too, the 76.2 mm guns in question might have been destined for use as field artillery...


All of these ships got through. The primary source are the actual loading lists, it doesn't get better than this.

Afrika-Art. Abt. was supposed to be equipped with 7,5cm mountain guns on establishment, but some people suspect that they may have ended up with 7,62cm guns instead. In any case, the proposal in Jan/Feb 42 was to equip each rifle battalion in 90. Leichte with 24 7,62cm guns. So my guess is that these 20 guns were actually used as AT guns.

http://crusaderproject.wordpress.com/20 ... on-learnt/


Well...that's the thing. 164 Leichte had a similar T0&E.

So without checking anything, each division has at least six battalions. 2*6*24 is 288 76.2 mm AT right there. Add in everyone else who was supposed to have the things or is on record as having them, allow for the British managing to destroy a few in the course of events, and we're somewhere between 300 and 400 pieces of 76.2 mm AT having come into Africa.

...and that's by El Alamein. How many more in the months thereafter? We could wind up with 600 76.2 mm PAK supposedly having come ashore either at Tripoli or Tunis.

...either that, or the TO&E's were no more than a pious hope. Indeed, it would be nice if each infantry battalion had 24 of the most powerful possible AT gun this side of an 88...I can relate. It'd give me a nice warm feeling of security myself. But was this dream ever even approximately realized? Are we talking about the real figure being between 19 and 23, or are we talking about the real figure being between 5 and 11?

So the question really does come back to just how many of the things arrived, and when?

One thing that could help to get a handle on what the situation actually was would be if we had some record of how many the British recorded as destroyed or captured. After all, if they turned up 150 of the pieces in the debris of El Alamein, we could figure that indeed, a lot were handed out. If they recorded only 20, one would find that 24 per battalion unlikely indeed. Did the British conduct any sort of post-mortem? Presumably, they would have found cataloging the dimensions of their triumph congenial.
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Re: How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

Postby Dili on 24 Feb 2013 04:07

24 per battalion would transform an Infantry battalion in an AT battalion for all practical proposes. If 8-10 men per gun counting the support and truck towing that means around 200 men just for the guns.
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Re: How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

Postby ColinWright on 24 Feb 2013 04:48

Dili wrote:24 per battalion would transform an Infantry battalion in an AT battalion for all practical proposes. If 8-10 men per gun counting the support and truck towing that means around 200 men just for the guns.


Well, it wouldn't have been an atypical development; I've seen some British TO&E's for the same period that suggest a similar evolution -- and the Italians seem to have been striving for the same thing.

Infantry in the desert was evolving into heavily escorted AT guns. I just ha' ma' doots as to whether the Germans were actually anywhere near filling out those TO&E's.

...and that takes us back to how near. I don't doubt they would have liked to have had two 76.2's per platoon; the question is how many did they actually get?
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Re: How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

Postby Urmel on 24 Feb 2013 07:20

Dili wrote:24 per battalion would transform an Infantry battalion in an AT battalion for all practical proposes. If 8-10 men per gun counting the support and truck towing that means around 200 men just for the guns.


I agree, but that reflected the experience of CRUSADER when 90. Leichte units were overrun outside Tobruk by the Matildas of D Squadron 7 R.T.R. and 4 R.T.R..
- see e.g.:

http://crusaderproject.wordpress.com/20 ... sition-19/
The excellence of [German] forward repair and recovery organisation gives us a salutary lesson in this respect. 7 Armoured Division report, Sept. 1941

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle in the Desert 1941/42
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Re: How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

Postby David W on 24 Feb 2013 10:16

Colin et al.

What I don't understand is why the information on the first 39 guns to arrive is so readily available, and the information concerning the subsequent ones so difficult to obtain!
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Re: How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

Postby Urmel on 24 Feb 2013 10:23

Well it's not really readily available. :) You need to get the files from NARA.

Regarding the next batch, there was a 6-ship convoy on 10 May, Operation MIRA, which went through unscathed. My guess is that transported a lot of guns as well, but unfortunately I don't have the loading lists for that one.
The excellence of [German] forward repair and recovery organisation gives us a salutary lesson in this respect. 7 Armoured Division report, Sept. 1941

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Re: How many 7.62 cm PaK 36 were sent to North Africa?

Postby David W on 24 Feb 2013 11:06

OK, poor choice of words on my behalf. What I meant was that you, me & Colin had the info on the first 39, but none of us has the info on the others.
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