A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

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HP
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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by HP » 28 Aug 2022 19:26

Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2022 17:36

To be exact, there were 211 Panzer IV in inventory, of which 197 were with the Feldheer and 11 with the Ersatzheer (the last 3 were likely in depot held by the Heeres-Zeug-Amt awaiting final acceptance and delivery). That was to equip 34 Panzer Abteilungen, which nominally each required 15 (including one in the Abteilung-Staffel). So 510. Thus, there were only about 39 percent of the initially planned strength available.

The situation with the Panzer III was much worse. There were 98 in inventory, of which 87 were with the Feldheer and 11 with the Ersatzheer. The 34 Abteilungen required 38 or 1,292, plus of course the groß Panzerbefehlswagen, which were Panzer III based, required for the Abteilung and Regiment Stab.

It is interesting of course that the orders placed called for 863 Panzer IV and 2,914 Panzer III, a ratio of 1:3.37, while the requirements by the units appear to have been a ratio of 1:2.53. The reason appears to have been that the eventual plan was for an Abteilung with one mittelere and three leichte kompanien rather than the one mittlere and two leichte as initially fielded...at least by those few that were actually able to organize a mittelere kompanie - I. and II. Pz.-Regt. 2., I. and II./Pz.-Regt. 11., and Pz.-Abtl. 65.
Many thanks for the detailed information here and elsewhere in this thread, I appreciate it and the effort put in this type of thread a lot. I would only add that there would have been a need for some reserves in addition to the nominal unit strength. The idea here was to challenge the claim that Germans did not manufacture more Pzkpfw IV in 1937-1939 (1940-41?) because they were not needed. Here the difference between nominal requirements and available Pzkpfw IV's clearly show that they did not have the number they planned (and ordered) available in 1939.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Richard Anderson » 28 Aug 2022 20:20

historygeek2021 wrote:
28 Aug 2022 19:21
IIRC, the issue was that the assault guns were always designed for, and in practice used with, infantry in close cooperation, whereas the panzers operated in independent battalions that went off on their own without accompanying infantry. When they tried to send assault guns off on their own, it didn't work out so well.
Not exactly. The StuG were originally developed as self-propelled "infantry accompanying guns" to support the Infanterie-Division in the offense, primarily because the Panzer mavens did not want to organize Panzer units to provide that support. They later evolved as a mainstay of German defense doctrine in conjunction with the Panzerjäger and eventually the organization and doctrine of the self-propelled Panzerjäger and Sturmgeschütz became nearly interchangeable.

Nor did Panzers operate "in independent battalions that went off on their own without accompanying infantry". That well describes the British armoured divisional doctrine up until around mid 1944, but does not describe German doctrine at all. German Panzer doctrine was based upon combined arms battle groups that included armor, infantry, engineers, and artillery working in coordination. Typical late war practice was to combined the Panther Abteilung, gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Bataillion, and the self-propelled gepanzerte Artillerie Abteilung in a Kampfgruppe that acted as schwerpunkte, while the Panzer IV Abteilung was usually combined with the motorisierte Panzergrandier Bataillionen as a supporting Kampfgruppe.
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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Aida1 » 28 Aug 2022 20:40

historygeek2021 wrote:
25 Aug 2022 20:02
Was the Panzer IV any better than a Stug III? Why not just make the Panzer III and Stug III? Seems like this was the basic idea with the E-series.
Sturmgeschutze are not tanks. In an experience report of Sturmgeschutze Abteilung 232 of 11.05.1943 it is mentioned that there is generally the opinion that Sturmgeschutze are to put at the same level as tanks and are used like that. Only slowly one seems to succeed to convince those in charge that the Sturmgeschutze cannot be equal to tanks from a drive technical and deployment viewpoint. It is further explained that Sturmgeschutze cannot follow tanks as they are top heavy. The Sturmgeschutze hanging back led to heavy losses through flank fire. It is concluded for this and other reasons that the deployment with tanks leads to heavy losses but no or few successes. All total losses of the Abteilung occurred when being deployed with the tanks. Therefore crews of Sturmgeschutze do not like to work with tanks. Same problem is mentioned concerning working together with APC 's who are also too fast which leaves the Sturmgeschutze vulnerable to flank threats. . Only the cooperation with the Grenadiere worked well.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Richard Anderson » 28 Aug 2022 20:43

HP wrote:
28 Aug 2022 19:26
Many thanks for the detailed information here and elsewhere in this thread, I appreciate it and the effort put in this type of thread a lot.
You're welcome. My research on these subjects goes back some years :lol: and, unlike the views of some other posters, has evolved over time as I collected additional data. Unlike them I hesitate to collect data that only fits my preconceived beliefs but rather try to modify my beliefs to coincide with what the evidence is. I know that is a bewildering notion in forums but it is a methodology that has served me well in my career and I see no reason to change it now that I am retired. :lol:
I would only add that there would have been a need for some reserves in addition to the nominal unit strength.
I have yet to see much evidence that the Germans ever conceived of establishing a reserve of Panzers to act as replacements, mostly because they were never far enough ahead of the curve to make such a practice practical. Of course by "reserves" in this context I mean a stock of vehicles held as a reserve to issue to units requiring reconstitution as needed, such as the British policy of a simple 50% reserve to establishment or the more complex American system of calculation. Instead, the Germans attempted to practice unit reserves - reconstituting units in Germany or occupied areas such as France - that did not work very well at all and in practice meant that many units were reconstituted rather quickly in terms of personnel but then waited months before receiving vehicles and completing training. the saga of the Panther Abteilungen is instructive. Otherwise, the "reserve" was embodied in the Ersatz-Heer and its Reserve units, which frequently were used to build new or replacement units in addition to their training function.
The idea here was to challenge the claim that Germans did not manufacture more Pzkpfw IV in 1937-1939 (1940-41?) because they were not needed. Here the difference between nominal requirements and available Pzkpfw IV's clearly show that they did not have the number they planned (and ordered) available in 1939.
Indeed that claim was silly on the face of it. It is also obvious that by 1 April 1939 the initial plan was to organize ten Panzer Divisionen, each of two two-Abteilung regiments, each Abteilung with one mittelere and three leichte Kompanien. So 40 mittilere and 120 leichte Kompanien. So c. 600 Panzer IV and c. 2,200 Panzer III, which closely matches the 640 Panzer IV and 2,155 Panzer III originally on order. The extension orders placed 11 July 1938 for 2223 Panzer IV and 759 Panzer III may have been intended as a "reserve" or for the establishment of yet more units but I have not seen where Jentz or others really found what the intent was at that point.
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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by historygeek2021 » 29 Aug 2022 04:22

Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2022 20:20
Not exactly. The StuG were originally developed as self-propelled "infantry accompanying guns" to support the Infanterie-Division in the offense, primarily because the Panzer mavens did not want to organize Panzer units to provide that support. They later evolved as a mainstay of German defense doctrine in conjunction with the Panzerjäger and eventually the organization and doctrine of the self-propelled Panzerjäger and Sturmgeschütz became nearly interchangeable.

Nor did Panzers operate "in independent battalions that went off on their own without accompanying infantry". That well describes the British armoured divisional doctrine up until around mid 1944, but does not describe German doctrine at all. German Panzer doctrine was based upon combined arms battle groups that included armor, infantry, engineers, and artillery working in coordination. Typical late war practice was to combined the Panther Abteilung, gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Bataillion, and the self-propelled gepanzerte Artillerie Abteilung in a Kampfgruppe that acted as schwerpunkte, while the Panzer IV Abteilung was usually combined with the motorisierte Panzergrandier Bataillionen as a supporting Kampfgruppe.
Early war (through 1941 at least), the panzer battalions definitely went off on their own without accompanying infantry (e.g., Neufchâteau May 1940, Stary Bychów July 1941).

Regarding the issue of assault guns cooperating with infantry vs going off with the panzer battalions, this is the post I was thinking of:

https://www.forum.axishistory.com/viewt ... 9#p2215069

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by ljadw » 29 Aug 2022 11:49

historygeek2021 wrote:
29 Aug 2022 04:22
Early war (through 1941 at least), the panzer battalions definitely went off on their own without accompanying infantry ..
[/quote]

5 questions
1 why went they off on their own without infantry, artillery and engineers ?
2 what was the result when they went off on their own without infantry, artillery and engineers ?Was the result as good as or better than when they went off with artillery, infantry and engineers ?
3 how many times did the panzer battalions go off without infantry, artillery and engineers ?
4 Did the allied/soviet tank battalions the same ?
5 if the results were better than or as good as when they went off with infantry,artillery,engineers ,why did tank/panzer/armored units have infantry, artillery and engineers ?

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Aida1 » 29 Aug 2022 13:55

historygeek2021 wrote:
29 Aug 2022 04:22
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2022 20:20
Not exactly. The StuG were originally developed as self-propelled "infantry accompanying guns" to support the Infanterie-Division in the offense, primarily because the Panzer mavens did not want to organize Panzer units to provide that support. They later evolved as a mainstay of German defense doctrine in conjunction with the Panzerjäger and eventually the organization and doctrine of the self-propelled Panzerjäger and Sturmgeschütz became nearly interchangeable.

Nor did Panzers operate "in independent battalions that went off on their own without accompanying infantry". That well describes the British armoured divisional doctrine up until around mid 1944, but does not describe German doctrine at all. German Panzer doctrine was based upon combined arms battle groups that included armor, infantry, engineers, and artillery working in coordination. Typical late war practice was to combined the Panther Abteilung, gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Bataillion, and the self-propelled gepanzerte Artillerie Abteilung in a Kampfgruppe that acted as schwerpunkte, while the Panzer IV Abteilung was usually combined with the motorisierte Panzergrandier Bataillionen as a supporting Kampfgruppe.
Early war (through 1941 at least), the panzer battalions definitely went off on their own without accompanying infantry (e.g., Neufchâteau May 1940, Stary Bychów July 1941).

Regarding the issue of assault guns cooperating with infantry vs going off with the panzer battalions, this is the post I was thinking of:

https://www.forum.axishistory.com/viewt ... 9#p2215069
The experience report reproduced in that posting is a detailed practical example of why a stug is not a tank and could not operate as one. If they were used like that, it led to losses. A stug is best used as a tank hunter. When stugs were added to pz div as an expedient clear instructions were given by Guderian how these should be used.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Aida1 » 29 Aug 2022 14:29

historygeek2021 wrote:
29 Aug 2022 04:22
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2022 20:20
Not exactly. The StuG were originally developed as self-propelled "infantry accompanying guns" to support the Infanterie-Division in the offense, primarily because the Panzer mavens did not want to organize Panzer units to provide that support. They later evolved as a mainstay of German defense doctrine in conjunction with the Panzerjäger and eventually the organization and doctrine of the self-propelled Panzerjäger and Sturmgeschütz became nearly interchangeable.

Nor did Panzers operate "in independent battalions that went off on their own without accompanying infantry". That well describes the British armoured divisional doctrine up until around mid 1944, but does not describe German doctrine at all. German Panzer doctrine was based upon combined arms battle groups that included armor, infantry, engineers, and artillery working in coordination. Typical late war practice was to combined the Panther Abteilung, gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Bataillion, and the self-propelled gepanzerte Artillerie Abteilung in a Kampfgruppe that acted as schwerpunkte, while the Panzer IV Abteilung was usually combined with the motorisierte Panzergrandier Bataillionen as a supporting Kampfgruppe.
Early war (through 1941 at least), the panzer battalions definitely went off on their own without accompanying infantry (e.g., Neufchâteau May 1940, Stary Bychów July 1941).

At Stay Bychow there were specific circonstances why the pz rgt 35 was on its own. 4 pz div was spread widely when the order was given to take the bridge at Stary Bychow by surprise.
It was the obvious rule that pz div operated in battlegroups as different weapons need to operate together . This became easier later in the war when you have an APC batallion and self propelled panzer artillery so you could form an armored battlegroup.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Aida1 » 29 Aug 2022 14:56

ljadw wrote:
29 Aug 2022 11:49


5 questions
1 why went they off on their own without infantry, artillery and engineers ?
2 what was the result when they went off on their own without infantry, artillery and engineers ?Was the result as good as or better than when they went off with artillery, infantry and engineers ?
3 how many times did the panzer battalions go off without infantry, artillery and engineers ?
4 Did the allied/soviet tank battalions the same ?
5 if the results were better than or as good as when they went off with infantry,artillery,engineers ,why did tank/panzer/armored units have infantry, artillery and engineers ?
If a bridge needs to be taken as at Stary Bychow, you would obviously not choose to do that with tanks only as you need infantry to occupy the terrain but circonstances do not always allow that.
Most of the time different weapons need to work together. In Panzer marsch Heinz Guderian edited by Oskar Munzel Schild Verlag 1955 pp152-153 the combined arms battle is described as follows: "One can compare this interaction with an orchestra where different instruments can only give a good concert under the unified direction of a conductor. There, sometimes one, sometimes another instrument comes in the foreground, according to the nature of the piece. Sometimes there is also a solo. But mostly only a certain type of instruments will dominate the piece, others will accompany. So also in a military orchestra. In the open terrain - especially in the desert- tanks not only give the tone but can also play a powerful solo. In closed terrain with many obstacles they step back, sometimes are even silent temporarily . Panzergrenadiere and engineers are more used then. Only the artillery roars with its bass everywhere in-between, sometimes rearing to a crescendo. "

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by ljadw » 29 Aug 2022 18:56

The answer on question 1 is double:
a tanks would go without infantry,artillery,engineers, when these were not needed
b tanks would go without infantry, artillery, engineers when these were not available
And mostly the reason was b .

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Aida1 » 29 Aug 2022 19:03

ljadw wrote:
29 Aug 2022 18:56
The answer on question 1 is double:
a tanks would go without infantry,artillery,engineers, when these were not needed
b tanks would go without infantry, artillery, engineers when these were not available
And mostly the reason was b .
Why ask the question if you know the obvious answer😂😂

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by ljadw » 29 Aug 2022 20:14

Aida1 wrote:
29 Aug 2022 13:55
historygeek2021 wrote:
29 Aug 2022 04:22
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2022 20:20
Not exactly. The StuG were originally developed as self-propelled "infantry accompanying guns" to support the Infanterie-Division in the offense, primarily because the Panzer mavens did not want to organize Panzer units to provide that support. They later evolved as a mainstay of German defense doctrine in conjunction with the Panzerjäger and eventually the organization and doctrine of the self-propelled Panzerjäger and Sturmgeschütz became nearly interchangeable.

Nor did Panzers operate "in independent battalions that went off on their own without accompanying infantry". That well describes the British armoured divisional doctrine up until around mid 1944, but does not describe German doctrine at all. German Panzer doctrine was based upon combined arms battle groups that included armor, infantry, engineers, and artillery working in coordination. Typical late war practice was to combined the Panther Abteilung, gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Bataillion, and the self-propelled gepanzerte Artillerie Abteilung in a Kampfgruppe that acted as schwerpunkte, while the Panzer IV Abteilung was usually combined with the motorisierte Panzergrandier Bataillionen as a supporting Kampfgruppe.
Early war (through 1941 at least), the panzer battalions definitely went off on their own without accompanying infantry (e.g., Neufchâteau May 1940, Stary Bychów July 1941).

Regarding the issue of assault guns cooperating with infantry vs going off with the panzer battalions, this is the post I was thinking of:

https://www.forum.axishistory.com/viewt ... 9#p2215069
The experience report reproduced in that posting is a detailed practical example of why a stug is not a tank and could not operate as one. If they were used like that, it led to losses. A stug is best used as a tank hunter. When stugs were added to pz div as an expedient clear instructions were given by Guderian how these should be used.
If a Stug was not a tank,and it was not a tank,how it was used was not the business of Guderian .

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Richard Anderson » 29 Aug 2022 20:52

Well this thread has jumped the shark.
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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Aida1 » 29 Aug 2022 20:53

ljadw wrote:
29 Aug 2022 20:14
Aida1 wrote:
29 Aug 2022 13:55
historygeek2021 wrote:
29 Aug 2022 04:22
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2022 20:20
Not exactly. The StuG were originally developed as self-propelled "infantry accompanying guns" to support the Infanterie-Division in the offense, primarily because the Panzer mavens did not want to organize Panzer units to provide that support. They later evolved as a mainstay of German defense doctrine in conjunction with the Panzerjäger and eventually the organization and doctrine of the self-propelled Panzerjäger and Sturmgeschütz became nearly interchangeable.

Nor did Panzers operate "in independent battalions that went off on their own without accompanying infantry". That well describes the British armoured divisional doctrine up until around mid 1944, but does not describe German doctrine at all. German Panzer doctrine was based upon combined arms battle groups that included armor, infantry, engineers, and artillery working in coordination. Typical late war practice was to combined the Panther Abteilung, gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Bataillion, and the self-propelled gepanzerte Artillerie Abteilung in a Kampfgruppe that acted as schwerpunkte, while the Panzer IV Abteilung was usually combined with the motorisierte Panzergrandier Bataillionen as a supporting Kampfgruppe.
Early war (through 1941 at least), the panzer battalions definitely went off on their own without accompanying infantry (e.g., Neufchâteau May 1940, Stary Bychów July 1941).

Regarding the issue of assault guns cooperating with infantry vs going off with the panzer battalions, this is the post I was thinking of:

https://www.forum.axishistory.com/viewt ... 9#p2215069
The experience report reproduced in that posting is a detailed practical example of why a stug is not a tank and could not operate as one. If they were used like that, it led to losses. A stug is best used as a tank hunter. When stugs were added to pz div as an expedient clear instructions were given by Guderian how these should be used.
If a Stug was not a tank,and it was not a tank,how it was used was not the business of Guderian .
Unless it is incorporated in a pz div when it was the business of Guderian so he gave instructions for the use in this context.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Konig_pilsner » 31 Aug 2022 15:30

HP wrote:
The idea here was to challenge the claim that Germans did not manufacture more Pzkpfw IV in 1937-1939 (1940-41?)
Richard Anderson Wrote:
Indeed that claim was silly on the face of it.
Hey guys,

German production capability in the late 30's was exploding, asserting that German tank production capability was representative of its true potential is false. Machines like the Panzer 3's and 4's had never been mass produced before, and there was clearly little will to accelerate the process until 1939 when the Panzer 3 was ready.

There was no War in 1937, and just because you order something doesn't mean you need it right away. I have no doubt that had the Panzer 4 been accepted as the MBT in 1937 that production wouldn't have greatly increased until 1939, after which the true benefits would be realized.

This is a what-if. What if they chose the Panzer 4... What if they made it a priority... What if they stuck a 5cm L60 in it before Barbarossa... Its ok to dis-agree though, and if you think there would be zero production or standardization advantages that is fine with me. (you are just wrong)

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