Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

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DougENash
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Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

Post by DougENash » 26 Jul 2019 11:32

Folks, so here's a here's a question for you Experten out there: Why was the SS-TK Division allowed to keep Pz. VI Tigers in its Panzer regiment's 9. Kompanie, while at the same time (Spring '44) the 1st and 2nd SS Divisions had to turn theirs in to form a corps sPzAbt. Sources I've read conflict; one (Navenkin) says that by the Spring of 1944, they were kept "unofficially" after they were supposed to turn them in. Another (the Totenkopf Tigers book by Wood) says that Hitler told them that they could keep them. Neither is convincing and there are no orders or sources listed for these statements. From my understanding, in order to maintain tanks, a unit had to be authorized them by a KStN and KAN. So was some kind of provisional KAN granted by the Heeresruestungsamt via the SS-FHA? Otherwise, how could the SS-TK division be allowed to keep them, get repair parts and order replacement vehicles? I am at a loss to describe this and no other sources I can find explain the reason.
Thanks much
Doug Nash

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Re: Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

Post by Yoozername » 26 Jul 2019 18:04

I think the 1st and 2nd SS PD was pulled completely off the East Front, and probably handed over any AFV they had, and would be completely re-equipped under the new organization in the west (Panther/Panzer IV tank regt.)? Totenkopf basically stayed on the Eastern Front. They were rebuilt using an array of AFV. Panthers, Tigers, panzer IV, StuG and even Marder (?).

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Re: Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

Post by DougENash » 26 Jul 2019 18:11

Thanks - I've got that information but what I was looking for was any order or directives granting Totenkopf an exception to keep their Tiger company. It might be in the Heeresruestungs Amt records at NARA - but at this point in my work, that would be like searching for a needle in a haystack.

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Re: Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

Post by Michael Kenny » 26 Jul 2019 18:21

DougENash wrote:
26 Jul 2019 11:32
Otherwise, how could the SS-TK division be allowed to keep them, get repair parts and order replacement vehicles? I am at a loss to describe this and no other sources I can find explain the reason.
Probably the same reason why GD kept their Tigers.

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Re: Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

Post by Michael Kenny » 26 Jul 2019 18:25

Yoozername wrote:
26 Jul 2019 18:04
I think the 1st and 2nd SS PD was pulled completely off the East Front, and probably handed over any AFV they had, and would be completely re-equipped under the new organization in the west (Panther/Panzer IV tank regt.)?
Most of the Tiger Company went back to Russia with the Division in late 1943. A small part stayed in The West and began training as sSS PzAbt 101. The Tiger Company fought on until it too was transferred back in spring 1944 to complete the formation of SS 101.
Last edited by Michael Kenny on 26 Jul 2019 18:41, edited 1 time in total.

DougENash
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Re: Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

Post by DougENash » 26 Jul 2019 18:28

That may well be correct, but again, who granted the authority to keep them? That's what I'm trying to get to. I want to be able to cite scripture and verse on this one as a source in my book, not informed guesses or speculation. As long, that is, as there is still something in the official records. It could be lost, in which case I'm out of luck. But there's enough guys (and gals) out there who have studied the Heeresruestungs-Amt records looking for this kind of information that could weigh in if they chose to do so.

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Re: Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

Post by Yoozername » 26 Jul 2019 19:08


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Re: Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

Post by Cult Icon » 26 Jul 2019 19:19

I couldn't find anything about it in "Totenkopf Tigers" (Schneider).

The circumstances could have some clues. 2.SS DR was the first of the three formations to withdraw (IIRC Dec 1943?), leaving SS - KG DR. 1.SSLAH and 3.SST were engaged into the Spring of 1944, where the 1.SSLAH was the second classic division to leave the Eastern Front. The 3.SS would remain in heavy defensive combat. To my understanding the 3.SS was severely battered in their retreat from the defensive battles at K-Rog and very quickly refilled with men/reconstituted with a lot of equipment shortages in the field prior to the battles for Targu Frumos. It rated poorly on the KW scale. (IIRC it was KW IV ?- much of the division was inoperable)

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Re: Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

Post by DougENash » 26 Jul 2019 19:32

Good info, everyone. So it looks like Hitler, at least according to the Tiger website that Yoozername shared, actually stepped in to help the Totenkopf out. BTW, the Totenkopf's Tiger Kompanie last every one of them at the beginning of April when the train they were loaded on got stopped due to Soviet tanks farther up the line and had to blow up every single one of them. So I guess that's why Hitler helped out his boys. During the Spring of '44, the Totenkopf's I. Abt. was in France being reequipped with new Panthers, so the II. Abt. had to pick up the slack, even harder to do when you lose your strongest tank company!

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Re: Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

Post by Yoozername » 26 Jul 2019 19:39

A snippet about how the Tigers were divided up...from a monthly report....I assume that East Supply would be for units in the field. How they were further assigned and delivered would be nice to know. I assume that when a Bn is called out, it is being fitted.

Tiger
Planned for March 1944:
95 Tiger I and 6 Tiger II
Planned/ Assigned/ On the way
East Supply 25 24 24
Supplying Italy 5 5 5
Pz.Abt. 504 27 27 27
SS Pz. Abt. 101 10 - -
East Supply 25 33 -
Pcs. Lehr-Div. 6 (Tiger II) - -


92 Tiger I
6 Tiger II 89 Tiger I
56 Tiger I

Michael Kenny
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Re: Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

Post by Michael Kenny » 26 Jul 2019 20:02

A complete monthly list of all Tiger allocations is at the back end of TIC II and the Jentz Tiger book .

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DirkAH
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Re: Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

Post by DirkAH » 27 Jul 2019 12:18

Was Totenkopf ever assigned to a specific SS-Panzer-Korps?
Correct me if i'm wrong but my understanding is that the ultimate plan for the Waffen-SS organisation in 1943/44 was that SS-Div. would be permanently assigned to specific corps. That's the reason why the 1. SS and 2. SS had to give up their Tigers during that time.
I.SS: 1. SS and 12.SS(?) (> s.SS-Pz.Abt. 101/501)
II.SS: 2. SS(?) and ?. (> s.SS-Pz.Abt. 102/502)
III.SS: 5.SS, 11.SS and 23.SS (> s.SS-Pz.Abt. 103/503)
IV.SS: 9.SS and 16.SS (> s.SS-Pz.Abt. 104/504)
VII.SS: 10.SS and 17.SS;
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DougENash
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Re: Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

Post by DougENash » 27 Jul 2019 15:18

The Totenkopf Division was assigned to the IV. SS-Pz.Korps on 27 July 1944 during the battles east of Warsaw and remained with that corps until March 1945. The IV. SS-Pz.Korps, though authorized a Tiger battalion (s.Pz.Abt. 104) by the orders activating the corps in August 1943, never had one raised. The IV. SS-Pz.Korps, in addition to the Totenkopf, also had the Wiking Division as one of its constituent elements. It also had numerous divisions of the Heer under its command, as well as the 9th SS PzDiv. in April 45.

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DirkAH
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Re: Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

Post by DirkAH » 27 Jul 2019 17:49

Yes, but was the intended corps for Totenkopf before June 1944?
Given that the IV. SS was formed from the VII. SS maybe the 9./SS-Pz.Rgt. 3 was intended as the nucleus of a future s.SS-Pz.Abt. 107? I'm aware that the VII. SS-Pz.K. never had a s.Pz.Abt. authorized but i would assume that the ulimate goal would have been to provide all SS-Pz.K. with organic s.Pz.Abt.
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Re: Tiger Tanks in the Totenkopf Division Question

Post by DirkAH » 27 Jul 2019 19:38

I guess my idea doesn't work as Totenkopf was originally supposed to form the II. SS-Pz.K. with Das Reich. [Source: SS-F.H.A./Org. Nr. I/4933/43 g.Kdos. v. 25.10.1943]:
I. SS: 1. SS & 12. SS;
II. SS: 2. SS & 3. SS;
III. SS: 5. SS, 11. SS & 23. SS;
IV. SS: 9. SS & 16. SS;
VII. SS: 10. SS & 17. SS;
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