Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

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Rebel99330
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Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

Postby Rebel99330 » 11 Nov 2017 23:17

Hello,

I am referring to the community here for help in finding information about a specific unit. I am researching the service history of a specific Waffen-SS soldier, and was recently able to define which unit he served with (listed below). I am looking for any reference material available about the engagements of this unit from 1941-Jan. 1944 (enlistment and date of death). Questions I have not yet been able to answer:

What type of tanks were in this unit?
What specific engagements was this unit involved in?
Is there a unit roster (with names) available?

The unit in question: 4./ (schw.) SS-Pz.-Rgt. 1

My current knowledge tells me that this means 4. Kompanie of SS-Panzer-Regiment 1 of the LSSAH division. I have found conflicting sources on several issues, so now I turn to the experts for further research guidance. Thanks in advance for any insight.

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Re: Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

Postby NagaSadow » 12 Nov 2017 12:25

Hello!

I assume you're looking for the Leibstandarte's Tiger company.

Some books that should help you:
Tigers in Combat, Vol. 2 by Wolfgang Schneider.
Michael Wittmann and the Waffen SS Tiger Commanders of the Leibstandarte in World War 2 by Patrick Agte.

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Re: Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

Postby Rebel99330 » 13 Nov 2017 16:24

NagaSadow,

Thank you for the information. I am not sure if the 4. Kompanie was the Tiger company, however. I have read before that the (schw.) designation was given to all companies of the Pz.-Regt. 1 of the LSSAH even if they did not contain Pzkw. VI vehicles. For example: the Pzwk. V was considered a medium tank by the Germans, but companies in the Pz.-Regt. 1 that had them were still designated with (schw.). Are there any specific sources that maybe discuss the regiment as a whole?

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Harro
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Re: Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

Postby Harro » 13 Nov 2017 16:43

I'm quite sure that there's already a topic about this which concluded with sourced evidence that the Panther-equipped companies were called "schwere" (heavy) and the Pz. IV ones "mittlere" (medium) for a short period of time. Now if I could only find that topic

BTW, the Panzer-Regiment was formed in 1942 so if he joined the SS in 1941 it must have been in another unit.

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Harro
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Re: Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

Postby Harro » 13 Nov 2017 16:51

Here it is!

viewtopic.php?f=50&t=225924

(it starts of with the same mistake about the Tigers then gets to the point with the Panthers)

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Re: Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

Postby Rebel99330 » 13 Nov 2017 18:29

Harro,

Thank you for the link, I will work my way through those posts.

I'm not sure which unit he joined into, and the 1941 join date is vague as it is only hearsay (i.e. I have no official documentation). The soldier's Sterbeurkunde noted that he was in 4./ (schw.) SS Pz.-Regt. 1, and that he fell on the 8th of January, 1944. I'm looking for information on that particular unit, and have ordered the Patrick Agte books which I will chew through once they get to me.

Cheers

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Re: Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

Postby Rebel99330 » 13 Nov 2017 18:38

Something I have found while researching:

Various sources list the 4. Kompanie in the I. Abteilung of SS Pz. Rgt. 1, and others list it in the II. Abteilung. Any information on which one is correct? Or if the Kompanie was moved around at various points between Abteilungen?

Source 1 (4. Kompanie in I. Abteilung): http://www.axishistory.com/axis-nations ... olf-hitler

Source 2 (4. Kompanie in II. Abteilung): https://www.feldgrau.com/WW2-German-1st ... olf-Hitler

Cheers

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Re: Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

Postby stoveb » 14 Nov 2017 06:48

Hi,

The LSSAH Panzer unit had a lot of changes in structure over the war.

It started out in Feb 1942 as an Abteilung, with
Stab
1 Kompanie
2 Kompanie
3 Kompanie

Later in 1942 (around October) it was decided to expand it to a Regiment. The initial 3 Kompanien were re-numbered the 5, 6, 7 Kompanie and a brand new 1, 2, and 3 were created.

Around this time the Tiger Kompanie was also created, it was called the 4th Kompanie, the Panzer Pionier Kompanie was the 9th. (which obviously left room for a potential 8th Kp).

The unit went into action in Kharkov Feb/March 43 with this structure:

Stab

I Abteilung (Panzer IV G)
1 Kp
2 Kp
3 Kp

II Abteilung (Panzer IV G)
5 Kp
6 Kp
7 Kp

4th Kp (Tiger)
9th Kp (Pionier, Sd.Kfz 251/7)

After Kharkov, around May 1943, the whole I Abteilung was transferred to create the cadre for the 12th SS Pz Regiment in the West.

A new I Abteilung was formed in Germany, this time with:
1 Kp
2 KP
3 Kp
4 Kp
(This was to be fitted out with Panthers, Pz V)

The remaining II Abteilung took over the tanks from the I Abt, and some new vehicles to expand the 5, 6 and 7 Kompanien into four Zug each (previous to that they only had two Zug per Kp). They also created an 8th Kompanie, but it appears this was not ready in time for Kursk, July 1943.

The old 4th Kp (Tiger) now became the 13th Kompanie and the Pionier Kp the 14th. It appears that it was considered that the LSSAH would have 3 Abteilungen in the Panzer Regiment (like GD and the early Heer divisions), which would have been 9, 10, 11 and 12. However, this never came to fruition, and the Regiment stayed with two Abt.

After the Kursk the LSSAH went to Italy where it joined up with the I Abt from Germany and received new Panzer IV for the II Abt.

The Tigers were now in a schwer Abteilung all of their own, SS s. Pz Abt 101, which formed in Italy and then later in Belgium. There were Tigers still with the unit, a large Kompanie, which was still referred to as 13th Kp on documents during the winter in Ukraine 43-44, and was essentially a third Abteilung.

Curiously the Pionier Kompanie remained as the 14th Kp until July 1944, where it was renamed the 9th Kompanie once again.

So in short:
late 42 to mid 1943, 4th Kompanie was a separate Tiger Kompanie
Late 43 to war's end, 4th Kompanie was Panther Kompanie of I Abteilung (although after Normandy was only a training unit due to shortages of men and weapons, and it was finally deployed as Infantry in Austria 1945).

Cheers
Steve

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Harro
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Re: Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

Postby Harro » 14 Nov 2017 16:12

Rebel99330 wrote:I'm looking for information on that particular unit, and have ordered the Patrick Agte books which I will chew through once they get to me.

I'm sorry to say that those books won't help you since they deal with the Tiger battalion (and we have already established that 4.(schw.)/SS-PzRgt1 LAH was Panther-equipped in January 1944

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Re: Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

Postby Rebel99330 » 14 Nov 2017 18:08

Steve,

Thank you for the extensive information on the regiment. With this information I am able to surmise that the soldier in question served in a Panther tank. I have read before that around the time of death, the regiment lost a lot of Panther tanks (he fell Jan. 8. 1944), which corroborates with the information above. Are you familiar with any sources that detail the fighting from late 1943 to early 1944?

Harro,

Oh well, I'm sure it will be an interesting read anyway. :)


Further questions I still have bouncing around in my head:

Is there any way to look up the service history of a particular soldier? Some sort of all-encompassing archive which would include things such as service history, wounds, awards, etc? I know I'm asking for a goldmine of sorts, but hey, never hurts to ask ;)
Additionally, would there be any way to figure out which vehicle of the company that soldier was in?

Cheers, and thanks for the detailed and helpful responses from all,

Alex

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Re: Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

Postby stoveb » 14 Nov 2017 22:30

Hi,

From Agte's book on Peiper, the Pz Rgt commander at the time, we have the following for the 7th Jan 1944:

At 08:00 hours Panthers took Hill 276.7, destroying three T-34's in the process. The SPW Bataillon then took up positions on that hill. In Sherepki the battalion was engaged in close combat. The Panzer Regiment had 6 Panzer IV, 11 Panthers and 2 Tigers fit for service.
(Agte, Peiper, page 271)

I believe this was near Ratschki.

In order to find out more on a particular soldier, this is very difficult. There are the SSEM (enlisted men) files from the Berlin Document Centre on microfilm at NARA, but this can range from absolutely nothing on someone all the way up to copies of their Wehrpass and much more. You can get lucky, getting the information is the hardest thing.

Good luck with your search.

Cheers
Steve

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Re: Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

Postby Rebel99330 » 15 Nov 2017 02:45

Steve,

Thanks again for the response. I have since dug up my only book on Peiper (Danny S. Parker's Hitler's Warrior) and found some short passages about the fighting from Nov. 1943 to late January 1943, though the book does not focus on particular engagements or have any maps or data. If I were looking for a good source on the fighting around then would you recommend Patrick Agte's book on Peiper? I haven't found a copy cheaper than $100 online. Could you recommend some good reading about the either the regiment's or division's combat history, maybe even with a focus on the tank involvement?

Edit: Forgot to ask: How would I go about accessing those archives? I looked on the website and copies of the rolls of microfilm are very expensive, and I'm not quite sure on whether or not I'm even allowed to access them without a clearance.

Cheers,

Alex

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Re: Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

Postby GregSingh » 15 Nov 2017 06:26

Here is a fragment from the book about Wittmann:

8 Jan 1944.jpg


And a fragment of period German map showing Sherepki, Stepok, Smela and a Hill 276.7

Sherebki.jpg
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Re: Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

Postby pintere » 16 Nov 2017 04:01

I would add the following book to the list of reference material on this unit.

https://www.amazon.com/Tigers-Königstig ... +THE+LSSAH

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Re: Unit Search 4. (schw.)/SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LAH

Postby Rebel99330 » 16 Nov 2017 14:31

Greg,

Thank you for the excerpts. They give some insight into the final actions of the soldier in question. Where could I go about accessing maps similar to those? Are they from a private collection or is there an online source?

Pintere,

Thank you for the recommendation. Are you certain, though, that I would be able to find much about the Panther Abteilung in a book about the Tigers?

Cheers,

Alex


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