Nordland Panzergrenadier division

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Martin Block
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Martin Block » 30 Dec 2008 16:20

Henken,

I research these matters for quite a few years now using original wartime records from the Bundesarchiv and NARA only and I can assure you once again among the many strength reports from divisional, H.Gr. Nord and H.Gr. Weichsel records and other documents I have found there is ABSOLUTELY NO evidence for all those claims made in postwar books. What amazes me most is that it is so hard to work against these false claims. If someone has written something in a book it is without question accepted as an indisputable fact. Author B then quotes author A without questioning and so the story continues and spreads. What I mean is, can anyone other than quoting just from another book come up with documentary evidence for any Panther deliveries or Jagdpz. 38??? I doubt that!
I also had the fortune to exchange a few letters with Paul Adalbert Kausch before he died and he too could not explain where those claims came from.

Once again:
- The division NEVER received any replacement Panthers after early 1944 and NEVER took any over from other units thereafter. Especially there were NO Panther Ausf. G shipments during Feb. 1945.
- The division NEVER received nor actually reported Jagdpanzer 38, especially not in any know reports from mid April 1945.

For a complete list of Panther deliveries based on original German allocation records see here:
http://www.panther1944.de/Panther/panth ... n1943.html
For a complete list of Jagdpz. 38 based on original German allocation records see here:
http://forum.panzer-archiv.de/viewtopic ... 128#161128
As you can see - NO deliveries of these types of vehicles to 11. SS-Pz.Gren.Div.

Happy New Year

Martin Block

Henken
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Henken » 30 Dec 2008 17:19

The pictures are from a book made by Mart Laar: Sinimäed 1944 II Maailmasoja Lahingud Kirde-Eestis.
Unfortunately it is not texted in english, but in estonian. Therefore I pretty much don't understand anything, but the name of the units which the men and equipment belonged to, are clear enough.
I sincerely hope that serious researchers in the field are not so tunnell-visioned and trophy-oriented that they think they can rank divisions by counting KCs.
It was dumb of me to mark the whole section as it was only this statement I wanted to argue against as it seems like it is pointed towards me personally.

Yes, the substance of finding (not presenting) historical information (not knowledge) which I didn't explain: find information from different sources (both sides) and then further work with information (you can use philosophy and psychology as useful tools in this process). The information can be discussed with other people as well to gain more understanding on the subject.
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Qvist
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Qvist » 30 Dec 2008 17:37

It was dumb of me to mark the whole section as it was only this statement I wanted to argue against as it seems like it is pointed towards me personally.
Well, it wasn't. Unless you are a serious researcher in the field who thinks the combat worth of divisions can be measured in KC's, of course.
Yes, the substance of finding (not presenting) historical information (not knowledge) which I didn't explain: find information from different sources (both sides) and then further work with information (you can use philosophy and psychology as useful tools in this process). The information can be discussed with other people as well to gain more understanding on the subject.
You don't say. :)

cheers

Henken
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Henken » 30 Dec 2008 17:57

Quist
No, I don't believe you can messure combat value in medals etc. The statement sounded like it accused me for believing that, but if you say it wasn't ment to do so, I belive you :wink:

Henken
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Henken » 30 Dec 2008 18:30

This picture is taken by a soldier in Regiment-Danmark. It is probably an Ausf D model. I have to admit that it seems odd that the Hermann von Salza abteilung which was famous for its Panther tanks in fact only had 13 old Ausf Ds :P
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Martin Block
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Martin Block » 30 Dec 2008 20:13

Henken,

while the last photo and the famous S 25 are indeed with little or no doubt Panther D from SS-Pz.Abt. 11 which have been discussed many times before on various forums, this is again NOT true for the Bergepanther/Panther A pair. The author of the book again is wrong, especially since the SS-Pz.Abt. 11 NEVER had any Bergepanther at all (and if I didn't already mention it :D never had any other Panther than very early Auf. D with the cylindrical commanders copula).

Martin Block

P.S.: And being famous for their Panthers or not, actually the SS-Pz.Abt. 11 was never even ment to become a Panther unit but just a Pz. IV unit in accordance with K.St.N. 1175 a v. 25.1.1943 as once again ordered by SS-FHA in the reorganization order for the division from 30.10.1943. This order was not changed thereafter. The taking over of those 13 Panther Ausf. D (originally ex I./SS-Pz.Rgt. 1) from I./Pz.Rgt. 29 was just a stop gap solution because nothing else was available. Until finally being converted to a Pz.Stu.Gesch.Abt. in late 1944 the unit never had more than just one company actually equipped with tanks and assault guns. So much for the 'elite' status.

Henken
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Henken » 30 Dec 2008 21:28

Well, I have to admit that using this website has been very usefull. Discussing with other persons has prevented me from using wrong facts and I have learned alot :D

Btw Martin, can you tell how many Panthers Nordland had left when they withdraw from Pomerania? I've read on the Norwegian page called Frontkjemper.info that they had 2-3 Panthers and a handful of Pz IV. Is this correct?

And exactly how many King Tigers did the Schwere SS Panzer Abteilung had when they were merged together to the 11. SS Panzer Regiment (which was basically only a regiment in name)? I've read somewhere that it was 6 and elsewhere that it was 8.

And the 1000 dollar question: WHY does rumours such as the Panther delivery in Feb 1945 come into being and then making historians such as me misinformed :x ?

This Frontkjemper.info website has been very useful and I even found out that there were Norwegien crewmembers in some of the Panther tanks in HvS and even in Schwere SS Panzer Abteilung 503. The website is btw accessible in english.

Martin Block
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Martin Block » 30 Dec 2008 23:19

Henken,

On 1.1.1945 the company of SS-Pz.Abt. 11 remaining with the division reported having 3 Panthers, 8 StuG III, and 1 Bergepz. T34 that was it, no Pz. IV. The next report I have is dated 12.2.1945 when only 2 Panthers were still there while the number of StuG III had risen to 37 since the other companies had returned in the meantime. The 2 Panthers continuously appear in the following about 10 reports I have for March and April 1945. Last report I have is dated 1.4.1945. by that time the number of StuG III had been reduced to 23 including the few remaining ones of SS-Pz.Jg.Abt. 11. NO Pz. IV were reported during this time which does not surprise me since none had been delivered or taken over. Looks to me that the Norwegian page confused that with the 10 Pz. IV/70(V) tank destroyers that had been delivered to the division in mid March 1945. I was just thinking if someone even managed to confused these tank destroyers with Jagdpz. 38 which would explain what you wrote earlier.

The formation of a SS-Pz.Rgt. 11 is another myth that has to be corrected. It war never authorized and never actually took place. It seems that the III. SS-Pz.Korps had the idea of forming such a regiment on it's own initiative (auf dem Kommandowege) but after consultations with SS-Fuehrungshauptamt was not permitted to do so by order H.Gr. Weichsel/Ia dated 17.3.1945 related to III. SS-Pz.Korps. The remnants of s.SS-Pz.Abt. 503 were only permitted to be tactically subordinated to SS-Pz.Abt. 11. This is also what Paul Adalbert Kausch remembered in his short correspondence with me.
Strength reports for elements of s.SS-Pz.Abt. 503 attached to 11. SS-Freiw.Pz.Gren.Div. show 12 Tiger II on hand from mid March until mid April 1945. Operational status of course varied.

The 1000 Dollar question, well I would very much like to earn the money but I can't give you the exact answer. I explain it to myself in this way: An author misinterprets or misreads a document because he is perhaps not an expert in every branch of arms and/or relies on veterans recollections - which can at time be strangely different from documentary evidence - only and then publishes his findings in a book. The next author uses this book as a reference and takes the info for granted, this goes on and on. And if one reads the same (wrong) information in several books by otherwise renowned authors then why should the ordinary reader question it in the first place? This is how the myth survives.

Regards,

Martin Block

Henken
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Henken » 30 Dec 2008 23:44

Yea, Pz IV/70(V) is the same as the Jagdpanzer IV/70(V) I assume (V for Vomag right). Btw exactly how many Pz IV did Nordland overall had?
The 1000 Dollar question, well I would very much like to earn the money but I can't give you the exact answer. I explain it to myself in this way: An author misinterprets or misreads a document because he is perhaps not an expert in every branch of arms and/or relies on veterans recollections - which can at time be strangely different from documentary evidence - only and then publishes his findings in a book. The next author uses this book as a reference and takes the info for granted, this goes on and on. And if one reads the same (wrong) information in several books by otherwise renowned authors then why should the ordinary reader question it in the first place? This is how the myth survives.
...And is the reason why a person always should double-check information with other sources :D

Henken
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Henken » 31 Dec 2008 01:27

Martin,
You clearly proved that there were no further Panther delivery with your last report dated 01/04.1945. But then I wonder if it is a possibility of later deliveries. Here is a new statement from one of those reliable sources :wink:

Heeresgruppe Weichsel report (7 April 1945):
SS-Pz.Abt.11:
Sturmgeschütz III: 24 operational + 2 short-term repair
Panzer V.: 10 operational

Does it exict such a document? If not it should be easy to disprove this statement
Last edited by Henken on 31 Dec 2008 09:41, edited 1 time in total.

Martin Block
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Martin Block » 31 Dec 2008 09:29

Henken,

I do not know where you found that but I do have a copy of the original report from the "Anlagen zum KTB Ia H.Gr. Weichsel" and this report actually says

StuG III: 24 operational, 2 in short term repair
Pz.(L)V IV: 10 operational

Apparently your source got confused by the term "Pz.(L) V IV" which stands for the Pz. IV/70(V) tank destroyer and NOT the Panther. Your source omitted the "(L)" and the "IV" because he probably didn't understand the meaning and voila there you have the mysterious Panthers. A classic example of an author misreading and misinterpreting a document.
Hey, does this answer no qualify as an answer to the 1000 Dollar question? :lol:

Martin Block

P.S.: If you're really interested in these matters, try archival research one day. You will be amazed by the amount of this kind of discrepancies between books and actual documentation and also the even greater amount of obviously miscaptioned photos!

Henken
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Henken » 31 Dec 2008 09:58

Martin,
Indeed you are right. Using archives is absolutely the best way of finding solid information.
StuG III: 24 operational, 2 in short term repair
Pz.(L)V IV: 10 operational
It seems like the two hard working Panther Ds finally disappeared, or did they?

Btw exactly how many Panzer IV tanks did Nordland overall had?
In addition to the 'used' Panthers a handfull of StuG III and Pz IV were picked up during the summer of 1944 (apparently from from Kgr. Böhrendt, but I still need confirmation).
I thought Kampfgruppe Böhrendt posessed StuG IV, not StuG III.


Kampfgruppe Böhrendt (Feb – May 1944)
Attached to Panzer-Kampfgruppe Graf Strachwitz , Northern Russia (Narva)

Commanders
Hauptmann Max Böhrendt


Order of battle
Stab
Stabszug (SdKfz 251/1)
2x Schützen-Kompanie
je 3 Schützenzüge
schwere Kompanie
Panzer-Kompanie
3x Zug Pz IV
1x Zug StuG IV
Flak-Kompanie
1 Zug 88mmm (mot.zg.)
1 Zug 37mm (mot.zg.)
2 Züge 20mm (mot.)

The info is from Axis history factbook

Martin Block
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Martin Block » 31 Dec 2008 11:06

I do not have the exact figure, documents show that SS-Pz.Abt. 11 hat at least 4 Pz. IV during the summer of 1944.
Regarding the StuG IV I can tell you that I do have the allocation records and there is no delivery to Kampfgruppe Böhrendt recorded. The first StuG IV were shipped in mid February 1944 and they went to the 90. Pz.Gren.Div.. I can also assure you none were delivered to Kampfgruppe Böhrend as replacements. I have no idea what the info about StuG IV is based upon.

Recently a book has been published by M.H. Pruett called 'Panzerkampfgruppe Strachwitz'. He had the luck to find a collection of images taken by a German Army press photographer who accompanied the unit during combat operations in April 1944. This includes lots of photos of the 5.(Pz.) Kp. of Kampfgruppe Böhrend and also confirm that the assault guns were 5 StuG III with tactical numbers 541 to 545. The 17 Pz. IV had the tactical numbers 501, 502, 511 - 515, 521 - 525 and 531 - 535.
How long is this going to continue now? I'm a bit fed up argueing against what has been written in books. New documents which prove me wrong would be much more challenging. Don't you think I have earned my 1000 Dollar already ? :wink:

Martin Block

Henken
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Henken » 31 Dec 2008 11:57

Txs, I will see If I can find some more challanging questions :lol:

Henken
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Henken » 31 Dec 2008 12:33

Martin,
if it isn't very time-consuming for you, could you provide me with some pictures (if they exists) of StuG III, Panzer IV, Panther and Jagdpanzer IV/70(V) of the Nordland Division. That would be great :D

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