Assault river crossing units in 1939

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Razjel
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Assault river crossing units in 1939

Post by Razjel » 18 Mar 2010 16:57

Hi!

I'm looking for KStN or any other info about unit used to provide the equipment (Floßsäcke 34) used in infantry divisions to cross rivers by infantry. I think it was called Floßsackzug. Was it part of the mot. Pi. Kompanie of the Pionierbataillon or the Bruckenkolonne K?
The KStN for Bruckenkollone K (737) (here - http://www.wwiidaybyday.com/kstn/kstn7371okt37.htm) shows that there is an appendix - Korrektur am 26.4.1939 Nr.1512/39, that adds to the unit 6 men and 3 trucks with the pontoons, but there's no info how much pontoons has it. Is it the correct attachment of the pontoons for 1939's campaign? Were ther any other divisional units that had pontoons?

How much Floßsäcke (pontoons) had this units? Finally - any info about the equipment like capacity?

With best regards,
Peter

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Christoph Awender
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Re: Assault river crossing units in 1939

Post by Christoph Awender » 18 Mar 2010 18:58

Hello Peter

I must have a look into my sources at home. BUt.. I think you mix up pontoon and Floßsäcke... these are two different things.

/Christoph

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Razjel
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Re: Assault river crossing units in 1939

Post by Razjel » 20 Mar 2010 10:53

Hi, Chris!

I think I know what do You mean :) I know that german bridge construction sets consisted of pontoons - elements used to build the bridge, but in Polish the word "ponton" means a Floßsack - to be more accurate I mean those assault rubber boats:)

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Re: Assault river crossing units in 1939

Post by Ypenburg » 20 Mar 2010 14:19

Razjel,

There is something about it here:

http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... oniere.htm

If I'm correct the small Floßsäcke transported 3-4 men, the bigger ones about 8-10.

One small example how the pioniere were used for river-crossing attached to infantry is this one from 31 ID, 1940 (from BaMa RH26-31/7):

Image

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Razjel
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Re: Assault river crossing units in 1939

Post by Razjel » 26 Mar 2010 09:26

Thanks, Ypenburg.
Do You know if there were any significant changes in the number of equipment since 1939? or maybe any sources from 1939, especially the 3rd army units?

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Re: Assault river crossing units in 1939

Post by Ypenburg » 26 Mar 2010 16:37

Sorry Razjel,
I have little knowledge about the Pioneers, just started to work with that material since some were involved crossing rivers in the south of Holland in 1940. From what I have read so far it seems not, since they were short of lot's of material as many new Divisions and Pi.-units were raised, hence as you f.e. can read the use of "Floßsackreserve" with 31.ID..
And even then they lacked lot's of material when entering Belgium.

In a couple of weeks I'll be going through the Heeresgruppe B files, maybe I can find something there about Pi. in Poland. I'll be in Freiburg this summer to have a look in the KTB's from severall Pi.Btl. If I can come up with something there I'll let you know.

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Razjel
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Re: Assault river crossing units in 1939

Post by Razjel » 30 Mar 2010 20:22

I have an idea of working out this problem:
the KStN for Pi.Bataillon (702), Pi.Kompanie (711) and mot. Pi.Kompanie (712), Brucko B (733) according to

http://orbat.com/site/ww2/drleo/011_ger ... _0700.html

all changed in 1941, so in France they propably had the same gear as it was in Poland.

This doesn't match only the regimental Inf.Pi. Zug - I did not found any info about KStN for them in 1939 - the first KStN (196) is from april 1940, so it had propably changed comparing to 1939.

This makes 20 big and 15 small assault rubber boats attached to each inf.rgt. and 18 big and 20 small ones in the division's reserve (Brucko B) plus propably 8 big and 4 small ones in the Inf.Pi. Zug in each inf.rgt. - reassuming 102 (3x20+18+3x8) big and 77 (3x15+20+3x4) small boats in a division.

But the Pi.Bat.'s river crossing equipment would be divided only to the 2 regiments on he front line so it makes 82 (2x20+18+3x8) big and 62 (2x15+20+3x4) small boats.

Am I thinking right?

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Re: Assault river crossing units in 1939

Post by Ypenburg » 30 Mar 2010 21:31

Razjel,

You probably are right, however there is a difference between "paper" and what happened on the battlefield.

What I mean is if you want to figure out what was used during an actual rivercrossing you really need the KTB's to have a look in, since f.e. the Pionier-Zug from the reserve-regiment could be added to one of the front-line regiments (or be splitt over both), but also (parts of) Pionier-units from Armeekorps or Heeresgruppe could be attached. If the Germans were anything good at, it was mixing up units depending on the area/terrain the were working in etc. That even involves splitting up a Zug with 1 group here, 2 others there. It's almost ammasing how they could keep track of who was where with what.

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Razjel
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Re: Assault river crossing units in 1939

Post by Razjel » 31 Mar 2010 09:54

That's right, its just an overview, to make it more accurate we'll need other sources, so again any information about river crossing and units used to this would be welcome :) Only then we can compare it. Soon I'll propably have two or three german KTB's from the 1939 so I'll try to find out some info there.

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Leo Niehorster
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Re: Assault river crossing units in 1939

Post by Leo Niehorster » 31 Mar 2010 10:38

There were no special rubber raft units. Neither with the infantry nor with the engineers. Rubber rafts were authorized for combat engineer (the so-called "black" engineers) units as well as the pioneer support (Truppenpioniere) units: the infantry pioneer, cavalry pioneer, and the motor troops pioneers.

The kleine Floßsack (small rubber raft) and the große Floßsack (large rubber raft) were issued to the engineer units between 1939 and 1941 as follows:
Combat Engineers
  KStN 711 dated 01.09.1934 – Engineer Company (R): 6 kl. Floßsäcke, 4 gr. Floßsäcke
  KStN 711(Lw) dated 01.10.1937 – Landwehr Engineer Company: 4 kl. Floßsäcke, 2 gr. Floßsäcke
  KStN 712 dated 01.10.1937 – Engineer Company (motorized): 4 kl. Floßsäcke, 3 gr. Floßsäcke
  KStN 714 dated 01.10.1938 – Light Engineer Company (motorized): 4 kl. Floßsäcke, 3 gr. Floßsäcke
  KStN 716 dated 06.03.1940 – Armored Engineer Company: 2 kl. Floßsäcke, 2 gr. Floßsäcke
  KStN 721 dated 01.10.1935 – Mountain Engineer Company: 6 kl. Floßsäcke, 2 gr. Floßsäcke
  KStN 723 dated 01.02.1941 – Engineer Company on Bicycles: 4 kl. Floßsäcke, 4 gr. Floßsäcke
  KStN 733 dated 01.10.1937 – Bridge Equipment Column B (motorized): 48 kl. Floßsäcke, 24 gr. Floßsäcke; 1 set of infantry tread bridge equipment (Floßsackschnellsteg) up to 48 meters length; 6 assault boats (Sturmboote) with outboard motors (known as "mechanical oars).
  KStN 734 dated 01.02.1941 – Bridge Equipment Column C (motorized): 48 kl. Floßsäcke, 16 gr. Floßsäcke
  KStN 737 dated 01.10.1937 – Bridge Equipment Column K (motorized): 24 kl. Floßsäcke, 16 gr. Floßsäcke; 1 motor boat (Motorboot)
  KStN 739 dated 08.09.1939 – Bridge Equipment Column T (motorized): 24 kl. Floßsäcke, 12 gr. Floßsäcke

Infantry Pioneers
  KStN 196 dated 01.04.1940 – Infantry Pioneer Platoon: 9 kl. Floßsäcke
  KStN 145 dated 01.10.1938 – Infantry Mountain Pioneer Platoon: 2 kl. Floßsäcke

Cavalry Pioneers
  KStN 337 dated 01.10.1938 – Cavalry Pioneer Platoon (motorized): 5 kl. Floßsäcke, 5 gr. Floßsäcke
  KStN 338 dated 01.02.1941 – Cavalry Pioneer Platoon a (motorized): 2 kl. Floßsäcke, 5 gr. Floßsäcke; 1 set of cavalry tread bridge equipment (Kavallerie-Behilfsbrücke)

Motor Troops Pioneers
  KStN 1124 dated 01.10.1937 – Motor Troops Pioneer Platoon: 5 kl. Floßsäcke, 5 gr. Floßsäcke
  KStN 1124(gp) dated 01.12.1939 – Armored Pioneer Platoon: 6 kl. Floßsäcke, 5 gr. Floßsäcke

Source:
  H.Dv. 220/9 dated 01.11.1940
  "Pioniere (einschl. Truppenpioniere)"

Cheers
Leo

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Re: Assault river crossing units in 1939

Post by Ypenburg » 31 Mar 2010 12:08

Great stuff Leo, THX.
Source:
H.Dv. 220/9 dated 01.11.1940
"Pioniere (einschl. Truppenpioniere)"
Have to get this one to I presume.

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Re: Assault river crossing units in 1939

Post by Leo Niehorster » 31 Mar 2010 19:43

I got the H.Dv. 220/9 from the Pionierschule in Munich (since moved to Ingolstadt) many years ago. I am certain that it is also available via NARA and the BA-MA, but I do not know the catalog/file numbers. I am certain that some member will have this manual, or a leter one, and can inform you of the corresponding reference.

Cheers
Leo

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Razjel
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Re: Assault river crossing units in 1939

Post by Razjel » 01 Apr 2010 12:09

That's really impressive and very helpful! Thank You very much!
The only unsolved question is about the Infanterie-regiment pionierzug in 1939 - the KStN i s for 1940 and there are no earlier. Any idea why?
Oh and there's one more thing - how about the units from Ostpreussen? (I'm mostly interested in 21 ID) Were there any differences about those units?

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Christoph Awender
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Re: Assault river crossing units in 1939

Post by Christoph Awender » 01 Apr 2010 12:18

Hello

The regimental Pionierzug was implemented after the experiences in Poland. There was none before 1940.
Regarding the 21.ID I would have to look into my files for the real organisation but the difference in organisations (Reich) and (Ostpreussen) were mainly that some Tross (supply) units were not motorised.
An example you can see in the KSTN section of my site with the battalion headquarter (R) and (O).

/Christoph

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Re: Assault river crossing units in 1939

Post by Razjel » 01 Apr 2010 12:33

Hi Chris!

I know about the smaller number of motorised equipment in the (O) units (of course - from Your site :) ). But by getting through various KStNs in the web and in Tessin's book I did not found any info about assault rafts and that's the main problem.
Btw. If there were no regimental-level pionier units, how was used the Pionier-Bataillon? Was the motorised company used with the so-called spearhead units? And were the other two companies divided between regiments? Or maybe dividing this unit was linked with the current situation?

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