Panzer-Division Kempf

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Wolfgang ski
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Panzer-Division Kempf

Post by Wolfgang ski » 27 Feb 2011 17:38

Can any one tell me more information on Panzer division Kempf and their activities in Poland? What SS units were assigned to them? Any sources where I can find more information about there operations in particular AROUND PULTUSK, Poland in 1939 and in 1944? Any information is greatly appreciated. Also where can I get a list of names for the men in the unit?

Brad Hunter
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Re: Panzer-Division Kempf

Post by Brad Hunter » 28 Feb 2011 17:33


Wolfgang ski
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Re: Panzer-Division Kempf

Post by Wolfgang ski » 03 Mar 2011 16:21

Thank you Mr. Hunter! Greatly appreciated.

Peter K
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Re: Panzer-Division Kempf

Post by Peter K » 20 Mar 2011 15:51

Units which attacked the Pultusk bridgehead on 6 and 7 September were 11. and 61. Infantry Divisions and SS "Deutschland" regiment from Pz.Div. "Kempf". The direct attack on Pułtusk was conducted by 61. Inf.Div., 11. Inf.Div. with "Deutschland" outflanked Polish positions in the north near Gnojno, Zambski Kościelne and Szygówko forests.

Elements of 11. Inf.Div. imperceptibly crossed the river in an undefended area and concealed inside the Szygówko forests, establishing a bridgehead. But they were detected and quick counterattacks of Polish 5th infantry regiment from 1st Infantry Division prevented the Germans from expanding their bridgehead in this area.

Heavy combats around Pultusk were in progress.

At the same time the bulk of Pz.Div. "Kempf" as well as German 1. and 12. Infantry Divisions with support of 1st Cavalry Brigade attacked Polish defensive positions in the area of Różan, also along the Narew river.

In the area of Różan, German forces managed to establish bridgeheads on the eastern bank of the Narew river near Chełsty and Brzuze (in achieving which the so called "Różan misunderstanding" within the Polish chain of command greatly helped them). Belated and badly coordinated (conducted without artillery support, without previous reconnaissance and with too small forces) Polish counterattacks against these bridgeheads failed.

As the result also Polish units in the area Pułtusk - Zambski Kościelne had to withdraw.
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Peter K
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Re: Panzer-Division Kempf

Post by Peter K » 22 Mar 2011 17:41

Combats near Pułtusk from the perspective of Polish 5. pp Leg. and 1. pal Leg.

5. pp Leg. (5th Legionary Infantry Regiment):

After hard and exhausting 36-hours long march on 6 September in the morning the regiment found itself in destination area and started to organize defense. 5 pp Leg. together with III. battalion of 1. pal Leg. were ordered to defend the south-western section of the upper Narew river from village Gnojno to Ponikiew. Due to low water level in the river and too long line to defend, commander of the regiment ppłk. Kazimierz Bąbiński decided to resign from static defense and to conduct operations in the form of maneuvre defense with utilization of counterattacks of regimental reserve and supervising the line of the river. I. battalion took positions directly along the river, while II. and III. battalion stayed in reserve and were to conduct counterattacks against expected directions of enemy attempts of crossing the river.

Commander of I. battalion mjr. Leon Czerwień divided his section of supervision for two company-size sub-sections. Western was occupied by 1. company of por. Bolesław Wasilewski while eastern by 3. company of ppor. Otto Motl. Each of these rifle companies was strengthened by one heavy machine guns platoon. 2. company of por. Jan Urbanowicz was placed in reserve in the forest south from village Gnojno.

In the afternoon enemy reconnaissance units from 11. Inf.Div. and motorized regiment SS "Deutschland" appeared in the foreground. At the dusk Germans with heavy artillery support started to cross the river in the area of Gnojno and Zambski Kościelne. Along the line Ponikiew - Zambski Kościelne the German attempt of crossing the river was halted but in the region of Gnojno before dawn on 7 September German units in strength of around one company crossed the shallow in this area river on foot, broke resistance of the watches from 1. company and penetrated into the forest north of Szygówek. Commander of the regiment ordered the reserve 2. company of I. battalion as well as II. battalion to carry out the previously planned simultaneous strikes in the direction of Gnojno. Commander of II. battalion mjr. Józef Kusztra recalls:

"It was still quite dark when intense fire fight near Gnojno awaked us, immediately after that we received an order from the regimental commander: Germans have crossed the river, throw them back to the Narew! Immediately I called company commanders and ordered - 5. company strikes on both sides of the forest road to Gnojno, to the left 6. company with HMG platoon cooperates with 5. company with side MG fire, supports her and covers her wing; behind 5. company - 4. company, then HMG company."

As the result of counterattack of II. battalion and reserve 2. company of I. battalion after fierce combat Germans were repulsed from Gnojno, a platoon from I. battalion which had been previously captured, was recaptured. Also 40 German prisoners were taken. During combats in forested area both sides suffered heavy losses. Polish 5. pp Leg. suffered around 200 casualties. Heaviest losses were suffered by 5. company of II. battalion - 30% of initial strength. Commander of this company por. Norbert Puzyrkiewicz was KIA, commanders of two platoons - ppor. rez. Leon Kiec and chor. Stanisław Sokulski - were wounded.

After many years, while describing combats in that area, Gustaw Łowczowski wrote:

"Casualties suffered by I. and II. battalions, although painful and large in terms of percentage, were compensated by those suffered by Germans. The forest south of Gnojno was full of dead and wounded enemy soldiers. The counterattack carried out by battalion of mjr. Kusztra halted the German activity (...) and later made it easier for 1. Division to detach from the enemy and withdraw."

At midday, due to general situation of Army "Modlin" after the German breakthrough of Polish defense along the Narew near Różan, commander of the division gen. Kowalski received an order to withdraw behind the river Bug. In the afternoon on 7 September the regiment started to withdraw under heavy fire of enemy artillery and constant pressure of enemy forces. But fighting companies managed to detach from the enemy smoothly and without problems.

In the morning on 8 September, after 30-kilometers long withdrawal march during the night, battalions of 5. pp Leg. crossed the bridge on the Bug river and marched in front of divisional commander still in excellent order and condition.

Polish soldiers during the battle of Pułtusk - probably 6 September 1939:

Image

1. pal Leg. (1st Legionary Light Artillery Regiment):

In the morning on 6 September, after 50-kilometers long march a very tired 1 pal reached the ordered area. Immediately organization of defense started. III. battalion was ordered to support 5 pp Leg. along the Zambski Kościelne - Ponikowo section; II. battalion took positions near Popław with task of direct support of the bridgehead in Pułtusk, defended by National Defense units; I. battalion as artillery of general support occupied positions to the south from Bartodzieje near Pniew in Anti-Tank formation.

In the afternoon 5. battery of kpt. Rydzewski fired 36 rounds against a German observation baloon without success. Soon Germans carried out a strong attack against positions of 5. battery, in repulsing it 100mm howitzers of III. battalion contributed, inflicting considerable casualties.

In the evening also II. battalion took part in combats. At first 5. battery fired at a German company leaving the village Lipniki Stare (distance: 6800 meters). Then 5. battery fired at I. battalion of Inf.Rgt.151 from German 61. Inf.Div. which attempted to captured Pułtusk (distance: 8500 meters). After other batteries joined this fire, enemy advance was halted. But after bringing in reinforcements and increasing artillery support, Germans resumed their attack. With heavy support of artillery and Luftwaffe, they managed to capture the brickyard, where an observation point of 6. battery was located.

As the result only 5. battery could support Polish units defending along the German breakthrough direction, because 6. battery lost its observation point and 4. battery due to terrain conditions and damaged telephone lines also could not carry out fire. Thus commander of the battalion ordered 4. battery to supply 5. battery with its ammunition. Counterattack of Polish infantry supported by 5. battery repulsed the Germans from the brickyard, in which once again kpt. Chomiński established an observation post for 6. battery.

Around 22:00 combats stopped. On this day 5. battery fired around 140 rounds for each gun. After the fire ceased, ammunition column of II. battalion delivered ammunition to firing posts. Also warm meal was prepared for soldiers. Exhausted artillery crews fell asleep near their guns.

In the night from 6 to 7 September gen. Kowalski ordered to secure the bridge in Wyszkow. This task was carried out by I. battalion of 1. pp Leg. with one battery of the regiment.

Since the morning on 7 September Polish defensive positions were under heavy artillery and machine guns fire. Especially dangerous were machine guns firing from the area of Płochów. 5. battery successfully "took care" of these machine guns. But soon after that observation post of the commander of the battery and her firing positions found themselves under heavy barrage of enemy artillery. Telephone lines were damaged, 3 soldiers and 2 horses were wounded. 5. battery was knocked out from combat. But soon thanks telephone communication between the battery and its observation post was restored and the battery could fire again, but it quickly started to run out of ammunition. Equipment of 5. battery damaged by German artillery was replaced by taking it from 4. battery which could not deliver fire because it had damaged telephone lines and was constantly under heavy enemy fire. Ammunition supplies allowed the 5. and 6. baterries to halt the attack carried out by German infantry from 11. and 61. Infantry Divisions.

At the same time III. battalion together with 5 pp Leg. were also repulsing a German attack. Despite vast superiority of enemy artillery, howitzers of the battalion were responding with fire. But Germans managed to cross the Narew in the area of Gnojno. Only for short time their advance was halted by counterattack of II. battalion from 5. pp Leg. supported by 3. battery of kpt. Truszkowski.

Around midday an order to withdraw towards Wyszków came. The first units to withdraw were III. battalion of 1 pal together with 5 pp. Detaching from the enemy went without problems. Only commander of 7. battery por. Jerzy Hullej, who was together with a recon unit on a protruding observation post, had problems. But he managed to break through to own units.

I. battalion without problems abandoned its positions and started to march to the south with individual batteries. II. battalion was attached to the rear guard of 1. Infantry Division. In the afternoon batteries started to abandon their positions, carrying out fire to the last moment. 5. battery fired all its ammunition (apart from Anti-Tank grenades). During the withdrawal of observation post of 5. battery NCO or reconnaissance, plut. Wojciechowski was seriously wounded. Due to lack of possibility of evacuating him, he was probably captured.

After abandoning its previous positions, II. battalion regrouped in the area of village Bartodzieje where ammunition was replaced. Here also kpt. Prosiński had prepared new firing positions in advance. A new observation post was established and battalion started to fire at Pułtusk which was already in German hands, as well as at not destroyed bridges at the Narew. II. battalion was carrying out fire until the last infantry unit retreated. Only in the evening the battalion started to withdraw towards Wyszków without enemy contact. On that day only this battalion fired over 8 tons of ammunition.

During combats near Pułtusk 1 pal suffered a very painful casualty - due to heavy enemy fire majority of telephone cable could not be evacuated. This loss was not replaced later until the end of the campaign and many times its consequences were visible in further combats.

Withdrawal of the regiment was conducted in very difficult conditions. After 4 nights without sleeping, crowds of civilian refugees were blocking the roads. But discipline and moods in batteries were very good.

Soldiers of 1. DP Leg. (1st Legionary Infantry Division) taking a short rest - 9 September 1939:

Image

===================================================

Here more about combats near Różan:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 6#p1571056

Wolfgang ski
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Re: Panzer-Division Kempf

Post by Wolfgang ski » 23 Mar 2011 21:18

Thank you Domen 121! You have been a great help. May god bless you. This helps me very much.

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tigre
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Re: Panzer-Division Kempf

Post by tigre » 26 May 2019 02:29

Hello to all :D; after a while, a complement.......................

OoB - Panzerverband Panzerverband Ostpreußen 1939.

Source: https://subastas.catawiki.es/kavels/730 ... -1939-1971

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Panzer-Division Kempf

Post by tigre » 17 Jun 2019 18:09

Hello to all :D; more.......................

Panzerverband Panzerverband Ostpreußen 1939.

Source: Otto Weidinger - Division das Reich - 5 volumes - 1967/1982

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Panzer-Division Kempf

Post by tigre » 27 Mar 2020 16:55

Hello to all :D; more.......................

Panzerverband Panzerverband Ostpreußen 1939.

Some doubts about the Ist-Stärke here. II./ AR 47 only 74 in all? and what about the last two artillery groups?

Source: Otto Weidinger - Division das Reich - 5 volumes - 1967/1982

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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