StuGs in panzer units, 1942

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jmark
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StuGs in panzer units, 1942

Post by jmark » 14 Nov 2013 08:16

Hi guys,

I have photographic proof that shows two StuGs (both short-barrels) were part of a newly formed Panzer-Abteilung (in a mot. Inf.Div.) during the summer 1942 campaign. Both StuGs were part of the medium company, ie. Panzer IVs. However, this company was severely under-equipped with Panzer IVs. Here is the authorised strength according to K.St.N. 1175 from 1.11.1941:

Kp.Trupp 2 Pzkpfw. IV
le.Zug 5 Pzkpfw. II
1.–3. Zug 4 Pzkpfw. IV each

That's a total of 14 Pzkpfw. IV and 5 Pzkpfw. II. According to my research, the unit in question only possessed 4 Pzkpfw. IV and 5 Pzkpfw. II, plus 2 StuG.

My question: was the shortfall of Panzer IVs officially compensated by the allocation of StuGs, or would this have been a makeshift solution implemented by the unit in the field? Has anybody come across this situation before?

Thanks
Jason

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cnicoll123
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Re: StuGs in panzer units, 1942

Post by cnicoll123 » 16 Nov 2013 19:13

Any chance of showing the photos?
Quite an interesting topic this is.
Connor Nicoll

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Alanmccoubrey
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Re: StuGs in panzer units, 1942

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 16 Nov 2013 19:16

Which motorised division ?
Alan

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Leo Niehorster
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Re: StuGs in panzer units, 1942

Post by Leo Niehorster » 16 Nov 2013 22:44

The 1 Feb 1941 table of equipment — KStN 1175(Sd) — of the panzer company equipped with Pz-IV indicated that the 3rd platoon was not to be formed until further notice. So these companies were only authorized 10 Pz-IV at that time.

StuG were considered as Artillery Inspectorate equipment. Tanks were Schnelle Truppe equipment. And never the twain should meet.

So the motorized infantry divisions (subordinate to the Infantry Inspectorate until 1943) that were authorized to have tank battalions in 1942, had tanks, not Sturmgeschütz (StuG).

StuG were found only in Sturmgeschütz Battalions.

StuG didn't start to appear in tank units until Guderian took over the Schnelle Truppe — redesignated as Panzertruppen — in 1943. This is also the period when the motorized infantry divisions (now renamed as Panzergrenadier divisions to show their new subordination to the Panzertruppen) got StuG instead of tanks. Some armored divisions that were re-raised after being wiped out on the East Front during the Winter of 1942/43 also were issued a mixture of StuG and tanks.

Anyway — before I get too far off topic — and to answer your initial question, some local commander was obviously making do, as it certainly was NOT official policy to mix StuG and tanks within a unit in 1942.

Having said that, photographs have been know to have been mislabeled. :?

Cheers
Leo
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Re: StuGs in panzer units, 1942

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 17 Nov 2013 10:45

I have checked Panzer Truppen for the four Motorised Infantry Divisions which went to Stalingrad and found that none of them had Pz IV kurz in any case, all of their Pz IV's were lang.
Alan

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Re: StuGs in panzer units, 1942

Post by cnicoll123 » 18 Nov 2013 20:07

The 1st SS Panzer division LAH i believe had a selection of no more than 5 StuG IV's, which served on the eastern front and predominantly around 1942-43.

Your question relating to a 'cobbling' of tank-types being thrown together is highly uncommon, though i guess towards the end of the war anything would do, of any combination.
StuG III'S and Panzer III's i can imagine being together due to the same Chassis type and layout, however very rarely during the war, and possibly an odd-one-out combination at the very late end of the war.
Connor Nicoll

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Leo Niehorster
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Re: StuGs in panzer units, 1942

Post by Leo Niehorster » 18 Nov 2013 22:58

cnicoll123 wrote:The 1st SS Panzer division LAH i believe had a selection of no more than 5 StuG IV's, which served on the eastern front and predominantly around 1942-43.
<snip>
Huh? 8O

1. The first Sturmgeschütz-IV was sent to the troops in February 1944.
2. And even then, the 1. SS Division was never allocated StuG-IV.

Leo
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Re: StuGs in panzer units, 1942

Post by cnicoll123 » 19 Nov 2013 23:16

Hi Leo,

Are you sure about that? I could be wrong, and fully accept your judgement. However i am sure that the 1st SS Panzer division (bearing in mind motorised and infantry/panzergrenadier), was issued with some StuG tanks (Ausf. types i may be unsure 8O ) and i do also believe they fought on the eastern front, and during the winter-months of the Ardennes campaign.

I may have been wrong on the point of the type/variant as well as number, but i can assure you that at some point or another, the 1st SS.pz.div was issued with a few StuG's. That's all i know to share with you lads.

cheers, and hope you're understanding of this.
Connor Nicoll

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1st SS Panzer Division "LSSAH" 3.Kp

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Re: StuGs in panzer units, 1942

Post by GregSingh » 20 Nov 2013 05:27

1st SS LAH was in France from mid-42 to early 43, not on the East front.
It received its StuGIII sometime in July 42.

But let’s get back to Summer 1942 campaign...
As Alan pointed out a name/number of the unit would help.

According to Jentz (ex Waffen SS mot infantry), only Inf Div (mot) Grossdeutschland had StuG’s – 21 of 7.5cm StuG 40 Aufs.F – in it’s StuG Battalion. In September that number was down just to a few. So it’s possible 2-3 remaining StuGs were incorporated temporarily into Panzer Abt – which was also down to just several tanks.

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Re: StuGs in panzer units, 1942

Post by Leo Niehorster » 20 Nov 2013 10:39

Look fellas, I hate to keep raining on your parade, but here goes anyway. :P

As early as 1941, the LSSAH, SS-R, and SS-T Divisions had a battery of Sturmgeschütz, each.

By mid-1942, the LSSAH Division had a full battalion of assault guns, while the SS-T and SS-W Divisions still had one assault gun battery, each.

So, from mid-1942, these divisions are going to show at least a few StuG in their strength reports.

Only the 3rd, 14th, 29th, 60th Motorized Infantry Divisions were authorized tank battalions. They were filled up to authorized strength, and joined their new divisions late May/early June 1942. As with the Panzer Divisions, the lack of Panzer-IV’s forced the Germans to authorize only two platoons of these tanks for each medium tank company.

Plus, of course, the 90th Light Division, although its tank battalion did not arrive in North Africa until much later.

Cheers
Leo
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Re: StuGs in panzer units, 1942

Post by cnicoll123 » 20 Nov 2013 23:11

I guess that answers my questions, and disproves my points; All of which will help future reference more accurate.
Connor Nicoll

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Re: StuGs in panzer units, 1942

Post by Brevity » 21 Nov 2013 01:39

10. Panzer-Division reported 2x 7,5 cm Sturmgeschuetz as present (and authorized) on 1 October 1942. So maybe assigning Stugs to panzer units in 1942 was more common than we used to think.

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Re: StuGs in panzer units, 1942

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 21 Nov 2013 08:52

Brevity wrote:10. Panzer-Division reported 2x 7,5 cm Sturmgeschuetz as present (and authorized) on 1 October 1942. So maybe assigning Stugs to panzer units in 1942 was more common than we used to think.

Never heard that one before, where did you find it ? And which unit within 10 PD reported these two StuG ? 10PD didn't report any StuG in its Panzer Regiment when it arrived in Tunisia.
Alan

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Re: StuGs in panzer units, 1942

Post by Brevity » 22 Nov 2013 00:06

Hey Alan, it's right here
Image

I'm gonna try to find where they belonged. Also, on 12 August 1942 they reported shortage of ammo only for "7,5 cm Sturmgeschuetz and 7,5 cm Kw.K. (kurz)". That would suggest these Stugs had short guns.

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Re: StuGs in panzer units, 1942

Post by jmark » 22 Nov 2013 03:53

Leo Niehorster wrote:Only the 3rd, 14th, 29th, 60th Motorized Infantry Divisions were authorized tank battalions. They were filled up to authorized strength, and joined their new divisions late May/early June 1942. As with the Panzer Divisions, the lack of Panzer-IV’s forced the Germans to authorize only two platoons of these tanks for each medium tank company.
Hi Leo,

Based on my research, the tank battalions of the 3rd, 29th and 60th Motorised Infantry Divisions (Pz.Abt.103, 129 and 160 respectively) were definitely not filled to authorised strength. True, they possessed the authorised number of Panzer IIIs (35), but they all fell short in the Panzer II and Panzer IV department. Even with the later authorisation for just two Panzer IV platoons, two of these battalions possessed just 8 Panzer IVs (rather than 10), while the third had just 4.

I have a close-up photo showing a Stug. with the divisional markings of one of these battalions. In fact, the photo comes from an album to a battalion member. There is absolutely no doubt that Stugs. belonged to one of these battalions. I know I sound like a jerk but I don't wish to post this photo at the moment as it will be appearing in an upcoming book. However, I have several other photos which show these same Stugs, albeit from a distance. One is attached below. Up front is a Panzer IV lang, followed by a Stug. kurz and a Panzer II. These all belonged to the 3. Kompanie.

These Stugs. do not appear in any tank returns for the battalion. I scoured dozens of microfilms – tens of thousands of frames – to assemble a chart for each battalion showing tank returns from the beginning of the 1942 summer campaign until the final month in Stalingrad. Apart from a few holes, the list is nigh on complete, and the Stugs are definitely not listed as part of the battalion's strength.

Thanks for an interesting discussion, guys.

All the best
Jason
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