Panzer-Lehr help

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Sanguinoid
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Panzer-Lehr help

Post by Sanguinoid » 13 Feb 2017 19:13

I am currently in the process of building/painting an army for a warlord games convention, based on the Panzer-Lehr-Division. I've been scouring the Internet for information and have found plenty of information about the division...on a divisional level. My question is, does anyone know if any information exists of how the division would have been organized/functioned at a more company level? Books possibly? Are there any resources online i may have missed? I'm doing my best so far with the divisional order of battle together with knowledge of how a typical panzergrenadier kompanie would have been organized but would be very grateful if anyone could add any insight onto the information I've already found. Specifically how the Panzergrenadier-Regiment 901 would have functioned at a company size (including the tanks and vehicles they would have been acting in support of) in the fighting around caen.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Panzer-Lehr help

Post by Sheldrake » 13 Feb 2017 21:55

Try the history of the Panzer-Lehr-Division. It covers the divisions history 1944-45.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Panzer-Divisio ... r+division

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hisashi
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Re: Panzer-Lehr help

Post by hisashi » 14 Feb 2017 07:04

Fire Brigades: The Panzer Divisions 1943 - 1945
Kamen Nevenkin

is a must on your purpose, but it is priced awfully high today.

Panzer Lehr division is an ad-hoc division from various training troops and previous ad-hoc firefighter units already organized from school units. Panzergrenadier-Lehr-Regiment 901 was an (extreme) example.

http://www.axishistory.com/axis-nations ... nt-901-mot
http://www.axishistory.com/axis-nations ... giment-901

In Normandy, the situation was already no favorable for them. Before long they suffered heavily, and they gathered all battleworthy elements into a battle group, and the rest waited for reinforcement. Mostly, Oberst Paul Freiherr von Hauser (Kommandeur, 901st PGR) was the leader of fighting battle group.

For a general information on typical fighting methods of German motorized infantry, I recommend
http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cgsc/carl/w ... mber04.pdf

Note that this document (Original German) was dated 1941. They did not have any Panzerschreck yet.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Panzer-Lehr help

Post by Sheldrake » 14 Feb 2017 08:03

hisashi wrote:Fire Brigades: The Panzer Divisions 1943 - 1945
Kamen Nevenkin

is a must on your purpose, but it is priced awfully high today.

Panzer Lehr division is an ad-hoc division from various training troops and previous ad-hoc firefighter units already organized from school units.
This may just be poor use of English, but the Panzer-Lehr-Division was far from ad hoc. It was specially raised to oppose the anticipated cross channel invasion and had a unique establishment with many more SPW than other panzer divisions and a tiger tanks and remote control goliaths

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hisashi
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Re: Panzer-Lehr help

Post by hisashi » 14 Feb 2017 12:37

Sheldrake wrote:
hisashi wrote:Fire Brigades: The Panzer Divisions 1943 - 1945
Kamen Nevenkin

is a must on your purpose, but it is priced awfully high today.

Panzer Lehr division is an ad-hoc division from various training troops and previous ad-hoc firefighter units already organized from school units.
This may just be poor use of English, but the Panzer-Lehr-Division was far from ad hoc. It was specially raised to oppose the anticipated cross channel invasion and had a unique establishment with many more SPW than other panzer divisions and a tiger tanks and remote control goliaths
Thank you for correcting my English. According to Nevenkin, Fuhler directive #51(Nov 1943) moved Guderian to establish a new division to meet Hitler's request for ' fully mobile general reserves'. A brief comment on the gratitude from Hitler is included in Guderian's Panzer Leader.
Fuhler directive #51(Nov 1943)
http://ww2db.com/doc.php?q=331

Once it was ordered to form an organic Pz.Kp.(Fkl) in Panzer-Lehr-Regiment 130, but eventually an attached Heerestrupp, Pz.Kp.(Fkl) 316 fought with them until 2 Jul 1944 and organic one was not raised. By chance this company was the only unit in the division which had Tiger I&II.

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=7345

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Re: Panzer-Lehr help

Post by Sid Guttridge » 07 Mar 2017 12:23

Hi Guys,

There was also a down side to the creation of the Panzer-Lehr-Division and other Lehr units.

Lehr units were demonstration units meant to test and evaluate new equipment and develop new tactics for the Army as a whole. When sent to the front, as they frequently were throughout the war, this interrupted their normal function. The same was true of Ersatheer divisions sent on occupation duties - it interrupted training.

Furthermore, as with the creation of new W-SS armoured formations and the Division "Hermann Göring" , this could only be done at the expense of reinforcing the existing Army armoured units. In particular, if I remember correctly, the Panzer-Lehr-Division received a disproportionate number of armoured half tracks.

Panzerlehr was a stop-gap expedient that didn't add to overall, long-term, armoured strength, but it was probably a useful temporary measure in the face of impending crises in Hungary and Normandy.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Panzer-Lehr help

Post by Sid Guttridge » 07 Mar 2017 12:24

Hi Guys,

There was also a down side to the creation of the Panzer-Lehr-Division and other Lehr field units.

Lehr units were demonstration units meant to test and evaluate new equipment and develop new tactics for the Army as a whole. When sent to the front, as they frequently were throughout the war, this interrupted their normal function. The same was true of Ersatheer divisions sent on occupation duties - it interrupted training.

Furthermore, as with the creation of new W-SS armoured formations and the Division "Hermann Göring", this could only be done at the expense of reinforcing the existing Army armoured units. In particular, if I remember correctly, the Panzer-Lehr-Division received a disproportionate number of armoured half tracks.

The Panzer-Lehr-Division was a stop-gap expedient that didn't add to overall, long-term, armoured strength, but it may have been a useful temporary measure in the face of impending crises in Hungary and Normandy.

See: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 2#p2016107

Cheers,

Sid.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Panzer-Lehr help

Post by Sheldrake » 07 Mar 2017 13:17

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi Guys,

There was also a down side to the creation of the Panzer-Lehr-Division and other Lehr field units.

Lehr units were demonstration units meant to test and evaluate new equipment and develop new tactics for the Army as a whole. When sent to the front, as they frequently were throughout the war, this interrupted their normal function. The same was true of Ersatheer divisions sent on occupation duties - it interrupted training.

Furthermore, as with the creation of new W-SS armoured formations and the Division "Hermann Göring", this could only be done at the expense of reinforcing the existing Army armoured units. In particular, if I remember correctly, the Panzer-Lehr-Division received a disproportionate number of armoured half tracks.

The Panzer-Lehr-Division was a stop-gap expedient that didn't add to overall, long-term, armoured strength, but it may have been a useful temporary measure in the face of impending crises in Hungary and Normandy.

See: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 2#p2016107

Cheers,

Sid.
I agree that the deployment of demonstration troops weakened the training organisation. My understanding of their role was not so much to develop new tactics, but as a training resource for command and technical courses. Students attending a course for tank company commanders need to have some tanks to play with.

I am not sure the Panzer-Lehr-Division deserves to be described as "elite" because its soldiers trained others. Military training establishments don't always attract the most aggressive troops. By the time the demonstration troops were mobilised they might have collected a fair number of soldiers who thought they had a cushy billet for the duration. Nor would they have been trained under their own officers, but been messed around by students. It was given proven commanders. Bayerlein, had been a staff officer for both Guderian and Rommel and had been acting commander of the Africa Corps in battle on two occasions. He was supported by a strong group of Regimental and battalion commanders.

Whatever the source of the troops, the Panzer-Lehr-Division was well equipped as a Panzer-Division highly rated by the panzer inspectorate and considered well equipped for the operations they envisaged - mobile warfare, where its SPW mounted infantry would be an asset. However, when deployed to Normandy it became involved in a static battle of attrition in the hedgerows south of Bayeux. The SPW were sent to the rear and the formation was never used in its intended role - apart from a sortie towards Bayeux on 8th June.

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Re: Panzer-Lehr help

Post by Sid Guttridge » 09 Mar 2017 10:47

Hi Sheldrake,

There were specialist schools within the Ersatzheer for normal training of each arm.

The Lehr units were distinguished from these in that they were meant to trial new weapons and develop new tactics for them. They were meant to be staffed by officers with recent combat experience.

The Panzer-Lehr was only one example of many of these units being drawn into combat operations. If I remember rightly, the Lehr signals unit served as early as the Spanish Civil War. Guderian had Lehr units attached to his command in Poland and France. At much the same time as the division was being formed, Lehr infantry and heavy artillery units were rushed to oppose the Anzio landings.

A US officer in one of the Iraq Wars described the use of similar US demonstration units in combat as being like, "Eating your own seed corn".

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Panzer-Lehr help

Post by jrutman53 » 16 Mar 2017 17:03

I agree with the stated premise above that this unit sucked resources away from the over-all health of the armed forces in general,much in the same way that the formation of the 12SS did. The HJ "used up" a whole year of youth that showed leadership skills that should have been spread out amoungst the other field units. This is an old argument in armies everywhere concerning the formation of "elit" units. The drain on exceptional humans,like our 10th Mt Div in WWII.
Lehr is not exactly in that mold,but is similar.
It also was,if I remember correctly the only PzDiv to have all 6 of its' PzGrenBns in SPWs. The normal '44 Div having just one in tracks. This was the ultimate goal of the Panzerwaffe and there was also a full tracked vehicle under development for that purpose as an APC.
I also question the reasoning of putting Bayerlein in command of this lavishly equipped unit. I get the impression from reading about him in the Afrika theater that he was pretty burned out and cynical by that point.

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Re: Panzer-Lehr help

Post by Kelvin » 19 Mar 2017 05:47

jrutman53 wrote:I agree with the stated premise above that this unit sucked resources away from the over-all health of the armed forces in general,much in the same way that the formation of the 12. SS-Div. did. The HJ "used up" a whole year of youth that showed leadership skills that should have been spread out amoungst the other field units. This is an old argument in armies everywhere concerning the formation of "elit" units. The drain on exceptional humans,like our 10th Mt Div in WWII.
Lehr is not exactly in that mold,but is similar.
It also was,if I remember correctly the only Pz.Div. to have all 6 of its' Pz.Gren.Btls. in SPWs. The normal 'Div. 44' having just one in tracks. This was the ultimate goal of the Panzerwaffe and there was also a full tracked vehicle under development for that purpose as an APC.
I also question the reasoning of putting Bayerlein in command of this lavishly equipped unit. I get the impression from reading about him in the Afrika theater that he was pretty burned out and cynical by that point.
Hi, PanzerLehr division only had four Pz.Gren. Battalions in SPW instead of six. Only Waffen-SS Panzer-Division had six PG battalions.

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Re: Panzer-Lehr help

Post by jrutman53 » 19 Mar 2017 18:57

Kelvin,
Yes,of course you are correct. I read that right after I posted. The WSS Divs were the ones with the 6 Btls. generally. But I still believe Lehr was the only Pz.Div. with all of its' Btls. fully tracked.
J

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Re: Panzer-Lehr help

Post by Kelvin » 20 Mar 2017 16:18

Hi, J, no need to believe because it is the fact that Pz Lehr was only Pz division with all infantry battalions on SPW. Waffen SS Pz division had six PG battalion but not all on SPW, normally had one SPW battalion and five truck-borne infantry battalions. LAH and HJ divisions were authorized to have two SPW battalions in initial period of Normandy invasion but back to normal later.

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Re: Panzer-Lehr help

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 21 Mar 2017 10:08

Kelvin wrote:Hi, J, no need to believe because it is the fact that Pz Lehr was only Pz division with all infantry battalions on SPW. Waffen SS Pz division had six PG battalion but not all on SPW, normally had one SPW battalion and five truck-borne infantry battalions. LAH and HJ divisions were authorized to have two SPW battalions in initial period of Normandy invasion but back to normal later.

Kelvin, Neither LAH nor HJ had two SPW battalions in Normandy, see Zetterling but 2 PD did.
Alan

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Re: Panzer-Lehr help

Post by Kelvin » 22 Mar 2017 17:56

Hi, Alan,

HJ at least had a partially armored equipped infantry battalion as a second infantry btn, one company with six sd.kfz.251/9 and some other on July 1 1944.

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