Let's build Panzer-Division "Müncheberg" !

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Georges JEROME
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SS obersturmbannFührer Wernert Mummert

Post by Georges JEROME » 21 May 2002 13:25

Werner Mummert was an honorary leader of the Allgemeine SS
born 31/3/97
SS 340 759

on 1944 16 Reiterstandarte Ostubaf 1/9/43 Oberstlt der R
(source : Dienstalterliste der SS 1/10/44


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JG

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JC
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Panzerdivision Müncheburg

Post by JC » 21 May 2002 14:08

I have a couple of books in my library that deal exclusively with this period of the war, The Fall of Berlin, by Anthony Read & David Fisher, and Gotterdammerung 1945, by Russ Schneider. I’ve not read either book, however, a quick scan for mention of “Müncheburg” seems to indicate that their first action was in the second attack to re-open the Kustrin corridor. According to Schneider they were “probably the most formidable remaining armored division along the Oder.” The attack, undertaken on March 27, included 20th Panzergrenadier Division, 25th Panzergrenadier Division, “Führer Grenadier” Panzergrenadier Division, Müncheburg Panzer Division, KG 1001 Nights, and SS Pz.Abt 502. Of course the attack was not successful and the units sustained heavy casualties, “the [artillery] shelling was so overwhelming that combat reports from the 20th Panzer Grenadier describe large groups of men breaking down entirely and fleeing in panic towards the rear”.

Jeff

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David C. Clarke
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Hello!

Post by David C. Clarke » 21 May 2002 14:54

Hi JG, Hi Jeff!
JG, Mummert an honary member of the Allgemeine SS?
Remarkable, I had never heard that before. He certainly seems to be an enigma. Also, I don't quite understand his
title of General-Major der Reserve. Could someone explain that to me. Sorry if I'm extra dense this morning.
Jeff, I believe you are correct that Kustrin was "Muncheberg's" first employment. Also, last night I was reading Beevor's "Berlin" and he mentions that Hitler felt 20th Panzergrenadier had disgraced itself at Kustrin and may have ordered the members of the division to surrender their medals (a la 6th SS Panzer Armee in Hungary). That just struck me when I read your post this morning.
So Guys, are we doing a good Job? Cheers, David :D

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Note to Timo

Post by David C. Clarke » 21 May 2002 15:13

Hi Timo, I may have found some insight on that "last five Tiger I's issued" puzzle. Wolfgang Schneider in "Tigers in Combat II" has this notation for Panzer Abt. Kummersdorf/Muncheberg on page 410:

"25.02.45 Inventory 4 Tiger II's, 1 Tiger I, and 1 Jagdtiger;
5 Tiger I's from the maintenance organization scheduled for delivery."

It may have been that these were the last Tiger I's sent to the maintenance organization for drastic repair and/or overhaul. Just a guess.
(Oh and for my fellow treadhead friends out there. If that Jagdtiger was around long enough for Muncheberg's creation in March, it would mean that Muncheberg operated an incredibly diverse range of AFV's.)
Very Best Regards, David :D

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Mummert : WH and SS ranks

Post by Georges JEROME » 22 May 2002 01:43

David,

this dual rank in not unusual : a number of general of WH hold SS general ranks in allgemeine SS
i.e. Hilmar Moser SS Gruppenführer and Gen lt
Walter Braemar SS Gruf and Gen der Kav zv

at the beginning of the war some leaders of the NS Reichkriegerbund (SS members) retired generals were reactived a time in WH

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Georges JEROME

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David C. Clarke
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Hi Georges

Post by David C. Clarke » 22 May 2002 01:58

Hi Georges, I must confess to being extra dull today. I can understand how in theory Mummert might hold rank in two seperate organizations. My real question is regarding the German Reserve system. As it has been said in other posts, Mummert saw active duty at a lesser rank. Did he then go into the Reserves, that is, retire from active service, and attain the General Major's rank while in the Reserves? Am I making any sense at all? You know I do have periods of babbling.... Best Regards, David :?

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JC
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Mummert

Post by JC » 22 May 2002 02:37

David,

I do not know anything about the Wehrmacht's reserve/active system so I can't tell you how it worked. I do know that Mummert was an officer "d. Res." throughout the war. He retired (verabschiedt) in 1918 and returned in 1936 as an Oberleutnant d.Res., and was promoted to Rittmeister d.Res. in 1938, Oberstleutnant d.Res. on 18 Sept. 1942, Oberst d.Res.: 1.2.44, Generalmajor d.Res.: 1.2.45. Apparently this type of service was not that unusual as I am aware of other officers who moved up the ranks in a similar fashion; Hyazinth Strachwitz and Dr. Franz Bäke come to mind.

Jeff

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Mummert

Post by Georges JEROME » 22 May 2002 09:33

David,

Mummert wasn't a professional soldier.

after WW I he returned to civil life and won its ranks during military periods.
he became member of SS as a civilian.
he reach to generalmajor der R (unusual for a non professional solider) for its abilities.

Hyacinth Strachwitz was too an SS member.

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Georges

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possible night-fighting panthers used by "MÜNCHEBERG&qu

Post by Y Ddraig Goch » 22 May 2002 10:24

In march 1945 the Panzerdivision "MÜNCHEBERG" received one fully equipped Kompanie of 10 SPERBER capable Panthers and one SPERBER capable Panzer Grenadier Kompanie. The Division took part in the last fights during the battle of BERLIN. If this Division used the SPERBER concept isn´t documented.

And heres the link:

http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Capsule ... nthers.htm

Hope it helps :P
/ Mike

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger"
Friedrich Nietzsche

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David C. Clarke
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Hi Guys

Post by David C. Clarke » 22 May 2002 16:05

Thank You Gentlemen, Okay, the "Reserve" system is slowly sinking in and yes, madcap 7, pretty much all sources agree that IR-equipped Panthers served with "Muncheberg".
I wanted to post today an old post by Richard Byrd (provided by Forrest Opper who luckily saved it for posterity). While the post doesn't cite sources, it gives a good general view of Muncheberg's history:

.............................................
Posted by Richard Byrd on July 01, 2001 at
20:03:17 from 65.35.29.247 /
ubr-35.29.247.oviedo.cfl.rr.com
In Reply to: Muncheberg Panzer posted by Mark
Binkowski on June 29, 2001
at 14:31:07:

"This is a summarized unit history based on
published sources and previous postings on this and other forums

Formation:

Orders to form Panzer-Division “Müncheberg” were
issued on 5 March 1945, and it was officially formed on 8 March 1945 in the Müncheberg area, east of Berlin. Parts of the Stab Panzer Brigade 103 formed the divisional staff. On 14 March 1945, Panzer-Abteilung Kummersdorf was
fully integrated into I./Panzer-Regiment 29, the
only panzer unit of the division. (Some sources seem to indicate that this unit was also known as "Panzer-Abteilung Müncheberg").
I./Panzer-Regiment 29 had previously
been an independent Panther battalion, but now
had mixed equipment in a total of 4 companies. According to strength returns, the division’s combat strength as of 17 March 1945 was 2,867 men.

First Action:

The division first saw action as a part of 9. Armee under Heeresgruppe Weichsel, fighting against the Soviet forces
attacking across the Oder River near Küstrin. Its infantry battalions lost heavily in the 22nd March fight for the Küstrin Fortress. Fierce fighting followed as the Soviets sought to expand their hold on the Oderbruch, the flatland on the west bank of the Oder. Constantly pushed back
by the Soviets, new defensive lines were taken up in the "Hardenberg Positions", which ran along the escarpment of the Oder valley known in the Küstrin area as the Seelowe Heights.

IR Equipment:

Orders were given to send the division a company of infrared equipped tanks and a panzer grenadier company with IR equipment. The 10 Panthers issued to 1./29 on 5 April were equipped with FG1250. This panzer company was commanded by Oberlt. Rasim. The 10 Panthers in the
IR-company were supported an IR equipped grenadier company with 3 SdKfz 251/20 UHU IR searchlights and Falke SPW's (platoon leader Lt Draeger, company commander Hptm. Steuer). The IR equipped Panther company was used once, in early April, for a night attack. Exact results are unknown, but the attack was generally successful.

One example of Muncheberg’s IR equipment was Panther 122, commanded by Feldwebel Hoffmann. It first saw action with the IR-equipment between Gusow and Seelow (east of Berlin) in early April 1945. On the engine deck there were two Grenadiers, protected by an armored pen and armed
with IR-MP.44 (Z.G.1229) to provide close-in protection during the night. After the first night action with IR the
1./29 never saw action again as a whole unit. Panther 122 was destroyed and knocked out east of Berlin in late April. The crew survived, but the commander lost his arm and the
others were lightly wounded.

Before the April battle for the Seelowe heights, Muncheberg was reinforced from training units, the Volksturm and
the 1st Panzergrenadier Battalion from the 1st SS Panzer
Division’s field training Regiment. The division managed to fight the Soviet armor spearhead to a temporary standstill on the hills west of the Oder River, but inevitably was pushed back off the Seelowe Heights. The division saw further action in the area of the town of Müncheberg. The commander of the panzer abteilung, Hauptmann Horst Zobel, was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 14 April, and promoted to Major on 20 April. Forced back by the overwhelming Soviet assault, the division withdrew towards Berlin where it took part in the final savage battle for the city itself. By 24 April, panzer division Müncheberg had occupied positions in the northeastern quadrant of Berlin, north of the Spree River, with Nordland to its right and 9th Fallschirm to its left. At this point the division had about a dozen tanks and 30 SPW left. One IR Panther (121) saw action in the center of Berlin. Panzers of the division fought near the Zoobunker and the Tiergarden, and the division abandoned its last panzer - a Tiger I - a few hundred meters from the Brandenburg gate."

Now, in fairness to Richard, remember he wrote this in January of 2001.
I think it provides a basic overview of some issues we might want to concentrate on in the future:
1. The Kustrin Action.
a. IR-Actions
2. The Great Soviet Offensive of Mid-April.
a. Seelowe Heights
b. Muncheberg town
3. The Battle for Berlin.
4. Breakout Attempts.
5. Fates of individual "Munchebergers".
As I said, documenting the Division's actions will be quite a challenge. Very Best Regards, David :)

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Future Plans Announcement!!

Post by David C. Clarke » 24 May 2002 16:27

Okay Guys, Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to start on KUSTRIN, with a quick overview of the battle and some notes on Muncheberg's participation. Cheers, D :D

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JC
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Werner Mummert

Post by JC » 25 May 2002 01:48

From Read and Fisher I learn something I didn’t know about Mummert: he commanded LVI Pz.K….. for a day!

The frantic reorganization of the city's defences during the night Of 24-2 5 April added to the confusion and to the pressure on officers like Wöhlermann. To allow Weidling to concentrate on his overall responsibilities as city commandant, Major-General Hans [sic] Mummert, commander of the Müncheberg Division, was ordered to take over the eastern defence sectors A and B, and was given nominal charge of the LVIth Corps. Weidling took with him his chief of staff, Colonel Theodor von Dufving, to look after the military side of his assignment, but kept Reymann's former chief of staff, Colonel Hans Refior, to handle the civil side, including dealing with Goebbels and the party. Wöhlermann was asked to take command of the Müncheberg Division, while still remaining in overall charge of artillery. All through the night, Weidling and his senior officers struggled to make some sort of sense of the shambles that had been forced upon them.

And twenty pages later….

Weidling's command structure was changed yet again During the morning Of 26 April, on another of Hitler's whims. This time, however, the change was for the good. Hitler had promoted Lieutenant-Colonel Erich Bärenfinger, who had acted briefly as his deputy during the one day he had personal command of the Berlin defences before appointing Weidling. The thirty-year-old Bärenfinger, a holder of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords and a keen member of the SA since 1933, was now a major-general, and was given command of defence sectors A and B. This meant that Mummert could return to the Müncheberg Division, releasing Wöhlermann to concentrate on his job as artillery commander. For Weidling, this was a great improvement. For the men of the Müncheberg Division, experiencing their third change of command in little more than twenty-four hours, it merely added to their total bewilderment.

Jeff

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David C. Clarke
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Magnificent!

Post by David C. Clarke » 25 May 2002 02:02

Incredible JC, a serious round of applause from here. I don't have Read and Fisher's book and I never would have suspected this plot twist. Mummert begins as Muncheberg's commander and ends as its commander, but there is a detour in between! If this were Soldatenheim, I would personally award you the ForumKreuz in Gold for this discovery!
Very Best Regards, David :D :D :D

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Post by JC » 25 May 2002 02:19

Aauuuhhh gee whiz Dave [shuffel feet, kick the ground] it wern't nothin'. :oops: :)

This book really does seem quite good, I'll have to read the whole thing!

BR............JC

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Heh Heh!

Post by David C. Clarke » 25 May 2002 02:38

Thanks again JC, it's a little like the old 49er's in California panning for gold in a stream. You managed to come up with a real nugget, not just a little gold dust, but an actual nugget of history. Everything I've ever read places Mummert as the sole commander of Muncheberg. Very Best Regards, David :D :D :D

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