Tiger IIs in Normandy (a little differently)

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Mark V.
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Tiger IIs in Normandy (a little differently)

Post by Mark V. » 19 May 2002 12:12

There has been a lot of discussions about Tiger II's in Normandy, but I always noticed them too late. If I remember corectly there was always talk about Tigers from sSSpzabt. 101 and sPzabt. 503.
I am not that interested in Tigers from both units, because this subject was discused a number of times. I am interested in Tigers from sSSpzabt. 102, but before you jump to any fast conclusions please read this.
I was going through Fürbringer (9.SS-Panzer Division) one more time time (I think it's my 4th time) and I remebered a short mention about Tiger II's during II.SS-Pz.Korps counterattack to open Falaise pocket. They couldn't be delivered to their unit (sSSpzabt. 102), so they were attached to SS-Pz.Rgt. 9 in their attack on Trun.
Tieke also mentions Tiger II's in his book Im Feuersturm letzter Kriegsjahre.

Any comments and further info would be appreciated.

Mark
Last edited by Mark V. on 18 Feb 2004 18:20, edited 1 time in total.

Michael Kenny
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SS 102 Tiger IIs

Post by Michael Kenny » 19 May 2002 15:56

This unit (102)did not get its Tiger IIs untill much later than the Falaise fighting(Feb.1945). They did serve alongside this other unit but in Tiger Is Only. 503 started out in Normandy with Tiger IIs and the 1st kp. 101 was re-equiped in with them in August. Panzer Lehr had 5 Tiger IIs attached to it . Thus 503 is the only Tiger II unit that served in Normandy and 503 and Lehr the only Tiger II units to serve south of The Seine.
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admfisher
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Re: SS 102 Tiger IIs

Post by admfisher » 19 May 2002 17:42

Michael Kenny wrote:This unit (102)did not get its Tiger IIs untill much later than the Falaise fighting. They did serve alongside this other unit but in Tiger Is. Only 503 started out in Normandy with Tiger IIs and 101 was re-equiped with them. Panzer Lehr had 5 Tiger IIs attached to it so they are the only Tiger II units that served in Normandy.


These five tigers were of the Porche type and they did not see any combat. They were shipped out of the battle area as they were deemed to be to unreliable in there present form.

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Post by Michael Kenny » 19 May 2002 18:50

The Panzer Lehr Tiger IIs were the very first T/IIs off the production lines. They were indeed mechanicaly unreliable and were not used in combat BY PANZER LEHR.However they did see combat just south of Paris,near Drieux,against advancing U.S. Troops. All 5 Tigers were destroyed by the crews as they retreated. Panzer Lehr also had 3 Tiger Is attached to it that did see combat. No photos or information as to the fate of these rubber wheel Tigers has surfaced yet.[/img][/u]

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Erich
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Tigers in Schwere SS Panzer Abt 102 .....

Post by Erich » 19 May 2002 20:02

Mark V :

May I suggest Tigers in combat 2 by Wolfgang Schneider through JJF publications. ISBN #0-921991-39-8.

Also I had e-mailed a son of a former Panzer Kommandeur in the unit during Normandy and Ost Front. Simply, his father had written that the unit lost all armor on the Seine and re-grouped and re-fitted with the Königstiger before going to the eastern front. At no time did they possess the heavy Tiger at Normandy. The gentlemennt on to score around 10 tanks to his credit, being wounded in Normandy.

E

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Tiger IIs in Normandy

Post by Mark V. » 19 May 2002 22:22

Thanks guys!

Well I was aware that apparently just the sPzabt.503 had Tiger IIs in Normandy and also that 102nd didn't receive them until much later. But then I read Furbringer.
This is an excerpt (21.8.1944):
Units of Hohenstaufen are making fighting withdrawl to the new defensive line. In these battles the division lost its last two Panzer IV »Tiger II«. They were under the command of an unknown Untersturmführer as Panzer-Erprobugszug in a counterattack on Trun in Fronterprobung role and were initially intended to be delivered to sSSpzabt. 102, but because of situation they were assigned to the Hohenstaufen's Panzer Regiment. With the loss of both of those 70 Tons heavy colossus, the division remained only 9 operational panzers.


I don't have the best translation for erprobung but my best guess would be that these panzers were used for trials.

While I am not saying that Furbringer is 100% right but it's interested that he mentiones them. (he probably got the info about them from the Tieke's book).
O.K. let say that the Tigers weren't from the 102nd, from which unit could they be: from 503rd or from some Panzer school.

By the way, Erich do you have any contact info of the Panzer Kommandeur's son, I would really appreciate.

Regards
Mark

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Post by Erich » 19 May 2002 22:39

Mark V :

The statement Panzer IV Tiger is that correct ? should be Panzer VI.

As to the son, we wrote each other a couple of times last year concerning Hill 112 at Normandy where his father was heavily involved with the Tiger Abteilung. Quite the slaughter of English tanks in his words. Very short sentances and I have tried very kindly to ask just short questions but really to no avail. What he mentioned in his last sentances to me is that naother son of a former member of the Panzer unit is going to write a book just on SS Schwere Panzer Abteilung 102/502 in the near future as he is gathering info from the rest of the living vets and families plus visiting the areas of engagements for photos and maps for full documentation. Also the one son that I interviewed was to have a web-site soon : http://www.SS-Panzer.de
but it has not yet appeared.

E

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sch heeres abt 503

Post by admfisher » 19 May 2002 22:48

Ok here is what I got in a nutshell.
503 was sent to the west and outfitted in Ohrdruf, here they recieved 12 Tiger II's Fgst. Nr. 280023 - 280035, the rest of the authorized 45 units were filled with Tiger I's. Then loaded on 8 trains starting on the 27th of june. 7th july move finished, first battle on the 11th.

3rd Kp 503 recieved 14 Kt's between 27 and 29 july
Five more were loaded and sent but lost in transit.
7 more were sent between aug. and sept. Of these only two survived.
:mrgreen:

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Tiger IIs in Normandy

Post by Mark V. » 19 May 2002 22:53

Thanks Erich!

My mistake it should have been Panzer VI.

And I can't wait for the book you've mentioned.

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Mark

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Post by Michael Kenny » 19 May 2002 23:04

I can only find one reference to a Tiger II loss on 21/8/44. A Tiger II of the 1st Kp. 503. Another reference is to Tiger Is of 102 recieving fuel from a column of Hohenstaufen on 21/8/44. All 3 Tiger Abteilungs were mixed up in this pocket and a large number of Tiger were lost at around that date.I think it must be a mistake in thre book.

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Post by Erich » 20 May 2002 00:05

I do know the II SS Panzer Korps did not come away with much armor out of Normandy, so isn't this date reflective of the Falaise Pocketfiasco ? Or is this still a bit early...... ?

E

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Post by Mark V. » 20 May 2002 11:43

Hmm, so there really isn't any reference about those Tiger IIs. They could be from 503, but was this unit or any of it's elements outside the pocket on 20.8.1944. I don't really know much about this unit, but I've read that it was subordinated to 21. Panzer division from operation Goodwood to Bluecoat, what about later was it still attached.
Three things still bother me:
- untersturmfuhrer who commanded those Tigers;
- why did he even mention this action;
- and I think that Tieke's book (Im Feuersturm letzter Kriegsjahre) is one of the best sources about sSSpzabt. 102.

Michael Kenny wrote:All 3 Tiger Abteilungs were mixed up in this pocket and a large number of Tiger were lost at around that date.

Michael, do you mean with this that they were all trapped in the Falaise pocket?

Here's some info I've found about 21.8.1944 (Monday):
It's raining. At Mont-Ormel, near highway D-16 the last suicidal attacks begin in the forenoon on the Southeast slope.
At 1200 hours, the Canadians establish contact with the Poles…
…At 1630 hours, General Bittrich orders his II.SS-PzKorps to pull back to Orbec; this retreat was done at a high cost…

To Erich

Acctually the Hohenstaufen and Das Reich were supposed to have on 25.8.1944 25 and 15 panzers and stugs (operational and non-operational) – the highest number of any panzer division in Normandy at that moment. Their infantry parts were however quite a different story. When the Hohenstaufen arrived in Normandy it was far from its Sollstarke and had a strength of around 16000. On 25.8.1944 both divisions had around 450 grenadiers each.

Regards
Mark

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Post by Michael Kenny » 20 May 2002 20:58

Very few Tigers made it to the Seine and in and around Falaise they fought in small groups. By this time all unit cohesion had gone so we will never know who fought what and where.All that can be said is no Tiger IIs were ever 'sent as replacements' to any unit in Normandy.They fought with what they had and then went as units to be re-equiped with new tanks. My reading of this dual French/German text book(I could be wrong here!) shows that the French version only says Tigers,not Tiger II. The German does say Tiger II.

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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 21 May 2002 12:29

Units that recieved Tiger IIs (date is when the first vehicle arrived, along with the number of vehicles. W indicates western front, E indicates eastern front)

Panzer Kompagnie (Funklenk) 316 (attached to Panzer Lehr Division): 5 (W 5 14th March 1944)
schwere Heeres Panzer Abteilung 501: 45 (E 45 Juy-August 1944)
schwere Heeres Panzer Abteilung 503: 26+45 (W 12 Ultimo June 1944)(E 45 Ultimo September 1944)
schwere Heeres Panzer Abteilung 505: 45+? (E 6 Ultimo July 1944)
schwere Heeres Panzer Abteilung 506: 45 (W 45 Medio-Ultimo September 1944)
schwere Heeres Panzer Abteilung 507: 21 (W 4 9th March 1945)
schwere Heeres Panzer Abteilung 509: 45 (E 45 December-January 1944-1945)
schwere Heeres Panzer Abteilung 510: 8 (W 8 31st March 1945)
schwere Heeres Panzer Abteilung 511: 8 (W 8 31st March 1945)
schwere SS Panzer Abteilung 101/501: 14+45+19 (W 14 Medio August 1944 for 1. Kompagnie, W 6 Ultimo October 1944 for the rest of the unit)(E 6 Ultimo January 1945)
schwere SS Panzer Abteilung 502: 37 (E 6 Primo January 1945)
schwere SS Panzer Abteilung 503: 39 (E 4 Ultimo October 1944)

Maximum outfit was 45...

Hope this helps...

Christian

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Tiger IIs in Normandy

Post by Mark V. » 22 May 2002 14:43

Thanks!

To summarize:
sSSpzabt.102 didn't have any Tiger IIs in Normandy and also didn't receive any replacement Tiger IIs neither Tiger Is.
So one thing is certain those Tiger IIs weren't from sSSpzabt.102, in fact the only unit with Tiger IIs in Normandy was spzabt. 503.
On the other hand Tieke (and Furbringer) could also mistook Tiger I for Tiger II, this would explain a lot of things, because there in fact were a few Tiger Is from sSSpzabt.102 which took part in the counterattack on Trun-Chambois.

:? One last question, because I am still bothered with two words (Erprobugszug and Untersturmfuhrer). Were all Tiger IIs from sSSpzabt.101 accounted for when they arrived in France in August. And what does actually mean Erprobugszug.

Regards
MV

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