KG von Bohm, Ardennes December 1944 Order of Battle

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Special K
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Location: St Albans, UK

KG von Bohm, Ardennes December 1944 Order of Battle

Post by Special K » 13 Aug 2020 19:57

Hi, admittedly I could use some help deciphering what was actually in this reconnaissance Battalion at the time of the Ardennes Offensive. I am modelling an historical simulation of the Battle of Noville and have taken a stab at what I believe this unit was composed of. My sources are limited and so I'd be really grateful for any feedback on my proposal. My main reference is the 2 Panzer Division situation report from 30.11.44 which shows the Kriegsstärkenachweis, or Order of Battle, of this unit at the end of November. I have read many other books on the topic of the delaying actions before Bastogne and not found many to contradict what this chart shows. But please, can anyone experienced with KsTn's review?! thanks in advance, Kevin.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/4201703/calvinboy24

2 Pz Division, 2 Panzer Aufk Bn
1st Co: Armored Cars, 4x <=20mm, 3x ~50mm (perhaps Sdkfz 234/2 Puma), 10 ~75mm (Sdkfz 233 or 234/4 etc with 75mm guns or ATG's)
[There is a detachment of what looks like 2 vehicles with a comment "to set up in Wildblick" which sounds like a set of vehicles detached from this unit]

2nd Co: Armored Recon Infantry with 9 LMG, 2 medium mortars, and 2 guns (could these be Stummels Sdkfz 251/9's?)

3rd Co: Bicycle Recon Infantry with 2 HMG, 20 LMG and 2 medium mortars.

4th Co: Heavy Weapons Company: this is the hardest. In total this looks like 10 MG's, 2 75mm Infantry Guns (assume these are towed by SPW's), 5x medium mortars (towed or Self propelled I'm not sure), and 2 larger guns (which could be 251/9 Stummels again).

The Supply company is irrelevant and so are the signals platoon embedded in the AC Company 1.....unless these are more Armored Cars?!!

Dunnigan
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Re: KG von Bohm, Ardennes December 1944 Order of Battle

Post by Dunnigan » 28 Sep 2020 15:14

Kevin,

Just to note first, the url you linked to is my image on BGG that I took from Jean-Paul Pallud's Battle of the Bulge: Then and Now. I'll also seen the comments on CSW but will address what I know here. I've done research on the Battle of the Bulge for the game that I did extensive research for and John D. has cited me for helping him on the game he researched.

For the action around Noville, there is very little specific details as to who from 2. Panzer Division was operating around Bastogne before it went off crossing the Ourthe towards the Meuse River. Accounts in Hugh Cole's book and Christer Bergstrom among many others are not specific on which subunits of the division fought around Bastogne including the destruction of CCR/9th AD. Many imply that it was the advanced element of the 2. Panzer Division but that may not definitely imply that it was Kampfgruppe von Böhm as the 14 December 1944 Gliederung for XXXXVII Panzer Korps shows Kampfgruppe Gutmann as Vorausabteilung (advanced detachment).

This link is an image of the XXXXVII Pz Korps Gliederung from Danny Parker's Battle of the Bulge book.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/2504031/calvinboy24

So who exactly was leading and attacking CCR/9 and around Noville isn't certain. The first real mentions of Kampfgruppe von Böhm is only after 2. Panzer Division's action around Bastogne and is more heavily covered when it reaches Celles and Foy Notre Dame. Then, it was known that it was supported by a company of Panthers (which I found somewhere as 4. Kompanie). It cannot be ascertained that the company of Panthers accompanied KG von Böhm before or after the Bastogne area as the XXXXVII Pz Korps gliederung does not show the panzer company attachment but things may have changed between 14 Dec and 16 Dec. The Gliederung does show Panzer Regiment 3 with one company detached from I. Abteilung ("o. 1 Kp" as "ohne 1 Kompanie" or detached one company) and seen with KG Gutmann along with a company of StuG III from Panzerjäger Abteilung 38 and Panzer Aufklarung Abteilung 2 as pure without any attachments.

There is not many dedicated sources on the 2. Panzer Division, and the one unit history of the division in German is hit and miss (I sold my copy). Hugh Cole looks to have much of his research on the Foreign Military Studies. The only NARA FMS document on the 2. Panzer Division for the Ardennes is B-456 but this only covers the events from 21 Dec 1944 to 26 Dec 1944 by what I believe was a staff officer of the division. Before that, most of the FMS on the 2. Panzer Division is at the Corps level, unlike the 26. Volksgrenadier Division and Panzer Division Lehr of the Korps where their division commanders provided specific accounts of action during the battle.

As for Panzer Aufklarung Abteilung's composition itself, my eyes can only see and speculate what the weapon symbols and numbers depict. John D. listed the vehicle breakdowns from J. Dugdale's book. I'll note that 1. Kompanie that you note as "to set up in Wildblick" was fully detached and assigned to Panzer Brigade 150, Skorzeny's command. In Jean-Paul Pallud's Ardennes 1944: Peiper and Skorzeny, he notes: "Tank crews were provided by 4. Kompanie of Panzer-Regiment 11 (6. Panzer-Division); Panzerjäger-Abteilung 655; and recce armoured car crews from 1. Kompanie of Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 190 (90. Panzergrenadier Division) and 1. Kompanie of Panzer-Aufklärung-Abteilung 2 (2. Panzer-Division)..

Likewise, in Kamen Nevenkin's Fire Brigades: The Panzer Divisions, 1943-1945, he has the following on Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 2:

"In September 1944 the Abteilung was reorganized as follows: Stab, Stab.Kp., (1.) Pz.Spah.Kp. "c", (2.) lePz.Aufk.Kp. (gep), (3.) Pz.Aufk.Kp (gep), (4.) sPz.Aufk.Kp. (gep) and Vers.Kp. (mot). On 4 November 1944 1. Kp was detached from the division an {sic} assigned to Pz. Brig. 150. During November 1944 3. Kp was equipped with bicycles. On 26 December 1944 an order was issued to form new 1. Kp, but this did not occur."

Special K
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Location: St Albans, UK

Re: KG von Bohm, Ardennes December 1944 Order of Battle

Post by Special K » 28 Sep 2020 22:44

Hi Carl, this is fantastic information, thanks for sharing. Indeed the URL is from your post on BGG and I've been lucky enough to finally get a copy of Pallud's book from my county library after many months of waiting for Covid-19 restrictions to abate! To date, the best narratives I've seen on how much actual fighting von Bohm did have been Cole. Without conclusive evidence of who was fighting where and lack of historical records, it's all a little confused re: 2Pz. I'm thinking that no matter what the organization up to the 16th, this was all a victim of circumstance at Marnach and Clervaux, so anyone could have been involved in those early fights.

The KG was willing to put in a few probing attacks as early as Antonioushof in the assault on Task Force Rose. Cole's narrative mentions the infantry component of von Bohm was still clearing out Clervaux at the time of Antonioushof.
https://history.army.mil/books/wwii/7-8/7-8_13.htm#p294

Cole later mentions the KG was mainly moving through the gap between Noville and Houffalize on the morning of the 19th, the first day of combat at Noville. Desobry had deployed three pickets before Noville who clashed with German advanced troops including tanks very early on the 19th. I suspect these were KG von Bohm, and that later assaults that morning against Noville were made by von Cochenhausen and his Panthers. Confusing things for everyone even more is the elimination of Task force Booth around Hardigney, which is the road KG Bohm used to slip through north of Noville.

Thanks for John D's input, I revised the OB of the HQ company of Armored cars to:
x <=20mm, 3x ~50mm (perhaps Sdkfz 234/2 Puma), 10 ~75mm (Sdkfz 233 or 234/4 etc with 75mm guns or ATG's)
4x Sdkfz 234/1
11x Sdkfz 234/2 Puma
3 x Sdkfz 233 with 75mm short

The rest of it is pretty much as shown on the Kstn's just prior to the Bulge.

Thanks again for your generous reply of information. This is a road seldom travelled, but is an interesting one!

Kevin

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