Order regarding return of SS tank crews from Normandy

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Tom from Cornwall
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Order regarding return of SS tank crews from Normandy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 02 Jan 2022 13:49

Hi,

I came across this piece of information in an ULTRA signal sent on 23 July 1944 referring to a "reminder" to 1 SS Panzer Corps in particular to return "tankless crews" to enable delivery of replacement tanks and thought it might be of interest (Source: DEFE3/60 – 22 – 23 July 1944):

Ref: 936
CX/MSS/R248(C)84 XL 3203

ZZ

(XL 3202 SH 47 SHA 2 AG 38 FU 84 EF 42 ST 85 DL 89 TA 97

1 SS Panzer Corps again reminded on 8th July by SS Ops Headquarters of absolute necessity of sending tankless crews immediately to MOERCHINGEN as otherwise replacement tanks and assault guns could not be brought up. 2 SS Panzer Corps, 2, 9 and 10 SS Panzer Divisions, 17 SS Panzer Grenadier Divisions and C-in-C West also informed.

APJ/AHW 231910Z/7/44
Has anyone seen anything similar in German documents from this period or have any information about MOERCHINGEN? SS Tank Depot?

Edited to add: Moerchingen = Morhange SE of Metz.

It would also be interesting to understand if these tank crews were held together with tanks in "long-term" repair at regimental or divisional workshops or further forward with their panzer regiments as a pool of replacements.

Regards

Tom

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Order regarding return of SS tank crews from Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Jan 2022 19:00

I'd seen remarks about a depot, or rather system of depots somewhere in 7th Army sector for receiving and distributing replacement equipment. Perhaps the breakdown of the railway delivery of material to the 7th Army sector required tank crews to take these on automotive roads back to Normandy? That is, the depots in 7th Army sector or otherwise near the battle were empty.

The other possibility is someone was trying to either save tank crews, or hoped to enhance the skill level in the training establishment with these veteran crews.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Order regarding return of SS tank crews from Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 12 Jan 2022 19:59

Both sSS Pz Abt 101 and sPz Abt 503 sent a full kp 'back' to re-equip and return with TIIs.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Order regarding return of SS tank crews from Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 15 Jan 2022 20:25

Next question is how many vehicles made it from the MOERCHINGEN? SS Tank Depot to the Normandy battle? Estimates vary for resupply delivered to the 7th Army, but at the low end are 10% or less of requirement. Back in March 1944 The staff at OB west were contemplating a report on the French railways that implied complete collapse June 1944 if the Allies attacked that month or did not.

Moving the tanks by automotive roads to Normandy has its pros and cons. So, I'd suspect the tanks would have priority for the remaining fictional RR transport. But fuel and ammunition would have a very high priority too.

daveshoup2MD
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Re: Order regarding return of SS tank crews from Normandy

Post by daveshoup2MD » 24 Jan 2022 22:42

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
15 Jan 2022 20:25
Next question is how many vehicles made it from the MOERCHINGEN? SS Tank Depot to the Normandy battle? Estimates vary for resupply delivered to the 7th Army, but at the low end are 10% or less of requirement. Back in March 1944 The staff at OB west were contemplating a report on the French railways that implied complete collapse June 1944 if the Allies attacked that month or did not.

Moving the tanks by automotive roads to Normandy has its pros and cons. So, I'd suspect the tanks would have priority for the remaining fictional RR transport. But fuel and ammunition would have a very high priority too.
My impression is the German mobile forces in the West were pretty much "in the shop window" for most of 1944; there was some effort at rebuilding/re-quipping some favored units in the winter for the Ardennes offensive, but seems fairly spotty other than that - and the commitment (and destruction, for the most part) of the separate armored brigades in the autumn/winter of 1944 would seem to make it clear the replacement effort was limited, to be charitable...

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