Garrison of Fester Platz Wilna (Vilnius) July 1944

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
Andreas
Member
Posts: 6938
Joined: 10 Nov 2002 14:12
Location: Europe

Garrison of Fester Platz Wilna (Vilnius) July 1944

Post by Andreas » 02 Aug 2006 13:09

Hi

If anyone has an OOB and strength estimate for this garrison, I'd love to hear it. I currently have the following from the STAVKA study on Bagration, published by David Glantz:

Fester Platz Wilna (total strength est. by STAVKA study at 12-15,000 men)
14th and 299th Infantry Division (Remnants)
221st and 390th Security Division (elements)
170th Infantry Division (sub-units)
765th and 671st Landschützen Batallione
9th Police Regiment
11th, 12th, 16th Sapper battalion
236th Security Battalion
644th Baubatallion
6th Regiment, 2nd Parachute Division (600 men)
March Battalions, odds & sodds

This list only concerns the units under Stahel's command, not Gruppe Tolsdorff (for which I have info, I think). I have read elsewhere that an SS-para battalion was also involved somehow.

Also, if anyone has more exact losses than those provided by the STAVKA study, that would be interesting too. I think the estimate is that about 3,000 men made it out of the Fester Platz.

All the best

Andreas

Mark V.
Member
Posts: 1505
Joined: 22 Apr 2002 20:50
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Post by Mark V. » 02 Aug 2006 15:17

Wellcome back, Andreas :) . Your presence was sorely missed.
Here's the OoB of Festerplatz Wilna (from Hinze's Ostfrontdrama and Michaelis's Das SS-FJB 500/600):

Gren.Rgt. 399
Gren.Brig.761
Gren.Rgt.1067 (elements)
SS-Pol.Rgt.16
Falschirm.Jäg.Rgt.16 (elements)
II./Art.Rgt.240
Pz.Jäg.Abt.256
Flak-Abt.296

with a strength of 8 infantry battalions.

SS-FJB500 was part of the relief force:

6.Pz.Div.:
-KGr Pössl
I./Pz.Rgt.GD
with SS-FJB500 and FJR16 (el.)
II.(Spw.)/Pz.Gren.Rgt.114
3.(Sfl.)/Pz.Art.Rgt.76

-KGr Stahl
I./Pz.Gren.Rgt.114
III./Pz.Gren.Rgt.114
2.(Sfl.)/Pz.Art.Rgt.76
more on 6th Panzer's relief attack: viewtopic.php?t=77023

Marko

Andreas
Member
Posts: 6938
Joined: 10 Nov 2002 14:12
Location: Europe

Post by Andreas » 02 Aug 2006 15:24

Hello Marko

Thanks for the kind remark, and for the quick reply. That is very helpful, also the link to the other thread (which my best efforts with the search engine failed to dredge up). I have the latest edition of Hinze, but unfortunately the cretins at the Motorbuchverlag missed putting in Appendix 7.

All the best

Andreas

Andreas
Member
Posts: 6938
Joined: 10 Nov 2002 14:12
Location: Europe

Post by Andreas » 02 Aug 2006 15:35

Mark V. wrote:Just to follow up on Kamen's post.

On 12 July 6.Panzer Division forms two Kampfgruppen:
KGr Pössl (Major Walter Pössl)
I./Pz.Rgt.GD (Major Walter Pössl)
with SS-Falschm.Jäg.Btl.500 (SS-Hstuf. Siegfired Milius) and 2 companies from Falschm.Jäg.Rgt.16 (Major Rudolf Witzig)*,
II.(Spw.)/Pz.Gren.Rgt.114 (Major Rausche),
3.(Sfl.)/Pz.Art.Rgt.76 (Hptm Kesseler);

KGr Stahl (Oberstlt. Dr. Paul Stahl)
I./Pz.Gren.Rgt.114 (Hptm. Viktor Richter),
III./Pz.Gren.Rgt.114 (Hptm. Oehlmann),
2.(Sfl.)/Pz.Art.Rgt.76 (Olt. Przybilla).

KGr Pössl is ordered to advance along the highway to Wilna and establish contact with Gruppe Tolsdorf. On the other hand KGr Stahl has the mission of securing the highway from enemy from the South and North and to form a blocking position at Vievis.

On the next morning, after a short delay, KGr Pössl is the first to move out at 07.30. Both Gen.Maj. von Waldenfels (Div.Kdr.) and Gen.Oberst Reinhardt (C.i.C. Pz.AOK3) go along with the advance group in a half track. The group is closely followed by a large supply column (for Gruppe Tolsdorff and Stahel). The surprise attack succeeds and encounters only light resistance and it's not until it reaches Vievis where it's checked by tank and anti-tank fire. The opposition is nevertheless quickly overran and the group continues its advance towards East. At 12.30, after advancing roughly 50 km into enemy territory KGr Pössl links up with Gruppe Tolsdorff at Rykonty, where it reinforces the latter's positions, while waiting for Gruppe Stahel to arrive from Wilna. In the meantime KGr Stahl also moves out to cover the KGr Pössl's overextended flanks and occupies the blocking positions at Vievus. In the late afternoon the first wounded are being transported back through the lines and until the next morning roughly 5,000 men pass through the narrow 50km corridor. Owing mostly to their own overextended lines, Russians are slowly to react and it's not until evening when they undertake several uncoordinated probe attacks, which are repulsed. On the next day, the Russian flank attacks lead to several critical situation but these too are mastered by support of Panthers and by late afternoon all elements of both KGr Pösll and KGr Stahl are pulled back and occupy new positions E of Kowno.

*Both SS-FJB500 and elements FJR16 participated in the relief effort but it's difficult to determine with which KGr they fought, so they could well have been with KGr Stahl.

Sources:
Paul, Wolfgang: Brennpunkte. Die Geschichte der 6.Panzer-Division (1.leichte). 1937-1945.
Jung, Hans-Joachim: Panzer Soldiers for "God, Honor, Fatherland". The history of Panzerregiment "Großdeutschland.
Schadewitz, Michael: Panzer-Regiment 11, Panzer-Abteilung 65, Panzer-Ersatz- und Ausbildungsabteilung 11 1939-1945
Michaelis, Rolf: Das Falschirmjäger-Bataillon 500/600
Munoz, Antonio: Forgotten Legions
Hinze, Rolf: Ostfront Drama 1944


I'll continue this here Marko.

In your prior post you mention a strength of eight infantry battalions for the garrison. What kind of strength does that refer to? Total strength? Effective combat strength? If the former, that would put garrison strength at ca. 5-6,000, if the latter then maybe the Soviet assessment maybe correct? Also, if 5,000 men were brought out, one presumes that figure refers to both Gruppe Stahel and Gruppe Tolsdorf together? ISTR that the number of escapees from the garrison was 3,000?

The STAVKA study claims that the Germans were equipped with tanks and SPGs. From the OOB that looks unlikely, but there may have been SP-ATGs that could fit the bill?

Also, does anyone know the effective combat strength of Panzergrenadierbrigade von Werthern, both in terms of manpower and AFVs?

Thanks a lot in advance for any help.

All the best

Andreas

Mark V.
Member
Posts: 1505
Joined: 22 Apr 2002 20:50
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Post by Mark V. » 03 Aug 2006 12:12

Hi Andreas!

In your prior post you mention a strength of eight infantry battalions for the garrison. What kind of strength does that refer to? Total strength? Effective combat strength?


Unfortunately, that's the only info I found on the strength of Stahel's force (in Hinze, BTW mine also lacks the Appendix 7 - OoB is mostly from Michaelis). As far as I understand usually this means effective strength (?).

Also, if 5,000 men were brought out, one presumes that figure refers to both Gruppe Stahel and Gruppe Tolsdorf together? ISTR that the number of escapees from the garrison was 3,000?


The figure 5,000 is for both groups and yes, Stahel reported 3,000 men escaping Wilna.

The STAVKA study claims that the Germans were equipped with tanks and SPGs. From the OOB that looks unlikely, but there may have been SP-ATGs that could fit the bill?


This is always a difficult question when there're no proper panzer units in the area :| . I imagine these panzers could originate from some panzer workshop or perhaps they belong to SS-Pol.Rgt.16? No idea.

Also, does anyone know the effective combat strength of Panzergrenadierbrigade von Werthern, both in terms of manpower and AFVs?


According to Hinze and Spaeter, the group consisted from
Stab + Stabs-Kp.,
2 Pz.Gren.Kp.,
1 Pz.Kp.from Führ.Gren.Btl. (7 Pz.IV, 10 Stug),
1 sKp
1 gem.Flak-bttr.
= 1,000 men.

Best Regards
Marko

Andreas
Member
Posts: 6938
Joined: 10 Nov 2002 14:12
Location: Europe

Post by Andreas » 03 Aug 2006 13:48

Thanks a lot again Marko!

All the best

Andreas

Kelvin
Member
Posts: 2468
Joined: 06 Apr 2007 14:49

Post by Kelvin » 08 Feb 2008 19:46

No 236th Sicherung division in German OOB

Andreas
Member
Posts: 6938
Joined: 10 Nov 2002 14:12
Location: Europe

Re:

Post by Andreas » 17 Feb 2008 04:39

Kelvin wrote:No 236th Sicherung division in German OOB



It was a battalion, not a division.

All the best

Andreas

Return to “WW2 in Eastern Europe”