The battle for Memel

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Maybach
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Post by Maybach » 27 Jun 2006 15:54

There is also some information on this topic in the book "Der Kampf um Ostpreussen" by Grossmann and Dieckert (if I remember correctly). The authors also say, that the two divisions from Memel were almost 100% intact, when they were pulled out over sea to help out in the Samland and area east of Königsberg after the Russians broke through the Inster-Memel defense line.

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Post by pavle » 27 Jun 2006 16:03

HMm i read in der kampf um Ostpreusen that on the end of october the GD and 95 I.D. had lost 60% of their strenght and 7th Panzer already being pulled out! maybe the 85 I.D. fared much better, nonetheless all divisions inflicted massive casualties on the russian forces..

Maybach
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Post by Maybach » 27 Jun 2006 20:01

To make some corrections and to be more precise (although this is still a bit shortened):
Beginning of October 1944 there was heavy fighting east of Memel. Mainly 3rd Panzerarmee fighting against 3rd white-russian front. 3rd Panzerarmee had only 5 Divisions left for defending about 200 km frontline. Russians intended to cut off Armygroup North from Armygroup Center by advancing towards the Baltic Sea. Finally the Russian armies succeeded. Memel was in the middle of these two armygroups and remained as a "bridgehead", only containing 7th Panzerdivision and Panzergrenadierdivision "Grossdeutschland". On 6th of October first parts of 58th Infanteriedivision arrived from Riga. The defending position (or main battle line) was about 7.5 km infront of Memel.
These three divisions, two Volkssturm-companies, coastal artillery and airforce flak batteries defended the town against 3rd white-russian front with 19 rifle-divisions, 3 tank-corps and strong artillery. The german Kriegsmarine gave all the time heavy fire support by two ships: "Prinz Eugen" and "Lützow" (formerly "Deutschland"). The russians made three attempts to take Memel, but were stopped. Russians lost in the first 3 days (11.-14. October) about 150 tanks. Last major attack on Memel around 23rd of October.
After these attacks 7th Panzerdivision has shrunk to regiment-size, 58th div. and "Grossdeutschland" had lost about 60% of their fighting power. 7th PD and div. "GD" were pulled out and 95th Infanteriedivision moved into Memel. 58th and 95th Infanteriedivision formed XXVIII. Corps. From 25th to 28th of January 1945 these two divisions were withdrawn from Memel with ferries to the Nehrung. Then they moved towards Cranz together with the staff of 607. Div. z.b.V. (for special purposes) which was responsible for guarding the Nehrung so far. 58th div. was rearguarding the withdrawal over the Nehrung.
On 28th of January 1945 at 4:00 in the morning the last german soldier left Memel. At 8:00 the first russians were spotted near the harbour.
I have to apologize for this mixture of German and Englisch... :oops:
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Jan-Hendrik
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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 27 Jun 2006 20:06

Not to forget the staff of Panzergrenadierbrigade 18 that was on the Nehrung, too :wink:

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Maybach
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Post by Maybach » 27 Jun 2006 20:11

thx, Jan-Hendrik,
I didn't know this detail... :roll:

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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 27 Jun 2006 20:26

This staff was together with the DivStab. z.b.V.607 placed on the Nehrung , but I still was not able to get a hint which units were placed under their command . In the Meier-Welcker-Book , for example , is only mentioned that 6 AlarmBtl. were placed under the command of 607 , but no more detail which ones nor for waht purpose this PzGrenBrgStab was there :?

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Michate
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Post by Michate » 28 Jun 2006 16:21

Dieckert/Großmann are vague on Div. z.b.V. 607, too, just stating it commanded some alarm battalions or similar.

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donwhite
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z.B.V.607?

Post by donwhite » 29 Jun 2006 09:15

From a scanned Ost Lage Map dated 24th Jan'45 for the Kurland area, there appears to be a Stab from 122 Sec Rgt (?)immediatley to the north of z.B.V 607 as well as Fest Art Rgt 856(?). The print is a little hard to read even when magnified serveral times so I 'm not absolutely certain on the designations. The map also mentions the 6 alarm Battalions (as a group?)

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Post by pavle » 29 Jun 2006 09:49

My view on this one is that on november you had the z.b.V 607 on the Nehrung with 6 alarm bat. covering the south entrance possibly to fend off an attack from the rear by russian forces on the nehrung.

Later on december you will find the stab of the Pz.brig 18 in front of the z.b.V 607

But there appears to be another unit stationed on the spot were teh Pz.brig 18 was in january it is hard to see but
it is called i guess Sich.Agt.Stab 721 you can see it just above the z.b.V 607 on the january 45 map.

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donwhite
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festung Art Rgt

Post by donwhite » 29 Jun 2006 12:51

Pavle,
Does the Fest Artillery unit show up on your map? If so what is your impression of the numerical designation? (Seems I was a little off the mark with the Sich Regt designation!)

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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 01 Aug 2006 16:17


Jan-Hendrik
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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 22 Aug 2006 14:27

Interestingly due to the lack of Ari-ammo. Panthers of II./PzRgt.25 were used as PzBttrn , see this exerpt here :

http://forum.panzer-archiv.de/viewtopic ... 176#103176

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pavle
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Post by pavle » 23 Aug 2006 15:17

http://www.kronborgresearch.dk/551__gren_div_.htm

This is about the 551 VGD , they were in trouble on the Tilsit bridgehead
J-H you have the history of A.A. GD can you elaborate the counterattack of the AA to save the encircled 551 VGD? (KG Langkeit?)


btw the site is done by our panzer-archiv friend O.Kronberg!

All the best

Pavle

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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 23 Aug 2006 15:22

Sorry , I don't have this book anymore as it was useless on the points I am researching ...

But I will see what I can find out this evening !

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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 15 Sep 2006 08:30

A map for the fights in the forefield of Memel , source :

Anton Detlev von Plato "Geschichte der 5.Panzerdivision"

Image

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