Pawlograd, February 1943

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Rudi
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Pawlograd, February 1943

Post by Rudi » 10 May 2005 16:27

The town of Pawlograd, in the Dniepr-Brückenkopf, was held by an italian Kampfgruppe supported by 4 german Panzers and 4 german Sturmgeschütze, from the 16. till the 18 of February 1943. I am looking for some informations concerning the following:
1. To which german units belong the german tanks and assault guns that were involved in the fights in Pawlograd from the 16. till the 18. of february 1943?
2. The Generalleutn. Steinbauer took on the 14. of february the command on the Dniepr-Brückenkopf as Standortkommandant: who can tell me more about him?
3. Which german units (Korps and Divisionen) were involved in the defence of that Brückenkopf and particularly by Pawlograd?

Thanks a lot in advance for the help!

Rudi

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JPK
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Gen.Lt Steinbauer, Gerhard

Post by JPK » 10 May 2005 19:52

Bonsoir,
Steinbauer, Gerhard
Geb.08.06.1889 +1946 München

GM: 1.10.42
GL: 1.10.42

Art.Kdr 106:30.9.39-
Höh.Art.Kdr. 311: 1.1.42-1.9.43
DKiG: 1.10.43

sources;
Keilig,(for the bio)
Tessin band 9/page 113 (Arko 106 & Harko 311)

And from Tessin band17/page243

Steinbauer,gruppe
1943 unterstellungen bei Heeresgruppe Süd
18.2.43 Brückenkopf Dnjepropetrowsk
24.2.43 SS-Pz.Korps/4 Pz.Armee
28.2.43-5.3.43 4 Pz.Armee

Hope it help you

Regards
JPK

Rudi
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Post by Rudi » 11 May 2005 16:41

Merci beaucoup JPK for your post,

don't you have any idea about the german tank units involved in the battle?

Greetings

Rudi

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Lupo Solitario
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Post by Lupo Solitario » 11 May 2005 16:45

No, I made the same question a couple of weeks ago without any answer... (and BTW I knew they were ten AFV but wihtout data on models)

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Post by Abel Ravasz » 11 May 2005 19:36

Hi Rudi,

very interesting questions. Some days ago, I posted almost the same question as You did now.
Ábel Ravasz wrote: Hi,

during early February, 1943, the HGr Süd was constantly falling back towards the Dnepr. The LVII. PzK (Kirchner) was appointed with organizing the defense of the Dnepr line near Zaporozhje - Dnepropetrovsk. The frontline eventually didn't reach the river line because of von Manstein's counteroffensive.

Kirchner managed to organize a line of defense from rear area, Luftwaffe, reserve and reforming units. They were organized in four groupings:

Gruppe Stahel
Gruppe Steinbauer
Gruppe 46. Infanterie Division
Feld-Ausbildungs Regiment 257

Stahel and Steinbauer were "professional" ad-hoc unit creators (several KG Stahels and KG Steinbauers existed over the years of the war), while parts of the 46. Inf Div were refreshing west of Zaporozhje.

I would need info on this corps and any events it was involved in, it's sub-components, commanders etc etc. Any info would help a lot.

Thanks,

Abel
This contains all the data and all the suspicions I have about this event. Sorry, that's the best I can offer.
Do You have any other info on this topic than the ones You've posted above?

Abel

Rudi
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Post by Rudi » 12 May 2005 23:21

Lupo and Abel,

thanks for the answers.

I have some documents found in Freiburg where it is written that an italian Kampfgruppe "Carloni" was put under command of General Steinbauer on the 14 of February; the Kpf.Gr. was under command of Oberstltn. Carloni and had on that day about 2300 infantry, among them about 1000 bersaglieri and the rest german Versprengte and some hundreds Luftwaffe personnel of an airport (under the command of Oberstlt. Weckerle), plus 1 italian artillery battery, 4 german Stug. and 4 german Panzers. In the night between 16. and 17.2. about 500 german infantry left without permission, the Luftwaffe personnel also went back on the 16.2. ( this time with permission of Carloni!), so Pawlograd was just defended by about 1000 bersaglieri and 100 german Versprengte, with the support of 2 Stug and 3 Panzer (2 Stug and 1 Panzer were damaged on the 16.2.). The Italians held the town until morning of the 17.2., then left the town by the bridge of Ssinelnikowo and broke the russian encirclement in different directions. On the 19.2.43 Carloni arrived by Steinbauer, his Kpf.Gr. had at that time 880 soldiers left. On the 21 of february Pawlograd was taken again by a bataillon of SS with 10 Panzer.

As Abel writes, Steinbauer depended from the LVII. PzK: on the 22.12.42 it had the 6. Pz.Div., the 17. Pz.Div., the 23. Pz.Div. and15.Lw.F.Div.: was it the same in February 1943?

To which Division belonged the SS-units that took Pawlograd on the 21.2.?

Thanks in advance for your further informations on this topic

Rudi

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Post by Abel Ravasz » 12 May 2005 23:37

Hello Rudi,
As Abel writes, Steinbauer depended from the LVII. PzK: on the 22.12.42 it had the 6. Pz.Div., the 17. Pz.Div., the 23. Pz.Div. and 15.Lw.F.Div.: was it the same in February 1943?
Well, the corps' organization changed a lot during these times; closest I can get is 3/2/43 (3rd Feb), then it had:
17. Pz Div, 23. Pz Div, SS Wiking PzGren Div, 111. Inf Div, 15. Lw Feld Div, 203. StuG Abt, 243. StuG Abt, Fest Bau Bn 2 and ArKo 121 (II./Art Reg 40, Stab, I./Wer Reg 54, III./Art Reg 109, 2./Art Abt 800).
To which Division belonged the SS-units that took Pawlograd on the 21.2.?
To the SS-Panzerkorps, and it was a battalion from the SS Das Reich Division.

Rudi, do You have any idea about the composition of the KG Steinbauer? Is there any data on the type of armour used by the German unit in Pavlograd?

Abel

Rudi
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Post by Rudi » 13 May 2005 08:53

Hi Abel,

the german documents just say that in Pawlograd there were 4 Stug. and 4 Panzers; an italian friend of mine told me that in another italian source it is written there were Stug with 8,8 gun and Tigers. Well, I think it is quite impossible that Tigers were there, more probably they were long barrelled Pz. IV Ausf. G: what about Stug. with 8,8? Do you know if some Nashorn were around?

Anyway I don't think they belonged to the WSS, so I would restrain the possibility that the tanks belongd to the 17. Pz. Div., 23. Pz.Div. and 203. and 243. Stug. Abt.: it is already a big step forward! Unfortunately I don't have the book of Hinze about the 23. Pz.Div.: do you have more details about the actions of this division and of the 17. PzDiv in that area on that period?

Sorry but I have no idea about the composition of the Kpf.Gr. Steinbauer. Any info about the airport by Pawlograd? Where it was exactly and which unit were deployed there in February 1943?

Thanks a lot anyway for the good infos.

Rudi

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Post by Mark V. » 13 May 2005 11:48

Hello Rudi,

It seems highly unlikely that elements of any of the above mentioned units took part in the early February battles at Pawlograd. Here's why: Gen.Kdo. LVII.Pz.Korps (headquarters only!) didn't arrive on the scene before the 20th and didn't bring with it any of it's previously subordinate units. 23.Pz.Div. was in the process of retreating to the new Mius line and remained there till late spring, 17.Pz.Div. was counterattacking Russian Cavalry Corps at Dabalzewo and was later in February (around the 20th) moved through Krasnoarmeijskoje (on 22 February it was still south of river Samara), Stug.Abt.210 and 203 were with 16.Inf.Div.(mot.) and 23.Pz.Div. And like you wrote there's basically no chance of these panzers belonging to 2.SS-Pz.Gren.Div.Das Reich or any other W-SS division in the area.

The panzers could had been replacement panzers for any of HG Süd panzer divisions or they originated from some panzer workshop in the area. Really difficult to tell. On the other hand they could have come together with the german Versprengte, possibly 19.Pz.Div.!?

Nashorns were for the fist time employed in combat in summer 1943.

Here's also an interesting excerpt from Paul Carell: Verbrannte Erde, p.165:

"Als hätte Busse nur auf diesen Einwand gewartet, blätterte er Hitler die Tatsachen hin. »Die 267. sowjetische Schützendivision steht hier, südlich Krasnodar«, referierte er an die Karte. Dann tippte er auf Pawlograd: »Eine Panzerabteilung der 35.Garde-Schützendivision hat Pawlograd genommen. Die italiensiche Division, die Pawlograd verteidigen sollte, hat sich davon gemacht.«"

Not much helpfull but still hope some of this info helps
Marko

Rudi
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Post by Rudi » 13 May 2005 16:29

Hallo Mark,

thanks for your post. Probably you are right meaning that the tanks came from some replacement units, even if the fact that they were 4 Stug. and 4 Panzers left me the impression they could be two full platoons of some regular unit.

The documents don't tell anything about the origins of the Versprengte, so it is of course possible that they belong to the 19. Pz.Div.: why do you mean this divison? Was it perhaps also involved in the fightings in that area?

About the quote of Carell: this is another mistake of "Verbrannte Erde": from the documents I have (they are the Berichte of the deutscher Verbindungsoffizier bei Kpf.Gr. Carloni) it is clear that Pawlograd wasn't defended by any italian division but only from 1000 italian Bersaglieri plus 100 Versprengte and Feldgendarmerie, as, as I already wrote, in the night between 16. and 17.2. about 500 german Versprengte left the positions of the Kpf.Gr. Carloni without his permission (in other words: sie ließen die Italiener in Stich). So with his words (but did he really say what Carell reports?!) Büsse push the responsability of loosing the town on the shoulders of the Italians, who in fact left the town after an hard fight against overwhelming russian forces (in the Bericht there is written to which division belonged the russian forces that occupied Pawlograd, I can quote it later, not now as I am in the office!). Carloni hatte sich einfach nicht davon gemacht.

May I ask you from which sources are the interesting informations about the actions of the units of the LVII. Pz.Kps.?

Best greetings

Rudi

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Lupo Solitario
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Post by Lupo Solitario » 13 May 2005 19:40

some consideration:

some note about Pawlograd can be found here:
http://comandosupremo.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2365
anyway Carloni's memories are quite detailed about Pawlograd and are a good source.

it's Carloni who speaks about Tigers and 88 but it's a usual habit in italian memories about german equipment calling all german tanks "tiger" and all cannons "88"; it' s more interesting Carloni tells that tanks were 6 and not 4 (agree on 4 SPG)

Late Carell is a known anti-italian biased author and usually I don't take it as a good source

bye

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Post by Mark V. » 13 May 2005 20:07

Hi Rudi,

The info posted comes from Eberhard Schwarz: Die Stabilisierung der Ostfront nach Stalingrad and from some of the divisional histories (23.Pz.Div. - Zum Kaukasus und zu den Tauern by Ernst Rebentisch and 16.Inf.Div.(mot.) - Die Kriegsgeschichte der Windhund-Division by Fritz Memminger. Band III) also helpful were George Nipe: Last victory in Russia David Glantz: From the Don to the Dneper and Befehl des Gewissens.
The documents don't tell anything about the origins of the Versprengte, so it is of course possible that they belong to the 19. Pz.Div.: why do you mean this divison? Was it perhaps also involved in the fightings in that area?
Most probably those weren't 19.Pz.Div.'s panzers. Nevertheless there's a map in Schwarz, which does seem to indicate that some elements of 19.Pz.Div. might had been split from the main body. When the Red Army launched Operation Gallop at the end of January, the 19.Pz.Div. was occupying the front at Starobelsk and absorbed the full impact of Mobile Group Popov's thrust. BTW, the division was at this point reinforced with two Stug formations - Stug.Lehr.Bttr.901 and Stug.Abt.209.

And to be fair to Carell he just quotes Busse's (von Manstein's Chief of Staff) report :? .

Mark V.
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Post by Mark V. » 13 May 2005 20:23

Hi Lupo,

Thanks for the link. I frequently visit your forum and Feldgrau and have noticed your posts (re Pavlograd), it's just difficult to respond to when you basically don't have any info :cry: . What's the title of Carloni's book?

Rudi
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Post by Rudi » 14 May 2005 21:43

Lupo and Mark,

thanks again for your answers. I know already the post about this matter in Comando Supremo, it is very interesting. Lupo, do you have the book of Carloni? If yes, could it be possible to send me the scan (or OCR-conversion of the text in Word-format) of the pages about the Kampfgruppe Carloni? As I speak Italian it isn't a problem for me to understand them.

Mark, thanks for quoting the sources. Maybe it could help to know that from interrogatories of prisoners the russian unit that attacked Pawlograd was identified as the 41. Inf.Div.: in fact in the report there is once written that it was the 26. Inf.Rgt., once it is written that it was the 126. Inf.Rgt. of that division. It is clear that there is one mistake, but as I have no books about the russian division I cannot know if the 41. Inf.Div. had the 26. or the 126. Inf.Rgt.: can anyone help? Mark, maybe can you check in your books which German unit was opposed to that Russian division?

Thanks a lot

Best greetings

Rudi

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Lupo Solitario
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Post by Lupo Solitario » 15 May 2005 12:08

Carloni's book is called "La Campagna di Russia" and, yes, I got it. It's hard to find, I found it cause I am a bookshop mole...anyway I can send you a copy of the chapter on Pawlograd.
Contact me directly

Lupo

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