Italian 8th Army - Defense of Kantemirovka and Rossosh

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Denis
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Post by Denis » 27 May 2005 08:38

Hello
Here are the 3 scans devoted to Georg Tyroller's carreer and coming from the excellent Biblio Verlag sery.
Hope this helps
Regards
Denis
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Denis
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Post by Denis » 27 May 2005 08:42

The second one :
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Denis
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Post by Denis » 27 May 2005 08:43

The third one :
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Larry D.
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Post by Larry D. » 27 May 2005 12:45

Wow, Denis! That's impressive. It makes me want to buy the complete set of Biblio Verlag RKT books. The background paragraph answers many questions about the Luftwaffe's Flak, service and support troops at Kantemirovka that none of us were able to find elsewhere. You have made a major contribution to this thread. It also shows that Tyroller's RK was awarded for an accumulation of distinguished actions in and around Kantemirovka over several weeks and not just for one particular action on 23 December 1942.

Thank you very much for your help with this!

--Larry

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Post by Larry D. » 27 May 2005 14:20

The account provided by Denis mentions the participation in this struggle by Lufttransportgruppe Don (actually Transportgruppe Lw.-Kdo. Don - under its Kommandeur Hptm. Kurt Geisler). For those interested, here is a summary of the Gruppe's involvement and the number of aircraft it reported lost or damaged:

Transportgruppe Luftwaffenkommando Don
(Unit Code: B1+ ??)



Formation. (Aug 42)
Formed 26 August 1942 at Fp. Korovye Selo/30 km N of Ostrov in North Russia by temporarily renaming Transportstaffel I. Fliegerkorps. This coincided with the temporary renaming of I. Fliegerkorps as Luftwaffenkdo. Don on the same date. The temporary change of designations lasted until 17 February 1943. Equipped with Ju 52 transports. The Gruppe was eventually built-out to two Staffeln (1. and 2.) using additional transports and crews borrowed from the flight schools in the Reich, which were often referred to as “1. and 2. Staffel Korpstransportstaffel I. Fliegerkorps”. Additionally, in Dec 42 or more likely in Jan 43 the glider units 1.(DFS)/Lw.Kdo. Don and 1.(Go)/Lw.Kdo. Don were both attached to the Gruppe to strengthen its airlift capacity and capability.

South Russia. (Sep 42 - Feb 43)
20 Sep 42: Ju 52 damaged its undercarriage landing at Fp. Pskov/N Russia, 25%.
28 Sep 42: man belonging to the Gruppe reported WIA in enemy bombing of Fp. Millerovo, located on the Don to the west of Stalingrad.
Dec 42: began air supply of the 2,000-man Luftwaffe Kampfgruppe under Obstlt. Georg Tyroller (Kdr. le.Flak-Abt. 84 (mot.) that defended Kantemirovka-South airfield under mid-January 1943, and then air evacuated the remaining 1,957 of them to safety.
24 Dec 42: Ju 52 returned to Fp. Kantemirovka/95 km NNW of Millerovo after being shot up by AA fire, 30%, 1 WIA.
28 Dec 42: Ju 52 returned to Kharkov shot up by AA fire.
30 Dec 42: Ju 52 damaged when Fp. Kantemirovka shelled by Russian artillery, 35%.
30 Dec 42: Ju 52 severely damaged when Fp. Millerovo shelled by Russian artillery, 50%.
31 Dec 42: Ju 52 struck the ground and crashed at Fp. Kharkov, 90%, 1 injured.
3 Jan 43: 2. Staffel Ju 52 returned to Fp. Kharkov-North after being hit by mortar fire, 15%.
4 Jan 43: Ju 52 shot up during a low-level Russian air attack on Fp. Kantemirovka, 60%.
5 Jan 43: Ju 52 damaged landing at Fp. Kharkov-North, 15%.
7 Jan 43: Ju 52 (NM+EF) reported missing on flight between Starobelsk and Kantemirovka, 100%, 4 MIA.
9 Jan 43: 3 Ju 52 crashes reported at Fp. Starobelsk/85 km SW of Kantemirovka and at Fp. Millerovo.
9 Jan 43: 2 Ju 52s (DS+BD and VE+KV) reported missing on flight from Kharkov to Vyazma/C Russia, both 100%, 8 MIA.
15 Jan 43: Ju 52 bombed on the ground at Fp. Starobelsk, 30%.
15 Jan 43: Ju 52 bombed on the ground at Fp. Kantemirovka, 15%, 3 WIA.
18 Jan 43: 4 Ju 52s bombed on the ground at Fp. Kantemirovka, 2 @ 100%, 25% and 10%, 1 WIA.
2 Feb 43: crew member reported WIA by fire from a Russian fighter near Kharkov.
12 Feb 43: Ju 52 (DI+XS) shot down by ground fire south of Zmyev (Smyev? – not located), 100%, 1 MIA and 1 WIA.
16 Feb 43: Ju 52 crash landed at Fp. Poltava/130 km SW of Kharkov in bad weather, 40%.
17 Feb 43: designation of Luftwaffenkdo. Don changed back to I. Fliegerkorps and designation of Transportgruppe Lw.Kdo. Don changed back to Transportstaffel I. Fliegerkorps this date. At the time of the changeover the Gruppe (small Stab with 1. and 2. Staffel) had a total of 30 Ju 52s.


FpN: (L 16563)


Kommandeur:
Hptm. Kurt Geisler (R) (c. Dec 42 - 17 Feb 43)

FWIW,

--Larry

Denis
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Post by Denis » 30 May 2005 07:33

Hi
Thanks Larry for your kind words but in fact, I haven't deserves it since I have just scanned these pages. Anyway, for all people interested by KC holders, the Biblio Verlag sery is really a must-have.
Best regards
Denis

Mark V.
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Post by Mark V. » 02 Jun 2005 18:52

Thanks Denis. Another piece of the puzzle solved.

Abel Ravasz
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Post by Abel Ravasz » 02 Jun 2005 20:52

But what is the solution?

-> The gruppe was extracted by Pz.Gruppe Köhler (19.Pz.Div.) on 17 January 1943.

or

-> Die Luftransportsgruppe Don [...] holte sie 1957 Mann heraus.

:? I'm confused...

Mark V.
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Post by Mark V. » 02 Jun 2005 22:56

Don't be. I'm sure eventually the whole puzzle will be solved. Let's just hope Larry won't get tired :) ---> Otherwise we're doomed.
-> The gruppe was extracted by Pz.Gruppe Köhler (19.Pz.Div.) on 17 January 1943.
I must apologize for the incorrect translation, I don't know where my thoughts were.

"Das Einfließen von Teilen der Gruppe Tyroller unter Oberst Köhler endete in den Morgenstunden des 17.1."

Sounds illogical? Anyone?

Larry D.
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Post by Larry D. » 02 Jun 2005 23:29

It sounds like the Kampfgruppe was split and one of the parts under an Oberst Köhler was brought in (to 19. Pz.Div.) or rescued by 19. Pz.Div. on and before the morning of 17 January 1943. "Einfliessen" as used here means "inflow" as in one pocket of people traversing a dangerous no-man's area and then reaching the safety of their own lines. At least that's what I make of it. What do you think?

Mark V.
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Post by Mark V. » 02 Jun 2005 23:39

What do you think?
I think so too.

What's the story with this Oberst Köhler? Obviously he's not Rudolf Köhler from Pz.Gren.Rgt.73.

Abel Ravasz
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Post by Abel Ravasz » 02 Jun 2005 23:44

Knowing the identity of Oberst Köhler could prove to be the key to this issue.

Larry, do You have anything on Lw Oberst Bernhard Köhler? He could be the one... He was in command of LuNa Reg 130 :D a few weeks later...

Larry D.
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Post by Larry D. » 03 Jun 2005 12:14

O.K., guys, here's the info on Köhler. Unfortunately, it still leaves many questions unanswered.

KÖHLER, Bernhard. 26.08.39 Maj., appt Kdr. Ln.-Abt. (H) (mot.) 2 and concurrently I/NVW Koluft AOK 4. 03.41 Obstlt., appt Kdr. Ln.-Rgt. 11 (to 20.03.43). 21.03.43 appt Kdr. Ln.-Rgt. 130 (to 09.44). 01.08.43 promo to Oberst (Ln.). 09.44 appt Nafü of Koflug 2/VII Bad Aibling.

Ln.-Abt. (H) (mot.) 2: 09.39 Polish Campaign under Koluft AOK 4; 06.41 Belorussia under Koluft AOK 4; disbanded 24.01.42.

Stab/Ln.-Rgt. 11: 06.41 North Russia in support of AOK 18 Tilsit – Siauliai – Riga – Pskov – Luga – Siverskaya (to 05.42); 05.42 transferred to Kharkov; 08.42 line and network construction from south of Stalingrad via Rostov into North Caucasia toward Baku under VIII. Fliegerkorps; 18.03.43 ordered to transfer from South Russia to 4. Jagddivision in North Germany.

Interestingly, KÖHLER was assigned to other duties between 10.42 and 03.43 for Gen.Kdo. VIII. Fliegerkorps. He remained the nominal Kommandeur of Ln.-Rgt. 11 with an Obstlt. Erich Leube serving as acting Kommandeur during that period. What KÖHLER was doing is not known, but when the crisis at Kantemirovka began in early December 1942 he apparently was available to be used as needed.

Stab/Ln.-Rgt. 130: 03.43 in Belorussia then variously in Vilnius (22.10.43), Minsk (01.04.44) and Baranowicze (24.06.44); disbanded 09.44.

--Larry

Abel Ravasz
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Post by Abel Ravasz » 04 Jun 2005 18:21

Hi Larry,

thanks for the informative reply. It seems that this Köhler could be the one, but there's no proof - yet.

Kantemirowka was the starting point of the Ostrogozhsk-Rossosh offensive of the Russian troops on the 14th January. The offensive made fast and deep progress. I find it highly unlikely for the 19. Pz Div to be in a position to rescue the Kantemirowka garrison three days after the beginning of this offensive.

On the other hand, cca 2000 men are quoted to be extracted via airlift. I don't think that the number of defenders, plus the losses suffered, would be much above this number. For now, I have to think that we misinterprete Hinze's words.

Abel

Mark V.
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Post by Mark V. » 04 Jun 2005 22:57

Not sure where's the trouble with the sentence. Here's the whole text on Gruppe Tyroller.

For 16.1. the division's order finally foresees the long planned renewed thrust from Strelzowka towards East to support Groups Göller (298.ID) and Tyroller. Early on this day at around 00.00hrs the enemy attacks with tank support 2km NE of the crossroad Strelzowka. An immediately launched counterattack leads at dawn to success. The positions at Strelzowka are from 06.00hrs under heavy fire from artillery and salvo guns, including from new enemy batteries, mortars and anti-tank guns. Heavy motor and tracks noise from S and SW indicate another buildup of forces (tanks) and enemy's attack intentions. A tank-supported attack at 06.30 fails for the Soviets with the loss of two tanks. At 07.15 follows the next attack from SE. Rolling Stuka attacks bring considerable relief. At 09.30 follows a renewed enemy attack in strength of two companies, from Kopany towards S. This one was also repulsed.

Groups Göller and Tyroller had orders to breakthrough to Strelzowka. Up to 09.00 on 16.1. nothing of it could be established. Finally at 09.30 an advance artillery observer reports, that column spearheads with around 1000 men reached point 114,1. In the same moment batteries opened fire on enemy positions around the mouth of the road from Petrowky. At 10.10 the first elements of surrounded troops arrive.

After overcoming the surprise, the enemy tried to tear up the column with strong forces and tanks through a flank attack from the direction of Nowo Strelzowka. Exceptional cooperation between artillery, tanks and stugs, which launched a counterattack from the bridgehead and a stuka attack at the right moment succeeded in hindering the enemy's thrust.[...] The flow in of elements of Group Tyroller under Oberst Köhler ended in the morning hours of 17.1.

To sum up: a relief attempt was planed and in a very limited scale executed.

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