Osprey book about Salerno?

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Richard Anderson
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Re: Osprey book about Salerno?

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Jul 2019 15:51

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
18 Jul 2019 04:06
I was referring to the books I'd previously mentioned. The several authors identify the reinforcements from the north, but are weaker about those from the south. I was not referring to the information you provided, (and thanks for that btw).
Okay, gotcha'. I think part of the problem is the German habit of forming ad hoc kampfgruppen under the command of various headquarters. Fundamentally as I understand it, Salerno was fought by the Germans by two divisional combat groupings, HG in the north against 10 Corps and 16. Panzer in the south against VI Corps. It was only in the latter stages of the battle during the withdrawal to the Volturno that things got more sorted out in neater divisional sectors.

So the 16. Panzer-Division northern reinforcements opposing VI Corps were coming from divisional units at Battipaglia and Eboli, although it is possible some bits of HG and 15. Panzergrenadier got into the mix as well. Those ill-defined ones from the south were mostly 29. Panzergrenadier and 26. Panzer elements.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Osprey book about Salerno?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 18 Jul 2019 20:06

Richard Anderson wrote:
18 Jul 2019 15:51
Fundamentally as I understand it, Salerno was fought by the Germans by two divisional combat groupings, HG in the north against 10 Corps and 16. Panzer in the south against VI Corps.
Richard,

As always, isn't it much more complicated than that?

For example, certainly in the first couple of days, 56 Inf Div of 10 Corps fought mainly against units of 16 Panzer Division, reinforced on the afternoon of 10 Sep 43 at Battipaglia by I./Fallsch.Jg.Rgt.3.

Regards

Tom

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Re: Osprey book about Salerno?

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Jul 2019 22:08

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
18 Jul 2019 20:06
Richard Anderson wrote:
18 Jul 2019 15:51
Fundamentally as I understand it, Salerno was fought by the Germans by two divisional combat groupings, HG in the north against 10 Corps and 16. Panzer in the south against VI Corps.
Richard,

As always, isn't it much more complicated than that?

For example, certainly in the first couple of days, 56 Inf Div of 10 Corps fought mainly against units of 16 Panzer Division, reinforced on the afternoon of 10 Sep 43 at Battipaglia by I./Fallsch.Jg.Rgt.3.

Regards

Tom
Yes, indeed, because in the first couple of days HG was trying to work arond the bottleneck created by the Commandoes and Rangers, which stalled their deployment. However, the battle went on until c. 18 September before the German withdrawal.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Osprey book about Salerno?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 19 Jul 2019 20:03

Hi Rich,

Ok, but we should consider the 26th Panzer Division battle group which attacked 201 Gds Bde on 16 Sep 43 then shouldn't we?

Isn't it more accurate to say that "fundamentally, Salerno was fought by two Corps groupings (mixed and constantly shifting in scale and form); from 10 Sep 14 Panzer Corps operated in the north against 10 Corps and 76th Panzer Corps operated in the centre and to the south and attempted to split the Allied forces whilst containing 6 US Corps.

As you say, however, and despite the rather copious collection of German primary sources which are available, "part of the problem is the German habit of forming ad hoc kampfgruppen under the command of various headquarters". It also doesn't help that 16 panzer Division started out under 14 Pz corps and then transferred to 76 Panzer Corps but didn't seem to move that far geographically!

Cheers,

Tom

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Re: Osprey book about Salerno?

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Jul 2019 00:19

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
19 Jul 2019 20:03
Ok, but we should consider the 26th Panzer Division battle group which attacked 201 Gds Bde on 16 Sep 43 then shouldn't we?
Going from memory, but I believe that "battle group" was a single infantry battalion and was actually attached to HG for that? I know the few tanks available to 26. Panzer were spread far and wide attached to other formations.
Isn't it more accurate to say that "fundamentally, Salerno was fought by two Corps groupings (mixed and constantly shifting in scale and form); from 10 Sep 14 Panzer Corps operated in the north against 10 Corps and 76th Panzer Corps operated in the centre and to the south and attempted to split the Allied forces whilst containing 6 US Corps.
No, they were fought by two corps headquarters, but the forces under them operated under two divisional headquarters for most of the battle, HG in the north and center conducting the initial counterattacks on 10 Corps with 16. Panzer in the south counterattacking the 36th ID. When the Germans went over to the defense and then began withdrawing c. 19 September, 76. Panzerkorps was still overseeing the final withdrawal from Calabria by 29. PzGD and the situation around Potenza and west of Bari with 1. FJD (-).
As you say, however, and despite the rather copious collection of German primary sources which are available, "part of the problem is the German habit of forming ad hoc kampfgruppen under the command of various headquarters". It also doesn't help that 16 panzer Division started out un
Indeed and they also seem to have had very fluid boundaries between the two corps and the various hodgepodge of units they employed, so it is very difficult to be clear on what the arrangement was day-to-day. One possible way to determine who fought, when they were committed, and how hard they fought is by the reported losses for the event, but some of that is inferred:

29. PzGD to 17 September c. 763 battle casualties/sick (unclear when first engaged)
HG to 18 September 995 BC
26. PzD 13-17 September 451 BC (first engaged 13 September)
16. PzD to 19 September c. 1,752 BC
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Urmel
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Re: Osprey book about Salerno?

Post by Urmel » 20 Jul 2019 17:03

So someone really needs to do an updated book on Salerno? Ho, hum.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Osprey book about Salerno?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 20 Jul 2019 21:18

Hi Rich,

I think we are in general agreement, but that you are expressing yourself more clearly than me. :oops:

Although, in one small matter I am afraid your memory seems to have been wonky:
Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Jul 2019 00:19
Going from memory, but I believe that "battle group" was a single infantry battalion and was actually attached to HG for that? I know the few tanks available to 26. Panzer were spread far and wide attached to other formations.
According to the British OH, this was a battlegroup under Colonel von Mandelsloh and mainly consisted of two battalions of 9th Panzer Grenadier Regiment and one of 4th Parachute Regiment. It looks like they were operating under von Lüttwitz (of 26 Panzer Division) independently of HG Div but that the counter attack was meant to be co-ordinated with that of the battle group of HG Div under Schmalz attacking from the north all under 14 Panzer Corps (Herr?).

The British OH says that "until 16th September" 26th Panzer Divisions "was without tanks" as one tank battalion was outside Italy and the other was with 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division near Rome. What it doesn't tell us though, is what happened on 16th - did the tank battalion join from Rome and was it given someone else's tanks in support. I've got some of the 26 Pz Div war diary - I'll take a peek and see if anything jumps out.
Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Jul 2019 00:19
they also seem to have had very fluid boundaries between the two corps and the various hodgepodge of units they employed, so it is very difficult to be clear on what the arrangement was day-to-day.
I couldn't agree more - a very confusing battle all round.
Urmel wrote:
20 Jul 2019 17:03
So someone really needs to do an updated book on Salerno? Ho, hum.
Absolutely, and if only I could retire I would give it a go. :D :lol:

Regards

Tom

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Re: Osprey book about Salerno?

Post by Richard Anderson » 21 Jul 2019 18:16

Thanks for jogging my memory!

26. Panzer was not "without tanks", since it had the headquarters vehicles of the regiment present. :D And it did have armored support, since it had 3./PazAbtl 129 attached with 11 operational StuG. :lol: KG Büsing I think it was with 3. PzGD and it remained with them until early October when they got a bit better sorted out.

Meanwhile, I am semi-retired, which apparently means I now have even less time for writing. :oops:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Osprey book about Salerno?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Jul 2019 01:12

Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Jul 2019 18:16
...
Meanwhile, I am semi-retired, which apparently means I now have even less time for writing. :oops:
I have been counseled by a long retired gentleman that the first and foremost retirement skill one must learn, is to say NO

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Osprey book about Salerno?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 08 Aug 2019 20:11

Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Jul 2019 18:16
KG Büsing I think it was with 3. PzGD and it remained with them until early October when they got a bit better sorted out.
Rich,

There is nothing wrong with your memory! :thumbsup:

I've just come across this description of KG Büsing:
After Mussolini’s overthrow at the end of July the [26 Pz Div] divisional elements which were still north of Rome were kept there, on orders from OKW, in order to form a reinforcing Battle Group for 3 Pz Gren Division. This Battle Group Büsing was placed under the latter Division’s command on 30 July and consisted of II Bn Pz Regt 26 (of which Büsing was CO), II/Pz Gren Regt 67 and III Bty Pz Art Regt 93 less one troop.
Regards

Tom

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