Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Discussions on the fortifications, artillery, & rockets used by the Axis forces.
Alanmccoubrey
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 01 Jan 2015 11:49

rossmcpharter wrote:Thanks Sam and Alan, for this useful information, so the only certain info for the Vielfachwerfer/Raketenwerfer we have, is that the StuG. Abt. 200 had a zug.

That certainly isn't what I said, just the opposite in fact. When the Veilfachwerfer were inspected by Rommel at Lion-sur-Mer in April 1944 they belonged to 10./PAR155 according to the Bundesarchiv photos taken of them at that time. Neither Perigault nor Kortenhaus includes them in the StuG Abt 200 returns. StuG Abt 200 might have been the intended recipient of a platoon of them but enough were never produced/delivered for that to happen.
Alan

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sheldrake » 01 Jan 2015 16:43

Were these the rocket launchers captured by the North Nova Scotia Regiment on 7th June near Villons-les-Buissons? Their war diary says they captured a sixteen barrelled rocket launcher and knocked out three half track sometime between 07845 and 0930 hours. The Brandt Mortars were quite close range and according to Rommel's tactics would need to be close to the coast.

I have not seen any reference to their use against either 3 British or 3 Canadian Divisions on 6th June.

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sheldrake » 01 Jan 2015 17:17

But.....

I did find a mention in an account by Rob Hinton GPO C Troop 109 Battery referring to D Day. He was deployed near Hermanville.
The first thing which vividly stands out in my mind was some very nasty oil bombs which dropped close. The heat from them was terrific.


What German weapons used on D Day would fire "Oil Bombs"

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by jopaerya » 01 Jan 2015 18:05

Looks this order fits with the Gleiderung ??

Regards Jos
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rossmcpharter
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by rossmcpharter » 01 Jan 2015 18:15

Alanmccoubrey wrote:
rossmcpharter wrote:Thanks Sam and Alan, for this useful information, so the only certain info for the Vielfachwerfer/Raketenwerfer we have, is that the StuG. Abt. 200 had a zug.

That certainly isn't what I said, just the opposite in fact. When the Veilfachwerfer were inspected by Rommel at Lion-sur-Mer in April 1944 they belonged to 10./PAR155 according to the Bundesarchiv photos taken of them at that time. Neither Perigault nor Kortenhaus includes them in the StuG Abt 200 returns. StuG Abt 200 might have been the intended recipient of a platoon of them but enough were never produced/delivered for that to happen.
Thanks for that clarification Alan.

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Artee » 02 Jan 2015 04:48

Sheldrake,

The "oil bombs" encountered by Hinton (and many others) were almost certainly 32cm rockets - specifically 32cm Wurfkörper M F1 50. This was an incendiary device - total weight 79kg - with a filling of 39.8kg of petrol or diesel oil, maximum range just over 2000m. These weapons were part of the "static" arsenal of the 716 Infanterie Division. The R-Vielfachwerfer that were used by 21 Pz Div fired 8cm rockets - total weight 6.9kg - with a HE warhead, maximum range around 5300m.

Artee

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 02 Jan 2015 07:46

Sheldrake wrote:Were these the rocket launchers captured by the North Nova Scotia Regiment on 7th June near Villons-les-Buissons? Their war diary says they captured a sixteen barrelled rocket launcher and knocked out three half track sometime between 07845 and 0930 hours. The Brandt Mortars were quite close range and according to Rommel's tactics would need to be close to the coast.

I have not seen any reference to their use against either 3 British or 3 Canadian Divisions on 6th June.

Those sound more like the Reihenwerfers which were not Rocket Launchers but 16 French Mortars mounted together.
Alan

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 02 Jan 2015 07:50

Jos, your order refers specifically to the Wurfger 40 and the calibres of 28 and 32 cm which we know were used mounted on the Renault UE tracked carriers by the Pionier units of some Divisions in Normandy. The order you've posted gives us the identity of said units which is great but still the chart with the Chenilettes on it wouldn't fit the order.
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by jopaerya » 02 Jan 2015 09:21

Thanks Alan

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sheldrake » 02 Jan 2015 10:37

Artee wrote:Sheldrake,

The "oil bombs" encountered by Hinton (and many others) were almost certainly 32cm rockets - specifically 32cm Wurfkörper M F1 50. This was an incendiary device - total weight 79kg - with a filling of 39.8kg of petrol or diesel oil, maximum range just over 2000m. These weapons were part of the "static" arsenal of the 716 Infanterie Division. The R-Vielfachwerfer that were used by 21 Pz Div fired 8cm rockets - total weight 6.9kg - with a HE warhead, maximum range around 5300m.

Artee
Hoiw many of these were deployed and where? Did they have any effect - apart from frighting at least one young officer?

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Rui » 02 Jan 2015 20:31

Sam Wren wrote:Olá e Feliz Natal Rui!

Unfortunately, the published Gliederungen were not always (and perhaps rarely) absolutely accurate and/or complete, at least those related to the units that fought in Normandy that I have studied. There are omissions of vehicles/weapons that were known to exist (photographic evidence) and inclusions of weapons/vehicles that did not exist (or at least should not have).

In the case of 21.PD, the Raketenwerfer (Vielfachwerfer) - Somua MCL halftracks with an armored, enclosed body with rocket launchers on top simliar to the Panzerwerfer 42 - are known to exist due to Becker's records (as published in Spielberger's book), due to photographic records and due to 21.PD records, but they are not included in the Gliederungen. While I don't know if the number that were incorporated in 21.PD is recorded anywhere (I am away from home, at my parents' house for Christmas), the photographic and archival records indicate that there was a Zug of these records attached to the Stab of SturmGeschutz-Abteilung 200. There is no record of them being included in Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 155.

The Gliederungen of the 21.PD includes a special symbol for the Reihenwerfers, which were Somua halftracks with an open backs in which were mounted a double row (from whence the name comes - Reihen being German for "row") of French Brantdt 81mm (approx) mortars. There were two versions: the Somua MCG was used with two rows of 8 tubes (total 16 mortar tubes) and the Somua MCL, which had a stronger chassis and motor, was used for the heavier load of two rows of 10 tubes (total of 20 tubes). The lighter Reihenwerfers (MCG chassis, 16 tubes) were included in the Panzergrenadier-Regiments while the heavier (MCL chassis, 20 tubes) were used to equip the 10./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155 (if I recall correctly). It is very frequently and incorrectly published that these Reihenwerfers in 10./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155 were Raketenwerfers, but the Gliederungen and other primary sources clearly do not support this but, rather, contradict it.

As far as the various support vehicles that were created on the Renault UE and Lorraine chassis, I don't think we will ever find out for sure any absolute numbers, but I know that Niels Henkemans is working on the UE Wurfrahmen mystery. I though I had solved it for him but it turns out that I did not read the report correctly and it turns out that it was referring to Renault UEs towing Werfers rather than having them mounted directly onto the vehicle. Sigh.
Obrigado, Sam. Espero que tenhas tido um Feliz Natal e boas entradas no Novo Ano, Sam (Thanks, Sam. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a good start in the New Year)

In a photo, we have in the Walter Spielberger's book ("Beute-Kraftfahrzeuge und Panzer der deutschen Wehrmacht", page 89), a Raketenwerfer with the tactical symbol of Stab/Stug Abt., with Major Becker in StuG uniform near Rommel. We know that Major Becker, was given the command of the StuG.Abt. 200 in the summer of 1943, by Edgar Feuchtinger, the commander of the unit Schnelle Division West (the predecessor of the 21. PD). In "Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck", is mentioned that Becker provided the division with rocket carrying armoured half-tracks, (could be any kind of unit, we only know that, at least one of these vehicles existed, and had one time, the tactical symbol, representing that it belonged to Stab of StuG.Abt.).

Accordingly with, the 2004 book of Karl Hoffman, "Erwin Rommel", on 21 November 1943, Rommel and Army Group B moved to Normandy in France with responsibility for defending the French coast against the long anticipated Allied invasion. And with the photographic evidences (Das Bundesarchiv), of the presence of Rommel, in Riva-Bella, (north of Caen in the area that would become Sword Beach), in May 1944, inspecting the 21.PD and observing the artillery exercises.

So we can conclude that the photo of a Raketenwerfer with the tactical symbol of Stab/Stug Abt., with Major Becker in StuG uniform near Rommel, is after November 1943 and before 06.June.1944. And that vehicles, don't have winter camouflage, we can assume that photos we taken in the Spring 1944. Specially to the photos, that have a 7,5 cm PaK40(Sf) auf Geschützwagen 39H(f) (Bild 101I-300-1865-05)
and a 10,5 cm leFH18(Sf) auf Geschützwagen 39H(f) (Bild 101I-300-1865-06), of the 21.PD, with tactical symbol of the 1./StuGAbt. 200.

Would the great to know the number of the series of the photos used by Spielberger in his book, using the Das Bundesarchiv, we could narrow the window of time, when they were taken.


Photos from Das Bundesarchiv in larger dimensions and without watermark (the links are from Wikipedia):

Bild 101 I - Propagandakompanien der Wehrmacht - Heer und Luftwaffe
Propaganda Unit: PK 698
Photographer: Speck
Signature:
Bild 101I-300-1863-04 - Rommel in Riva-Bella
Bild 101I-300-1863-07 - Riva-Bella
Bild 101I-300-1863-09 - Rommel and other officers
Bild 101I-300-1863-14 - Reihenwerfer 20 mortar tubes
Bild 101I-300-1863-15 - Reihenwerfer 20 mortar tubes
Bild 101I-300-1863-17 - Reihenwerfer
Bild 101I-300-1863-18 - Raketenwerfer 24 Rockets rails (48 rockets)
Bild 101I-300-1863-21 - Rommel, Feuchtinger, Dollmann
Bild 101I-300-1863-26 - Rommel in Riva-Bella
Bild 101I-300-1863-29 - Rommel in Riva-Bella
Bild 101I-300-1863-30 - Raketenwerfer 24 Rockets rails (48 rockets)
Bild 101I-300-1863-33A - Rommel in Riva-Bella, and a Raketenwerfer 24 Rockets rails (48 rockets)
Bild 101I-300-1863-35 - Rommel in Riva-Bella, and a Raketenwerfer 24 Rockets rails (48 rockets)

Bild 101I-300-1865-04 - Rouen, 18. 5.1944, 10,5 cm leFH18(Sf) auf Geschützwagen 39H(f) (Hotchkiss tank), 21. PD
Bild 101I-300-1865-05 - Rouen, 18. 5.1944, 7,5 cm PaK40(Sf) auf Geschützwagen 39H(f) (Hotchkiss tank), 1./StuGAbt. 200, 21. PD
Bild 101I-300-1865-06 - Rouen, 18. 5.1944, 10,5 cm leFH18(Sf) auf Geschützwagen 39H(f) (Hotchkiss tank), 1./StuGAbt. 200, 21. PD
Bild 101I-300-1865-08 - Rouen, 18. 5.1944, Armored Half-track, 21. PD
Bild 101I-300-1865-09 - Rouen, 18. 5.1944, Armored Half-track, 21. PD

It is "logical" that, the ReihenWerfers were allocated to the Pz.Gren. units, in the end they were SP Multiple Mortar launchers, a heavy infantry support weapon, mounted on half-track vechicles. Using the same "logic thinking", a SP Multi Rocket launcher, could be part of an assault unit like a StuG unit or in an artillery unit, as saturation fire artillery asset.
My Christmas Book Wishlist:

T. Jentz - "Becker Funnies": All Vehicles Converted by Alfred Becker
Martin Block - Bible with all allocations from H.Za to the units
Martin Block - Bible with all Lage (Pz; StuG; Art & Pak; Berge; Beute; gp Kfz)

Rui
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Rui » 02 Jan 2015 20:47

Alanmccoubrey wrote:
rossmcpharter wrote:Thanks Sam and Alan, for this useful information, so the only certain info for the Vielfachwerfer/Raketenwerfer we have, is that the StuG. Abt. 200 had a zug.

That certainly isn't what I said, just the opposite in fact. When the Veilfachwerfer were inspected by Rommel at Lion-sur-Mer in April 1944 they belonged to 10./PAR155 according to the Bundesarchiv photos taken of them at that time. Neither Perigault nor Kortenhaus includes them in the StuG Abt 200 returns. StuG Abt 200 might have been the intended recipient of a platoon of them but enough were never produced/delivered for that to happen.
Alan, the photos from Das Bundesarchiv, that you mention, are the photos below?

Rui wrote:(...)


Photos from Das Bundesarchiv in larger dimensions and without watermark (the links are from Wikipedia):

Bild 101 I - Propagandakompanien der Wehrmacht - Heer und Luftwaffe
Propaganda Unit: PK 698
Photographer: Speck
Signature:
Bild 101I-300-1863-04 - Rommel in Riva-Bella
Bild 101I-300-1863-07 - Riva-Bella
Bild 101I-300-1863-09 - Rommel and other officers
Bild 101I-300-1863-14 - Reihenwerfer 20 mortar tubes
Bild 101I-300-1863-15 - Reihenwerfer 20 mortar tubes
Bild 101I-300-1863-17 - Reihenwerfer
Bild 101I-300-1863-18 - Raketenwerfer 24 Rockets rails (48 rockets)
Bild 101I-300-1863-21 - Rommel, Feuchtinger, Dollmann
Bild 101I-300-1863-26 - Rommel in Riva-Bella
Bild 101I-300-1863-29 - Rommel in Riva-Bella
Bild 101I-300-1863-30 - Raketenwerfer 24 Rockets rails (48 rockets)
Bild 101I-300-1863-33A - Rommel in Riva-Bella, and a Raketenwerfer 24 Rockets rails (48 rockets)
Bild 101I-300-1863-35 - Rommel in Riva-Bella, and a Raketenwerfer 24 Rockets rails (48 rockets)

Bild 101I-300-1865-04 - Rouen, 18. 5.1944, 10,5 cm leFH18(Sf) auf Geschützwagen 39H(f) (Hotchkiss tank), 21. PD
Bild 101I-300-1865-05 - Rouen, 18. 5.1944, 7,5 cm PaK40(Sf) auf Geschützwagen 39H(f) (Hotchkiss tank), 1./StuGAbt. 200, 21. PD
Bild 101I-300-1865-06 - Rouen, 18. 5.1944, 10,5 cm leFH18(Sf) auf Geschützwagen 39H(f) (Hotchkiss tank), 1./StuGAbt. 200, 21. PD
Bild 101I-300-1865-08 - Rouen, 18. 5.1944, Armored Half-track, 21. PD
Bild 101I-300-1865-09 - Rouen, 18. 5.1944, Armored Half-track, 21. PD

(...)
My Christmas Book Wishlist:

T. Jentz - "Becker Funnies": All Vehicles Converted by Alfred Becker
Martin Block - Bible with all allocations from H.Za to the units
Martin Block - Bible with all Lage (Pz; StuG; Art & Pak; Berge; Beute; gp Kfz)

Rui
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Rui » 02 Jan 2015 21:00

Who have interest in 21. PD, Alfred Becker Workshop, beute vehicles, artillery, might find the following to the videos, interesting. I can't access to the videos, but we can read the descriptions of them, that also can be interesting. Who have the videos or knows the links to see them, could share. :milwink:


http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/searc ... red&query=
My Christmas Book Wishlist:

T. Jentz - "Becker Funnies": All Vehicles Converted by Alfred Becker
Martin Block - Bible with all allocations from H.Za to the units
Martin Block - Bible with all Lage (Pz; StuG; Art & Pak; Berge; Beute; gp Kfz)

Alanmccoubrey
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 03 Jan 2015 11:17

Rui, those are indeed from that series.
Alan

rossmcpharter
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by rossmcpharter » 03 Jan 2015 11:47

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... z.Div..jpg

Interesting to see that this shows an Ausf one as ID'd by Sam (Wren) on this excellent link:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/571595/t ... t+Pz+Pt+I)

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