Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

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

Post by Sheldrake » 03 Jan 2015 12:01

Rui wrote:
Sam Wren wrote:Olá e Feliz Natal Rui!

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.
What a fascinating selection of images!

The series shot in Riva Bella and dated 30 May look as if they are part of a fire-power demonstration of the 20 barrelled mortar and/or 24 barrelled rocket launcher laid on for Rommel. Feuchtinger had his faults, but putting on a good show was one of his strengths. They include the snaps you would expect from a well staged VIP visit.

We see images of the fall of shot followed by a visit to the launcher position or vice versa. The shots showing the multiple mortar shows the launcher being loaded - which shows ammunition was on the position on the day. The 24 rocket launcher is shown unloaded - and close to the spectators observation point on the coast. There is around 20 splashes in the image of the fall of shot. There was also the matter of how much scarce ammunition should be expended to impress a VIP.

My hypothesis is that the weapons being fired were the multiple mortars, while the rocket launcher was brought on as a static non firing demonstration as a concurrent activity for the VIPs at the OP.

I may be very wrong and this theory can be tested by someone showing other images....
Were there other images showing Rommel visiting other equipment on the same date?

The captions on the series dated 18 May 1944 raise some questions. Is the location accurate? This looks like an inspection of some part of Becker's abteilung, which we know was deployed closer to Falaise than Rouen. Was this label just where the photographer was told to RV, and then taken with a guide to somewhere never mentioned? or was some part of the battalion moved for this demo?

PS I don't think that the 21 Pz Div followed any organisational chart, but the chart followed the development of what was Feuchtinger's private army built around Becker's engineering. I have an idea that Becker's "Sturm artillery abteilung" was created so that Becker, who was just a major could command a lot of his kit. His "abteilung" is three or four times as big as the abteilung of Pz Art Regt 155. Fechtinger in his post war interview says that because of the loss of two batteries of I/155 on D Day, Becker's SPs were used as field artillery.

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 03 Jan 2015 23:14

Sheldrake wrote:...

PS I don't think that the 21 Pz Div followed any organisational chart, but the chart followed the development of what was Feuchtinger's private army built around Becker's engineering. I have an idea that Becker's "Sturm artillery abteilung" was created so that Becker, who was just a major could command a lot of his kit. His "abteilung" is three or four times as big as the abteilung of Pz Art Regt 155. Fechtinger in his post war interview says that because of the loss of two batteries of I/155 on D Day, Becker's SPs were used as field artillery.
All quite in character for under supervised field grade officers in a military tha encourages aggresive initiative. I am aware of at least two LtCols of artillery in the USMC who created extra unauthorized batteries out of extra kit at hand during Op Desert Shield. Given the sense of urgency in the spring of 1944 this is quite believable.

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sheldrake » 04 Jan 2015 12:33

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
Sheldrake wrote:...

PS I don't think that the 21 Pz Div followed any organisational chart, but the chart followed the development of what was Feuchtinger's private army built around Becker's engineering. I have an idea that Becker's "Sturm artillery abteilung" was created so that Becker, who was just a major could command a lot of his kit. His "abteilung" is three or four times as big as the abteilung of Pz Art Regt 155. Fechtinger in his post war interview says that because of the loss of two batteries of I/155 on D Day, Becker's SPs were used as field artillery.
All quite in character for under supervised field grade officers in a military tha encourages aggresive initiative. I am aware of at least two LtCols of artillery in the USMC who created extra unauthorized batteries out of extra kit at hand during Op Desert Shield. Given the sense of urgency in the spring of 1944 this is quite believable.
Au contraire!

The Heer was based around doctrine which used consistent training and formations. Improvisation was about making good deficiencies. Private armies were state or party not individually sponsored.

Nor does it suit a national culture where " alles in Ordnung" is a national catchphrase.

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Manuferey » 04 Jan 2015 15:28

Rui wrote: 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
This is a 10,5 cm leFH16, not a leFH 18. :wink: There is no recoil tube above the barrel.

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Marcus » 10 Jan 2015 13:13

This thread was featured on our Facebook page recently.

/Marcus

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sam Wren » 01 Feb 2015 09:12

I have, I believe, bolstered my arguments regarding the Reihenwerfers & Raketenwerfers here: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 2#p1925942

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by jopaerya » 01 Feb 2015 10:53

Found this picture in a Nara file must be Paris ??

Regards Jos
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Manuferey » 01 Feb 2015 16:35

Jos,

Yes. It has to be one of the factories around Paris working for Baustab Becker. The assembly technician seems to be installing the 8th mortar tube of the top row of the leichter Reihenwerfer. Is the German caption of the picture original?

According to a 1943 footage at the Imperial War Museum, factories working for Baustab Becker included the Matford, Talbot and Hochtkiss factories:
http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/ ... 1060022541

A schwerer Reihenwerfer (but no leichter Reihenwerfer) is mentioned at the Matford factory:
"In the spring of 1943 Albert Speer and entourage are greeted by Generalmajor Edgar Feuchtinger and by another high ranking Wehrmacht officer as well as Major Becker himself at the Matford factory. Among the creations examined by the visitors are a French FCM tank and a French Somua halftrack converted into 7.5cm PAK 40 self-propelled guns and a Somua half track fitted with a rack of 32 French 81mm mortars (a 'Reihenwerfer').

Has someone seen this footage?

Separately, it is interesting to note on the picture posted by Jos the two Hotchkiss H 39 tanks partially visible on the right, one sideways with a turret (possibly waiting for removal of the turret and conversion into an SPG - 7,45 cm Pak 40 or 10,5 leFH16 or 18) :idea: , and the 2nd one (far right) already without a turret.

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Rui » 09 Feb 2015 20:58

Manuferey wrote:
Rui wrote: 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
This is a 10,5 cm leFH16, not a leFH 18. :wink: There is no recoil tube above the barrel.

Emmanuel

Thanks Emmanuel. Unfortunately a correction in my previous post, can't be made.
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Rui » 09 Feb 2015 21:02

In the end of this newsreel, you have a visit to 21.PD, with SP AT Full-tracked vehicles, SP AT Half-tracked vehicles... :milwink:
RZM Videoclips wrote:Die Deutsche Wochenschau No. 699 shown in theaters on Jan. 26, 1944. This segment highlights General Erwin Rommel inspecting units defending the Atlantic Wall.

Shot List:
-Generalfeldmarschall Rommel stands over map on table beneath chandelier hearing situation report on the West.

-Wehrmacht is reportedly ready for any enemy landing on coast; Rommel sees preparedness himself on visit to bunker, accompanied by General der Artillerie Jodl, and continues tour of inspection by boat, when transferring to a Vorpostenboot from harbour tender marked L9.

-After voyage he comes ashore at quay.

-Next visit is to a Luftwaffe airbase where he walks along wet runway accompanied by Oberstleutnant Josef Priller holder of Oak Leaves to Knights Cross .

-Next visit is to Panzer unit Sturmgeschütz Abteilung 200 attached to 21. Panzer Division.

Rommel Inspects the Atlantic Wall 1944 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFV4Lgb06_8
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sheldrake » 09 Mar 2016 16:41

Blog article about Feuchtinger and 21 Pz Div here
http://www.theobservationpost.com/blog/?p=1192

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Rui » 23 Jan 2017 20:28

Returning from the dead...

Accordingly to various posts, we found 4 x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) in the following units:

Armeegruppe B
Wehrmachtbefehlshaber Niederlande
LXXXVIII. Armeekorps
4./II./A.R. 347 = 4 x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) (1.7.1944) (1)
4./II./A.R. 347 = 4 x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) (1.8.1944) (2)

7./II./A.R. 347 = 4 x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) (6.6.1944) (3) (ex-bo.Art.Zug 441)
7./II./A.R. 347 = 4 x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) (1.8.1944) (2) (ex-bo.Art.Zug 441)

7./A.R. 1719 = 4 x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) (6.6.1944) (3) (ex-bo.Art.Zug 442)

7. Armee
LXXIV. Armeekorps
10./A.R. 266 = 4 x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) ("probably late May or early June") (4) (ex-St.Bttr. (K) 159)
10./A.R. 266 = 4 + 2 x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) (31.5.1944) (5) (ex-St.Bttr. (K) 159)


Armeegruppe G
LVIII, Reserve Panzerkorps
P.A.R. 119 [11. P.D.] = 4 x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) (??.12.1944) (probably ex-273. Res.P.D.?) (6)

Martin Block states 4 x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) each in 4. and 7. batteries of A.R. 347 (1.8.1944), Richard Anderson states 4 x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) in reserve of the 10./A.R. 266, Jos also presents us with a image of this. In the site of Leo Niehorster, in the part about "European Theater of Operations: German Order of Battle in 6 June 1944" (In cooperation with Richard Anderson), appears information stating that 7./A.R. 1719 and 7./II./A.R. 347 had each 4 x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf). We already saw that numerous Infanterie-Divisionen in France, received batteries of 3 SPH, during the first months of 1944, so if the above units had each 4 SPH, it's means that they received the extra SPH from another units. Probably 3 of the SPH were from the 715. I.D. that was sent to Italy in January 1944.

We know also that the above units received from legacy SPH units the following:
7./A.R. 347 = 3 x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) (ex-bo.Art.Zug 441)
7./A.R. 1719 = 3 x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) (ex-bo.Art.Zug 442)
10./A.R. 266 = 6? x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) (ex-St.Bttr. (K) 159)

Doing the math, the extra 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf):
4./II./A.R. 347 = 4
7./A.R. 347 = 1
7./A.R. 1719 = 1
10./A.R. 266 = 3 or none (*)

Total = 9 or 6

(*) The fact of the original SPH unit was a batterie, the St.Bttr. (K) 159, could it mean that it had 6 x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf), and that former Zug (bo.Art.Zug 441 and bo.Art.Zug 442) had only 3 SPH each? Meaning that with the new reorganization, batteries had 3 SPH and Zug had 2 SPH each. After the new reorganization, the batteries would had 4 SPH?


@Richard, the Jos's image is the same, as your note, you stated months before Jos posted the image? (Kriegsgliederung der bodenständigen Waffe., Anlage zu 266. I.D. Ia Nr. 625/44 g.Kdos)


@Richard, did you collaborated with Leo Niehorster? Can you share some light about the 4 x SPH in the Niehorster, and why only these units with that SPH?


Could the 4 SPH mentioned by the late Ron Klages, of the P.A.R. 119/11. P.D. on December 1944 came from the 273. Res.P.D.?


(1)
Simon V. wrote:Hello Martin,

A Gliederung of the 347.Inf.Div. in the files of LXXXVIII A.K. dated 1 July 1944 shows the 7./Art.Rgt.347 equipped with 4 x 135/1. The Art.Rgt.347 was organized as follows: I./Art.Rgt.347 with 1., 2., 3. and 7.Batterie, II./Art.Rgt.347. with 4., 5., 6.Batterie.
A Gliederung dated 6 August 1944 shows the planned reorganization with the II./Art.Rgt.347 (with 5., 6., 7.Batterie) completely being equiped with 135/1. Although authorized to become a fully Sf Abteilung, did the Division report any more then 4 x 135/1 in its inventory after the OKH order?
Source: by Simon V. » 30 Sep 2010 16:35
Oberleutnant Rudolf Schaaf Normandy 1944
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 6#p1512772


(2)
Martin Block wrote:Simon,

I've seen one dated 1.8.1944 with 4 Sd.Kfz. 135/1 in the 7. Bttr. plus another 4 (and 4 French towed 10,5 cm howitzers) in the 4. Bttr.. The II./A.R. 347 is shown with 4., 5., 6. and 7. Bttr.
The next one I know is dated 1.1.1945. No more Sd.Kfz. 135/1 visible any longer. The II./A.R. 347 now with 4., 5. and 6. Bttr. only.
Source: by Martin Block » 30 Sep 2010 18:37
Oberleutnant Rudolf Schaaf Normandy 1944
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 5#p1512801


(3)
Leo Niehorster wrote:Image
Image
Sources:
347th Static Division
http://www.niehorster.org/011_germany/4 ... v_347.html
719th Static Division
http://www.niehorster.org/011_germany/4 ... v_719.html


(4)
RichTO90 wrote:I have the note for 10./A.R. 266 that it was comprised of four 15.5cm s.FH (f) but another four 15cm s.FH 13 (Sfl.) were held in reserve. See Kriegsgliederung der bodenständigen Waffe., Anlage zu 266. I.D. Ia Nr. 625/44 g.Kdos (ND but probably late May or early June.
Source: by RichTO90 » 18 Nov 2010 02:10
Oberleutnant Rudolf Schaaf Normandy 1944
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 0#p1528847


(5)
jopaerya wrote:10./A.R. 266 = ? x 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) (ex-St.Bttr. (K) 159)

The information in Zetterling's "Normandy 1944". In [x] = specific type
10./A.R. 266 = 4 x 15.5 cm howitzers (1) [15.5 cm s.F.H. 414(f)]

Here some extra information to complete the list .

(1) list from A.K. LXXIV date 31-05-1944 with the 15 cm s.F.H. 13/1 (Sf) and the 10./266 [ s.F.H. 414 (f) ]

Image
Source: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944
Post by jopaerya » 21 Jul 2011 09:29
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 0#p1612349


(6)
Ron Klages wrote:15cm FH13 auf Lorraine with 12 units on the Western Front

DECEMBER 1944:
Pz.Art.Rgt. 119 [11.PD] with 4 units
Source: Section IV of German vehicles in the west
Post by Ron Klages » 09 Jun 2005 19:14
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 11#p712769
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Rui » 24 Jan 2017 00:41

Frequent assumption is that the 21. Panzer Division (Neu) had the following SP Artillery, and confirmed by the after battle report of Edgar Feuchtinger to the allies ("MS # A-871 - 21st Panzer Division in Combat against American Troops in France and Germany"):

("...") = citation from the after battle report

10.5 cm leFH 18 (Sf):
6 = 4./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155 ("with six light field howitzers type "18" 10.5 cm on armored self-propelled carriage")
6 = 5./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155 ("with six light field howitzers type "18" 10.5 cm on armored self-propelled carriage")
6 = 7./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155 ("with six light field howitzers type "18" 10.5 cm on armored self-propelled carriage")
6 = 8./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155 ("with six light field howitzers type "18" 10.5 cm on armored self-propelled carriage")


15 cm sFH 13 (Sf):
6 = 6./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155 ("with six heavy field howitzers type "13" 15 cm on armored self-propelled carriage")
6 = 9./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155 ("with six heavy field howitzers type "13" 15 cm on armored self-propelled carriage")

6 = 9./Pz.Gren. Rgt. 125 ("with six heavy field howitzers type "13" (cal 15 cm) on armored self-propelled carriage")

6 = 9./Pz.Gren. Rgt. 192 ("with six heavy field howitzers type "13" (cal 15 cm) on armored self-propelled carriage")


From a post confirmed by Martin Block, we find out that the Pz.Gren. Rgt. had more SPH on 1.6.1944: (1)
WAKEN wrote:I/125: 145 MGs, 9 3.7cm Pak, 4 7.5cm Pak (Sf), 3 2cm Flak (Sf), 2 15cm sFH (Sf)
II/125: 69 MGs, 3 7.5cm Pak (Sf), 3 2cm Flak (Sf)
Regimental units 125: 6 15cm sFH 13 auf Lorraine, 4 Reihenwerfer auf So, 3 5cm Pak, 31 MGs

I/192: I/125: 83 MGs, 9 3.7cm Pak, 4 7.5cm Pak (Sf), 3 2cm Flak (Sf) , 2 15cm sFH (Sf)
II/192: 71 MGs, 3 7.5cm Pak (Sf), 3 2cm Flak (Sf)
Regimental units 192: 6 15cm sFH 13 auf Lorraine, 4 Reihenwerfer auf So, 3 5cm Pak, 32 MGs
Total = 16 x 15cm sFH (Sf), instead the common knowledge of 12 SPH in Pz.Gren.Rgt.

(1) 21st Panzer Division Kriegsgliederung 1/6/44
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 3#p1429091


And if we see this image about the 21.P.D. in 1.5.44, it appears almost the same, the only differences are that the 8. kompanie of each Pz.Gren.Rgt. in this image have SPH:
Spearhead: France 1944 wrote:Image
This chart is from 1 May, 1944, 7AOK Kriegtagbuch 1.5.44, National Archives,
Captured German Documents section 312, roll 1566.
Link from the site: http://www.spearhead1944.com/gerpg/21ger_rec.htm


4. (schwere) kompanie/Pz.Gren. Rgt. 125
8. (schwere) kompanie/Pz.Gren. Rgt. 125
Regimental units/Pz.Gren. Rgt. 125

4. (schwere) kompanie/Pz.Gren. Rgt. 192
8. (schwere) kompanie/Pz.Gren. Rgt. 192
Regimental units/Pz.Gren. Rgt. 192

4. - 9. batterie/Pz.Art.Rgt. 155 (each with 6 SPH)
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sam Wren » 16 Feb 2017 05:52

Here are some documents related to Artillerie-Regiment 1716. They are pre-D-Day but may be of interest to some.

The first is 716.ID Abt. Ia Nr. 1890/43 geh., 18.12.43, Umgliederung der Artillerie (from T-315, Roll 2260, Frame 493)
Image

The second series is 716.ID Abt. Ia Nr. 1892/43 geh., 18.12.43, Unterkunftsübersicht der 716.Inf.Div. und der ihr unterstellten Einheiten Stand 20.12.43 (T-315, Roll 2260, Frames 490-492). This is the latest location statement for 716.ID located in the NARA files (and prior to the shortening of their front due to the arrival of 325.ID, but many of the most easterly units were still located in these same locations on D-Day):
Image
Image
Image

The last one is the Offizier-Stellenbesetzung des Artillerie-Regiments 1716. It is undated but is located between the Div. Tagesbefehl of 8.2.44 and the DTB of 11.2.44 (T-315, Roll 2261, Frame 619):
Image

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sheldrake » 20 Feb 2017 09:16

This does represent the locations on the allied intelligence before D Day. There was a bit of rearrangement with the arrival of 352nd Infantry Division and the forward deployment of part of 21st Panzer Division north of Caen. The redeployed artillery of 716 division included a battery at Breville and Crepon - probably from III/716. Nor does it include the SP troop commanded by Lt Scharf (IIRC) SW of Lion sur mer

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