Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

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Urmel
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Re: Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

Post by Urmel » 10 Mar 2012 15:48

Hi Jeff

One way of figuring it out might be to look at Italian tank numbers at the start of the Gazala battle, and at how many additional tanks were delivered from Operation M.43 onwards. While not 100% reliable, if there was a discrepancy (they had 228 effective Italian mediums at the start of the battle (Montanari Vol. III p.179), and 84 at the end of the counteroffensive on 7 February). So out of the 144 tanks difference (228 - 84 = 144), how many were received by convoy after M.43? The difference may give us an idea as to the actual repairs re-entering the system.

By the way, not sure irf we don't have different editions of Montanari. I struggle with your pagination. E.g. 721 is a map in my book.

The issue with evacuation of tanks during CRUSADER is that it was very difficult for the Axis. The Germans lost all their damaged tanks up to arrival at Agedabia at least. Their workshops were east of Tobruk and were overrun when they withdrew. The South Africans report blowing up 35 damaged tanks in one workshop in early December, and another 8 were lost when the collection point on the Axis by-pass road was lost shortly after the 1st Sidi Rezegh battles. If Ariete e.g. managed to evacuate their damaged tanks from Bir el Gubi after the first battle there (and that was a substantial number, at least 36 tanks I believe), where did they evacuate them to, and what happened to the workshops? If they e.g. evacuated them to Derna, were they again evacuated further west in mid-December, or lost when Derna was lost?

We may never be able to answer that question.
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

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Re: Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

Post by jwsleser » 10 Mar 2012 17:20

Urmel

RE: Operazioni in A.S. The first two volumes of Montanari’s work were reprinted (2nd edition). I have the 1st editions. For some reason additional pages were added and the maps in the rear pocket were omitted. The text AFAIK, remained unchanged. No new material was added. IIRC, add seven or nine pages to my numbers and that will get you to the same pages. For example, schizzo n. 80 is on page 720, schizzo n. 76 is on page 703. Find these maps in your edition and you will know the conversion.
One way of figuring it out might be to look at Italian tank numbers at the start of the Gazala battle, and at how many additional tanks were delivered from Operation M.43 onwards.
I initially attempt to do just that. The problem is that the Italian carri numbers provided in Difesa lack the breakdown by types of vehicles. For example, K7 on pages 245-246 provides numbers for carri armati and doesn’t indicate whether German or Italian (assuming that some of the cargo was German). The same problem we are currently experiencing.

I agree that evacuating the workshops and damaged equipment was difficult. However Montanari indicates that repaired vehicles were returning even as the Italo-German army was occupying El Agedahia. Some type of maintenance system was still operating.
If Ariete e.g. managed to evacuate their damaged tanks from Bir el Gubi after the first battle there (and that was a substantial number, at least 36 tanks I believe), where did they evacuate them to, and what happened to the workshops? If they e.g. evacuated them to Derna, were they again evacuated further west in mid-December, or lost when Derna was lost?


Yes, an important question that needs to be answered.

Most certainly the losses at Bir el Gubi were recovered. The Italians held the battlefield and the area wasn’t threaten for many days. Likely evacuated vehicles were sent past Derna regardless as the Axis understood that they couldn’t hold forward of El Agedabia.
We may never be able to answer that question.
As I stated, a worthly research project.

Where did you find a copy of the WD?

Jeff
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Re: Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

Post by Urmel » 11 Mar 2012 19:27

Urmel wrote:
jwsleser wrote:On page 713, it states that on 28 Dec Ariete had 20 tanks and DAK had a total of 60 (16 Pzkw II, 44 III and IVs). By January 7, DAK has 84 and added 32 more through repairs (total 116), while Ariete is at 84.
Jeff

the number for 7 Jan is not correct. In fact, it is completely wrong, since it apparently assumes that the German tanks delivered on M.43 were teleported from Tripoli to the frontlines. They didn't. The correct number is 54 for that day, working from primary German documents (war diaries).

The DAK never reached 100 operational tanks in January. The number could be correct for 7 February however, when a lot of the technical issues of the M.43 tanks were repaired, and the T.18 tanks had been added. This could either be a typo or error by Montanari. I haven't got the book in front of me now. Ariete 84 would also sound about right for 7 February, but sounds very high for 7 January, since I believe (but need to check) that the mediums which arrived on T.18 went to Littorio, while the M.43 mediums would not have made it to the front in two days.
Okay, I had a look at this. It's wrong. Here's the only explanation for the error I can come up with:

German tanks
He counts ALL of the arrivals at Tripoli on 5 Jan as effectives. 32 of these arrivals broke down on the march because of manufacturing defects in the running gear, and then joined over the next 2-4 weeks. He then proceeds to count these 32 tanks, which he has already counted, again. This way he arrives at 116 effectives. The real number for the Germans was around 40 on that day, with 56 or so tanks in the convoy, of which 32 broke down on the way. By 21 January there were about 82 effectives in DAK I believe.

Italian tanks
He simply counts the 50 or so medium tanks on the convoy as effectives immediately, with no regard to the fact that these needed to get to the front from Tripoli. So you have the 50+ tanks from Tripoli, plus the 23 I identified as recent replacements, and whatever was left from the 136 they started with, and arrive at 84. That number is almost correct for 21 January (89 on that day).
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

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Re: Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

Post by David W » 12 Mar 2012 08:32

Good work guys.

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Re: Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

Post by Urmel » 12 Mar 2012 11:55

One more thing, more speculative this time: in Montanari Vol. III, chapter 2, there is a table indicating that on 28 March 42 there were only 3 medium tank battalions in North Africa. 1 with Littorio, and 2 with Ariete (1 Littorio tank battalion (X I believe) having been given to Ariete in January to reform IX Btgl. Carri). This again would indicate to me that there was little reflow from workshops if any at all, even though we can not be sure in the absence of numbers (which Montanari infuriatingly fails to provide for the whole period, as far as I can see). If there had been large numbers of damaged tanks, one would expect that within three months the repairs would have been carried out, and another battalion would have been formed.
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

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Re: Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

Post by jwsleser » 13 Mar 2012 14:15

Urmel

I have not looked at volume III (or done any new research) from my last post, so this is a bit of 'from memory'.

From my last post, I had only 26 tanks 'unaccounted for'. That was assuming that 89 avialable on 20 June didn't include the 82 that arrived on M43.

Between 20 Jan and 28 March, more armored vehicles were delivered. We don't know how many by nationality or type. During this time, the Italo-German Army advanced from El Agedabia to Gazala. Certainly there are some losses (both combat and mechanical) during this period. Assuming the 24 unaccounted for tanks are repaired, 109 tanks + deliveries – losses Jan-Mar = ~160 tanks (28 Mar data).

I can’t say anything more until I check both Montanari vol III and Seconda Offensvia Italo-Tedesche.

Pista!

Jeff
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Re: Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

Post by Urmel » 14 Mar 2012 13:44

Hi Jeff

One interesting point - at the start of Gazala, a battalion (Lancieri di Novara?) is reported with 40 L6 tanks. If all 187 L6 tanks had been lost during CRUSADER, these must have been new arrivals?

Maybe someone knows if L6 tanks were on the January convoys?
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

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Re: Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

Post by jwsleser » 14 Mar 2012 15:52

Urmel

I have not done any more checking. Just a quick comment from your last post.

The 187 light tanks lost were the last of the CV 33/35 L3 tanks. I don't believe any L6/40s had arrived (or only a small number. IIRC correctly the RECAM might have had some in a test unit). From memory, so I could be wrong.

Jeff
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Re: Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

Post by Urmel » 14 Mar 2012 15:54

Ah thanks! In that case, ignore my last post, but it at least shows that some light tanks were part of the 'carri armati' listed in 'La Difesa' for Jan to May 42.
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

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Re: Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

Post by nmao » 21 Mar 2012 19:57

Hello.

Maybe i can add something, from this post in http://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopic ... 2&start=15

05/01/42: 52 M.
24/01/42: 46 M.
18/02/42: 4M.
23/02/42: 3M. & 20 A/C.
09/03/42: 33M.
18/03/42: 36M.
04/04/42: 32M. & 40 A/C.
10/04/42: 52M.
13/04/42: 6M.
15/04/42: 15M. & 23 A/C.
24/04/42: 29M. & an unspecified amount of SP guns/A-T guns.
27/04/42: 16M.
02/05/42: 9M.
12/05/42: 39M.
14/05/42: 16M.
18/05/42: 5M.
22/05/42: 2M.
30/05/42: 58L. & 2M.
02/06/42: 3M.
12/06/42: 27L.

??/08/42: 30+ M.

L= L6 light tank
M= M13 or M14 medium tank
A/C= AB41 armoured car

unfortunately i have no idea about reliability or source :(
maybe David W can offer us some info.

regards,

Nuno Oliveira

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Re: Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

Post by David W » 22 Mar 2012 01:09

They tally with the figures I have.

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Re: Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

Post by Urmel » 22 Mar 2012 12:59

I'm afraid this list raises more questions then it answers. Where are the 40 L6 tanks that Montanari states were present on 22 May? The list has 324 M tanks delivered from January to the end of April. Let's assume that 20 were left by the end of December. 228 were present and effective on 22 May. Where are the other 116? Where did the additional deliveries in May go? Did the Comando Superiore build up a 50% reserve in M tanks prior to the Gazala battles?
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

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Re: Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

Post by nmao » 22 Mar 2012 13:51

Hi.

The number of 228 M tanks for Gazala includes those with Ariete and Trieste; Littorio was already in Libya with 2 bns.

I have these numbers (from the official history i suppose...) taken from this post
http://www.comandosupremo.com/forums/to ... -regiment/
composition of italian armor in North Africa at May 20, 1942

Division Ariete
132nd Tank Regiment (M battalions VIII, IX, X): 123 M13 (effective 107), 70 M14 (effective 63)

Division Trieste
XI M battalion: 52 M14 (all effective)

Division Littorio
133th Tank Regiment (formed by only battalion XII): 6 M13 (all effective), 52 M14 (effective 41)

LI tank battalion (autonomous): 29 M13 (all effective), 32 M14 (all effective)


wich if i can add right gives us 245 with Ariete&Trieste and 364 if we include Littorio.

Regards,

-Nuno Oliveira

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Re: Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

Post by Urmel » 22 Mar 2012 14:46

Thanks. In that case it adds up, and we are just missing the L6 tanks.

This would then point us further in the direction of there not being too many tanks left over after CRUSADER.
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

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Re: Tank state Ariete - 24 Dec 1941

Post by nmao » 22 Mar 2012 17:14

Not sure if it helps...or confuses more... but during Crusader all the medium tanks were M13/40, and further replacements/reinforecements were M13 & M14, progressively all M14 (i believe there was an exception, maybe IV bn).

from this thread
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=72036

i have some more info:
(IT=italian tanks, IAC=Italian armored cars, GT = German tanks, GAC = German armored cars)(harbors not specified)

January 5, 1942: 52 IT, 56 GT, 14 GAC
January 24: 46 IT, 51 GT
February 7: 4 GT
February 18: 4 IT, 5 GT
February 23: 32 IT, 20 IAC, 80 GT, 4 GAC
March 9: 33 IT, 23 GT
March 18: 36 IT
April 4: 32 IT, 40 IAC, 19 GT
April 10: 5 IT, 14 GT
April 13: 6 IT, 5 GAC
April 15: 18 IT, 23 IAC, 8 GT, 4 GAC
April 24: 29 IT, 2 GT, 5 GAC
April 27: 16 IT, 4 GT
May 2: 9 IT, 18 GT
May 8: 2 GT, 2 GAC
May 12: 39 IT, 4 GT, 3 GAC
May 13: 4 GT
May 14: 16 IT, 1 GAC
May 18: 5 IT, 14 GT
May 22: 2 IT
May 25: 18 GT
May 30: 60 italian tanks of which 58 L6, 8 GAC
June 2: 3 IT
June 12: 27 italian tanks. all L6, 1 GAC
June 14: 5 GT

italian tanks in two cases specify "L6" models, I suppose others were M or semoventi.
italians had only one kind of armored cars in production (AB41).

reported as document of italian army historical bureau archives: Arch. USE IT 1209 published "as is" on Lucio Ceva, Le Forze Armate, 1981
and:
This information is not mine, it was given to me by Arturo Lorioli and the information is taken (i think) from the Italian Official History; i really don´t know how accurate it is. Some of the dates at least, seem suspect.

----
Shipping list of all the tanks the italians sent to north Africa

Only of the Medium Tanks.
Notes : the number of tanks is the *total* number of tanks allocated to each bn, including replacements recieved during the campaign and including also the tanks lost in transit.

1st Bn/32nd Rgt (35 to 37 x M11/39 - July 1940)
2nd Bn/32nd Rgt (35 to 37 x M11/39 - July 1940)
3rd Bn/4th Rgt (37 x M13/40 - November 7th 1940)
4th Bn/31st Rgt - later 133rd Rgt (59 x M13/40 and M14/41 - formed in Africa on August 25th 1941(???)(1942))
5th Bn/32nd Rgt (37 x M13/40 - January 11th 1941)
6th Bn/33rd Rgt - later 32nd Rgt (47 x M13/40 - January 1941)
7th Bn/32nd Rgt - later 132nd Rgt (50 x M13/40 - March 11th 1942)
8th Bn/32nd Rgt - later 132nd Rgt (67 x M13/40 - June 22nd 1941)
9th Bn/3rd Rgt - later 132nd Rgt (90 x M13/40 - October 1941)
10th Bn/133rd Rgt - later 132nd Rgt (52 x M13/40 and 38 x M14/41 - January 22nd 1942)
11th Bn/4th Rgt - later 133rd Rgt then 101st Motor Infantry Div."Trieste"
(26 x M13/40 and 66 x M14/41 - formed in Africa on April 30th 11th 1941(???) (1942)from the remnants of the 8th Bn)
12th Bn/133rd Rgt - (lost all its 52 x M14/42 in transit - January 23rd
1942. Rebuilt in Africa with 52 x M14/41 on May 24th 1941(???) (1942))
13th Bn/31st Rgt - later 133rd Rgt - later 132nd Rgt (75 x M14/41 - ???
August 1942???)
14th Bn/31st Rgt (60 x M14/41 - August 31st 1942)
15th Bn/1st Rgt - later 31st Rgt (40 x M14/41 and some Sem. M41 75L18 -
December 15th 1942)
16th Bn/32nd Rgt (one company only, with some Semoventi too - date???)
17th Bn/32nd Rgt (45 x M14/41 and 1 x Semovente - Late 1942)
21st Bn/4th Rgt (36 x M13/40 - formed in Africa with crews from the 21st Light Tanks Bn on January 1941)
51st Bn/31st Rgt - later 133rd Rgt (80 x M14/41 - formed in Africa from
crews of the 2nd and 4th Bn - August 25th 1941(???) (1942))
52nd Bn/no Regimental affiliation (9 x M tanks - formed in Africa from
miscellaneous armoured elements - October 22nd 1941)
and thats i believe all i have...no definite answers i'm afraid...
someone with free time and ability to read italian can try to explore this site:
http://www.assocarri.it/griglia_Unita.htm

regards,

-Nuno Oliveira

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