Nordland Panzergrenadier division

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Kelvin
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Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Kelvin » 01 Dec 2008 10:24

Hi, 11th SS Nordland Panzergrenadier division had two PG regiment : 23rd Norge and 24th Danmark Panzergrenadier regiments. This division seemed being consisted of many Norwegian and Danish volunteer plus some from Northern Europe. But recently,some sources said that 90% of its soldiers was Volksdeutsche from Romania. Anyone have further data on that ?
Also did this elite division was authorized a SPW equipped infantry battalion like normal Panzer divsion ? I found that she had 94 SPW on 01st June 1944, a greater number than other Panzer divison in that time while other PG divison normally did not have SPW.
Did she authorized Panther battalion in its panzer abteilung. I find she had Panther in 1944 while other PG only had StuG III or Pz IV

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Qvist
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Qvist » 01 Dec 2008 16:09

No figures I'm afraid, but it is true that it had many ethnic Germans from Romania in its ranks. 90% however sounds way too much. I would doubt that this Division can accurately be called "elite" - I have never seen it be given a high rating in any kind of condition report, and I have seen it figure in many.

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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Kelvin » 01 Dec 2008 17:09

If 5th SS Wiking was considered as elite divison, 11th should be elite division as some of its officers and foreign volunteer from Wiking formed this divison. Regarding equipment, She already had Panther tank prior to June 1944, no many panzer divison had panther in this period. She also had more armored personnel carrier than normal PG divisons

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Qvist
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Qvist » 01 Dec 2008 17:14

Well, however that may be, I am hard pressed to think of a Division as "elite" as long as its Corps and Army commanders did not generally view it as fit for even limited offensive missions and considered its training to be inadequate, both of which is on record. A the end of 1943, before seeing action, it was not regarded highly by 18th Army, being assigned an Inneren Wertes rating of III ("Condtionally dependable"), with comments that while the Divisional leadership was experienced and fighting spirit good, training was still inadequate and the Division was not yet "settled". It then saw heavy action during the first half of 1943, which may have changed that perception but in the Kampfwert ratings of Armeeabteilung Narwa from the summer and fall, it consistently gets a III rating (Capable of all defensive missions, but not of offensive ones). To be sure, by this time it had taken a beating, which will have affected its Kampfwert rating beyond any issues of perceived quality, but the fact is that it ws not that weak, with an infantry strength of 2500-3000. And several divisions of roughly the same strength as it were rated more highly - for example 225., 11. and 58.ID, all of whom were considered fit for offensive missions in late June while Nordland wasn't. That just isn't the sort of profile you expect to see from an "elite" division. But of course, it's got SS runes and has a cool moniker. That probably helped a lot. ;)

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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Snefens » 02 Dec 2008 18:40

The Pz.Abt was originally intended to be formed with panthers, but these never arrived during the divisions training and partisan activity in Yugoslavia. Even when the division was sent to Leningrad it only had 31 StuG's in it's StuG-Abt, but no regular panzers. At Leningrad the infamous faulty batch of Panther D's, that had performed so horribly (mechanical) at Kursk, was delivered, and by canibalising these vehicles they made about 10 servicable.
The SPW's was in the division's Pz.A.Abt and not in the PG regiments to my understanding. On paper the III./PGR.23 was suppose to have been equipped with SPW's but this never materialized.
90% sounds high. I don't have exact numbers here now, but it was abaout 1500-2000 Danes in the Division. Could the figure include both volkdeutsche and "real" Germans?

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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Martin Block » 03 Dec 2008 08:35

SS-Pz.Abt. 11 was sent to the Eastern Front without having received any tanks. A number of captured Italian M15 and L 6 tanks had been issued for training purposes in early Oct 1944 but these were left behind. In mid Feb 1944 SS-Pz.Abt. 11 took over 13 old early Ausf. D Panthers from the I./Pz.Rgt. 29. These tanks were the survivors of 60 Panthers that had been send to the Leningrad area to strengthen the front of the 9. and 10. Lw.Feld-Div. in late Nov. 1943. Most of them were more or less immobile and thus employed with reduced crews in fixed positions as anti-tank gun pillboxes. Originally these tanks had been issued to the I./SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 LSSAH but because of their poor mechanical reliability had been exchanged for newer ones in late October 1943.

In addition to the 'used' Panthers a handfull of StuG III and Pz IV were picked up during the summer of 1944 (apparently from from Kgr. Böhrendt, but I still need confirmation). During September 1944 another 4 to 5 StuG III were taken over from SS-Pz.Jg.Abt. 54 when it was sent back to Germany for refit. Not a single new tank of any kind was delivered to SS-Pz.Abt. 11 during 1944. They always got only the leftovers and had just enough available to form one company. The other companies remained without tanks and sometimes were even employed as infantry. At the beginning of the year 1945 there were still 3 Panthers and 8 StuG III available in one company.
Meanwhile the three other so far tankless companies of SS-Pz.Abt. 11 had been sent back to Germany and finally received 31 brand new StuG III at the end of January 1945 with whom they returned to the division.
During mid March 1945 a final shipment of 10 Pz. IV/70(V) was issued to 11. SS-Freiw.Pz.Gren.Div. but I still am not 100% sure if they were picked up by SS-Pz.Abt. 11 or perhaps SS-Pz.Jg.Abt. 11 or perhaps even split up between them.

114 le.SPW and 28 m.SPW were issued to SS-Pz.Aufkl.Abt. 11 during Nov/Dec 1943. With the exception of a few m.SPW sent to SS-Pz.Jg.Abt. 11 and SS-Pz.Abt. 11 later during 1944/45 this remained the only delivery of SPW to 11. 11. SS-Freiw.Pz.Gren.Div. until the end of the war.

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Kelvin
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Kelvin » 03 Dec 2008 17:12

Nordland division had twelve Panther tank on 01st June 1944 but only five were operational. On March 15 1945, she had twenty six StuG III and only thirteen were ready for action and only possessed two Panther but none were operational.

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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by andrus » 03 Dec 2008 18:27

Kelvin wrote:Nordland division had twelve Panther tank on 01st June 1944 but only five were operational.
another sourceless claim which is also wrong.
Hint: i have published correct number (and with reference to source) on internet, use search engines.

Snefens
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Snefens » 03 Dec 2008 20:16

Martin do you happen to have a copy of BAMA, RS 2-3/1, Gen. Kmd. III.SS Pz.Korps, KTB. nr.3, Anlage 17?

Reason I ask is that in a book I once loaned on the library, I found a claim that of the 60 Panthers in the area, 30 was fully functional and used by I./PzR.29, while the 30 immobile was given to 11.SS and 10th and 11th Feld.D, with mechanics making 11 of these mobile for the 11th SS, and the immobile given to 10th and 11th Feld.D
I forgot the name of the book, but just wrote the claim and it's supposed origin down.

It would be nice to see what this document actually said, and if the authors made incorrect conclusions based on it.

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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Martin Block » 03 Dec 2008 21:43

Yes, I do have a copy of that 'Anlage 17' which actually consists of several documents and is some 11 pages strong. But I can't verify what you have quoted. There is no document included that contains such information unless I miss some pages. The tanks were to be employed in the sector of III. SS-Pz.Korps, mainly with the 9. and 10. Lw.Feld-Div., and to be manned by crews supplied from I./Pz.Rgt. 29. I can't find any reference about tanks being given to SS-Pz.Abt. 11 in 'Anlage 17'. The Panthers had arrived in mid Nov 1943, tank crews plus some maintenance personnel from I./29 had been ordered to transfer to H.Gr. Nord in mid Dec 1943 while personnel of SS-Pz.Abt. 11 arrived only later at the very end of Dec 1943. And by the way 11. Lw.Feld-Div. can't be possible because it was based in Greece!
The official order to hand over the remaining mobile Panthers from I./Pz.Rgt. 29 to SS-Pz.Abt. 11 is dated 12.2.1944 and as far as I can tell from reports known to me the 11. SS-Freiw.SS-Pz.Gren.Div. did start reporting Panthers only after that date.
There is however a short note in the war diary of SS-Freiw.Pz.Gren.Brig. 'Nederland' that on 8.1.1944 the immobile Panthers in fixed positions in the sector just taken over by the brigade were now manned with crews from SS-Pz.Abt. 11. The war diary does however not tell how many and for how long.

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Snefens
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Snefens » 05 Dec 2008 19:27

Thanks for the clarification.
Of course I meant the 9th and 10th Feld.Div and not the 10th and 11th.

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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Snefens » 05 Dec 2008 19:40

What is interesting is that 11.SS-Pz.Gr.Div reports 5 "unbewegliche Panther" on 1.2.1944, which seem to be the only panthers in Armee.Abt.Narwa* at the time (it match well with it's report at the time), but then on 13.2.1944 the figure suddenly increases to 13. These 8 must be the remaining handed over from I./PzReg.29. I guess they would have been counted as Heerestruppen before that?

Edti: *I guess it still would have been called "Gruppe Sponheimer" at these dates.

jerimiah
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by jerimiah » 05 Dec 2008 22:21

they might have been reserves not listed that were pulled up aty the last minute

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Regiment Norge
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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Regiment Norge » 09 Dec 2008 19:32

Hi!

From a former Zug.fhr in the 3./SS-Pz.Abt. 11 commanded by Ostuf. Stübben I have been informed that of the original delivered Panther at Narwa only 1 was left when the Abt. fought in Berlin in april/may 1945.

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Re: Nordland Panzergrenadier division

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 09 Dec 2008 20:00

I think the "Narwa-Vet" was blown up near Seelow, when I remember Tieke correctly :wink:

Jan-Hendrik

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