Operation Wintergewitter

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Mr.No one
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Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Mr.No one » 03 Nov 2015 19:09

Hello everybody

I am doing a major research project on the German relief attempt at Stalingrad.
I thought we should do a topic on the subject, where we all can share information and assessments, share our personal views, share photos and ask questions and give answers.

I know literally every book on the subject (or at least close to), whether that be in English, German or Russian. In addition, I spent 5 days in the Federal Archive Military Department (BArch-MA) of Germany this May, during which I consulted all relevant primary sources, from Army Group Don level to battalion level!
As such, I will hopefully be able to post interesting information and give answers to all your questions.

Image

I hope everybody with an interest for this operation will benefit from this topic!

Sean
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charles.sumpter
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by charles.sumpter » 04 Nov 2015 07:33

Can you post the daily strength returns for the 6., 17., and 23. Pz divisions, in terms of panzers and troop strengths? I would also like to know how many self-propelled anti-tank guns in each division. I don't believe 6. Pz had more than a Kompanie of 6 Marders to begin with, for example. I am also trying to run down the particular organization and strength of the Soviet 235th flame tank brigade. Seems somewhere I have read "two battalions, two campanies of 0T 34s, and one company of 0T 8s, each." Appreciate any info. thank you

Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 04 Nov 2015 08:26

Mr.No one wrote: As such, I will hopefully be able to post interesting information and give answers to all your questions.
Ok, how many tanks did 23 PzD really have at the start? Pieces of information are the most conflicting.

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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Mr.No one » 04 Nov 2015 11:46

Hi Art

On the 11th of December 1942 the 23. Panzer-Division reported a strength of 97 Panzers as Einsatzbereit.
This is taken from primary sources :)
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 04 Nov 2015 12:15

Thanks, any info on the total number of tanks? According to Jentz the division's operational tank strength was a way smaller several weeks before. Does it mean replacements received? Tieke mentions among units released by the Army Group A for Wintergewitter some replacement detachment of Pz-IV tanks. Was it incorporated to the division?

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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Mr.No one » 04 Nov 2015 19:56

charles.sumpter wrote:Can you post the daily strength returns for the 6., 17., and 23. Pz divisions, in terms of panzers and troop strengths? I would also like to know how many self-propelled anti-tank guns in each division. I don't believe 6. Pz had more than a Kompanie of 6 Marders to begin with, for example. I am also trying to run down the particular organization and strength of the Soviet 235th flame tank brigade. Seems somewhere I have read "two battalions, two campanies of 0T 34s, and one company of 0T 8s, each." Appreciate any info. thank you
I am afraid it would be a bit too much work, if I would have to post all the daily strength returns, sorry.

What I could find on the 235th Flame Thrower Tank Brigade is only that it was armed with KV-8 flame thrower tanks and that on the 9th January 1943 it had 1 KV and 2 T-34 tanks. On 14th December the 235th attacked Verkhne-Kumskii and suffered significant casualties against the Panzer IV´s of 6. Panzer-Division, as it was only armed with a flame thrower and a 45mm gun. See Glantz p. 107 and Isaev.

I found the following on self-propelled guns:
7.12.1942: 6. Pz.Div. reported 6 Pak Selbstfahrlafette
13.12.1942: 6. Pz.Div. reported 8 Pak 36 Selbstfahrlafette
13.12.1942: 23. Pz.Div. reported 12 Pak 40 Selbstfahrlafette

Source: RH 21-4/76 pp. 85 and 109.

All the best,
Sean
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Mr.No one » 04 Nov 2015 20:02

Art wrote:Thanks, any info on the total number of tanks? According to Jentz the division's operational tank strength was a way smaller several weeks before. Does it mean replacements received? Tieke mentions among units released by the Army Group A for Wintergewitter some replacement detachment of Pz-IV tanks. Was it incorporated to the division?
Hi Art:

On the way to 4. Panzer-Armee, specifically at Ssalsk, the II./Pz.Rgt. 201 received 22 Panzer IV´s armed with L48 75mm guns. This was around the beginning of december. See Rebentisch p. 205.

My documentation on divisional level is exclusively limited to the period of Operation Wintergewitter, so haven´t gotten any strength returns from 23. Pz.Div. earlier.

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Sean
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Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 04 Nov 2015 21:03

Mr.No one wrote: On the way to 4. Panzer-Armee, specifically at Ssalsk, the II./Pz.Rgt. 201 received 22 Panzer IV´s armed with L48 75mm guns. This was around the beginning of december. See Rebentisch p. 205.
Looks like the same group of tanks. Is it possible to make any assessment of non-armored strength or fighting strength of this division in general? We know that 6 PzD was a full strength unit which happened to get a long period of rest and rehabilitation. 23 PzD is more like an unknown value.

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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 04 Nov 2015 22:22

charles.sumpter wrote:I am also trying to run down the particular organization and strength of the Soviet 235th flame tank brigade.
According to this page 506, 508 and 509 flame tanks battalions and motor SMG battalion. On 30.11.42 27 KV-8 and 15 TO-34 operational, 3 KV-8 and 1 T-34 in unit repair.

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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Mr.No one » 05 Nov 2015 08:26

Art wrote:
charles.sumpter wrote:I am also trying to run down the particular organization and strength of the Soviet 235th flame tank brigade.
According to this page 506, 508 and 509 flame tanks battalions and motor SMG battalion. On 30.11.42 27 KV-8 and 15 TO-34 operational, 3 KV-8 and 1 T-34 in unit repair.
Do you have a source for the info on the number of tanks, including page number? :-)
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 05 Nov 2015 08:36

Daily report of armor department, Stalingrad Front HQ from 30 November published online:
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/dou/?docID=131297151
TsAMO RF f.48, op.451, d.6, ll.306-306ob

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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Mr.No one » 05 Nov 2015 10:34

Art wrote:
Mr.No one wrote: On the way to 4. Panzer-Armee, specifically at Ssalsk, the II./Pz.Rgt. 201 received 22 Panzer IV´s armed with L48 75mm guns. This was around the beginning of december. See Rebentisch p. 205.
Looks like the same group of tanks. Is it possible to make any assessment of non-armored strength or fighting strength of this division in general? We know that 6 PzD was a full strength unit which happened to get a long period of rest and rehabilitation. 23 PzD is more like an unknown value.
Hi Art:

Yes, I do have strength reports for 23. Panzer-Division right before the start of Operation Wintergewitter. I will have a look and post some statistics later.

Sean
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charles.sumpter
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by charles.sumpter » 06 Nov 2015 00:43

Fantastic! Thank you. I am also trying to unravel Rebentish 23. Panzer history with Jentz' PanzerTruppen regarding the strength of 23. Pz when it arrived on scene for Winter Gewitter -- looks like I am not alone in my quest for info. Thank you again.
Charles

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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Mr.No one » 07 Nov 2015 20:35

I did not have one for 11.12, but I believe 12.12 will suffice ;)

Beware this report has partly been paraphrased by me and does not cite it to its full length!

Source: RH 27-23/21 Blatt 1a

Wöchentlicher Zustandsbericht, 12.12.1942 to LVII. Pz.Korps

23. Panzer-Division Ia Nr. 1217/42 geh.

This report did not document the state of Pz.Gren.Rgt. 128, Pz.Pi.Btl. 51 and Pz.Jäg.Abt. 128, as they had not yet arrived.

Strength of Units

Gefechtsstärke Pz.Rgt. 201

I./Abteilung: 14 Offz., 85 Uffz., 185 Mannsch.
II./Abteilung: 9 Offz., 61 Uffz., 143 Mannsch.
III./Abteilung: 9 Offz., 25 Uffz., 135 Mannsch.


Gefechtsstärke GPW-Battalion (I./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 126), including 2./K.23

15 Offz., 53 Uffz., 326 Mannsch.


Gefechtsstärke Pz.Späh-Komp.

Mittelstark
2 Offz., 8 Uffz., 32 Mannsch.


Gefechtsstärke Pz.Nachr.Abtlg.

11 Offz. + 2 Beamte, 39 Uffz., 246 Mannsch.


Gefechtsstärke Pz.Art.Rgt. 128

I./Pz.A.R. 128: 10 Offz., 20 Uffz., 210 Mannsch.
II./Pz.A.R. 128: 3 Offz., 15 Uffz., 72 Mannsch. (so far arrived)
III./Pz.A.R. 128: 12 Offz., 58 Uffz., 266 Mannsch.


Mobility of Units

Pz.Rgt. 201: Tanks 51,5 %; wheeled vehicles 34,7 %
Pz.Art.Rgt. 128 (without II. Abteilung): 67,6 %
GPW-Btl. (I./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 126): GPW (Gruppenschützenwagen) 27,8 %; wheeled vehicles 39,8 %
Pz.Späh-Komp.: 66 %
Pz.Nachr.Abt. 128: 80 %


Artillery

I./Pz.A.R. 128: 3 Battr. 9 LFH 18
II./Pz.A.R. 128: 3 Battr. 12 LFH 18
III./Pz.A.R. 128: 3 Battr. 3-10 cm Kan. 18, 8 sFH 18
IV with 10. and 11. Battr. 8-8,8 cm Flak, 3-2 cm Flak


Availability of Vehicles

Pz.Rgt. 201: Pz. II - 5, Pz. III k - 9, Pz.III l - 18, Pz. IV k - 9, Pz. IV l - 21, Bef.Pz. - 2
GPW-Batl. 126: GPW - 27, Pz.Spähwg. - 1
Pz.A.R. 128: Pz.B-Wagen - 4
Pz.Nachr.Abteilung 128: Bef.Pz. (wheeled) - 1
Pz.Späh-Kompanie: Pz.Spähwg. - 9, Pz.Funkst. - 4

Overall, the division was reported to be "zu Angriffsaufgaben bedingt geeignet" – "limited suitable for offensive action"

I have not included the strength of headquarters within different units as well the strength of weapons in selected units. Everything else has, however, been posted above.

I hope this report will give you all a good insight into the state of 23. Panzer-Division on the eve of Operation Wintergewitter! :)

Regards,
Sean
Last edited by Mr.No one on 08 Nov 2015 18:55, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 08 Nov 2015 07:44

Thanks.
Mr.No one wrote: Gefechtsstärke Pz.Rgt. 11
That must mean 201?
This report did not document the state of Pz.Gren.Rgt. 128, Pz.Pi.Btl. 51 and Pz.Jäg.Abt. 128, as they had not yet arrived.
Any info when they completed arrival? Why no mention of the motorcycle battalion except one company?

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