6th RTR in CRUSADER who killed them..

Discussions on WW2 in Africa & the Mediterranean. Hosted by Andy H
User avatar
David W
Member
Posts: 3460
Joined: 28 Mar 2004 01:30
Location: Devon, England

Re: 6th RTR in CRUSADER who killed them..

Post by David W » 14 Oct 2018 21:18

Certainly that was the organisational structure, the 'soll', but what was it like on that particular day. the 'ist'?

Mark, if you have any information to the contrary please post it here.

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2549
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: 6th RTR in CRUSADER who killed them..

Post by MarkN » 14 Oct 2018 22:00

David W wrote:
14 Oct 2018 21:18
Certainly that was the organisational structure, the 'soll', but what was it like on that particular day. the 'ist'?

Mark, if you have any information to the contrary please post it here.
You first David W....

I have agreed with you that 2./Flak18 was, on paper, an 88mm battery. However, this discussion is about what was where on a specific date; it is not about establishments. The Germans were constantly divvying up their forces to engage the enemy; it is almost impossible to find a German unit engaging the enemy with its KStN/KAN intact.

So you first, what data do you have to suggest that 2./Flak18 remained as an (exclusively) 88mm equipped battery on this date?

PS. Do we have any primary evidence that 2./Flak18 was even involved?

User avatar
Urmel
Member
Posts: 4245
Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
Location: The late JBond

Re: 6th RTR in CRUSADER who killed them..

Post by Urmel » 15 Oct 2018 01:57

Well they were attached to A.A.3 who seem to have been involved (see their report on CRUSADER which you should have in your files). You need to look at their entry for 18 November, not 19 to get to 2./Flak18 being attached.

The remainder of your entries are from Div. z.b.V. and not directly concerned with what happened at Sidi Rezegh. The division, while nominally in charge, fought a different battle. The throw-away mention of PzJg 605 shows however that they were also involved. Afrika-Rgt. itself could not have stopped a tank attack I believe, since they were put in the line only with light arms.

As for mix and match, I would not be surprised if they had some 20mm attached, but would expect them to have been a full battery, since there is not mention of it being anything else (e.g. along the lines of '2 Geschuetze der 2./Flak18 unterstellt').
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

User avatar
David W
Member
Posts: 3460
Joined: 28 Mar 2004 01:30
Location: Devon, England

Re: 6th RTR in CRUSADER who killed them..

Post by David W » 15 Oct 2018 06:29

You first David W....

No Mark. You are saying I may be wrong. Rather than coming with that vague allegation, if you have any actual evidence, then please produce it.
Then I will happily concede.

Kind Regards,
David.

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2549
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: 6th RTR in CRUSADER who killed them..

Post by MarkN » 15 Oct 2018 07:59

Urmel wrote:
15 Oct 2018 01:57
Well they were attached to A.A.3 who seem to have been involved (see their report on CRUSADER which you should have in your files). You need to look at their entry for 18 November, not 19 to get to 2./Flak18 being attached.
Am confused.... :?
Do you mean entry at end of 20th?
Your post from 9 years ago...
Urmel wrote:
04 Nov 2009 23:00
Combat report excerpt of A.A.3 for 20/21 November 1941
20 November
[...]
Difficult night march via Via Balbia and Axis Road up to Belhamed and from there further east into the left flank of the troops deployed on the Jebel escarpment to take over their flank protection. For this purpose the 2./Flak 18 is subordinated to the battalion.
21 November
Battalion engages tanks which broke through between the positions and receives new instructions from General Rommel. – Return march with continuous tank combat to the Belhamed. – From here battalion is deployed during the afternoon to engage tanks which broke out from Tobruk. 8.8 cm AA destroys six tanks during this. General Rommel drives along amongst the point vehicles of the battalion. At 14.30 hours marching off from Belhamed to Via Balbia to Jebel ascent south of Gambut to secure and hold this. Arrival and subordination of a company from Pz.Pi.200 (engineer battalion of 21.Pz.Div.).
It is not clear to me from this what happened exactly, a lot of interpretation is necessary, and one has to remember this was written much after the event (on 31 Dec 41), so it has to be consumed with caution. I nevertheless thought this might be of interest.
Interpretation is most definitely needed.

1) Along the via Balbia and then down the loop road to Belhamed then progress further east to take up position on left flank of Jebel position.
That takes them away from 6RTR dash of madness and north of the 7H movement towards MOSCOW.

2) Then they return back to Belhamed
This could refer to 6RTR depending on where they have got to.

3) Deployed in the afternoon to Tobruk frontline where 8.8cm finally get a mention
That is the various elements of 38 ATk Bde coming out of Tobruk.
Urmel wrote:
15 Oct 2018 01:57
The remainder of your entries are from Div. z.b.V. and not directly concerned with what happened at Sidi Rezegh. The division, while nominally in charge, fought a different battle. The throw-away mention of PzJg 605 shows however that they were also involved. Afrika-Rgt. itself could not have stopped a tank attack I believe, since they were put in the line only with light arms.
S.R.155 on the escarpment, through whom 6RTR passed, were under Div. z.b.V. command. As were I.R.361 to their left. Although they may well have been preoccupied with events elesewhere.

User avatar
Urmel
Member
Posts: 4245
Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
Location: The late JBond

Re: 6th RTR in CRUSADER who killed them..

Post by Urmel » 15 Oct 2018 09:11

MarkN wrote:
15 Oct 2018 07:59
Urmel wrote:
15 Oct 2018 01:57
Well they were attached to A.A.3 who seem to have been involved (see their report on CRUSADER which you should have in your files). You need to look at their entry for 18 November, not 19 to get to 2./Flak18 being attached.
Am confused.... :?
Do you mean entry at end of 20th?
Your post from 9 years ago...
Urmel wrote:
04 Nov 2009 23:00
Combat report excerpt of A.A.3 for 20/21 November 1941
Nine years, eh? Blimmin' 'eck.

Yes, 20th. My mind was elsewhere (you know where).
MarkN wrote:
15 Oct 2018 07:59
Interpretation is most definitely needed.

1) Along the via Balbia and then down the loop road to Belhamed then progress further east to take up position on left flank of Jebel position.
That takes them away from 6RTR dash of madness and north of the 7H movement towards MOSCOW.

2) Then they return back to Belhamed
This could refer to 6RTR depending on where they have got to.
That's how I read it.
MarkN wrote:
15 Oct 2018 07:59
3) Deployed in the afternoon to Tobruk frontline where 8.8cm finally get a mention
That is the various elements of 38 ATk Bde coming out of Tobruk.
Indeed. 32 - Army Tank Bde though. 38 R.T.R. existed and was a dummy unit at Giarabub, Melfa, and Siwa at the time.
MarkN wrote:
15 Oct 2018 07:59
S.R.155 on the escarpment, through whom 6RTR passed, were under Div. z.b.V. command. As were I.R.361 to their left. Although they may well have been preoccupied with events elesewhere.
That's my thinking. Nominally under command, but in reality I expect Div. z.b.V. was probably fully occupied with handling the sh*tshow on the perimeter, and left S.R.155 and Afrika-Rgt on the escarpment to their own devices, especially since Rommel was bimbling around there.
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

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2549
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: 6th RTR in CRUSADER who killed them..

Post by MarkN » 15 Oct 2018 11:21

Urmel wrote:
15 Oct 2018 09:11
Indeed. 32 - Army Tank Bde though. 38 R.T.R. existed and was a dummy unit at Giarabub, Melfa, and Siwa at the time.
If 6RTR were planning to meet up with 38 ATk Bde, who am I to argue. :lol:

6RTR WD shows initial advance by A/6RTR and 2RB starting at 0830 on British watches to take and hold Pt.167. This was achieved and 5 Pz.II and an M.13 are claimed in the process.

This having been achieved, RHQ, B and C/6RTR are to pass through the position heading for the Sidi Rezegh crossroads and then on to El Duda. In otherwords a NW direction keeping them away from Belhamed itself. But they came a cropper after they passed the crossroads. Was it from fire in the El Duda area in which they were headed or from Belhamed on their right flank? A handful made it back to Pt.167 to rejoin A/6RTR and 2RB.

At 1200 on British watches, the remaining 17 pantsers of the Regiment responded to a shout that Jerry pantsers were approaching from the NE. Brief engagement ensued. They claim some Jerry pantsers destroyed with the remaining scuttling off. They themselves then retired back to the airfield with no losses.

The AA3 report gives little indication of times. So, were they involved in the first attack or the later one around 1200. The direction of movement would suggest the latter..

Thoughts?

And, who did the alleged 5 x Pz.II and M.13 belong to?

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2549
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: 6th RTR in CRUSADER who killed them..

Post by MarkN » 15 Oct 2018 14:15

Returning to this paragraph...
Urmel wrote:
15 Oct 2018 01:57
The remainder of your entries are from Div. z.b.V. and not directly concerned with what happened at Sidi Rezegh. The division, while nominally in charge, fought a different battle. The throw-away mention of PzJg 605 shows however that they were also involved. Afrika-Rgt. itself could not have stopped a tank attack I believe, since they were put in the line only with light arms.
See entries from KTB Div. z.b.V. above but clipped again for clarity.
Image
SR.155 reporting a tank battle with 35 pantsers - sounds like 6RTR to me.

Image
.
Image
SR.155 claiming 25 pantsers "abgeshossen" - sound like 6RTR to me.

Here is an extract from 19 November describing what the forces are to be. AA.3 joining later to cover the far left flank.
Image
So, SR.155 claiming on behalf of Pz.Jag.605 under their command?

Also, could be that the Pz.Jag I was misidentified by 6RTR as Pz.II and M.13.....

User avatar
Urmel
Member
Posts: 4245
Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
Location: The late JBond

Re: 6th RTR in CRUSADER who killed them..

Post by Urmel » 15 Oct 2018 14:33

MarkN wrote:
15 Oct 2018 11:21
And, who did the alleged 5 x Pz.II and M.13 belong to?
I'm guessing those were all Italian lights, or Panzer I?

This is the position at lunchtime 20th. If this was maintained, then A.A.3 would have taken up a backstop position east of Belhamed which would have enabled them to fire into the flank of any tanks advancing north across the Trigh. But even with this, it is difficult to make anything of it, given the lack of German sources.
Screen Shot 2018-10-15 at 10.20.13 PM.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
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

User avatar
Urmel
Member
Posts: 4245
Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
Location: The late JBond

Re: 6th RTR in CRUSADER who killed them..

Post by Urmel » 15 Oct 2018 14:36

MarkN wrote:
15 Oct 2018 14:15
Returning to this paragraph...
Yes, that seems to be it then. I need to dig deeper into the z.b.V. war diary, clearly. Many thanks.

Concur on the Pz.Jg I mis-ID.

I presume you have to add the tanks killed by S.R.155 and Afrika-Rgt. to get to the total number of losses of 6 R.T.R.?
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

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2549
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: 6th RTR in CRUSADER who killed them..

Post by MarkN » 15 Oct 2018 15:24

Urmel wrote:
15 Oct 2018 14:36
I presume you have to add the tanks killed by S.R.155 and Afrika-Rgt. to get to the total number of losses of 6 R.T.R.?
On the 20th, perhaps. But I think the Italian 10cm battery attached to SR.155 seems to be a better candidate.
On the 21st, probably not. 6RTR/RB chugged through SR.155 in the morning. 7H/KRRC were due against AfrikaRegt - but 7H were withdrawn as threat from Pz.Regt.8 and the rest of 15.Pz-Div was developing to the SE. About noon on British watches, the 6RTR dash NE to engage pantsers may have taken them past/through AfrikaRegt lines but they report no losses. Moreover, I suspect that was the engagement mentionned by AA.3.

I think it's unlikely we'll even get an exact number for losses for 6RTR on the day. They didn't get to Sidi Rezegh with a full complement and they note some lost on the 20th. So, by the morning of the 21st, they could be well down on establishment. The '35' seen attacking claim by SR.155 seems very reasonable to me and the '25' "abgeschossen" does not seem that out of place either.

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2549
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: 6th RTR in CRUSADER who killed them..

Post by MarkN » 17 Oct 2018 10:54

Urmel wrote:
15 Oct 2018 14:36
I need to dig deeper into the z.b.V. war diary, clearly. Many thanks.
You won't have to dig too deep at all. The KTB provides a decent narrative of who was where and what they got up to. The Anlagen provide a bit of additional information too. The info is in the files you'd expect it to be in and where you'd expect it to be - so no time wasted going through junk looking for misfiles.

I also came upon something else of interest. The dash across the escarpment and the Trigh was only RHQ and B/6RTR. C/6RTR remained south of the escarpment working their way west of Pt.167 to provide flanking protection. A/6RTR, as we already knew, remained with A/2RB on and around Pt.167.

In otherwords, the 'mad dash' to meet up with the Tobruk garrison - whoever was responsible for it - was at squadron not regimental scale. The 'waste' of valuable assets not as great as the headline (myth) may suggest.

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2549
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: 6th RTR in CRUSADER who killed them..

Post by MarkN » 17 Oct 2018 11:11

Urmel wrote:
15 Oct 2018 14:36
I presume you have to add the tanks killed by S.R.155 and Afrika-Rgt. to get to the total number of losses of 6 R.T.R.?
Returning to this. If my understanding of the German text is correct, the whole position was under the command of Stab/SR.155. The typical German divvying up of units and resubordination etc etc having occured, Stab and half of SR.155 was around Sidi Rezegh while half was facing the Tobruk line. Once the threat from the SE was understood, Stab/SR.155 was strengthened by a number of units: Afrika Regt, Pz.Jag.605 and some Italian sub-units - to form a typical mix&match Kampfgruppe.

I have not seen a map clearly identifying the boundary lines between units and sub-units of this SR.155 Kampfgruppe. Thus I cannot state with certainty whether 6RTR ploughed through a 'true' SR.155 position or an IR.361 position under SR.155 command, or other!! Perhaps the answer lies in the prisoner interrogation reports and intsumms. Perhaps they identify which units 6RTR's prisoners came from. :wink:

I guess AA.3 (with 2./Flak18 attached) went into the line on the left of Afrika Regt (under direct Pz.Gruppe command) which puts them way out to the east of where 6RTR was operating. When they traversed back towards Tobruk, they would have crossed paths. However, the time of that movement is not stated. If it was about 10.00 on British watches, they could have encountered RHQ and B/6RTR. If it was a little after 12.00, then it would be the 6RTR composite force sent out northeastwards from Pt.167 which suffered no losses.

Return to “WW2 in Africa & the Mediterranean”