Let's build Panzer Division "Clausewitz"

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Kamen Nevenkin
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Let's build Panzer Division "Clausewitz"

Post by Kamen Nevenkin » 04 Dec 2002 17:07

deleated
Last edited by Kamen Nevenkin on 29 May 2005 08:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 04 Dec 2002 17:45

You forgot to mention this, Kamen:

On 17.4.45 two of its "units" reported the following
strenghts:

PzAufkl.Abt "Elbe":

1 SdKfz 250/?
4 SdKfz 250/8
24 SdKfz 250/9
6 SdKfz 221
2 SdKfz 222
2 SdKfz 234/1
2 SdKfz 234/4

Kampfgruppe "von Benningsen":

9 SdKfz 250
10 SdKfz 251
7 PzIV
4 PzIV/70
1 JgPzIV
12 PzV
2 PzVI(Tiger I)
1 StuG
2 15-cm sIG(Sfl)
3 7.5-cm sPak(mot Z)

Kamen Nevenkin

http://www.network54.com/Hide/Forum/message?forumid=47207&messageid=1038905479


And by the way, it's spelled Lübeck.

regards

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 04 Dec 2002 17:47

06/04/1945: Creata a LUNEBURG, a sud di HAMBURG, da personale della distrutta Panzer Division Holstein (il Panzer Abteilung ex-Putlos,composto da due compagnie di 11 Panzer IV ciascuna, più Abteilungen di fanteria motorizzata ed unità di appoggio), della 233. Panzer Division e della 106. Panzer Brigade.

07/04/1945: Ricevette una Kompanie dalla Panzer Abteilung Potsdam e la Panzerjäger Abteilung Großdeutschland dalla Panzer Division Großdeutschland.

12-21/05/1945: In azione a sud di LUNEBURG contro il fianco dell'attacco alleato verso il fiume ELBA. Si arrese agli Americani a LAUENBURG.

Bibliografia:

Panzer + Panzer Truppen + ?? +

http://web.infinito.it/utenti/p/panther/units/division/pzdiv/PDClause.htm


regards

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 04 Dec 2002 17:48

Panzer-Division Clausewitz

History Formed 6.4.45* in the Lauenburg/Elbe area.

Almost totally destroyed 21.4.45 at Fallersleben, after coming from the Uelzen area. Remnants at Prinitz (Elbe).

Organization Stab/Pz.Div. Holstein
Pz.Brig. 106
II./Pz.Rgt. Feldherrnhalle 1
Pz.Gren.Ers. und Ausb.Rgt. Feldherrnhalle
Pz.Gren.Rgt. 42
Pz.Jg.Abt. Grossdeutschland


Commanders
Schematische
Kriegsgliederung Pz.Rgt. Clausewitz, Pz.Gren.Rgt. Clausewitz 1 and 2, and others units are not mentioned in the Feldpostübersicht, and the division is not mentioned in the Schematische Kriegsgliederung. It is unclear how much of the division was actually formed.

http://www.feldgrau.com/heercp.html


regards

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 04 Dec 2002 17:50

Panzer Division "Clausewitz"



Geschichte der Division

Befehl zur Aufstellung am 1. April 1945.

1945 - Deutschland: südöstlich von Hamburg (Aufstellung).

Kriegsende vor Abschluß der Aufstellung und Ausrüstung.



Schicksal: kein Auftreten als Division.







Panzer Division "Clausewitz" 1945 Deutschland (Aufstellung)



Divisions HQ (vom Divisionsstab der Pz.Div. "Holstein")

Panzer Brigade 106 (Überlebende)

Panzer Grenadier Regiment 42

(von 233. Pz.Div.)

Panzer Grenadier Bataillon I

Panzer Grenadier Bataillon II

Panzer Artillerie Abteilung (mot) 144

(von Pz.Div. "Holstein")

Panzer Aufklärungs Abteilung "Doring"

Panzer Pionier Bataillon

Panzerjäger Abteilung "Grossdeutschland"

Panzer Nachrichten Kompanie

(aus Teilen der Nach.Abt./15. Pz.Gren.Div.)

Panzer Werkstatt Kompanie

Panzer Versorgungstruppen

(von Pz.Div. "Holstein")

http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gliederungen/Panzerdivisionen/ClausPD.htm


regards

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 04 Dec 2002 17:51

Panzer-Division "Clausewitz"
Standort: 06.04.1945 Uelzen Ersatzgestellung:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Gliederung der Panzer-Division "Clausewitz" Stand 06.04.1945:
Pz.Reg.106 "Clausewitz"

Pz.Gren.Rgt."Feldherrnhalle 1" II. Btl.
Pz.Gren.Ers./Ausb.Rgt."Feldherrenhalle" I., II. Btl.
Pz.Gren.Rgt.42 I., II. Btl.
le.Art.Abt.(mot.) nur I. Bttr.
Pz.Jg.Abt. I., II.Kp. (Pz.Gren.Ers.Brig. GD), III.- V.Kp. (H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 661)
Pz.Aufkl.Abt."Clausewitz"
Pz.Pi.Btl."Clausewitz"
Pz.Nachr.Kp.(mot.)
Div.Nachsch.Führ."Clausewitz"

http://www.diedeutschewehrmacht.de/pz%20div%20clausewitz.htm

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 04 Dec 2002 17:53

Title: Letzte Divisionen 1945: Die Panzerdivision Clausewitz - Die Infanteriedivision Schill
Author: Klaus Voss & Paul Kehlenbeck
Price: $35.00
Publisher: Amun Verlag
Basics: Soft cover, 6"x8.5", 343 pages, black & white photographs, GERMAN TEXT
ISBN: 3-935095-05-8

Description: A combined history of the Panzer-Division Clausewitz and Infanterie-Division Schill, two of the last divisions of the German Army formed in World War II. Both of these divisions were scratch formations thrown together in April 1945 as last-ditch attempts to field combat worthy units from stragglers, training units, and remnants of other shattered frontline formations. Both divisions were summarily attached to the General Wenck's 12. Armee, the formation given the distinction of being ordered by Hitler to free Berlin from Soviet encirclement in late April. Panzer-Division Clausewitz was engaged mostly in the West, battling the advancing British and American forces, while Schill operated mostly in the East, defending against Soviet incursions near Potsdam and Brandenburg. This detailed history covers the formation, organization, and combat operations of both divisions in the last weeks of the war. The authors are both veterans of the divisions - one from Schill and one from Clausewitz. The narrative includes many first-person accounts of the bitter fighting seen at the end of the war.

http://www.angelraybooks.com/books/europa/0025ne.htm

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 04 Dec 2002 17:56

Chapter XXI
The Last Fight
15 April-23 April
After its spectacular drive to the Elbe the Fifth Armored turned around, cleaned out by-passed rear areas, destroyed a newly-formed German division, and for the second time, fought to the Elbe River.

CC B raced 55 miles to the rear to trap and destroy the Von Clausewitz Division. CC A drove north to the Elbe and made contact with the British, CC R, keeping abreast of CC A, also drove to the Elbe.


Combat Command B

CC B's final appearance on the Western Front came as an encore. But it was an encore which almost surpassed an already brilliant and spectacular main performance. Appropriately, it was a battle between American armored and German panzer forces. And it was CC B's most decisive engagement.

When the combat command reached the Elbe on 13 April, it appeared that CC B's job on the continent had been completed. But on 15 April, when word was received that marauding enemy groups were endangering the division's supply lines far to the rear, CC B was ordered to meet this new threat. At 1730 that day, less than an hour after they had rejoined the rest of the command on the Elbe after being relieved of their security mission at the Weser-Elbe Canal, the married B Cos. of the 81st Tank Bn. and the 15th Infantry Bn. were sent racing back to Winterfield. The entire command prepared to make the 50-mile run the following morning.

While the column was on the road, rolling west during the morning, Col. Cole was notified that a convoy of supply trucks had been ambushed near Ehra. He immediately sent the armored fingers of the reconnaissance elements probing the area north of

[p.312]

the main supply route between Ehra and Klotze. Task Force Anderson combed the area in the vicinity of Donitz, while Task Force Dickenson worked from Brome to Millin and the 85th Reconnaissance Sq.'s B Troop from Brome to Jubar. But no enemy force was encountered.


Forest Combed for Krauts

The forests in the area were combed again the next morning and roadblocks were strung out along a 25-mile front facing north from Wittingen through Zaesenbeck to Ruhrberg. Thirty minutes after tankers and infantrymen from the married A Cos. had set up a roadblock near Ohrdorf they spotted a column of vehicles sneaking along the edge of a woods southeast of Wittingen.

"We could just about make them out because they were about 2600 yards away," said S/Sgt. Harold J. Strunk, sergeant of the 2nd Platoon. "There were five tanks and two halftracks."

"Right after we caught our first glimpse of the column, it disappeared behind another clump of trees," said Sgt. Salvatore Candito, a tank commander, "But when it came out on the other side of the trees, we started tossing shells at it."

Sgt. John Ivers, tank gunner, targeted in and, at the 2600-yard range, knocked out a tank and a halftrack.

That evening Col. Cole summoned his task force commanders for a meeting at CC B Headquarters. On his way there, Lt. Col. Dickenson was thrown out of his peep and injured when the vehicle hit a bomb crater in the road. He was evacuated to a hospital and Major Emerson F. Hurley took over command of the task force.

That night Task Force Anderson established roadblocks at Mehmke, Ruhrberg and Stockheim, while Task Force Hurley set up roadblocks at Zaesenbeck, Ohrdorf and Wittingen.

About noon on 18 April the 71st Artillery Bn.'s observation plane reported that strange vehicles were moving southeast out of Lindhof. A section from the married B Cos. was sent to investigate, and when the men reached Jubar they noticed what appeared to be a column of enemy tanks heading into the woods north of Ludelsen,

[p.313]


More Road Blocks Established

Task Force Anderson moved quickly to surround this enemy force. The married B and C Cos. set up strong roadblocks at Jubar, Borsen, Mehmke and Stockheim, while a tank destroyer platoon from the 628th T.D. Bn.'s B Co. and the Anti-Tank Platoon from the 15th Infantry Bn.'s B Co. put in a roadblock at Ludelsen.

After all of the exits from the forest had been sealed off, the gun batteries of the 71st Artillery Bn., which were in position at Gladdenstadt, started pounding the woods. Fire was adjusted by the Cub observation plane, and then the 47th and 555th Artillery Bns. joined in the serenade.

When the clouds of billowing smoke and dust started to clear, a platoon of infantrymen with a tank destroyer and a new M-26 tank went down one of the firebreaks to develop the situation.

"Our first shot got an American truck which the Krauts had captured and were using," said Sgt. Herbert A. West, commander of the tank destroyer. "After our second shot set the truck on fire, our third round also went through the truck, set fire to a halftrack that was behind it, and then knocked out an armored reconnaissance car."

Small arms fire was heavy, but the M-26 tank opened up with its powerful 90 mm. gun and destroyed two more armored vehicles. Then the small probing force was instructed to pull back out of the forest immediately. Supporting fights of Thunderbolts had arrived to deliver a final, crippling blow to the remaining enemy resistance in the woods.

Six flights of four planes each descended on the woods. Following the radio directions of the slow-flying but sharp-eyed Horsefly (air-ground liaison observation plane), they bombed and strafed and sent rockets smashing into the trapped enemy force. The roar of the explosions could be heard for miles across the German heartland and by dusk every German vehicle beneath the huge clouds of dust and smoke had been destroyed.

The Horsefly, a recent innovation to aid fighter-bomber observation, had been developed some time earlier, but ideas for its further development had been added by Major Ernest Briggs, division G-3 air officer. Lt. Edward F. Little, of CC A Headquarters,

[p.314]

did the observing during the action; he helped the fighter-bombers locate their targets and then radioed back the results. Survivors of the attack came out of the woods. Sick of war and shaken within an inch of their lives, they surrendered readily. Just before dark the 3rd Platoon of the married A Cos, went up from Ohrdorf through Haselhorst and set up a roadblock in the little village of Lindhof, They were sent there to prevent any elements of the battered enemy force to their right from moving west and also to protect the 71st Artillery Bn.'s batteries which had taken up positions to the south of Haselhorst. They did not know what was north of them and had been informed that friendly troops might be in the area. About 2130 that night a powerful force of tanks and armored vehicles descended from the north and rolled into the village. We held our fire and let them get up close to us because their column was led by three American halftracks," said Cpl. Vincent Stolarczyk of the 15th Infantry Bn. "We didn't know they were Heinies until they started talking German."

"Before we knew it, they had hit our tank and set it on fire," said Cpl. Stacey Dickson, a tank commander of the 81st Tank Bn. "We were lucky and we all managed to get out of it all right."

When the Germans started to surround the roadblock, the GI's fought their way out of the encirclement and pulled back toward Haselhorst. Ten infantrymen and two halftracks got caught in the enemy trap. The wounded infantry platoon leader, Lt. William M, Capron, was evacuated on the back of one of the tanks.

From the ridge near Haselhorst, the tankers, acting as observers, started directing artillery fire on the enemy vehicles and temporarily halted the advance.

We used our knocked-out tank, which was burning brightly in the darkness, as a reference point and laid down the artillery barrages all around it," said Sgt. Wilbert Hufman.

When the shells started whining in on the enemy force and scattering the German soldiers, the A Co. infantrymen who had been encircled took the opportunity to make a break from their captors. Cpl. Stolarczyk and Pvt. Glen Byrd got up and ran while the Germans had their heads down and rejoined their platoon at Haselhorst, Then Pfc. Robert E, Scharon and Pfc. Charles G. Harrison

p.315]

climbed out of the foxhole where they had concealed themselves and made a dash to one of their abandoned halftracks. While Scharon guided him from the front of the vehicle, Harrison drove the halftrack back to American lines.


Enemy Plans Revealed

"They captured me and I was put in a halftrack with 12 Germans," said Pvt, Rasilo Contrares, "But when our shells began whistling in, they all jumped out and headed for cover--all except my guard. So during the excitement I grabbed him and threw him out of the vehicle; then when a shell blew his head off, I took off and got back to my outfit."

When the enemy assault wave first hit the roadblock at Lindhof and started to overrun it, the 85th Reconnaissance Sq.'s B Troop, which was holding a block on a road that ran northeast out of Lindhof, captured one of the attackers. Pfc. Ray F. Burke took this soldier and rushed him back to CC B Headquarters through territory that had now been overrun by the Germans.

Interrogated by Lt. Franklin P. Copp, this prisoner revealed not only the identification of this enemy force, but also its strength, mission and operational plans. He stated that it was the Von Clausewitz Panzer Division, and that it was attempting to push south across the Weser-Elbe Canal and then head for the Hart Mountains. The recon party that had been sent out to find a clear route south out of Jubar was the force that had been destroyed in the woods that afternoon.

The main body of the panzer division, he said, consisted of three task forces. Each task force, approximately 1000 men strong, was equipped with one Mark V tank, two tanks mounting 75 mm. guns, one Mark IV with 75 mm. rifle one tank destroyer mounting an 88, 25 halftracks, four 105 mm. self-propelled howitzers, three tractor towed 105 mm. guns, many cargo trucks, and several American peeps, trucks and halftracks. The division also had attached to it a special signal company so that it could remain in direct contact with its army group.

Said CC B's S-2, Major Martin M. Philipsborn, who had also served as an intelligence officer in North Africa, "This is the first instance in operations against the enemy, that I can recall, when

[p.316]

we knew his strength, objective and tactical plans while they were still being executed."

This invaluable information was immediately dispatched to all units. They now knew what faced them and could prepare to counter the enemy plans. On the road that led west out of Lindhof, Headquarters Platoon of the 85th Reconnaissance Sq.'s B Troop held a roadblock with two halftracks, one armored car and three peeps. When the B Troop commander, Capt. Loran L. Vipond, read the message from CC B, he immediately sent back the following message: "If the attack is diverted in this direction, we may need a little help."

While one enemy column was pushing from Lindhof to Haselhorst that night, another started south down a second route which led to Hanum. Out in front was a truck and an American halftrack with all guns blazing. When a 628th T. D. Bn. Tank Destroyer smashed both vehicles as they approached the town, the remainder of the column deployed into the woods and did not attempt to advance any further.

Throughout the night the enemy vehicles could be heard moving about and getting into position for an attack in the morning, At the A Cos, command post the tank company commander, Capt. Robert M. McNab, and the infantry commander, Capt. George W. Kellner, organized their men and prepared to meet the full weight of the enemy thrust. The married 1st Platoon was sent to Haselhorst to reinforce the 3rd Platoon. Then, after the 71st Artillery Bn. batteries had displaced from Haselhorst to Ohrdorf, the two platoons also pulled back to Ohrdorf at 0500 and set up defense positions in a semi-circle around the town.

"As we were withdrawing to these new positions, a German self-propelled gun and a halftrack started down the road toward us," said Lt. Robert P, Lant, the 1st Platoon tank commander. "Our tanks opened up and got the gun and our infantry shot up the personnel in the halftrack."


Germans Try Again

At daybreak the German tanks and self-propelled guns rumbled to the edge of the woods and started blasting the defense positions around the town. Two medium tanks were hit and the building

[p.317]

in which the 71st Artillery Bn, fire direction center was located was also hit and set on fire. The rest of the Shermans swept the advancing enemy tanks and guns with fire and the artillery batteries put down a barrage of shells on them. "We pumped five shots into a Mark IV and finally stopped it," said Sgt. Charles Petersen, tank commander. The enemy attack got no further than the edge of the woods. To the west, tank destroyer men on a roadblock near Wittingen saw two German vehicles come out of the forest behind them.

"Our gun was pointed in the opposite direction when we spotted them through binoculars," said Sgt. Mike Gazdaka. "We swung it around quickly and at a range of 1500 yards knocked out both of them. We later discovered that one was a halftrack and the other a German tank destroyer."

At Lindhof Pfc. Grover Peffers and Pvt. Paul Dempsky had remained in their foxholes all night while the artillery pounded the enemy-held village. Then, at daybreak, they crawled out and were taken prisoner.

"We got to talking to this Heinie tech sergeant who spoke very good English," said Dempsky. "He had lived in the States for several years and we talked about Boston and New York and the World's Fair. And then he told us he was fed up and wanted to surrender. So during the next barrage the three of us took off for our lines."

All day the artillery continued to smash the bottled-up enemy vehicles which had deployed in the woods. Waves of Thunderbolts roared in and, working through the Horsefly, mercilessly strafed and bombed the German force.

During the afternoon six enemy ambulances, loaded with wounded, pulled down to American lines and surrendered. Out of the woods came streams of nerve-shattered prisoners, including all of the division's staff except the division commander, Gen. Unrein, and his chief of staff who managed to slip through to the south and were later captured in the Hart Mountains.

When one of these prisoners declared that a GI lay wounded in a house at Lindhof, the report was radioed to Task Force Hurley and was overhead by Pfc. George S. Kehm and Pvt. Herman Kaplan, medical aid men,

[p.318]

Although the village was in German hands and was being leveled by artillery and fighter-bombers, Kehm and Kaplan left immediately in their peep and entered Lindhof. The peep was seen by the planes from the air, but task force headquarters could not assure the pilots that it was one of their vehicles, so the planes continued to bomb and strafe.

"After we picked up the wounded man and started back out of town," said Kaplan, six Germans who said they wanted to surrender jumped on the peep and came back with us."

On the right flank Task Force Anderson combed the woods in which the recon elements of the Von Clausewitz Division had been trapped, but no further resistance was encountered. Later in the afternoon the roadblocks south of Jubar were strengthened, as it was believed that the Germans would make an attempt after dark to break through there.

The remnants of this debacle did make the desperate attempt to escape through the steel cordon that had been tightened around them, but they were unsuccessful.

"Our battery was still in position near Ohrdorf and about 0230 that morning we heard their vehicles start milling around, and then about 0400 they started coming toward us," said Lt. Norman E. McNees, reconnaissance officer for the 71st Artillery Bn.'s B Battery. "We started firing point blank, but we didn't hit anything in the dark."

"When it got light," said Sgt. Philip L. Henderson, third section chief, "we knocked out a radio truck with direct fire and captured the occupants of an armored recon car and a motorcycle rider."

Sgt. Gazdayka and his tank destroyer crew, after firing without success in the dark, went into action again at dawn and destroyed a halftrack and a cargo truck.

At 1000 that morning the married B Cos. started clearing the Klotze Forest from the east, pushing west toward Lindhof and Haselhorst. The fighter-bombers and artillery worked the woods over again about noon and by 1400 both towns had been taken. On the west side of the forest a tank equipped with a loudspeaker urged the Germans to surrender. Twenty men and one officer responded immediately.

CC B had trapped two task forces of the Von Clausewitz Division

[p.319]

in this pocket. The third task force had turned west and then south and was being destroyed by XIII Corps troops. By the morning of 21 April, all of the enemy vehicles which had attempted to slice through CC B had been knocked out and all but a few of the German soldiers had been killed or captured. CC B's losses in annihilating these two task forces were five men killed, two wounded, two missing.

Since 1 April the command had taken 3150 prisoners, killed 800 Germans and wounded 800 more. And it had destroyed or captured 72 miscellaneous assault guns, 110 miscellaneous vehicles, 10 tanks, 21 locomotives, a trainload of ammunition, 11 barges and two flak radar stations.

On 24 April the order came down for CC B to leave the Klotze Forest and move to another area a few miles west. Men in the command did not know it then, but for them the war in Europe was over.


Combat Command A

On 20 April, CC A was alerted for a move to clear out German pockets north toward the Elbe. That afternoon A Troop, 85th Reconnaissance Sq., and Task Force Jones moved north, clearing the woods north of Rohrberg and seizing the line of departure for the attack.

At 0100 the forces manning the line of departure reported vehicular movement to their front. From prisoners it was learned that two battle groups of 100 to 200 men each, with 12 assault guns or tanks, were attempting to move south through the outpost line. Enemy pressure increased, and soon the married 2nd Platoons of the B Cos. of the 34th Tank Bn. and the 46th Infantry Bn. were heavily engaged in the darkness against an aggressive enemy. The platoons were only at half strength as a result of the previous heavy fighting at Wolbeck, the railroad bridge and Arnsburg.

Lt. Alfred Richter, B Co., 34th Tank Bn., platoon leader, called for permission to withdraw from the town of Wistedt and move back across a small stream 50 yards from the town. By 0500 enemy infantry had infiltrated across the stream and superior forces were closing in on the platoon from three sides. The married 2nd

[p.320]

Platoons withdrew across the stream and reinforced the 3rd Platoons in Langenapel.

At 0630 Lt. Col. Burton arrived at Langenapel with the married A Cos. The presence of this force effectively discouraged the enemy from making further attacks. Gen. Regnier arrived shortly afterwards and made plans for the 2nd and 3rd Platoons to retake Wistedt. The married platoons attacked the town again and by noon had retaken it. Gen. Oliver had come forward to confer with Gen. Regnier and watched the fight as Wistedt was recaptured.

In Wistedt the married platoons found ample evidence of the effectiveness of the fight they had been waging. A total of 171 prisoners was taken, and 24 trucks, 10 trailers, two halftracks, six scout cars and two assault guns were destroyed.

Meanwhile the married A Cos. had deployed over a wide front and, as soon as Wistedt was taken, launched a full scale attack on Hennigen. The town was quickly taken, together with large numbers of prisoners. Most of the prisoners were from the Panzer Brigade Feldhernhalle, the same outfit which had given CC A such a fierce fight outside Luxembourg City back in September.

By now the backbone of the enemy's defenses had been broken and CC A advanced rapidly. In Gergan Task Force Burton came under mortar and anti-tank fire. The infantrymen of A Co., 46th Infantry Bn., dismounted and mopped up the resistance. By nightfall, leading elements had reached Gaddau.

Resistance was lighter on 22 April. In the morning the A Cos. received two concentrations of nebelwerfer fire and suffered casualties. The command advanced rapidly north through a large forest, meeting scattered small arms and rocket fire.


Tallyho!

The afternoon of 22 April, the A Cos. made contact with the British. The meeting almost ended in disaster. American, British and German forces were so intermingled throughout the area that it was impossible to decide whether to fire if a strange vehicle were sighted. Cpl. James E. Mathies, tank gunner of A Co., 34th Tank Bn., was all set for anything as his tank rounded a corner and he saw an unfamiliar vehicle 400 yards away, its gun pointed straight at

[p.321]

Mathies' tank. Mathies' 76 roared twice in rapid succession and the rear of the strange vehicle disappeared. It was a British scout car. The British soldiers manning it piled out and were recognized before further damage was done.

The British commander of the car afterwards came up looking for Mathies. "That was fast shooting, old chap," he told the 34th Tank Bn. gunner. "We had been there an hour, waiting to shoot anything that moved around that corner, and when you came around it you hit me twice before I could lay my hand on the trigger." With that he patted the startled Mathies on the back and went to see what he could salvage out of his scout car.

The combat command continued to push north, cleaning out objectives one by one during the day. Major Fuller, leading the married C Cos., reached the last corps objective on the west.

During the night the C Cos. sent out a patrol to make contact with the A Cos. on their right. An enemy column was discovered, caught between the two married companies. Lt. Walter Williams, commanding the 2nd Platoon of A Co., 34th Tank Bn., with tank destroyers of A Co., 628th T. D. Bn., knocked out two German tanks at a roadblock and the patrol was burdened with so many prisoners that it had to return without making contact.

The last day of the fight, 23 April, the married A Cos. of Capt. De Vault and Lt. Thomas attacked the town of Hitzacker and seized the high ground nearby. The 85th Reconnaissance Sq. set up an observation post there. Hitzacker was defended by a company of dug-in infantry on the western edge, a roadblock, a flak gun, a Panther tank and many panzerfausts. The infantrymen of the 46th Infantry Bn. attacked the town on foot, supported by tank and tank destroyer fire. As they moved in they received heavy fire from German machine guns and the Panther tank. The machine gun positions were chopped up by the heavy tank fire, and the Panther tank was blasted with three direct hits by Cpl. Samuel Kubisco, Lt. Williams' gunner.

By 1300 the town was taken and the high ground to the north secured. A total of 200 prisoners was taken in the town.

From the high ground the infantry spotted a barge loaded with Germans trying to escape with their equipment across the Elbe. Tank guns fired at it, but it floated out of range down the river.

[p.322]

A Cub plane arrived and laid in the command's artillery, knocking out the heavily loaded barge.

On the north the married C Cos. pushed patrols down to the Elbe at numerous points. Task Force Jones took prisoners in the Dannenberg Forest and at Schmardau the 34th Tank Bn.'s Reconnaissance Platoon forced the surrender of an entire German company. At a large oil dump near the river, Capt. Seymour Scott, commanding A Troop, 85th Reconnaissance Sq., captured another 170 Germans with their officers.

By a coincidence, a German maintenance unit surrendered its complete equipment, including a large stock of tires and tubes, to the 34th Tank Bn. maintenance officer, Capt. Armand E. Cabrel. The German unit had heard a rumor that it was to be used to defend Berlin, and had decided to reassemble on the American side of the river and surrender.

On 24 April the 29th Infantry Division relieved CC A and the command moved to occupy an area further west.

V-E Day found the command peacefully caring for displaced persons, the war having ended for them almost two weeks before.


Combat Command R

CC R had ended its first battle for the Elbe River, but the combat command had still another mission ahead of it before its war role was over.

The combat command was mopping up scattered resistance in the vicinity of Winterfeld when, on 18 April, it was ordered north of Salzwedel, in the British Zone of Occupation. From there it was to drive north, smash strong enemy forces still holding the area, and take the Elbe River town of Dannenberg. For the second time in a month its objective was the historic Elbe. On 20 April, C Troop of the 85th Reconnaissance Sq. set out from Salzwedel to reconnoiter routes toward Luchow and ran into enemy roadblocks and infantry in the woods west of Salzwedel. The order for the attack came 21 April. The married A and C Cos. of the 10th Tank Bn. and the 47th Infantry Bn. under Lt. Col. Hamberg were to clean out German forces from the woods to the west, while the married B Cos. were to push toward Luchow and await the rest of the combat command there.

[p.323]

Clearing the woods was no simple mopping up operation for Task Force Hamberg. The enemy armored and infantry forces holding the area were augmented by Germans who had been pushed back into the woods by CC A's advance on the left of CC R.

While one married company thrust south from Salzwedel to a railroad line, the other struck north from the southern edge of the woods. The 5th Artillery Bn. smashed enemy troops and material caught in the trap, blasting eight dual-purpose 88 mm. guns, nine nebelwerfers and a number of machine gun nests.

Near Seeben, Pvt. Hugo D. Musgrove, of the 47th Infantry Bn, set off into the woods after four German soldiers and found himself face-to-face with an enemy tank. He ran back to his halftrack, snatched up a bazooka, returned, and with his second round destroyed the retreating tank at the range of 300 yards.

By 2100, when the task force bivouacked for the night, they had flushed out and destroyed nine long-barreled 75 mm. guns mounted on Czechoslovakian tank chassis, as well as three armored vehicles, a Volkswagon and a dozen trucks.

The married B Cos. attacked north at 1430 and ran into heavy enemy fire from their left flank as they neared Saase. Lt. Howard K. Kettlehut, 95th Artillery Bn., forward observer, moved with the forward elements, directing artillery fire from his batteries on anti-tank guns and nebelwerfer positions. A half hour later the armored column hit a roadblock protected by mines. The C Co. engineers went forward to clear the mines while the task force went into bivouac. In a day of hard, bitter fighting the combat command had taken 300 prisoners.

After their mission of clearing the woods was completed, the married A and C Cos. of Task Force Hamberg moved out at 0645 the next morning, 22 April, in two columns pushing toward Luchow. The C Cos. moved through Salzwedel and Luckau; the A Cos. through Brietz, Wustrow and Dolgow. South of Luchow the B Cos. ran into a hasty minefield. Lt. Stephen E. Alien, Jr. and his 22nd Engineer platoon cleared away the mines and the column ground on toward the town. The two columns of Task Force Hamberg joined near Luchow and the C Cos, led the way into the town. The B Cos., on a parallel route across the Juetze River, entered Luchow from the

[p.324]

opposite side. The town surrendered unconditionally at 0815.

The two task forces pressed on, the A and C Cos. of Task Force Hamberg striking north through Grabow; the B Cos. thrusting through Seeraw toward Zadrau. As they advanced, all three companies came under heavy nebelwerfer fire north of Luchow. The columns halted while the 95th Artillery Bn. went into position. Because of the difficult terrain, however, placing the howitzers into position to bring fire on the nebelwerfers proved to be a long, tedious task.

While the column was halted, Lt. Robert Stutsman led a dismounted patrol from B Co., 47th Infantry Bn. through the Luchow Forest toward Zadrau where the enemy was reported to have set up its regimental command post. Moving through the woods, the patrol encountered heavy sniper fire. The infantrymen continued mopping up the area during the halt, and C Cos.' engineers pulled mines from the road shoulders.


Fight to Dannenberg

It was 1400 before the columns moved out again. Lt. Col. Hamberg's troops met with little resistance as they pushed through Tramm and on toward the outskirts of Dannenberg.

The married B Co. under Lt. Col. Boyer found Zadrau bitterly defended by Hitler Jugend troops, some only 14 to 16 years old but fighting with fanatical tenacity. Their sniper fire was unusually accurate, and they continued to fire even when the houses where they had barricaded themselves burned down around them.

Roadblocks and tank traps around Zadrau added to the difficulty of taking the town. The 95th Artillery Bn. and the supporting fighter-bombers took over. Zadrau was a mass of smoking rubble when the task force again churned on, turning west toward Heide.

In Heide a Cub plane pilot, flying in the rain ahead of the armored column, spotted six heavy German 88 mm guns, being towed by prime movers. He radioed the position to the 95th Artillery Bn. The batteries let loose with a barrage on the enemy column. When the tankers and infantrymen of the married B Cos. entered Heide and turned east toward their original route, they found the six demolished 88's, the crews still in their seats where

[p.325]

they had been caught by the deadly accuracy of the 85th Artillery Bn.'s shellfire.

Outside of Heide, Task Force Boyer ran into a column of 10 towed nebelwerfers. First encountered by the married A Cos. as they had moved off on the left to contact CC A to the west, the German column had fled east, cut in front of the C Cos. and would have made good their escape had not the B Cos. come thundering up the road at that moment. The tanks blasted the six-barreled mortars, smashed the entire column, and ground on toward Dannenberg.

As the A and C Cos. of Task Force Hamberg moved through Shaafhausen toward the outskirts of Dannenberg, the 2nd Platoon of the C Cos., led by Lt. William J. Caroscio and Lt. Paul Vostic, turned down a side road and came upon a huge, carefully concealed assembly plant for V-l and C-2 robot bombs. So well camouflaged that it blended into the woods and was almost invisible from the road, the plant consisted of more than 60 separate buildings, roads and railroad sidings. There the men discovered a new and untried German secret weapon, a piloted V-l bomb complete with cockpit, instrument panel and controls, and a parachute so the pilot could drop to safety after he had trained his bomb on the target.

Lt. Col. Hamberg's A and C Cos. were closing in on Dannenberg from the west when anti-tank shells from the vicinity of the town came slamming into the column. The lead tank and two halftracks were knocked out. The armor drew back while infantrymen of the 47th Infantry Bn. Dismounted and made their way through the forest toward Dannenberg, looking for the gun positions. They found three 88's and two 20 mm. guns, and directed 95th Artillery Bn. fire on the positions.

The two task forces remained overnight outside of Dannenberg and prepared to assault the town in the morning. The A and C Cos. Bivouacked at Shaafhausen, while the married B Cos. halted at Nebenstedt.

That night the report came that the Germans were hurriedly ferrying reinforcements across the Elbe for the defense of Dannenberg. All available artillery was turned on the town and the ferry sites on the river.

[p.326]

On the morning of 23 April, the two task forces moved into Dannenberg; the two married companies of Task Force Hamberg pushed in from the west, and the married B Cos. of Task Force Boyer entered the town from the east. After a brief fire fight, the town put out white flags at 0830.

Now the ferries that had been bringing reinforcements were evacuating the Germans back across the Elbe at Domitz. The 95th Artillery Bn. batteries turned their fire on these ferry sites.

During the remainder of the day, CC R accepted the surrender of a number of communities in the area. The A and C Cos. cleared the area through Prisser, Riskau and Kabmen; the B Cos. mopped up around Quickborn and Susborn. By late evening, CC R's second drive to the Elbe and final mission in Europe had been completed.







[p.330]

Combat Command A
Brig. Gen. Eugene A. Regnier, Commanding

Combat Command A plunged into the fight south of Fougeres, France, to lead the Division in the encirclement of the city of Le Mans. Striking north, Gen. Regnier's columns forged the inner ring of the steel circle which trapped the Germans in the huge pocket behind the Argentan-Falaise gap. The fighting men of Combat Command A saw the city of Argentan on te night of 12 August, eight days before the trap was closed. In the Eure-Seine corridor bitter resistance was crushed to create the second pocket in France.

Crossing the Meuse south of Sedan, the tank-infantry teams caught the Germans by surprise and liberated Luxembourg City and captured intact the powerful transmitter of Luxembourg Radio at Junglinster. Shaef Psychological Warfare Section regarded this as the "greatest single stroke of luck in the war."

Beyond the Hurtgen Forest in the mud and cold of December the enemy was cleared to the Roer River by taking the high ground overlooking Winden and the capture of the towns of Kufferath and Schneidhausen. Across the Roer in February the battle was carried from Rheindahlen to the Rhine at Krefield.

In the final chapter of World War II this fighting team crossed the Rhine River on the last day of March and reached the Elbe River at Tangermunde at noon on 12 April 1945.

Gen. Regnier joined the Fifth Armored Division in December 1942 at Camp Cooke, Calif., and was assigned to Combat Command B. In September 1943 he was transferred to Combat Command A, which he commanded throughout the war.

He began his military career in May 1917, when he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry. Serving overseas in World War I he participated in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne campaigns.

Following the war Gen. Regnier served two tours of duty with the 1st Cavalry Division. During the period 1929-1933 he was Aide-de-Camp to the Honorable Henry L. Stimson when he was Governor-General of the Philippines and Secretary of State.

He attended the Cavalry School in 1921 and the Command and General Staff School in 1938. He was an instructor in the tactics department of the Cavalry School in 1939.

In March, 1941, he returned to the 1st Cavalry Division and commanded the 91st Cavalry Squadron. Transferred to the 6th Armored Division in July, 1942, he commanded the 68th Armored Regiment. He was promoted to Brigadier General 3 December 1942 and joined the Fifth Armored the same month.

Combat Command A's Fighting Team
34th Tank Battalion
46th Armored Infantry Battalion
47th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
Troop A, 85th Cavalry Recon. Squadron
Co. A, 22nd Armored Engineer Battalion
Co. A, 628th Tank Destroyer Battalion
Battery A, 387th AAA AW Battalion


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Combat Command B
Col. John T. Cole, Commanding

Combat Command B engaged the first enemy troops near Vitre, France, as the columns rolled east to block the escape routes from the city of Le Mans. Following the drive to Argentan, the tanks raced to the city of Dreux to capture the Eure River line as German tank reserves approached from Paris.

After clearing the enemy between the Eure and Seine Rivers, Combat Command B streaked north through the Compiegne Forest to the Belgian border at Conde. Then, after clearing a sector through Luxembourg 150 miles to the east, Col. Cole's troops were the first Allied soldiers to cross the German border. A small patrol from Troop B, 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron crossed the Our River boundary at Stalzemburg at 16S0 on 11 September 1944. Five days later the whole combat command penetrated into the pillbox area beyond Wallendorf to draw large German forces from the Aachen area.

In the crossing of the Roer in February, Combat Command B lashed out across the flat country to cut off Erkelenz and capture the key city of Rheindahlen. Four days after crossing the Rhine in April the Weser River was reached at Minden and Bad Oeynhausen. Stopped at the Elbe on 13 April, Combat Command B returned 75 miles to open up the XIII Corps supply route. The fighting ended with the complete destruction of the Von Clausewitz Panzer Division in the Klotze Forest.

http://www.5ad.org/Paths_of_Armor.html

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 04 Dec 2002 17:59

To panzer-Abt.Potsdam Is formed on 24 February, 1945, in composition three mouth.On 7 April, 1945, was returned order send one company into Pz.Div.Chlauseshitz.

Panzer-Abt.Putlos It is formed on 17 April, 1945, from to renamed Kampfgruppe Of putlos, which on 13 April, 1945, it was ordered be joined to Pz.Div.Chlauseshitz.

http://achtungpanzer.bos.ru/panzer_abt.htm


regards

Abel Ravasz
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Post by Abel Ravasz » 04 Dec 2002 20:33

Panzer-Grenadiere - the remnants of PzGrBtl 2106 of PzBr 106 "Feldherrnhalle" (a total of 54 men)*


- PzAbt 2106: Stab, StbKp, PzKp(PzV), PzKp(PzIV/70), VersKp(mot)


So, was this a panzer abteilung or panzer-grenadier battalion? Or both existed?

Best,

Abel

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Kamen Nevenkin
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2106

Post by Kamen Nevenkin » 04 Dec 2002 21:01

deleated
Last edited by Kamen Nevenkin on 29 May 2005 08:42, edited 1 time in total.

Abel Ravasz
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Post by Abel Ravasz » 09 Dec 2002 21:13


Panzer-Division Clausewitz

Panzer-Division Clausewitz was formed Apr 1945 and its formation was not complete when the war ended.

Commanders
Generalleutnant Martin Unrein (4 Apr 1945 - 8 May 1945)


Area of operations
Berlin & western Germany (Apr 1945 - May 1945)


Order of battle
Panzer Brigade 106
Panzer Grenadier Regiment 42
Panzer Artillerie Abteilung (mot) 144
Panzer Aufklärungs Abteilung Doring
Panzer Pionier Bataillon
Panzerjäger Abteilung Grossdeutschland
Panzer Nachrichten Kompanie
Panzer Werkstatt Kompanie
Panzer Versorgungstruppen


http://skalman.nu/third-reich/heer-panz ... sewitz.htm

Abel Ravasz
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Post by Abel Ravasz » 09 Dec 2002 21:56

This was all I could find about gen. Unrein:

Martin Unrein
Generalleutnant
?
5 nov 1943 – 15 sept 44: 14. Pz Div
26 jun 1944: Oakleaves # 515
25 nov 1944 – 9 feb 1945: 14. Pz Div
11 feb 1945 – 5 mar 1945: III. SS PzKorps
4 apr 1945 – 8 may 1945: Clausewitz Pz Div
Captured by Americans
POW camp
Burried: Külsheim, Baden


If anyone has info on this general, please post it!

Best,

Abel

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John W
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Post by John W » 05 Jan 2003 07:13

:o charlie don't surf... which book was it from?

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 06 Jan 2003 20:09

What do you mean, I've only quoted online sources.

best regards/ Daniel

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