schweres Panzer-Regiment Bäke

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Bernd R
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schweres Panzer-Regiment Bäke

Post by Bernd R » 21 May 2007 09:40

Hi all,

would like to ask for some data and info about this rgt. Also called/known KG (Kampfgruppe) Bäke.
Formation dates, composition, actions ?

Forum search brings this unanswered thread : http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=5803&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=
Tessin, "Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945" has only this :
"Gruppe Oberstleutnant Bäke" : s.Pz.Abt 503 und II./Pz.Rgt 23
1944 : 26.01. / 1. Pz.Armee (also: 31.1. , 5.2. , 10.2. , 15.2. , 20.2. , 25.2.)

Participation in the relief of the Tscherkassy pocket is known in general ; overview see here : http://home.arcor.de/sturmbrigade/Tscherkassy/Tscherkassy.htm

Thanks in advance
Bernd

Jan-Hendrik
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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 21 May 2007 09:47

sPzRgt. Bäke bei Feldgrau :wink:

If you want more I can send it to you via mail...

Jan-Hendrik

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Bernd R
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Post by Bernd R » 21 May 2007 21:55

Should be interesting for all, Jan-Hendrik
Thanks for the thread ! Informative, but not complete and accurate I think.

What is to excerpt from these infos :
schweres Panzer-Regiment Bäke
Stab Pz.Rgt 11
s.Pz.Abt 503 (34 Pz. VI Tiger)
II./Pz.Rgt 23 (47 Pz. V Panther)
I./Art.Rgt 88 (2 Wespe and 1 Hummel battery)

actions : Lipowez pocket / Tscherkassy / "raid 23.01-01.02.1944"

what about the mentioned Pionier-Bataillon and support troops ??
what follow up of actions ?
when dissolved ?
all three Kps of 503 or only 1. and 2. ?
any connection to Kampfgruppe Pz.Rgt 11 ?

regards, Bernd

Jan-Hendrik
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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 21 May 2007 22:10

You got mail regarding PR 11 and the involvement of 503...

Jan-Hendrik

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Bernd R
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Post by Bernd R » 22 May 2007 07:49

Thanks! 8-) :D
Bernd

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Bernd R
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Post by Bernd R » 24 May 2007 13:41

Hi all,

on base of Tessin, the above provided feldgrau thread and : Oberstleutnant Rubbel, "Das schwere Panzer-Regiment Bäke" (via Jan-Hendrik)
I compiled the unit as follows so far.
Anyone knows which Pionier-Bataillon and which Gebirgsjäger-Bataillon ?

s.Pz.Rgt Bäke
formed 23.01.1944 as a special duty unit, structured in form of a so-called schweres Panzer-Regiment
dissolved : 25.02.1944 (Tagesbefehl 1. Pz.Armee)

OOB

Stab Pz.Rgt 11 / cdr : Oberstleutnant Bäke
s.Pz.Abt 503 (34 Pz. VI Tiger) / Kdr : Major Kageneck (WIA) ; Abt-Fhr : Hauptmann Scherf
II./Pz.Rgt 23 (46 Pz. V Panther) / Kdr : Hauptmann Euler
I./Art.Rgt 88 (mot)
-> I. (Sf) 1., 2. Bttr : Wespe (je 6 Geschütze) ; 3. Bttr : Hummel (6 Geschütze)

Pionier-Bataillon (with Brückengerät) : unknown ; Geb.Pi.Btl 94 ? SS-Pz.Pi.Btl 1 "LSSAH" ?

Gebirgsjäger-Bataillon -> since 11.02.1944 (Tscherkassy relief)
-> one btl of 4. Geb.Jäg.Div : 180 men , 14 SPW

actions :
23.01. - 31.01.1944 , under command of XXXXVI. Pz.Korps :
UMAN / WINNIZA area ; Bolabanowka pocket ; Ssossow ; destruction of a greater number of tanks (see discussion)

11.02. - 17./18.02.1944 (breakout) : Tscherkassy relief , under command of III. Pz.Korps

Bernd
Last edited by Bernd R on 26 May 2007 12:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Kamen Nevenkin
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Post by Kamen Nevenkin » 24 May 2007 17:47

Bernd R wrote:
actions :
23.01. - 31.01.1944 , under command of XXXXVI. Pz.Korps :
destruction of 4-5 sowjet Pz.Korps east of WINNIZA ; Bolabanowka pocket ; Ssossow

Bernd


I hope you are not serious about this...

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Bernd R
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Post by Bernd R » 24 May 2007 18:01

Dear Kamen,

this is just a post I really love ! No correction, no facts, no argument, nothing. Say something please for the benefit of this thread and for all users !
Thank you, Sir !

btw, I will look where I got this info from and immediately correct it if it's wrong.

Bernd

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Kamen Nevenkin
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Post by Kamen Nevenkin » 24 May 2007 19:41

The fairy tale about the 5 destroyed Soviet armored corps at Vinitsa and Uman is definitely taken from the Manstein's memories, but as with the most of the fairy tales, it doesn't hold water at all. Manstein writes about 14 rifle divisions, 5 mechanized corps, 8,000 KIA, 5,000 POWs, 700 tanks, 500 AT guns destroyed and that the Soviet 1 Tank Army had been nearly smashed, but in reality there were only 5 rifle divisions that were entrapped and most of their remnants managed to break out. Moreover, they belonged not to 1 Tank Army, but to Moskalenko's 38 Army. Katukov's 1 Tank Army in Jan 44 consisted of two tank- and one mech. corps with 67 tanks and 22 SU in runing condition (on 28 January). Let alone that hardly any Soviet army at that time had such high number of AT guns at its disposal. In the second volume of his memories Marshal Moskalenko gives quite detailed account of that battle and provides an impressive amount of information about the breakout from the pocket. As Moskalenko correctly points out, "had we lost such amount of forces (as Manstein claims) he (Manstein) would have recapture Kiev in a matter of week." The overclaiming of the Soviet losses and resources is so typical for Manstein. Remember 8:1 odds at Kharkov in Feb 43?

I hope that you like this post more.

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Bernd R
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Post by Bernd R » 24 May 2007 23:51

Like it, Kamen, thanks

now I'm in a dilemma to have a discussion I don't want and I don't need. Sorry, but want to tell you just straight what my problem is here.
I requested info on s.Pz.Rgt Bäke to get the OOB and more to use this info for our "awardholders/unit" project.
Got info by Jan-Hendrik via PM which was answering my request, so I could have said "end of thread". Because I don't like uncomplete and fragmented threads/topics and I wanted to share the above compilation (topic is not existing in the forum yet) to finish the topic in a solid way I added as a plus "actions"...4-5 Panzer-Korps..."

Now, you say this info is wrong, then it wouldn't be a plus. By that I'm forced to rely on you and to cross it out or to discuss the issue and defend my position.

I am not convinced by your text and source, Kamen.
You question Manstein and in the same moment you present the memories of Marshall Moskalenko as your only source which should be the correct version :wink:
That's 1:1 ; no scientific proof
I checked again my sources and they indeed are speaking of the Panzer-Korps :
1) Oberstleutnant Rubbel, "Das schwere Panzer-Regiment Bäke" (via Jan-Hendrik)
this work is from the year 1990 ; he used Manstein, "Verlorene Siege" and many other sources
quote : "...5 feindliche Pz.Korps..." ; reports : destruction of 267 tanks

2) "Die Tiger-Abteilung 503 im Schweren Panzer-Regiment Dr. Bäke", Bericht von Hauptmann a.D. Walter Scherf, 1954/55 (via J-H ; I only quote the title and one passage, dear Jan)
"...Zerschlagung von 4-5 angreifenden russischen Panzer-Korps bei Rotmistrowka/Balabanowka und Bhf Oratow - nördlich Uman..."
1st edition of Manstein's "Verlorene Siege" came out 1955 ; the work of Scherf was written a bit before, at least at the same time.

Really not that deep in this matter I was relying on these sources, Kamen.

Anyone else to support the position of Kamen ?

Thanks and regards
Bernd

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Post by Andreas » 25 May 2007 00:17

I would just not mention it until it is cleared up. It is entirely possible that Manstein had a look at Scherf's text when drafting his. It is entirely possible that both rely on the same faulty source. Rubbel - well unless he directly indicates another source, it is again not a stretch to assume that he just used Manstein. Kamen is a reliable poster in these matters with access to first-class source documents, which would make me delete the information on the losses immediately, were he to criticise one of my posts. If you leave it in, you should at least indicate that it these are claims that are totally out of line with Soviet sources.

As a general rule, everyone overclaims. To take claims at face value means one is giving in to this phenomenon. You can only count losses based on unit loss reports. Even that is tricky. In this case you have an already questionable claim that is being challenged by the side it was inflicted upon. Conclusion, don't use it.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by JC » 25 May 2007 02:36

Bernd,

1SS Pz.Div. LAH took part, along with s.Pz.Rgt. Bäke, in the counter attack east of Winniza. The LAH division history by Lehmann & Tiemann refers to the attack as Operation “Watutin” and identifies the other elements of XXXXVI Pz.K. in the attack as 4 Geb.Div., 254 Inf.Div. and 101 Jäg.Div.

LAH operations are of course the focus of the narrative, but it does mention “s.Pz.Rgt. Bäke” several times. It also says: “Panzerpioneerbatallion 1 was moved forward and subordinated to 101 Jägerdivision in Ssossnowka for the first phase of the attack (until the crossing of the river on both sides of Bila).” Perhaps this is the unidentified “Pionier-Bataillon (with Brückengerät)” that you mentioned.

BR………Jeff

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Kamen Nevenkin
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Post by Kamen Nevenkin » 25 May 2007 09:52

Bernd,

the fact that both Manstein and Moskalenko had produced memories doesn't necessary means that they are comparable in terms of reliability. While Manstein devotes only several sentences to that operation, Moskalenko, who definitely had felt insulted by the claims of the latter, puts some half chapter about the battle in question. Let alone that Moskalenko's account is heavily footnoted, something that you can't say about the "Lost Victories". Moreover, Manstein contradicts itself when says that the destroyed 14 divisions and 5 tank corps had lost 8000 KIA and 5500 POWs, because this gives an average casualty figure of 421 KIA and 289 POWs per formation. I'm very much against the definition "destroyed" as well - this means that only bits and pieces had left from that troops, which is not the case with the Operation 'Watutin'. Regarding the 700 tank-kills figure this sounds simply ridiculous - the 1st Tank Army began the Zhitomir-Berdichev operation on 24 Dec 1943 with 546 tanks and SU and on 13 January 1944 it was ordered by Stavka to switch over to defense, most probably because it had ran out of tanks. As I already pointed out, by 29 January that army still had approx. 100 tanks and SU, which makes even the 267-kills figure very inflated and unlikely. BTW, the Moskalenko's version of the battle (the text is in Russian), could be found here:

http://militera.lib.ru/memo/russian/moskalenko-2/07.html

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Bernd R
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Post by Bernd R » 26 May 2007 13:13

Andreas wrote:
I would just not mention it until it is cleared up. It is entirely possible that Manstein had a look at Scherf's text when drafting his. It is entirely possible that both rely on the same faulty source. Rubbel - well unless he directly indicates another source, it is again not a stretch to assume that he just used Manstein. ...

I have to agree. Seriously this is the best resumé.

Kamen is a reliable poster in these matters with access to first-class source documents, which would make me delete the information on the losses immediately, were he to criticise one of my posts. If you leave it in, you should at least indicate that it these are claims that are totally out of line with Soviet sources ...

Much sympathy for that, no doubt you are right in general. I tend to see this issue still unclear.
Would be very important and helpfull - like long-time member Kamen - to have more active users from Bulgaria and other east-european countries in the forum !

As a general rule, everyone overclaims. To take claims at face value means one is giving in to this phenomenon. You can only count losses based on unit loss reports. Even that is tricky. In this case you have an already questionable claim that is being challenged by the side it was inflicted upon. Conclusion, don't use it
.
Absolutely agree. The action and "loss" aspect here is worth to be re-done as an own topic. Surely there has to be info in the forum already which has to be read first.
One thought I have in this context : take the numbers in total of all soviet (mass-)produced tanks + the land-lease tanks and look how many were operating / steady on May 9th 1945. The difference might be get lost in action. Do you all believe this number would match the soviet unit loss reports ? Same for german side I guess. As said, tricky :?

So, thanks Andreas for a good solution IMO and moderating :)

@Kamen,
I concede Moskalenko is more detailed and could be more reliable.
The "Wehrmachtsbericht" was reporting "267" tanks as well -> we don't rely on that, no question.
But I don't understand the task of nearly 100 Tiger and Panther if there would have been only "5 rifle divisions" :roll:
The Panzer men (reports of Scherf and Rubbel) surely had a number of tanks in front of their cannons. Take a ratio of only 2:1 in favour of german tankers you would reach a number of at least 150.
"destroyed" is an unprecise term, Yes. What do we call an action, when a higher command is disabled to fight as a structured unit ? It is to keep in mind that after the threat from the North-East (25.-31.01.1944) the German Forces could turn towards the Tscherkassy relief (11.02.1944).

I have edited the compilation and crossed out the questionable and unconfirmed (by primary and several sources) part.
Are we able right now to determine a number of disabled tanks ?

@Jeff,
thanks, most probably a Pi.Btl of the named divisions. Added Pi.Btl "LSSAH" with a ?

Thanks and regards
Bernd

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Kamen Nevenkin
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Post by Kamen Nevenkin » 27 May 2007 08:44

Bernd R wrote:
But I don't understand the task of nearly 100 Tiger and Panther if there would have been only "5 rifle divisions" :roll:



The troops of 38 A switched over to defense on 15 Jan. They managed to beat off all German attacks and had enough time to prepare a solid defense line. The Germans needed additional forces to breach that defense so they employed a considerable number of tanks to achieve their objective. Apart from LSSAH and PzKG Baeke, they employed 6, 16 and 17.PzD, PzKGr/25.PzD (with 16.PzD), 101.JgD. 4.Geb.D and 254.ID and a number of Heerestruppen. Probably HGr Sued intended to bring even more troops to that area, but their plans were disturbed by the Soviet offensive at Korsun-Shevchenkovsky. (According to Moskalenko, the HQ of 1 Ukr.Front received information that Manstein plans to move there SS-TK and 3.PzD) So, the German tanks employed in the operation were not 100, but far more, maybe 250 - 300. It was a full-scale operation against well-prepared defense, not a local counterattack. The Soviet divisions were definitely more than five, but only five of them were encircled.

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