The tank battle of Lauban, 1-8 March 1945

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Kamen Nevenkin
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Post by Kamen Nevenkin » 17 Jun 2007 12:31

Just found out: Mikhail Klimov, born 1924, SP Gun commander of 383rd Guards Heavy SP Artillery Regiment, 9th Mechanized Corps, 3rd Guards Tank Army. Between 3 and 5 March 1945 his ISU-122 knocked out 12 enemy tanks at Waldburg, Lauban district. From 6 to 11 March his gun knocked out another 4 tanks while fighting at Naumburg, but probaly the machine itself was destroyed too because Klimov was heavily wounded. On 27.6.1945 he was awarded the Golden Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union.


Martin Block
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Panzerverluste bei Lauban, 21. Pz.Div.

Post by Martin Block » 10 Jul 2007 20:42

Sorry it took so long! I had hoped to optain some additional information in the meantime but it wasn't to be, so this must do:

Attempt to establish the true tank losses of the 21. Pz.Div.:

I. Tank status of 21. Pz.Div. gathered from divisional 'Zustandsbericht' and 'Kriegsgliederung' dated 1.3.1945
(from copy of original document obtained from BA-MA Freiburg):
32 Pz. IV (7 operational, 6 in short term repair, 19 in long term repair)
34 Panther (3 operational, 7 in short term repair, 24 in long term repair)
17 Jagdpz. IV/70(V), 2 Jagdpz. IV L/48 and 1 StuG III (11 out of them operational, 6 in short term repair, 3 in long term repair)
8 Flakpz. IV ( ? operational)
4 Pak-Sfl. (3 operational, 1 in short term repair)

There were no tank/assault gun/tank destroyer shipments to the division recorded in the allocation files during the whole month of March 1945. I'm also not aware that any armor was taken over from other units.

Establishing the AFV losses of the division proved to be difficult because there are some conflicting reports (wouldn't it be boring if there weren't ;-) ):

II. Tank status of 21. Pz.Div. according to 'Bestand an gepanzerten Kraftfahrzeugen der 21. Pz.Div. Stand 13.3.1945' and 'Waffen-Bestand der 21. Pz.Div. Stand 13.3.1945'
(from copy of original document obtained from BA-MA Freiburg):
22 Pz. IV L/48 (15 operational, 7 in repair)
28 Pz. V Panther (17 operational, 11 in repair)
17 Pz. IV/70(V) (13 operational, 4 in repair)
2 Jagdpz. IV L/48 (operational)
1 StuG III (not operational)
5 Flakpz. IV (3 operational, 2 in repair)
Pak-Sfl. (not reported)
5 Pz.Beob. IV (3 operational, 2 in repair)

III. Tank status of 21. Pz.Div. according to divisional 'Zustandsbericht' dated 1.4.1945 and 'Pz.Lage' compilations for units on Eastern Front dated 5.4., 10.4. and 15.4.1945
(from copies of original documents obtained from BA-MA Freiburg)
Although these reports date from more than a month after the events in question they are interesting because they put the mid March report (listing II.) somewhat out of the order. One has to keep in mind there were no tank/tank destroyer/assault gun deliveries to the division in the meantime. There were also no general 'Nachschub Ost' deliveries that could be connected with the division.

Pz. IV L/48: 28 / 29 /28 / 28
Pz. V Panther: 31 / 31 / 31 / 31
Pz. IV/70(V): 15 / 15 / 15 / 15
Jagdpz. IV L/48: 1 / 2 / 2 / 2
StuG III: 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Flakpz. IV: 7 / 7 / 7 / 7
Pak-Sfl.: 4 / ? / ? / ?
Pz.Beob. IV: 5 / 5 / 5 / 5

As can be seen it is difficult to impossible to specify the true losses of the division during the battle of Lauban. Again, to the best of my knowledge no deliveries or take-overs from other units took place during March 1945. Nevertheless the number of available Pz. IV and Pz. V increased between 13.3. and 1.4.1945!? I only can assume that for some reason the badly damaged tanks, i.e.those in long term repair, may have been not included in the 13.3.1945 report. To me all indications are that the lower loss figures seem to be the more accurate ones. But that's only my own speculation, I can't tell for sure.
Also, in addition to the StuG III some of the Pz. IV and V may have been lost during the second half of March. I would have liked to be more accurate, but from available sources this is the best I can currently come up with:

Comparing listings I., II. and III. leads to the following ranges of tank losses suffered by 21. Pz.Div. between 1.3. and 13./15.3.1945:
Pz. IV L/48: Total write-offs = 4 - 10
Pz. V Panther: Total write-offs = 3 - 6
Pz. IV/70(V): Total write-offs = 0
Jagdpz. IV L/48: Total write-offs = 0
StuG III: Total write-offs = 0
Flakpz. IV: Total write-offs = 1 - 3
Pak-Sfl.: Total write-offs = 0
5 Pz.Beob. IV: Total write-offs = 0

Because of insufficient data for losses of Pz.Brig. 103 and 6. Inf.Div. plus attached units there will be no continuation of this story at the moment. But I will stay on the ball and keep you posted as soon as I get a clearer picture.

Hope you enjoyed it :D

Martin Block

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Post by Ypenburg » 02 Aug 2007 12:32

David C. Clarke wrote:This is really good stuff Acolyte! I congratulate you on a very enjoyable Thread. :D

But, I have a question. In your research on this batte, did you run across any mention of a Leutnant Dallmeier? Kurowski claims that in the 6th Volksgrenadier's area of operations Dallmeier's Hetzer company was responsible for 100 kills of which Dallmeier's Hetzer scored 50 and that on 3/4, he was awarded the Knight's Cross by 6th Volksgrenadier Division commander Generalmajor Bruecker. (Kurowski, "Hitler's Last Bastions" page 309.)

To say the least, I have always been skeptical of this account.

~D, the EviL
These quotes come from Geschichte der Rhein.-Westf. 6. Infanterie-Div. - Horst Grossmann 1958:

Page 262 : Im Laufe des zunächst verhältnismässige ruhig verlaufenden 10. 2. erlebte die Div. noch einige, diesmal angenehme Überraschungen. Am Nachmittag meldete sich, als der Div. unterstellt, der Hptm. Jaenisch, Kdeur. der soeben auf einem Übungsplatz in Böhmen aufgestellten Jgd.Pz.Abt. 1183, bestehend aus Stab, einer Jagdpanzer-(Hetzet)-Kp. und einigen Schützenpanzerwagen (S.P.W.) Seine Abt. sei soeben in Bunzlau ausgeladen worden und träfe in Kürze in Gr. Krauschen ein. Diese Jgd.Pz.Abt. 1183 verblieb bis zum Ende des Krieges in unserer Div. und wurde in Verlauf der Kämpfe zu einem vor uns mit grösster Wetschätzung betrachteten Bestandteil unserer Division. Dass sich auch die Abt. mit uns in gleicher Weise verbunden fühlte, kann man vielleicht daraus ersehen, dass ihr Kdeur in späterer Zeit den Wunsch seiner Abt. aussprach, auf ihren Panzern das Zeichen unserer Div. führen zu dürfen. ..... Noch kannten wir aber die Abt. nicht und wussten noch nicht, was für kühne, erfolgreiche, immer von höchster Einsatzbereitschaft erfüllte Kameraden damit zu uns gestossen waren.

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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 02 Aug 2007 12:50

Lt. Dallmeier on

Thank you for this excerpt.


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Re: The tank battle of Lauban, 1-8 March 1945

Post by Art » 29 Oct 2007 17:48

Acolyte wrote:The 3rd Guard Tank Army suffered such terrible losses it had to be withdrawn from the frontline in April 1945.
The General Staff ordered to withdraw the Army to reserve of the front allready on 1st March, that is before the German counterstrike began, so the first event was not the consequence of the second.

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Re: The tank battle of Lauban, 1-8 March 1945

Post by Flaf06 » 19 Nov 2013 00:46

Hi there,

Do you know where I can find the infantry force in each of these divisions ?

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