Totenkopf and its delivery of SPW 1943-45

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Kelvin
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Totenkopf and its delivery of SPW 1943-45

Post by Kelvin » 27 Nov 2008 16:12

Hi, It is very suprising that 3rd SS Totenkopf divison 's delivery of SPW was relatively little than any other SS Panzer Divison. Except in Kursk offensive, she had more than hundred SPW, mostly she only had several dozens SPW from the end of 1943 until the the German surrender. Did its organziation call for such small number or other reason ?

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Piet Duits
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Re: Totenkopf and its delivery of SPW 1943-45

Post by Piet Duits » 27 Nov 2008 16:45

Kelvin,

The monthly status reports from the SS-formations, and more specific the 3. SS, contain what I call "errors".
Besides the unusual high number of NCO's, there are other things that I would classify as strange.

The january-march 1944 status reports gives the same SOLL for the Totenkopf Division: 35 StuG, 78 Pz. III, 54 Pz. IV, 34 sonstige Panz.Fahrzg. (other types of armored vehicles), 15 Pz VI, 234 SPW/Art.Beob.Wg. and 10 Pak (Sf.)
78 Panzer III ! How is that possible. In late october 1943 the division was ordered to change into a new organisation, and according to the table of organisation, there were only a few Pz. III's left.
The number of StuG is also strange. There were 31 StuG in the SS-StuG-Abt. 3, and what about the remaining 4? The number of Pz. VI is odd too. 15, instead of the usual 14.
The 15.4.1944 report calls for 31 StuG (correct), 96 Pz IV, 96 Pz. V, NO Pz. VI (odd, since it did have the 9. schw. Panz.Kp. in its SS-Panz.Rgt. 3), 332 SPW/Beob.Wg. and 12 Pak (Sf.).
The report from 1 June 1944 calls for a SOLL of 31 StuG (correct), 14 Pz. III, 101 Pz. IV, 99 Pz V, 14 Pz. VI (correct), 367 SPW/ Beob.Wg. and 34 sonstige Pz.Fahrzg..
The Gliederung for 1.6.1944 has no 9. (schw. Panz.) Kp. in the SS-Panz.Rgt. 3, it does give the SS-Panz.Aufkl.Abt. 3 the 2. Panz.Sp.Kp. c (250/9) while it had none etc.

What is correct? Are those strength reports reliable? Were these made just to please Higher Commands?
Thusfar I haven't found a reliable and correct strength report for a larger unit (division) where the SOLL (personnel) strength match the KStN it should be based on.

Piet

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Re: Totenkopf and its delivery of SPW 1943-45

Post by Kelvin » 27 Nov 2008 17:05

Hi Piet, I don't know what you mean " Soll to please higher command" Their delivery of panzer match that soll but soll for SPW never meet : 367 for SPW/Pz spah wg/Beob for June 1944, they only had 23 combat ready SPW ! less than one-tenth . Higher command never meet their request in this sense. Looking around between June and Dec 1944, a larger number of combat ready SPW/Pz spah/Beob they had was on 01st Dec 1944 : 77.

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Piet Duits
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Re: Totenkopf and its delivery of SPW 1943-45

Post by Piet Duits » 27 Nov 2008 19:48

Kelvin,

This is going to be a lengthy response.
I know from evidence that several if not all the SS-Panzer-Divisions had a different organisation in reality than they should have had on paper, and it was ordered by the SS-Panzerkorps they were assigned to.
This was (perhaps silently) known by the SS-FHA.
Still, you can not see those changes on the Gliederungen. Those Gliederungen and status reports were based on other sources (KStN being the main source).
This alone makes me wonder if I should trust those monthly status reports. The Higher Commands -to whom those reports were sent- were deliberatelly lied to. Why?
I will try to make clear by means of some examples why I use the hard words "lied to"

I shall include an extract from an order from the 2. SS-Panz.Div. dated 23.6.1944 (it's in german)
<snip>
2) Panzer-Grenadier-Regimenter.
a) Die Musikkorps der Pz.Gren.Rgter. treten geschlossen zum Feldersatz-Btl. Aus ihnen wird das Musikkorps
2. SS-Pz.Div. "DAS REICH" aufgestellt.
b) Die Pz.-Grenadier-Kompanien sind unverändert zu gliedern in:
- 2 Züge Panzer-Grenadiere
- 1 Aufkl.-Gruppe
- 2 s.MG-Gruppe
(im gep. Btl. ausserdem 1 Kan. Gruppe).
Die Aufklärungsgruppe ist stark mit Maschinenwaffen auszustatten.Ihr ist ein Scharfschützentrupp (gleichzeitig Gas-Spürtrupp) anzugliedern.
c) Die in den Panzer-Grenadier-Kompanien freiwerdenden 2 Gruppen des bisheriges 3. Zuges und die eine MG-Gruppe sind als Lehrpersonal an das Feldersatz-Btl. abzugeben.
d) Die m.Gr.W.-Gruppen der Pz.Gren.Kp. sind in der 4. Kp. zu einem m. Gr.W. Zug zusammenzufassen.
<snip>
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
<snip>
9) SS-Feldersatz-Btl. 2
a) Das Felders.Btl. 2 ist bis 10.7.44 in folgender Gliederung aufzustellen:
- Stab mit Nachrichten-Zug
- 2 Panzer-Grenadier-Kompanien
- 1 gep. Zg. Pz.Gren.Kp.
- 1 Pz.Pi.Kp. (mot Z)
- 1 Flak-Zug (2 cm)
- 1 Musikkorps 2. SS-Pz.Div. "DAS REICH"
b) Die Aufstellung führt Sturmbannführer Bissinger aus den Restteilen der Division im bisherigen U-Raum durch.
c) Einzelheiten über Aufstellung und Ausbildung ergehen gesondert.
<snip>

This above organisation was common practice with the other SS-armored formations.
By doing this, the Feldersatz-Batallion was a very strong force in both men and material.
Can you find this on the Gliederungen?

Okay, what has this to do with the 3. SS? Well, with all the tidbids I know about the organisation of the SS-formations, I have my strong doubts about the authorized strengths as shown on the Gliederungen. Are they correct?
From the 2. SS I jump to other SS formations.
There are fairly detailed lists from both the 4. SS-Pol. and the 5. SS-Panz.Div. (dated between mid 24.4.1944 for the 5. SS and 15.6.1944 for the 4. SS) which gives the authorized numbers for weapons, equipment and vehicles (just like the 15.6.1944 list you have yourself from the 1. SS).
On it, there are 24 russ. Munitionsprotzen for the 4. SS and 20 of those Protzen for the 5. SS.
What does that mean? The Munitionsprotzen (ammunition carriers) are only found on the KStN 175 d as of 3.3.1943 (Teileinheit 12 cm Granatwerferzug (mot oder tmot Z) (zu 3 oder 4 Granatwerfern)).
According to the reorganisational orders from late october 1943, the Panzergrenadier battalions in the W-SS Panzer- and Panzergrenadier Divisionen should receive one platoon in their heavy companies.
With 6(x4) Panzergrenadier battalions in the SS-Panz.Gren.Div. and 5(x4) in the SS-Panz.Div., the numbers should be correct, right?
Yes and no. The numbers are correct, the fact that they were still around is not correct.
By january 1944 the 12cm mortar platoons from KStN 175 d were replaced by the 4th (8cm mortar) platoon from the KStN 162 as of 1.2.1941. The 12cm mortars were completely removed from the organisation, including the 2 12cm mortars found in the KStN 125a (Stab Feldersatz-Batallion) as of 1.10.1943. 2 of such mortars would indicate a half strength platoon. It was replaced with a half strength 8cm platoon= 3 mortars.
So, the numbers on the reports contradict eachother.

Okay, what am I trying to make clear?
The strength reports do not match with the orders. On the one hand the authorized numbers for 8cm mortars are correct, on the other hand they do include the ammunition carriers only found in the 12cm mortar platoons. Which of the two is correct?
This is also of influence to the armored vehicles. Are the 7 Panzerflammwagen as found in KStN 1190 as of 25.1.1943 included in the total numbers, or aren't they? The 9. SS has them listed while they never received those vehicles. The other SS-Panzer-Divisionen have them listed on their Gliederung as well.
Are the authorized number of SPW/ Pz.Beob.Wg. etc. given for the 3. SS trustworthy? I very much doubt that.

As you can see, I am working hard to finally figure this out once and for all. How were the "generic" SS armored formations organised in mid 1944, before they were ordered to standardize by using the socalled freie Gliederung-KStN. From june 1944 onwards, the authorized numbers are very clear. Except for the 3. SS, as their 9. schw. Panz.Kp. is not included.

Have you fallen into a deep sleep yet?
I can bore you to death if I have to by adding more details :lol:

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Re: Totenkopf and its delivery of SPW 1943-45

Post by Kelvin » 28 Nov 2008 13:59

Hi Piet, if based upon the delivery of SPW/Pz spah wg/beob to 3rd SS, and compare with other pz divison, authorized number of 367 was incorrect. But do you have authorized number at the end of 1944 or early 1945 when 3rd SS still only had several dozen SPW actually and enable me to compare.
But authorized number sometimes change quickly : 1st SS : 364 on 01st June 1944, 534 on 01st July 1944. But really never meet these targets.

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Piet Duits
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Re: Totenkopf and its delivery of SPW 1943-45

Post by Piet Duits » 28 Nov 2008 23:10

Kevin,

I try to write a short reply this time.
Me and my big mouth...

On 2.6.1944 the SS-Führungshauptamt ordered a new organisation for their SS-Panzer-Divisionen.
Das Reich, Totenkopf, Wiking, Hohenstaufen and Frundsberg shared the same organisation, Leibstandarte and Hitlerjugend shared a different organisation (including the SS-Werfer-Abteilung).
This new standard organisation introduced the freie Gliederung-KStN for
the SS-Panzer-Regiment,
both SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiments,
the SS-Panzeraufklärungs-Abteilung,
the SS-Panzerjäger-Abteilung and
the Panzer-Nachrichten-Abteilung

In August 1944, the Heer formally introduced the Panzer-Division 44. Besides the above units, the Artillerie-Regiment, Flak-Abteilung, Panzer-Pionier-Batallion and some other units had been given new (freie Gliederung) KStN.
On 24.10.1944 (more than 2 months after the Heer order) the SS-FHA ordered the SS panzer divisions to reorganise again, including the new KStN.
This time, they kept this organisation until March 1945 when yet another big reorganisation was ordered. Especially with the timeframe in mind, this reorganisation order was written by comedians.

Included you will find a status report from Totenkopf as of 24.1.1945. On it you can see how many SPW were authorized by adding the Ist and Fehl.
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Re: Totenkopf and its delivery of SPW 1943-45

Post by Kelvin » 29 Nov 2008 16:58

Hi, Piet, thank you for your information. I see your name in Leo Niehorster German organziational series, did you help me on these series ?

Do you have monthly report on 15th June 1944 for 5th SS Panzer Divison and 7th Panzer divison regarding their panzer and SPW status and figures. I have 01st June and cannot find 15th June, can you help that ?

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Re: Totenkopf and its delivery of SPW 1943-45

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 29 Nov 2008 19:19

Piet, That is great work but you have confused me on one thing. Did the SS Panzer Divions not have 6 Panzergrenadier Battalions ? Alan
Alan

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Re: Totenkopf and its delivery of SPW 1943-45

Post by Piet Duits » 29 Nov 2008 19:51

Alan,

That's correct. 5 motorized Panzergrenadier battalions (including the 8 cm GrW platoons instead of the initially ordered 12 cm GrW platoons) and 1 armored Panzergrenadier battalion, not having this platoon.

Piet

PS Kelvin, to answer your last question: no, I don't have material for these 2 divisions for both dates you mentioned.
Last edited by Piet Duits on 29 Nov 2008 20:05, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Totenkopf and its delivery of SPW 1943-45

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 29 Nov 2008 20:01

Thanks Piet, I take your point .
Alan

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Re: Totenkopf and its delivery of SPW 1943-45

Post by Kelvin » 30 Nov 2008 10:26

Hi Piet, thank for your help in Totenkopf.

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Re: Totenkopf and its delivery of SPW 1943-45

Post by Kelvin » 10 Dec 2008 09:49

In the late stage of war, Hitler concentrated on strengthening his Waffen SS formation. If compare with June 1944 with Dec 1944, Waffen SS Panzer divisons were stronger than Heer Panzer divison in Dec 1944 than June 1944. Totenkopf was the strongest divison on the Eastern Front in term of Panzer in Dec 1944. Total 107 operatonal panzer on 01st Dec 1944 ( 27 x Pz IV, 22 x Panther, 10x Tiger, 31 x StuG and 17 x Jadgpanzer IV)

Slava2012
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Re: Totenkopf and its delivery of SPW 1943-45

Post by Slava2012 » 06 Oct 2021 10:45

I wanted to ask you for help and apparently I will help you myself.
Due to the fact that Totenkomf fought for my city, for 9 years I have been closely studying everything that happened to this division in January April 1944.Retreating with battles from Kryvyi Rih (Ingulets River) to Dubosar (Dniester River, the division lost 75 percent of its personnel and all tanks. One 3 and one Tigris from 9 Tigers Company went across the Dniester River. Here is a combat reality.At the same time, the personnel of the division and one of 3 pieces crossed the bridges of the city of Dubossary (Moldova) and the tiger crossed the railway bridge in Tiraspol.Arriving in the Kishinev area on April 5, they began to receive replenishment of soldiers and tanks. Therefore, all the reasoning about the state of affairs for the division on paper does not make sense, it is necessary to study the history of battles and the writing on paper to understand the course of the war and not the standard spelling.
January 8, 44
2 combat-ready tigers (5 tigers in short-term repairs, 4 tigers in long-term repairs with a division, 5 tigers in long-term repairs with repair units of Army Group South)
January 9, 44
3 combat-ready Tigers (for 9. The company arrives 6 new engines)
January 10, 44 years old
2 combat-ready tigers (5 tigers in short-term repairs, 4 tigers in long-term repairs with a division, 5 tigers in long-term repairs with repair units of Army Group South).
That is, 16 Tigers are present at the same time in Ukraine, 5 of which are undergoing a thorough overhaul at the factories of Dnepropetrovsk, then by trains these Tigers are taken to Odessa and from there, on a common echelon with Tigers from other divisions, are sent to Germany for factory repair (that's where the Tiger got to the Russians on the train station Kopychintsy March 23, 44).
With the division itself, 11 Tigers are constantly present.
from January 29 to February 2, 4 combat-ready Tigers.
3-5 February 6 combat-ready Tigers.
February 21-27 4 combat-ready.
February 28, 3 combat-ready.
February 29-March 12 4 combat-ready Tigers.
On March 13, they move by trains from Novo Ukrainka and Kapustino to Balta, 4 Tigers are declared combat-ready.
On March 16, 4 Tigers were unloaded in Balta.
March 23, 3 Tigers are combat-ready.
March 24, 2 Tigers are combat-ready.
March 25, 1 Tiger is combat-ready.
March 26, 3 Tigers are combat-ready.
March 27, 3 Tigers are combat-ready.
March 28 0 Combat.
March 30 - April 1 1 Tiger is combat-ready.
April 2 1 Tiger is combat-ready. (the personnel of the Tigrinnaya company leaves Dubossary by road; one railway transport leaves the Vessely-Kut railway to the Razdelnaya railway at 14:35 from 1 Tiger, 1 Pz.Bef.Wg III and Pz.Beo.Wg III and breaks through to Tiraspol.
The second train with 7 Tigers, including 1 commander's Tiger, moves from Ivanovka through Veseliy Kut to Rasdelnaya, where it stops for self-detonation.)
April 3-9 1 Tiger is combat-ready (company in Chisinau).
I am attaching a photo of the only survivor of the Tigris crossing the Dniester River, a photo of the surviving Stug 3 has not yet been found.
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Re: Totenkopf and its delivery of SPW 1943-45

Post by Slava2012 » 06 Oct 2021 11:03

I, in turn, have a question for the specialists of the 3rd SS division, what number did the surviving Tiger have? and what numbers of the Tigers gave the last battle in the city of Balta (Ukraine, Odessa region)? 911,921 I know there are photos of them in Balta, 931 and 902 I suppose.

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