March.Bataillonen 716.Inf.Div

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March.Bataillonen 716.Inf.Div

Post by AETIUS 1980 » 17 Oct 2021 12:34

I am looking for information on the Marsch.Btlen zbV 376 and 377 supplied to the 716.Inf.Div on July 18, 1944 in the Perpignan sector. I would like to know where they were set up, and whether other battalions would have been provided subsequently to put the division back on its feet (the Generalleutnant RICHTER giving a figure of 6000 reinforcement personnel !!!! for the summer 1944).
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Re: March.Bataillonen 716.Inf.Div

Post by jpz4 » 17 Oct 2021 15:06

Don't know much about these units, but are you aware that the rail transport of 377 was attacked near Blainville (close to Nancy) on 29 June? Suffered (at least) close to 50 fatalities

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Re: March.Bataillonen 716.Inf.Div

Post by AETIUS 1980 » 17 Oct 2021 17:36

I didn't know it.

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Re: March.Bataillonen 716.Inf.Div

Post by AETIUS 1980 » 17 Oct 2021 18:06

I know that the strength of Marsch.Btl zbV 377 on July 18 was 47 Unteroffiziere and 661 men while the 376 aligned 90/791, so to put in relation to the losses mentioned ?? Were they from Wehrkreis VI?

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Re: March.Bataillonen 716.Inf.Div

Post by Richard Anderson » 17 Oct 2021 19:20

AETIUS 1980 wrote:
17 Oct 2021 18:06
I know that the strength of Marsch.Btl zbV 377 on July 18 was 47 Unteroffiziere and 661 men while the 376 aligned 90/791, so to put in relation to the losses mentioned ?? Were they from Wehrkreis VI?
Given the mass of Marsch Bataillonen formed in 1944, at least 352 numbered from 301. on 28 January 1944 to 653. in December 1944, I suspect the relationship between Wehrkreis and division became somewhat strained and the source of replacements more flexible. I would expect the majority of the Stamm, genesene, and ersatz in the Marsch Bataillonen of 716. Inf-Div to be from Wehrkreis VI, but a proportion probably came from multiple sources.

There is also the possibility that the replacements General Richter spoke of included the various odds and ends units assigned to the division during its withdrawal to Germany. By 1 November it included Festungs-Infanterie-Battaillonen, Festungs-MG-Bataillonen, Sicherungs-Bataillonen, and various other Reserve, Ersatz, and Ausbildungs einheiten in its order of battle, most of which were eventually redesignated as parts of the division.

See also https://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/inde ... /&pageNo=1
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: March.Bataillonen 716.Inf.Div

Post by AETIUS 1980 » 18 Oct 2021 05:54

The communicated link is most interesting, I will have to get on it. Regarding the 6,000 men (RICHTER figures), the Div. Kdr explained clearly without his 1947/48 transcript that it was a total perceived in infantry, artillery, sappers during the recovery of the division in the summer of 1944. Beyond the convalescents, that would mean at least a total of 5 see 6 March.Bataillonen?

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Re: March.Bataillonen 716.Inf.Div

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Oct 2021 06:21

AETIUS 1980 wrote:
18 Oct 2021 05:54
The communicated link is most interesting, I will have to get on it. Regarding the 6,000 men (RICHTER figures), the Div. Kdr explained clearly without his 1947/48 transcript that it was a total perceived in infantry, artillery, sappers during the recovery of the division in the summer of 1944. Beyond the convalescents, that would mean at least a total of 5 see 6 March.Bataillonen?
Not necessarily. Most of the Festungs-Infanterie-Battaillonen, Festungs-MG-Bataillonen, Sicherungs-Bataillonen, and various other Reserve, Ersatz, and Ausbildungs einheiten used to rebuild divisions in the late fall of 1944 and winter of 1944/1945 had a fairly short lifetime before they were redesignated as elements of the division they were attached to. For example, Sicherungs-Bataillon 671 was attached to the division in October, but on 3 November was dissolved and incorporated into the division. Festungs-Infanterie-Bataillon 1417 was attached to the division in November, but was not dissolved and incorporated into the division officially until 5 February 1945. Same for Festungs-Infanterie-Bataillon 1417 und so weiter.
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Re: March.Bataillonen 716.Inf.Div

Post by AETIUS 1980 » 18 Oct 2021 06:37

Thanks a lot Richard
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Re: March.Bataillonen 716.Inf.Div

Post by AETIUS 1980 » 18 Oct 2021 17:14

I learned the following information about the 716.Inf.Div for summer reconstitution ; On July 23, two other Kampfgruppen were absorbed (11 Offiziere and Beamten / 58 Unteroffiziere / 234 Mannschaften, then 5 Offiziere / 45 Unteroffiziere / 169 Mannschaften), followed by Marsch.Btl “D”. On August 6, two officers from the 716.Inf.Div were sent to the 148.Res.Div to receive 25 Unteroffiziere, 31 Unterführer (Obergefreitere?) And 600 Mannschaften from a Marsch.Btl then in Marsillargues (department of l'Hérault) -St Laurent-Vauvert (near Nîmes) and Aimargues, in the sector of the 338.Inf.Div in charge of accommodation.

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Re: March.Bataillonen 716.Inf.Div

Post by Tom Peters » 20 Oct 2021 23:48

Richard, do you know of a source of information that details all the numbers of march units that went to the west front from September to the end of the war ? I found some references in T78 R525 that seem to hint towards this, but the records are of terrible physical quality.

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Re: March.Bataillonen 716.Inf.Div

Post by Richard Anderson » 21 Oct 2021 00:07

Tom Peters wrote:
20 Oct 2021 23:48
Richard, do you know of a source of information that details all the numbers of march units that went to the west front from September to the end of the war ? I found some references in T78 R525 that seem to hint towards this, but the records are of terrible physical quality.

thanks,

Mad Dog
The only one that I know of is for June and July sent to Ob.West, which include M.-Btl. z.B.V. Inf. 344, 348, 353, 354, 356, 359, 360, 361, 362, 369, 370, 371, 372, 376, 377, 406, 409, 420, and ½ M.-Btl. z.B.V. Pz.Tr. 430.

Some more details on how replacements occurred are in this snippet from my manuscript on the German troops in the West.

The lack of sufficient and timely replacements for Ob. West was a major factor in the rapid loss of German combat effectiveness as the campaign wore on. That might seem curious, considering that the German forces deployed in the west had been a major source of manpower training for the Heer since before the beginning of the Russian Campaign in June 1941. For example, the primary role of the seven Reserve-Divisionen deployed in the west was recruit training for the Heer as a whole. As late as 7 July the recruit status in five of the divisions was broken down as 16 weeks of training: 19,897, 12 weeks: 8,450, 8 weeks: 11,052, 4 weeks: 5,086, and less than 4 weeks: 2,231 for a total of 46,816 recruits. However, the huge replacement demands of the eastern front limited the number of men that could be allocated to the west; in May alone between 119,000 and 126,000 replacements were sent east. Nevertheless following D-Day, in mid June, Hitler verbally ordered that all replacement drafts from Ersatzheer units in the west for units in the east be halted, an order that was confirmed in writing on 17 June. In effect that order placed all the personnel of the Reserve-Divisionen, about 72,000 at the disposal of Ob. West. As we have seen that was followed on 2 July by the transfer of three of the divisions to the Feldheer, with the remainder following by the end of the month.

Unfortunately for the most part that action simply added units to the order of battle of Ob. West instead of adding personnel to the available replacement pool. As was remarked in the Ob. West 23 July situation report, only the reorganization of 165. Res.-Div.actually added to the replacement pool, a total of about 8,000 men. Nor was it to be a “free” source of replacements. On 3 August the Ersatzheer stipulated that the 10,000 men drawn from the Reserve-Divisionen to date were to be replaced by 10,000 new recruits.

By 11 July it was noted that 11,000 replacements had been sent to Ob. West in June and that another 15,000 to 25,000 would be sent in July. But on 14 July that estimate was revised; the number of replacements received to date was reported as 3,000, with only another 26,100 expected by the end of the month. Given that by the end of the month it was expected that losses would total at least 127,700, the situation was obviously hovering on the edge of catastrophe.

On 16 August a more complete summary of the replacement situation in the west was issued. It planned on utilizing 6,000 HiWi to free 7,250 German personnel from existing units that could be used as replacements, merging the remnants of 16. Feld-Div. (LW), which had been nearly annihilated in the July battles around Caen, with 158.Res.-Div., freeing another 5,000 men for replacements, the arrival of the 10,000 recruits for the Reserve-Divisionen mentioned on 3 August, and 20,000 men that were expected to result from draconian streamlining measures in rear area units. Thus 42,250 men were expected to be found by personnel economies in Ob. West, in addition to replacement drafts from Germany, which were expected to amount to just over 4,500 men

By 13 August, including the 8,000 men gained from the 165. Reserve-Division, Ob. West had received just over 38,000 replacements for the 158,930 losses reported. Given those circumstances, even if all of the 42,250 men expected to be generated by the 16 August plan and the 9,933 replacements en route had been immediately available, the units of Ob. West would still have suffered a manpower shortfall of nearly 70,000. To put that figure in perspective, the actual combatant manpower of an infantry division – the personnel who did the fighting and who were usually the casualties – totaled between 5,000 and 7,000 men depending on the organization. Thus, the best case situation was that Ob. West would be short the combat strength of ten to fourteen divisions. But practically speaking by that time the effective combat strength of Ob. West had been reduced to next to nothing.

Replacements were usually sent forward as Marsch-Batallionen (M.-Btl., replacement battalions) and Genesne-Kompanien (Gen.-Kp., convalescent companies). The M.Btl. was formed at a replacement depot in Germany and was organized and equipped for combat as a unit if the need arose, while the officer and NCO positions were held by troops returning from leave. Ideally the entire battalion was intended for a single division; on arrival the personnel would be assigned to the divisional Ersatz-Batallion for additional training and orientation before being sent to one of the combat elements. Typically the battalions were about 1,000-men strong.

The Gen.-Kp. was generally 125 to 200 strong and was comprised of men returning to duty after being wounded or ill. Like the M.Btl. they were typically comprised of personnel from the same unit.

Specialist replacements, such as tank crew, maintenance personnel, vehicles drivers, engineers, and the like, were sometimes grouped in their own M.-Btl., for example the Pz.-M.-Btl. was common, comprised of the various specialist personnel required in the Panzer formations.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: March.Bataillonen 716.Inf.Div

Post by AETIUS 1980 » 21 Oct 2021 08:49

So much information!!!
Going back to the Marsch.Btlen provided to the 716.Inf.Div, these are mainly young recruits, some convalescents and a veteran executive from the ostfront (dixit Generalleutnant RICHTER even if I know was most selective on some aspects, starting with his loss of means, I mean psychological on June 6, not to mention his flagrant incapacity during the retreat in the Rhodanian corridor). I rely on two factors, the first being the number of prisoners recorded on June 18 by the 2nd Army (Summary intelligence No. 21); 3332 including 1094 of Gr.Rgt.726 and 1339 of Gr.Rgt.736. The latter had at 5 June a strenght ranging from 2100 to 2200 rationers. If we hidethe number of killed and wounded (not to mention those sucked in by units of circumstance or other divisions, like part of the 3./Gr.Rgt.736 paid to the Gr.Rgt.744), we get almost nothing! Then comes the shortest deadlines to allow convalescents to join their divisions. If I note some personnel of the Gr.Rgt.726, they are individuals injured before or on June 6 (the example of the Gefreiter Franz GOCKEL, 3./Gr.Rgt.726 being quite clear on it), something which comforts me in my analysis from the beginning.

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