"The Night of the Panthers" - new article on I./SS-Pz.Rgt 1 Normandy - Arthur Gullachsen

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Re: "The Night of the Panthers" - new article on I./SS-Pz.Rgt 1 Normandy - Arthur Gullachsen

Post by Cult Icon » 28 Aug 2021 16:14

Sorry Arthur, this article runs into trouble early on:
These rough tactics, though proven successful during 1943
German operations in the Ukraine, violated established German
armoured doctrine that propagated the use of all arms, especially
infantry support, artillery and airstrikes, to conduct operations. The
Russians, so familiar to the Germans, fought in an entirely different
manner than Anglo-Canadian forces. The lack of available resources
confronting both sides in the Ukraine often negated the ability to use
artillery preparatory fire to reduce enemy defences. Often groups of
German tanks with limited infantry support present could achieve
battlefield objectives using shock and surprise on the vast steppes of
the Ukraine, where Russian anti-tank and artillery forces in depth
were often absent.8
I think this statement should have been removed, as stereotyping tactics has serious problems and is unqualified. The 4th Pz Army counteroffensive in Feb-March 1943 was in very different tactical and terrain conditions from the 48th Pz Corps counterattacks west of Kiev Nov-Dec 1943. The latter was characterized by higher German losses per results, and strongpoints heavily equipped with Soviet anti-tank batteries and minefields, while the former was in a more fluid environment. The former was characterized by Soviet offensive exhaustion and overextension, and then the German exploitive counteroffensive. It should be remarked that the US army used similar methods when performing fast advances once the environment got fluid, the German opponent was demoralized and defenses were weak.

Besides that you'd be hard pressed to prove this claim and it would require a long paper to do so.. leave the connection to the "East" to the use of tanks in mobile shock action and Meyer and the 12 SS decision to do so on this day.

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Re: "The Night of the Panthers" - new article on I./SS-Pz.Rgt 1 Normandy - Arthur Gullachsen

Post by Westphalia1812 » 28 Aug 2021 16:19

Cult Icon wrote:
28 Aug 2021 14:20
Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
28 Aug 2021 07:49
Just to illustrate how well the attacking german divisions during Zitadelle were supported: ,,
Yep, OP Winter Storm, Stalingrad (supported by Luftflotte), and so many high powered counterattacks in the Eastern Front supported by a Fliegerkorps..
Even Konrad III was somehow well (considering the time) supported by the LW.

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Re: "The Night of the Panthers" - new article on I./SS-Pz.Rgt 1 Normandy - Arthur Gullachsen

Post by Sheldrake » 28 Aug 2021 18:11

Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
27 Aug 2021 23:16
Thanks for sharing. The article is great. His analysis shows that the tactics that HJ used during this counterattack weren't just the standard doctrine of the german armored forces since 1941 but rather a product of the experiences the LAH officers gained in the Ukraine in 1943*¹. Sadly no comparison between the counterattacks of Lehr, 2. PzDiv or 21. PzDiv has been made. It would be interesting to find out, if the other Heer and SS Panzer divisions had the same problem with coordination between different arms. The Canadians performed magnificently. The artillery tactics used by the Canadians are quite baffling.

*¹ ,,These rough tactics, though proven successful during 1943 German operations in the Ukraine, violated established German armoured doctrine that propagated the use of all arms, especially infantry support, artillery and airstrikes, to conduct operations."


What was baffling about the Canadian Artillery tactics?
Marc Milner's Guns of Bretteville is quoted in the article.https://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent ... ontext=cmh

It explains the artillery plan and offers a reason for the lack of co-operation between the attack by 25 SS and the infantry of 26th. - When it comes to artillery I prefer Milner to Gullaschen.

The Milner article shows the locations of the 12 and 13th RCA which explains why they were close enough to be engaging tanks over open sights and may have been the cause of Wunsche's head wound.

Not sure why Gullaschen dismisses the possibility of the KO Sherman being an Op vehicle.
Last edited by Sheldrake on 28 Aug 2021 18:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "The Night of the Panthers" - new article on I./SS-Pz.Rgt 1 Normandy - Arthur Gullachsen

Post by Westphalia1812 » 28 Aug 2021 18:23

Sheldrake wrote:
28 Aug 2021 18:11
Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
27 Aug 2021 23:16
Thanks for sharing. The article is great. His analysis shows that the tactics that HJ used during this counterattack weren't just the standard doctrine of the german armored forces since 1941 but rather a product of the experiences the LAH officers gained in the Ukraine in 1943*¹. Sadly no comparison between the counterattacks of Lehr, 2. PzDiv or 21. PzDiv has been made. It would be interesting to find out, if the other Heer and SS Panzer divisions had the same problem with coordination between different arms. The Canadians performed magnificently. The artillery tactics used by the Canadians are quite baffling.

*¹ ,,These rough tactics, though proven successful during 1943 German operations in the Ukraine, violated established German armoured doctrine that propagated the use of all arms, especially infantry support, artillery and airstrikes, to conduct operations."


What was baffling about the Canadian Artillery tactics?
Marc Milner's Guns of Bretteville is quoted in the article.https://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent ... ontext=cmh

It explains the artillery plan and offers a reason for the lack of co-operation between the attack by 25 SS and the infantry of 26th. - When it comes to artillery I prefer Milner to Gullaschen.

The Milner article shows the locations of the 12 and 13th RCA which explains why they were close enough to be engaging tanks over open sights and may have been the cause of Wunsche's head wound.

Not sure why Gullaschen dismisses the possibility of the KO Sherman being an Op vehicle.


I just meant that they used the artillery extremely effective. I haven't read much (actually, nothing) about allied artillery doctrine.

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Re: "The Night of the Panthers" - new article on I./SS-Pz.Rgt 1 Normandy - Arthur Gullachsen

Post by Michael Kenny » 28 Aug 2021 18:46

Sheldrake wrote:
28 Aug 2021 18:11


Not sure why Gullaschen dismisses the possibility of the KO Sherman being an Op vehicle.
If I had to guess he has a photo that shows it not to be an OP tank.

As an aside-what is the artillery unit term for such (OP) tanks? I have seen it before but can not remember it.

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Re: "The Night of the Panthers" - new article on I./SS-Pz.Rgt 1 Normandy - Arthur Gullachsen

Post by Sheldrake » 28 Aug 2021 19:00

Michael Kenny wrote:
28 Aug 2021 18:46
Sheldrake wrote:
28 Aug 2021 18:11


Not sure why Gullaschen dismisses the possibility of the KO Sherman being an Op vehicle.
If I had to guess he has a photo that shows it not to be an OP tank.

As an aside-what is the artillery unit term for such (OP) tanks? I have seen it before but can not remember it.
Maybe, but if not a Gunner OP vehicle whose was it?

The term Armoured OP was used to refer to the Universal Carriers that were mount of the OPs in 25 Pounder regiments supporting infantry broigades. The SP Regiments FIeld Regiments in 3rd British and 3rd Canadian divisions that landed on D Day were equipped with Sherman OP Tanks for the OPs and Gun Position Officers for each troop. Each battery had four tanks. I am not 100% sure that all OP Tanks were the Artillery varient with the wooden barrel.

Marc Milner's aerticle mentions that the OPs with the Reginas did not operate from their tanks but worked from slit trenches. So Milner thinks there were some artillery tanks in the Regina's area.

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Re: "The Night of the Panthers" - new article on I./SS-Pz.Rgt 1 Normandy - Arthur Gullachsen

Post by stg 44 » 29 Aug 2021 01:43

Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
28 Aug 2021 16:19
Cult Icon wrote:
28 Aug 2021 14:20
Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
28 Aug 2021 07:49
Just to illustrate how well the attacking german divisions during Zitadelle were supported: ,,
Yep, OP Winter Storm, Stalingrad (supported by Luftflotte), and so many high powered counterattacks in the Eastern Front supported by a Fliegerkorps..
Even Konrad III was somehow well (considering the time) supported by the LW.
AFAIK that was because of the availability of fuel that as lacking on other fronts but was available in Hungary since it as the last operable oil field/refinery region available to Germany. So why not mass aircraft there?

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Re: "The Night of the Panthers" - new article on I./SS-Pz.Rgt 1 Normandy - Arthur Gullachsen

Post by Panther Arthur » 29 Aug 2021 03:37

Hello Everyone - typo - of course you know I./SS-Pz.Rgt.12 - missed a "2".

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Re: "The Night of the Panthers" - new article on I./SS-Pz.Rgt 1 Normandy - Arthur Gullachsen

Post by Michael Kenny » 24 Mar 2022 19:51

Link to a VERY detailed examination of 12th SS Panthers in Normandy


https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/archive ... .html#p316

This is the type of research that used to be commonplace of ML and even here but sadly seems to be no longer fashionable.

Interesting claim that 17 'in repair' Panthers were replaced by swapping them out of the Unit.

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Re: "The Night of the Panthers" - new article on I./SS-Pz.Rgt 1 Normandy - Arthur Gullachsen

Post by Peter89 » 25 Mar 2022 13:06

stg 44 wrote:
29 Aug 2021 01:43
Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
28 Aug 2021 16:19
Cult Icon wrote:
28 Aug 2021 14:20
Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
28 Aug 2021 07:49
Just to illustrate how well the attacking german divisions during Zitadelle were supported: ,,
Yep, OP Winter Storm, Stalingrad (supported by Luftflotte), and so many high powered counterattacks in the Eastern Front supported by a Fliegerkorps..
Even Konrad III was somehow well (considering the time) supported by the LW.
AFAIK that was because of the availability of fuel that as lacking on other fronts but was available in Hungary since it as the last operable oil field/refinery region available to Germany. So why not mass aircraft there?
It is questionable how much refinery capacity was in Hungary by that time. Before the air raids started, Hungary had roughly 600,000 t/y refining capacit in the spring of 1944. By the time Konrad III started, roughly 475,000 t/y of that capacity was occupied by the Red Army, and the remaining refineries in Almásfüzitő and Pétfürdő got critical damage by the bombings, their production dropped to 10% of what it was before. Also after the devastating attacks in the summer, the Hungarian and German leadership decided to decentralize the refinery capacities and did not really rebuilt either Almásfüzitő or Pétfürdő, but kept what little production they could keep there, and relocated the rest of the surviving equipment to places with little to no infrastructure like Ortaháza, Vértesacsa and Felcsút. Of course, these mini-refineries produced fuel only for the Soviets, if they were completed at all.

The documents from the direct German administration period are missing, but the production of the last months can be estimated at 1000-2000 t/month, so not really an important factor in the context of roughly 385,000 t German stocks (aviation gasoline, motor gasoline and diesel fuel) in January 1945. It was much more about the protection of the Austrian wells and industry than utilizing the Hungarian ones.
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