Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

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krichter33
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Re: Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Post by krichter33 » 10 Jan 2015 02:54

Great thread!!!

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Re: Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Post by Igorn » 14 Jun 2015 16:37

Cult Icon wrote:I've read "Red Storm over the Balkans" which gives a great account of this battle. Here are my notes while reading, including both soviet and german statistics. Sources: I used Jung, History of PR-GD to get some German armor statistics. I used this thread to get SS-T statistics.

Directly facing them:

GD Holding the front (less than half front line combat strength (@ 40% TOE) but support weapons are strong. 2,400 infantry in 2 regiments ), armor strength fluctuates: maximum 72 runners out of 200 tanks and AG in inventory.)

46th Infantry Division Holding the front.

24. Pz Situated behind the Rumanians. (Brigade size total in various combined arms battle groups. 24 runners (tanks and AG) maximum.)

SS-Totenkopf in reserve (weak, brigade size, missing lots of equipment, armor non-operational)

Panzers and stugs: Maximum 96 operational.

1st Guards Armor Division (Rumanian) 80, mostly light rumanian tanks.

6th Infantry Division (Rumanian)

Germans in the center, Rumanians on the flanks....:devil:
[/quote]

Dear All,

Helion & Company just released my book on the combat history of the 2-nd Guards Tank Army "Stalin's Favorite". The tank battle of Targu Frumos was covered in every detail based on the archival materials from both sides. It includes day by day coverage of the 2nd Tank Army up to brigade and regiment level based on the primary Tsamo reports and War diaries of the army and its corps'.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1909 ... _i=desktop

Here I want to share with you some information from my book on the strengths of the GD and 24th panzer division on the eve of the battle.

"General Manteuffel, the former commander of Grossdeutschland, after the war gave a lecture to American officers at the General Staff College in Forth Leavenworth, Kansas, in which he gave the following information on the condition of Grossdeutschland on 1 May 1944, on the eve of the next stage of fighting for Tȃrgu Frumos [Editor’s note: I have borrowed the format and wording from Table 5.3 in David Glantz’s Red Storm over the Balkans]:

The Panzer Regiment comprising:
1. One battalion of MK IV tanks with four companies and a total of 40 tanks
2. Two battalions of MK V [Panther] tanks, each battalion with four companies and 40 tanks, for a total of 80 tanks
3. One battalion of MK VI [Tiger] tanks with four companies and a total of 40 total tanks
4. For a grand total of 160 tanks
Two infantry regiments [Grenadier and Fusilier], each with three battalions with four companies of 100 men each and heavy weapons companies:
1. The Panzer Grenadier Regiment with one battalion in halftracks and two in lorries
2. The Panzer Fusilier Regiment with one battalion in halftracks and two in scout cars
A Reconnaissance Battalion at two-thirds strength
An Anti-aircraft Battalion with three batteries of 88-mm guns and one battery of 37-mm guns
An Armored Artillery Regiment with four battalions, each battalion with three batteries, one tracked and three lorry-drawn
An Assault Gun Battalion with about 40 guns
An Engineer [Pioneer] Battalion
Summary: Grossdeutschland Division had 160 tanks, 24 infantry companies with a total bayonet [combat] strength of 2,400 men, 12 artillery batteries, 40 assault guns, and a comprehensive air defense, part of which could be employed in an antitank role

In the future, the data given by Manteuffel in his lecture on the composition of the Grossdeutschland Panzer Grenadier Division were repeated in many serious studies of the fighting at Tȃrgu Frumos. For example, Manteuffel’s numbers were cited by Helmuth Spaeter and David Glantz in their respective works. However, some scholars question Manteuffel’s figures. For example, Hans-Joachim Jung, in his history of Grossdeutschland’s panzer regiment, reports that in reality, the panzer regiment never had more than 25 Pz. IV, 12 Pz. V, 10 Pz. VI and 25 StuG combat-fit. This gives a total of approximately 72 tanks and self-propelled guns. This differs from Manteuffel’s higher figures by 88 armored vehicles. Thus did Manteuffel double his armor strength? And what was the sense of doing this in his lecture to the American officers? If he stopped the Soviet offensive at Tȃrgu Frumos with only 72 tanks and self-propelled guns, instead of the 160 given by him in the lecture, this would have only have been a major plus for him, for achieving a victory with much less strength.
When preparing his lecture, Manteuffel apparently didn’t have any actual reports on the amount of tanks in the division on 1 May 1944, so he gave figures according to the table strength of tanks in the battalions, not their real numbers. In fact, only one Panther battalion of Grossdeutschland actually took part in the fighting at Tȃrgu Frumos, namely, I./Pz.Rgt. 26, since the division’s own Panther battalion, I./Pz.Rgt. GD, although carried on the unit roster of Grossdeutschland, was actually located in France, and arrived on the Eastern Front only in July 1944, whereupon it operated separately from its parent division. There weren’t 80 Pz. Vs in his division, as he indicated to his American audiences, but only approximately 40. Thus Manteuffel actually did exaggerate the number of Panthers in his division. According to archival documents, on 1 May 1944 the Panther battalion had 19 combat-ready Panthers, plus 8 Panthers undergoing short-term repairs. More Panthers were undergoing major overhauls.
In addition, there is information that the following replacements had been shipped from the factory for I./Pz.Rgt. 26 alone: 8 Panthers on 22 April 1944 and 16 Panthers on 23 April, which arrived on 1-2 May, but it is unknown whether they were included in a report on the battalion’s strength produced on 1 May 1944. Reinforcements were arriving in the battalion throughout the fighting in Romania. For example, another 16 Panthers were sent on 6-7 May. Eight more Panthers arrived for the battalion on 9 May, followed by another 8 Panthers on 28 May. [Source: http://www.panther1944.de/en/sdkfz-171- ... -1944.html].
One very important detail: Manteuffel, and many other western scholars of these battles together with him, forgot to mention the assets attached to Grossdeutschland in the fighting at Tȃrgu Frumos, but they were significant. For example, Kamen Nevenkin in his book Fire Brigades, citing German archival sources, revealed that Grossdeutschland in this fighting was reinforced with a Pz. IV battalion and a company of Tigers from the Totenkopf Panzer Division, a battery of StuG assault guns from the 325th Assault Gun Brigade, and with at least one battery of the 228th Assault Gun Brigade. Thus, in the fighting near Tȃrgu Frumos between 1 and 10 May 1944, the Grossdeutschland Panzer Grenadier Division had one battalion of Panthers (I/Pz.Rgt. 26), two battalions of Pz. IV (its own and the battalion from Totenkopf), a battalion of Tigers and a company of Tigers from Totenkopf, a battalion of StuG assault guns (its own) and another 2-3 batteries of assault guns. All this adds up to approximately 200 tanks and assault guns alone. A genuine assessment of the Grossdeutschland Division at the start of the fighting near Tȃrgu Frumos (on 2 May 1944) would estimate that it had approximately 40 Panthers, 30 Tigers, 80 Pz. IV, and 50 StuG. Thus did Manteuffel really exaggerate the number of tanks and self-propelled guns that he had under his command on 2 May 1944?
As the reader can see, Manteuffel not only didn’t exaggerate his strength, but substantially understated the amount of armor in the Grossdeutschland Panzer Grenadier Division, and forgot to include its attached assets. In addition to the reinforcements in tanks, Grossdeutschland also had reinforcements in the form of infantry and artillery units, about which Manteuffel also modestly kept silent. Thus, on the axis of the main attack launched by the weakened 2nd Tank Army, a very strong German grouping was occupying the defense and preparing for counterattacks. In addition, the 24th Panzer Division was located here, which had redeployed on 30 April 1944 from the Iași area to the area of Podul Iloaie and the Iași – Tȃrgu Frumos highway, where it was given the task to be ready to counterattack the enemy on the right flank of the Grossdeutschland Division. According to archival records and the division’s combat journal, on 1 May 1944 the 24th Panzer Division had one Bef.Pz.III. 14 StuG III and 33 Pz. IV in the Pz.Rgt.Stb. 24 and III./Pz.Rgt. 24, plus 2 Pz.Beob.III and 4 StuH 42 in I./Pz.Art.Rgt. 24 for a total of 36 tanks and 18 assault guns. It also had two batteries of Hummel and Brumbar self-propelled artillery. Here, the dominance of the Luftwaffe in the air should also be noted, which also served to frustrate the Soviet forces’ offensive."

Best Regards,

Igor

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pintere
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Re: Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Post by pintere » 14 Jun 2015 22:18

I don't have as much data as I'd like, but I'll comment on the numbers given the resources I have.

The Tigers are the easiest to check, thanks to Schneider's tome on the subject. According to him, Grossdeutschland's tank battalion had 20 tanks available during the fighting at Targul Frumos. But of course, only a limited number were operational and capable of battle. On 30 April the battalion had less than half that number operational (8), and it is reasonable to assume that that number would apply to the fighting over the next few days. Hans-Joachim Jung, in his history of the GD tank regiment, says only 6 to 7 Tigers were serviceable during this tank battle (but it's not official. It may be just his guess.) As for Totenkopf's tank company, they actually had no tanks at all until 2 May, when they received three Tigers. But these did participate in the battle.

As for the Panthers, Kamen Nevenkin's book gives some helpful figures. On 20 April GD had 13 Panthers, of which 7 were operational. They got 24 by the 2 May for sure. The monthly condition report of I./Panzer-Regiment 26 for 1 May records that it had 27 Panthers of which 19 were serviceable. This seems to present a fairly good picture of its strength. But how many were serviceable in the battle? Again, Jung estimates only 8-10, although his estimate is probably a bit low, but not far from the mark. He also records there were about 22 serviceable Panzer IV's for GD, which is probably fairly accurate. A week earlier, the GD tank regiment mustered 23 Panzer IV's for a counterattack near Ruginoasa, after a new batch of Panzer IV's had arrived.

Thus, it seems that rather than having 30 Tigers, GD (including the SS tiger company) had only about 10-15 Tigers available for battle. Rather than 40 Panthers, the number is probably between 10-20. The numbers of Panzer IV directly attached to GD is probably just over 20, and I don't think Totenkopf's battalion was any stronger, but that's only a guess of mine. As said before, I can't comment on a lot of the tank strengths here, but from what I have been able to find out, the number of German AFV's that participated in the battle is probably a lot less than 200, or even 160.



(P.S. Nevenkin does have numbers for the 24. Panzer Division on 1 May '44 as well. But he only records 4 Pz.III, 23 (14 operational) Pz.IV, and 16 (13 operational) Stug. I'm not too sure what to make of this apparent contradiction between Nevenkin's numbers and Igorn's. Thoughts?)

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Re: Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Post by Cult Icon » 15 Jun 2015 14:59

Thanks a lot for the recent additions and the query responses. Red Storm over the Balkans, PzK GD, and PR-GD have no mention of 325/228 AG Brigade and do not reveal the SS-T's armor strength. Nor do the texts mention that GD commanded Totenkopf armor.

The SS-T's armor played a smaller role during the battle- there is a part in the op history that mentions help from this unit . The main came from 24.Pz.
For example, Kamen Nevenkin in his book Fire Brigades, citing German archival sources, revealed that Grossdeutschland in this fighting was reinforced with a Pz. IV battalion and a company of Tigers from the Totenkopf Panzer Division, a battery of StuG assault guns from the 325th Assault Gun Brigade, and with at least one battery of the 228th Assault Gun Brigade.

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Re: Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Post by dgfred » 19 Jun 2015 15:50

Hey Cult... thanks for the information.

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Re: Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Post by Kanov » 03 Sep 2015 19:09

Great info, much thanks. I'm looking to know more about this battle, down to company level if it is possible, this engagement seems very interesting as potential to convert it in a scenario for tactical videogames because of the wide variety of axis forces from elite renown divisions to Romanian armour and infantry divisions with a wide variety of weapons, in the soviet side we have an over extended army, probably not at full strength, but why were they beaten? was their morale or cohesion very low? sadly I don't have any books about it, only the internet. I would like to tidy up all the info in this thread, I will amend it in time with all the great information you guys have provided.

This is from wiki pedia, please feel free to correct it. I think first we should concentrate on the forces involved at the start, what strength they were compared to oficial TO&E? where were they located? what was their morale like? what support they had?

For the first Major engagement (9-12 April 1944)
Soviet
  • 2nd Tank Army, Lieutenant-General Semen Bogdanov

    27th Army, Lieutenant-General Viktor Trofimenko
    • 35th Guards Rifle Corps, Lieutenant-General S.G. Goriachev
      3rd Guards Airborne Division
      93rd Guards Rifle Division
      202nd Rifle Division
      206th Rifle Division
    40th Army, Lieutenant-General F.F. Zhmachenko
    • 51st Rifle Corps, Major-General P.P. Avdeenko
      • 42nd Guards Rifle Division

    Axis
    • German
      • 8th Army, General der Infanterie Otto Wöhler
        • Grossdeutschland Panzer Grenadier Division, General der Panzertruppe Hasso von Manteuffel
          • Panzer Regiment
            Panzer Grenadier Regiment
            Panzer Fusilier Regiment
      Romanian
      • 4th Army, Lieutenant-General Ioan Mihail Racoviţă
        • 1st Army Corps
          • 6th Infantry Division
          4th Army Corps
          • 1st Guards Armoured Division, Brigadier-General Radu Korne
            7th Infantry Division
    For the second engagement (2-8 May 1944):
    • Soviet
      • 2nd Ukrainian Front (Konev)
        • Main Shock Group (Tirgu Frumos Axis)
          • 27th Army (Trofimenko)
            • 35th Guards Rifle Corps
              • 3rd Guards Airborne Division
                93rd Guards Rifle Division
                202nd Rifle Division
                206th Rifle Division
              33rd Rifle Corps
              • 78th Rifle Division
                180th Rifle Division
                337th Rifle Division
            40th Army (Zhmachenko)
            • 50th Rifle Corps
              • 4th Guards Rifle Division
                133rd Rifle Division
                163rd Rifle Division
              51st Rifle Corps
              • 42nd Guards Rifle Division
                74th Rifle Division
                232nd Rifle Division
              104th Rifle Corps
              • 38th Rifle Division
                240th Rifle Division
            2nd Tank Army (Bogdanov)
          3rd Tank Corps (50 Tanks)
          • 50th Tank Brigade
            51st Tank Brigade
            103rd Tank Brigade
            57th Motorized Rifle Brigade
          16th Tank Corps (55 Tanks)
          • 107th Tank Brigade
            109th Tank Brigade
            164th Tank Brigade
            154th Motorized Rifle Brigade
          11th Guards Tank Brigade (16 Tanks)
          8th Guards Separate Tank Regiment
          13th Guards Separate Tank Regiment
      Northern Shock Group (N of Iasi) Secondary Operations
      52nd Army (Koroteev)
      78th Rifle Corps
      252nd Rifle Division
      303rd Rifle Division
      373rd Rifle Division
      73rd Rifle Corps
      31st Rifle Division
      254th Rifle Division
      294th Rifle Division
      116th Rifle Division (Army Reserve)
      6th Tank Army (Kravchenko)
      5th Mechanised Corps (20-30 Tanks)
      5th Guards Tank Corps
Axis
  • German
    • Army Group South Ukraine
      • 8th Army
        • LVII Panzercorps
          • Grossdeutschland Division
            23rd Panzer Division
            Battle group of 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf
          IV Armeecorps (Group Mieth)
          • 46th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)
            24th Panzer Division (Army Reserve)
    Romanian
    • 4th Romanian Army (Racoviță)
      • I Romanian Army Corps
        • 8th Infantry Division
          6th Infantry Division
        IV Romanian Army Corps
        • 7th Infantry Division
          1st Guards Armoured Division (Commander Radu Korne)
          18th Mountain Division
          3rd Infantry Division
      1st Air Corps
      • 5th Bomber Group
        8th Assault Group (flying German Hs 129 ground attack planes)
        9th Fighter Group

To be continued...

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Kanov
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Re: Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Post by Kanov » 15 Sep 2015 16:59

I want to excuse for that last post since I thought I could edit it later and now it seems I can't for some reason. My idea was to be correcting it until an accurate snapshot of the units involved was achieved, plus to put all the events scattered through the thread in one post. I'm still pulling together what ever info I can find from this thread and other web pages.

I ask any member that has the maps posted in this thread to repost them again please since they are gone, specially the one Victor posted.

I have some questions still:

-where was the II./PzFüsiliere rgt/GD located?

Thanks so much for your time in researching this battle.

PS I have this link http://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/ ... ern-front/ sadly the map only shows the GD deployment and the soviets facing it, it doesn't show the romanians or other units.


Cheers.

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Re: Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Post by mi.tudor » 25 Jan 2016 16:48

Hello,

Tudor from Iasi, Romania here and very interested in this battle. Also want to say that this topic has a lot of great and useful information.
Wanted to update it with some pictures from the https://www.facebook.com/rom.ww2 facebook page, that has a lot of great WWII military photos from Romania.

The pictures regarding this topics are these one:

https://www.facebook.com/rom.ww2/photos ... =3&theater
12189268_857022011079609_7379145085369260615_o.jpg
https://www.facebook.com/rom.ww2/photos ... =3&theater
12186373_849925711789239_3023021534747945965_o.jpg
https://www.facebook.com/rom.ww2/photos ... =3&theater
10344840_729830793798732_2015300041351315568_n.jpg
https://www.facebook.com/rom.ww2/photos ... =3&theater
10427315_710551499059995_5085106566030786887_n.jpg
https://www.facebook.com/rom.ww2/photos ... =3&theater
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Re: Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Post by mi.tudor » 27 Jan 2016 09:52

Also, there was found another 2 pictures from an ebay auction with another Stug III, or maybe is the same one with the same crew? What do you think?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/JE49-Sturmgesch ... 339b79a4fd
JE49 Sturmgeschütz STUG III valance Jassy Romania 1944 24.Panzer-Divi sion.jpg
Also on the back of the photo that says something with Jassy(Iasi) '44. Can someone tell what the rest of text means?
4pQk9gKPoKE5.jpg
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Sean Oliver
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Re: Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Post by Sean Oliver » 29 Feb 2016 23:58

Here are some helpful German armor strength figures found in H.Gr.A KTB April-May 1944 (NARA T-311 roll 157). These numbers appear every three days but only describe the number of operational Panzers and StuG and unusually StuH (10,5 cm StuG), and are aggregated for each army-level HQ under H.Gr.A. They are not reported by division/unit. For now, I'll just post the May 2 numbers and compare them with the other information posted.

May 2, 1944 Armeegruppe Wohler:
96 Panzers
76 StuG
4 StuH

A.Gr.Wohler (AOK 8) held an area of the front which included the Targu Frumos sector during late April and early May, and had the following units which were likely to report panzers during that period:

Grossdeutschland, 3.SS-Pz, 24.Pz, 23.Pz, 1.Gds.Armd.(Romanian), and 228 and 325 StuG Brigades.

There were also several German and Romanian infantry divisions which might've had some Stugs, but probably not any panzers.

The best information available gives us the following AFV strengths on May 2, which also match the figures given above:

3.SS-Pz.Div: A number of sources assert that "T" had zero panzers, StuGs, or AFVs at all on this day. However, it appears the Tiger company was reported attached to GD. One source claims GD had 6 Tigers, another says it had approximately 10, so perhaps the disparity were Totenkopf Tigers. This is only conjecture. Parts of "T" had a battery of Stugs from the 325.StuG Brig attached during the battle.

Grossdeutschland:
Manteuffel's numbers are much too great and cannot possibly indicate GD's tank strength on May 2, operational or otherwise, and who the hell cares that he's "wrong"? His intention was to make his description of tactics interesting and dramatic for his audience of young officers. He probably chose the defense of Romania as an example and the May 2 battle of Targu Frumos in particular because his recollection of its success remained vivid in his memory (the many Soviet tanks destroyed, the JS-2s, the fact that GD's line held for many weeks...). It was also easy to describe without involving divisions besides his own, or needing a lot of complicated maps to explain. He was interested in keeping it simple.

So...

The division did not deploy two Panther Battalions at Targu Frumos, but GD did control two. The first, in Romania with the division, was the I./Pz.Rgt.26, [19 operational Panthers on May 1] [Jung says 13], while the second Panther unit, I./Pz.Rgt.GD, was training on Panthers a few hundred kilometers to the west, but still officially part of the division. There are photos showing a command Panther with a little black "GD" logo on it, supposedly photographed at Targu Frumos and belonging to GD's panzer regiment commander, Langkeit, and Jung (?) hints there might've been a couple additional GD command Panthers in addition to the 19 of the I./Pz.Rgt.26.
Also, Jung erroneously believed the battalion of Panthers were attached from 24.Pz.Div.
GD's Pzkw.IV battalion (II./Pz.Rgt.GD) seems to have fielded about 20-25 tanks May 2.
The III./Pz.Rgt.GD had approximately 10 Tigers in action on May 2. Some of them may have been donated by 3.SS-Pz.Div.(See above)
GD's StuG battalion also seems to have deployed 20-25 StuG for the battle.
One complication is the report that a number of Panthers arrived by rail for I/Pz.Rgt.26 on May 2. These could not possibly have participated on May 2, due to the necessity of time-consuming maintenance required for all factory fresh tanks before deployment in combat. These tasks included bore-sighting the main armament, tuning the radios, and inspecting the crate from top to bottom.

24.Pz.Div.:
Nevekin says 14 Pzkw IV and 9 Stug, the divisional history says 28 Pzkw and 9 StuGs. They deployed 14 PzIVs and 9 Stugs on May 2, arriving in the nick of time and practically saving the day for GD and LVII.Pz.K. (but that's another story)

325 and 228 StuG Brigades:
Each appears to have provided GD and T with a 'battery' of StuGs each, near GD's left wing and each probably had no more than 10 guns each available.

23.Pz.Div.:
Did not participate in the May 2 Targu Frumos battles, but was part of A.Gr.Wohler, and seems likely to have had about 10 Pzkw IVs and 10 StuGs on May 2, maybe more, but that's a guess based on its April and June figures.

1st Gds Armd Div (Romanian):
The 23.Pz.Div history mentions this division having 32 Pzkw IVs and 10 StuGs in mid April. Did not participate in the Targu Frumos battle.

Totals=Almost 100 Panzers and almost 80 StuGs, very close to the 96 Panzers, 80 StuGs numbers given in the A.Gr. KTB.
Of these, about 60 Panzers and 50 StuGs were available with the units which fought May 2-5 around Targu Frumos.

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Re: Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Post by Michate » 01 Mar 2016 08:29

Good job, I do have the NARA roll as well as most of the literature sources myself and can second what you write.

To provide some more information on what the Germans thought of their successes against this attack:

The war diaries of HGr. A (NARA T-311 roll 157) and of AOK 8 (NARA T-312 roll 64) report LVII Pz.Korps being attacked by 300-350 tanks on 2 May 1944, of which 160+ were claimed knocked out ("abgeschossen") and in addition others being damaged.

Of these, according to the diary of HGr. A, Großdeutschland claimed 96 tanks knocked out until afternoon. Remarkable is the very high number of tanks claimed knocked out by the Luftwaffe: 64 tanks knocked out, destruction of 17 additional tanks "probable", "hits achieved" against 65 tanks. In addition the Romanian air force knocked out 3 tanks and downed 3 enemy aircraft. In the evening, 201 tanks are reported knocked out or damaged.

The diary of AOK 8 mentions somewhat different claim figures (as of 05:00 p.m.):
- 24 Pz.Division: 18
- Großdeutschland: 83
- SS-T.: 9
- 6th Romanian ID: 7
- Luftwaffe: 50
- in addition damaged: 40
- run onto mines: 3
in sum: enemy tank losses: ~210 (of which 40-43 repairable)

As to the relatively low number of german tanks and armoured vehciles participating, the defense was very much a combined arms affair (which is also the gist of Manteuffel's later presentation). The operational reports in the war diaries mention the role of their own large scale air effort and concentrated artillery fire in breaking up or scattering the enemy tank formations and separating them from their infantry, even if the Luftwaffe claims of tanks knocked out are probably highly exaggerated.

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Re: Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 01 Mar 2016 15:02

TigerKp of of 'Totenkopf' seems to have hdád at least 3 Tiger I operationable on 2nd May, according to Wolfgang Schneider. They were thrown together with II.& III/ 'Eicke' and some newly arrived tanks of II./SS-PzRgt.3 into battle.

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Re: Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 01 Mar 2016 17:21

According to the Zustandsbericht of 1.Mai 1944, cited at Vopersal IV,p.496, I./SS-PzRgt.3 had 4 Pz. V operational and 1 in kurzfristiger Inst. (subordinated to PzBrg. 10).

Jan-Hendrik

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Re: Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Post by Sean Oliver » 01 Mar 2016 19:32

Jan - Hendrick:
Thanks for the info. I seem to recall the 10.Pz.Brig. was in France around that time, wasn't it? If so, the Panthers of I./SS-Pz.Rgt.3 were not stationed with the division in Romania in May. There's no mention of them at Targu Frumos. IIRC Totenkopf's Panthers were reunited with the division near Warsaw in June-July.
This brings up an important point regarding German AFV strength in the east during spring of 1944; Since Zitadelle, Hitler often decided exactly where to send each new armor shipment, depending on his current strategic fixation. In spring '44 he was fixated upon defeating the immanent Allied invasion of France, and he sought to bring the panzer divisions there up to full strength, which they were by June 1. This seems to have deprived the panzer divisions in the east of much-needed replacements after their disastrous vehicle losses during the recent 'rasputitsa retreat' from the Ukraine, Feb-April. Other than GD's 60-70 tanks and 24.Pz.Div's 30-40 tanks, the other panzer divisions in H.Gr.A + H.Gr.Sud generally seem to have less than a dozen or so operational tanks at any one time, with many waiting to be repaired, but many more lost over the previous 2-3 months due to combat, lack of fuel, and mud. This was common among panzer divisions throughout the entire Sep '43- May '44 period in the Ukraine. The panzers in the east finally started receiving their fresh replacement armor after the Allies landed in the west.

P.S. Another interesting factoid surrounding Targu Frumos on May 2-5 is that it appears to be one the earliest uses of the 'Panzerfaust' in large numbers against a major tank assault. GD's infantry had recently received a large shipment of them for the first time, which helps explain the number of Soviet tank losses.

P.P.S Dozens of Red Army combat journals for Targu Frumos are available online at the incredible website https://pamyatnaroda.mil.ru/ 8O

Jan-Hendrik
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Re: Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 02 Mar 2016 06:21

Ahhh, thanks, I forgot last evening that I./SS-PzRgt.3 was in France for being refreshed...

Jan-Hendrik

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