Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Discussions on the fortifications, artillery, & rockets used by the Axis forces.
herring
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Re: Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Post by herring » 11 Aug 2020 08:12

Seems like a privat group on FB?......

wimve
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Re: Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Post by wimve » 11 Aug 2020 09:16

Why not post here ? You got a lot of information from here.
Thanks,

Wim
www.petromax.nl
3D : http://www.petromax.nl/Hanstholm.html
http://www.petromax.nl/DeBeer.html

Konstantin
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Re: Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Post by Konstantin » 29 Jul 2022 15:43

wimve wrote:
11 Aug 2020 09:16
Why not post here ? You got a lot of information from here.

I will definitely publish. Too bad didn't do it sooner. There is very little time in the war to write something. And it is very unlikely that tomorrow you will be alive. But nonetheless. I want to completely redo this article, new facts have been discovered

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AvB
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Re: Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Post by AvB » 08 Aug 2022 16:08

Be safe Konstantin!

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Re: Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Post by Konstantin » 28 Aug 2022 08:39

Konstantin Abramenko. The use of field and long-term fortification structures by the German army to organize the defense of settlements in the rear area of ​​the 1st Panzer Army in 1943. Part 1

With the onset of the spring of 1943, German troops began to urgently strengthen their positions on the Eastern Front. According to the order of the General Staff of the Ground Forces (German Generalstabes des Heeres, GenStdH) of the Supreme Command of the Ground Forces (German Oberkommando des Heeres, OKH), transferred to the Army Groups (German Heeresgruppe, HGr) on March 13, 1943, the troops were assigned the task to strengthen the front line as soon as possible due to the extensive use of engineering support. Special attention was proposed to be paid to the need to saturate the front edge of the defense (German Hauptkampflinie, HKL) with both fire and engineering means. Behind the front edge of the defense, it was proposed to set up fully equipped reserve rear fortified positions as soon as possible to ensure the possibility of eliminating local breakthroughs of the enemy's troops. The commandants of the rear areas (German: Kommandant des rückwärtigen Armeegebiets, Korück) of the combined arms and tank armies were ordered immediately, using mainly the civilian population, to begin the transformation of strategically important settlements into defense hubs. Which were planned to be used to block deep breakthroughs. Moreover, the order contained a direct instruction to turn these settlements into resistance nodes capable of fighting in isolation.

The execution of this order regarding the organization of the defense of settlements in the front line of the 1st Panzer Army was entrusted to the commandant of the 531st rear area, Major General Wilhelm Stubenrauch (German: Generalmajor Wilhelm Stubenrauch) and his headquarters (hereinafter Korück 531).

It was unpleasant news. Because even without fortification construction, Korück 531 had enough priority tasks:

- ensuring the security of the rear of the 1st Tank Army, guarding and protecting important military facilities, fighting partisans;
- protection of important economic and industrial facilities;
- provision and development of civil service bodies in the occupied territory;
- organization of the movement of troops through the area of ​​the rear area;
- quartering of troops and weapons;
- traffic order of vehicles;
- organization of the operation of prisoner of war deportation camps (Durchgangslager, Dulag);
- providing counter-intelligence operations for the Abwehr.

In the photos: German field shelter of the "Siegfried" type in Kramatorsk. 1942 year
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Last edited by Konstantin on 28 Aug 2022 09:06, edited 3 times in total.

Konstantin
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Re: Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Post by Konstantin » 28 Aug 2022 08:42

Konstantin Abramenko. The use of field and long-term fortification structures by the German army to organize the defense of settlements in the rear area of ​​the 1st Panzer Army in 1943. Part 2

The territories of five front-line regions of Ukraine, including the Stalin region, belonged to the so-called "Territory of Military Administration". In short, the highest power in these territories, unlike, for example, the Reichskommissariat "Ukraine", belonged to the military. "Territories of military administration" consisted of areas of direct combat operations, rear areas of individual armies, rear areas of army groups.

In the area of ​​hostilities, administrative functions in relation to the local population were usually performed by commanders of army and tank corps or divisions. And in the case of stabilization of the front, district commandant offices are temporarily organized.

In the rear areas of the armies and army groups, district commandant offices, field commandant offices and main field commandant offices constituted the system of German military administration. Field and district commandants in the rear areas of the armies were directly subordinated to the commandants of these districts. In the rear areas of the army groups, the field commandant's offices were subordinated to the commander of the rear area of ​​the corresponding army group, and the district commandant's offices to the corresponding main field commandant's office.

The territories of the Stalin and Voroshilovgrad regions, which were under German military administration, were included in the area of ​​responsibility of the rear area of ​​the army group "South". As of the spring of 1943, infantry general Joachim Witthöft performed the duties of commander of the rear area of ​​Army Group South (Befehlshaber des Rückwärtigen Heeresgebietes Süd, Berück Süd). And although the commandant of the 531st rear area, Major General Wilhelm Stubenrauch, was directly subordinate to the commander of the 1st Panzer Army, Colonel General Eberhard von Mackensen, the orders and prescriptions of General Wittheft were also mandatory for him. This is an example of the German military bureaucracy. Very confusing.

Let's consider the personnel of the commandant's office of the 531st rear district as of May 1, 1943:

Commandant of the district - Major General Wilhelm Stubenrauch;
Chief of Staff – Colonel Dietrich Hospke;
Staff adjutant – Hauptman Oskar Heldermeyer;

Heads of headquarters departments:

Division Ia (operational) - Major Ludwig Hartz;
Department Is (intelligence and counter-intelligence) - Major Alfred Wilhelm;
Engineering and sapper department - Hauptman Fritz Duval;
1st warrant officer – Ober-Lieutenant Joseph Bittner;
2nd warrant officer – Lieutenant Ulrich Unger;
A group of staff translators – Sonderführer Joachim von Nolde;
Division Ib (quartermaster) - Major Ludwig Pistor;
Division IVa (quartermaster) - quartermaster Bruno Glund.

This apparatus was supposed to implement the order regarding the organization of the defense of settlements in the front line of the 1st Tank Army.

In the photos: German field shelter of the "Siegfried" type in Kramatorsk. 1942 year
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Konstantin
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Re: Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Post by Konstantin » 28 Aug 2022 09:46

Konstantin Abramenko. The use of field and long-term fortification structures by the German army to organize the defense of settlements in the rear area of ​​the 1st Panzer Army in 1943. Part 3


The order of the General Staff of the Ground Forces of March 13, 1943, set a seemingly impossible task for the leadership of the rear area. To organize and carry out such a volume of construction work, Korück 531 had neither engineering personnel, nor construction units, nor earthmoving equipment, nor any significant reserves of construction materials. As with the commandants of the rear areas of all other armies. Korück 531 was no exception in this regard. Perhaps he was even in a more advantageous position than his "neighbors". Because in the rear of the 1st Tank Army there was a significant number of metallurgical factories, cement and brick factories.

It cannot be said that before the order of March 13 in the rear area of ​​the 1st Tank Army, the construction of defensive positions was not carried out at all. The defeat of the German troops at Stalingrad and the forced retreat from the Caucasus could not but cause concern of the Supreme Command of the Ground Forces about the situation in the front line of Army Group "South". And first of all, the vulnerability of the Donbas group of troops. In this regard, the German command in January 1943 decided to start the construction of fairly long rear defensive positions - "Turtle" (German: Schildkrötenstellung) along the line Mariupol - Stalino (now Donetsk) - Kramatorsk (now Kramatorsk) and "Mole" (German: Maulwurfstellung) along the line of the Mius - Donets - Oskol rivers.

The technical management of the construction was taken care of by the 5th engineering headquarters of the fortress construction (German: Festungs-Pionierstab 5). The commandant offices of the rear areas of the 1st Panzer and 6th Armies provided construction battalions with prisoners of war and, through the district commandant offices, hired workers from among the civilian population. The Economic Inspection for the Exploitation of the Occupied Territories (German: Wirtschaftsinspektion, Wi In.) under Army Group "South" formed a budget for construction works and allocated funds. The economic management of the exploitation of the occupied district "Stalino" (German: Wirtschaftskommando Stalino, Wi Kdo Stalino) resolved the issue of providing civilian workers with housing, food, and tools, developed methods of labor organization, and calculated production rates and rates.

Four Operational Construction Headquarters were formed to carry out construction works:

Operational construction headquarters of Captain Koch (German: Hauptmann Koch) - construction site "Turtle North". As of March 1, 1943, he had at his disposal 10 construction battalions (German: Bau-Batalion) of various purposes. From May 12, 1943, the headquarters was headed by Captain Tolksdorf (German: Hauptmann Tolksdorf).

Operational construction headquarters of Major Walcher (German: Major Walcher) - construction site "Turtle South". As of March 1, 1943, he had at his disposal 8 construction battalions of various purposes.

Operational construction headquarters of Lieutenant Colonel Enckhausen (German: Oberstleutnant Enckhausen) - construction site "Mole North". As of March 1, 1943, he had at his disposal 10 construction battalions of various purposes.
Operational construction headquarters of Lieutenant Colonel Peters (German: Oberstleutnant Peters) - construction site "Mole South". As of March 1, 1943, he had at his disposal 6 construction battalions of various purposes.

According to the most conservative estimates, at least 25,000 civilian workers from the local population were involved in these construction works.

The sites "Turtle North" and "Mole North" were territorially located in the rear area of ​​the 1st Tank Army. From this, Korück 531 also took part in providing construction, mainly with labor. However, in a number of settlements, through the territory of which the rear defensive positions passed, Korück 531 had to participate in the construction of engineering structures directly - anti-tank ditches, rifle positions, shelters for personnel. However, it should be noted that the volumes of these works were relatively small and rather episodic in nature.

In the photo: Reserve fortified defensive positions in the rear of the "Donets Front". 1943 year
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Konstantin
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Re: Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Post by Konstantin » 30 Aug 2022 11:04

Konstantin Abramenko. The use of field and long-term fortification structures by the German army to organize the defense of settlements in the rear area of ​​the 1st Panzer Army in 1943. Part 4

On March 15, 1943, the commander of the 1st Panzer Army, Colonel-General Eberhard von Mackensen, issued order No. 449, which approved the list of settlements that must be prepared for a circular defense. But the procedure for organizing the construction of fortified positions was determined.

According to this order, strategically important settlements were considered to be: Avdiivka, Artemivsk (now Bakhmut), Gryshyne (now Pokrovsk), Dzerzhynsk (now Toretsk), Druzhkivka, Kostyantynivka, Kramatorska (now Kramatorsk), Krasnopavlivka, Lozova, Mykytivka, Ordzhonikidze (now Yenakieve), Sakhnovshchyna, Selidivka (now Selidove), Stari Blyznyuki (now Bliznyuki), Khatsapetovka (now Vuglegirsk), Chasiv Yar, Yasinuvata.

It was also noted that undoubtedly the responsibility for engineering support for the construction of fortified defensive positions in the rear of the 1st Panzer Army rests with the head of the army engineering service (German: Armeepionierführer, A. Pi. Fü.) Colonel Dr. Fritz Benicke (German: Oberst Dr. Fritz Benicke ) and his headquarters. However, the commandant of the 531st rear area of ​​the army is directly responsible for the preparation of strategically important settlements for defense.

For its part, the headquarters of the head of the army engineering service had to decide within a 10-day period which sapper and construction units it could allocate to the disposal of Korück 531. Similarly, army engineers had to prepare a sufficient number of drawings of the main elements of field fortification and copies of instructions from engineering equipment of defense lines. And also, to carry out constant control over the implementation of construction schedules and the drawing of built fortifications on operational maps.

In the photos: 1. Shooting position of the "Panzer Deckungsloch" type for a light machine gun 2. Shooting position of the "Panzer Deckungsloch" type for a heavy machine gun
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Konstantin
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Re: Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Post by Konstantin » 31 Aug 2022 10:01

Konstantin Abramenko. The use of field and long-term fortification structures by the German army to organize the defense of settlements in the rear area of ​​the 1st Panzer Army in 1943. Part 5

The management of engineers/sappers of the 1st Tank Army at that time had the following structure:

Head of the Army Engineering Service - Colonel Dr. Fritz Benicke (German: Oberst Dr. Fritz Benicke)
The head of the staff of the service and part-time head of group "A" - Colonel Helm (German: Oberst Helm)
Head of Section I - Captain Hellwig (German: Hptm. Hellwig)
Head of Section II - Ober-Lieutenant Karcher (German: Oblt. Karcher)
Head of Section III - technician-inspector Küster (German: Techn. Insp. Küster)
Heads of Abstracts IV and V - positions are vacant
The head of the department of interaction with the units of the "Todt Organization" attached to the army (primarily with the group of Dr. Navratil) - Ob. Insp. Ziegler (German Ob. Insp. Ziegler)

The engineering service of the 1st Tank Army concentrated all its efforts and the efforts of all available sapper and sapper-construction battalions primarily on the engineering support of the main battle line of the army. All defense construction work in the rear of the army was entrusted to the 14th Main Construction Staff (German: Oberbaustab 14) under the command of Generalmajor Richard Baumgartner (German: Generalmajor Richard Baumgartner). To whom the operational construction headquarters of Captain Tolksdorf and Lieutenant Colonel Enckhausen were also urgently subordinated.

By his order No. 113/43 dated April 4, 1943, Colonel Benike tasked the 14th Main Construction Headquarters with directing all forces and capacities as a matter of priority to the timely implementation of construction schedules for the following facilities in the rear of the army:

defensive position "Orechowatka Stellung" (German: Orechowatka Stellung);
suburban fortifications "Slavyansk" (German: Bruckenkopf Sslawjansk);
defensive position "Turtle" (German: Schildkrötenstellung);
defensive position "Suchoj Torez - Bereka Stellung" (German: Suchoj Torez - Bereka Stellung).

It was also emphasized that within five days the 107th Command of the Construction Squad (German Kommandeur der Bautruppen 107) of Lieutenant Colonel Bebert (German Obstlt. Bebert) and the 5th Engineering Staff will be temporarily transferred and subordinated to the 14th Main Construction Staff of fortress construction (German Festungs-Pionierstab 5) of Colonel Remlinger (German Oberst Remlinger). Which will have to be involved exclusively to strengthen the work at the "Turtle" defensive position.

It should be added that the command of the construction units (German: Kommandeur der Bautruppen) were essentially senior headquarters for the construction units. The commanders of these headquarters had command authority approximately at the level of a regimental commander. The construction detachment could include construction battalions, bridge-building battalions and pontoon parks, units of the Imperial Labor Service (German: Reichsarbeitsdienst, RAD), units of the "Organization Todt" (German: Organization Todt, OT) and construction units of the Luftwaffe. In September 1943, the construction units were reformed into sapper units, and the commands of the construction units were renamed the headquarters of the sapper regiments.

Engineering staffs of fortress construction (German: Festungs-Pionierstab) were essentially design organizations. Who developed and supported projects not only of fortified areas, but also of engineering structures of various purposes.

In the photo: 1. The equipped firing position of the 37-mm anti-tank gun
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AvB
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Re: Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Post by AvB » 02 Sep 2022 17:54

Interesting articles Konstantin! Thanks!

Konstantin
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Re: Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Post by Konstantin » 04 Sep 2022 06:48

Konstantin Abramenko. The use of field and long-term fortification structures by the German army to organize the defense of settlements in the rear area of ​​the 1st Panzer Army in 1943. Part 6

Captain Hellwig (German: Hauptmann Hellwig) was assigned to coordinate cooperation with Korück 531 in the headquarters of the head of the engineering service of the 1st Panzer Army. As it was already determined, at that time the highest priority was still the strengthening of the front edge of a fairly long front line and the construction of numerous rear lines of defense. Therefore, everything that had to do with the organization of the fortifications of settlements was carried out in practice according to the residual principle. Including supply of building materials.

Certain problems also arose with the transfer of project documentation to the Korück 531 headquarters. First of all, even copying the drawings that were relevant at that time in such a quantity required significant labor costs. Secondly, in the drawings of field fortifications and instructions for the equipment of defensive positions, which the headquarters of the Inspector General of Engineering Forces and Fortresses (German General der Pioniere und Festungen, Gen d Pi u Fest) of the sapper general Alfred Jacob (German General der Pioniere Alfred Jacob) constantly refined and updated, it was necessary to periodically make changes. And if these problems were solved over time, it can be assumed that the assignment of 531 mining and construction units to Korück's disposal was a really insurmountable obstacle. There was absolutely nothing to highlight. All this, of course, caused a delay in the implementation of Army Order No. 449.

In order to give a new impetus to the matter and to move from the place of execution of the tasks set by the army command, the head of the Korück 531 headquarters, Colonel Dietrich Hospke (German: Oberst Dietrich Hospke), issued circular No. 274/43 on March 20, 1943, which supplemented the army order, specified the responsible and outlined a circle of priority tasks. In this document, Colonel Hospke once again emphasized that:

The responsibility for the construction of fortifications and engineering support for the defense of the mentioned settlements rests with the district military commanders (German: Ortskommandantur) and the personal military commanders of the districts. The construction of defensive positions should be a task of the highest priority for district commanders and should be carried out with the involvement of all forces and means. Including, the military commandants (German: Kampfkommandant) of the mentioned settlements had to be maximally involved.

The main labor resources of construction are the local civilian population. His involvement is the most important task of district commanders. The organization of food, accommodation and payment of wages to workers is the responsibility of the head of the Economic Administration of the Operation of the Temporarily Occupied District "Stalino" (German: Wirtschaftskommando Stalino, Wi Kdo Stalino), Lieutenant Colonel Turner (German: Oberstleutnant Thurner) and the structures of this administration on the ground.
Responsibility for the engineering support of construction works, provision of all technical documentation and drawings at the disposal of district commanders, their timely updating, agreement on the marking of positions in the area, control over the execution of construction schedules and the quality of the work performed rests with the head of the engineering and mining department Korück 531, captain, diploma engineer Fritz Duval (German: Nauptmann Dipl.-Ing. Fritz Duval).

The construction of positions must be started right now, without waiting for the delivery of construction materials and barbed wire. The lack of building materials cannot be a valid reason for delays and an excuse for inaction. For the construction of shelters and anti-personnel barriers, it is suggested to actively use materials from destroyed buildings. Of which there were a sufficient number in the army lane.

In the photo: Drawing of an anti-tank ditch, updated according to the new requirements of May 1, 1943.
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Konstantin
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Re: Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Post by Konstantin » 04 Sep 2022 06:57

Konstantin Abramenko. The use of field and long-term fortification structures by the German army to organize the defense of settlements in the rear area of ​​the 1st Panzer Army in 1943. Part 7

Design drawings of individual elements of field fortification were expected to be provided later. However, the construction of positions should have started immediately. For this, it was suggested to urgently and in a strict sequence perform the following:

a) determine and equip fortified points (German: Stützpunkt) on the basis of one infantry division. Shooting positions must be strengthened by one position for a heavy machine gun. This is a kind of "skeleton" on which the entire defense will be built in the future;
b) build anti-splinter shelters for the personnel of departments. The shelters should be located at a distance of no more than 50 meters from the firing positions of the department and be connected to them by connecting passages for the covert movement of personnel;
c) to connect the fortified points of the branches with each other by means of connections;
d) start construction of anti-tank ditches. Which must be located at a distance of at least 40 meters from the firing positions of the divisions;
e) carefully disguise the positions.

Installation of anti-tank guns and heavy weapons at the positions should be done already by the filling troops. Starting from the main roads and access roads, the routes leading to the positions should be marked with special indicators, informative enough for their identification by the filling troops.
Current technical documentation, in accordance with which construction work was supposed to be carried out, should always be on hand. Thus, in case of rotation of construction personnel and their managers, the new personnel will be promptly informed about the state of affairs at the construction site.

An order from the Korück 531 Chief of Staff required regular weekly reports on planned and completed work. In this regard, the district commandants had to send reports and maps every Wednesday to the headquarters of Korück 531 to Captain Duval. The report form was sent by field communication to district commandants on March 16, 1943. It is obvious that at some stage Captain Duval simply physically could not cope with such a volume of clerical work. And on March 28, Lieutenant Ulrich Unger (German: Leutnant Ulrich Unger) was assigned to assist him. His main duty was the formation of weekly reports for the engineering department of the army. It was necessary to sort through this pile of maps, diagrams, and tables that the military commandants sent to the headquarters of the rear area, compile all the information into final reports, and put the current situation on the construction sites on a topographic map on a scale of 1:50,000. And then, the final report will be sent to the field liaison officer, Colonel Helm, at the army headquarters.

But the military commandants of the settlements, despite seemingly clear instructions on filling out the reporting forms and numerous clarifications by Lieutenant Unger, mostly did not make their reports personally, but delegated this work to their subordinates. And those, most often, were completely unaware of the requirements for their preparation and registration. The same applied to maps of the situation on construction sites. For the most part, their informativeness did not withstand any criticism. The quality of the reports provided by district commandants was an order of magnitude higher. This is due to the fact that all district commandants were full-time employees of Korück 531. The promotion, awards and reputation of these officers depended directly on the favor of Major General Stubenrauch and Colonel Hospke. As a rule, commanders of military units withdrawn from the front edge of the main battle line to the near rear for re-formation or rest were appointed as military commandants of settlements. Or they were officers with a rank not lower than major after discharge from the hospital. Very often, these were well-deserved combat commanders, awarded with numerous higher combat awards, known to the Führer himself. That for them there were instructions from some lieutenant from the commandant's office of the rear area...

On March 1, 1943, due to a change in the position of the dividing line between the 1st Panzer and 6th Armies, the settlements of Ordzhonikidze, Khatsapetovka, and Selidovka came under the jurisdiction of Korück 585. But this had a slight effect on the scope of work of Captain Duval and Lieutenant Unger . These officers had to constantly personally inspect the construction and make on-the-spot corrections to the commandants' reports. On April 8, 1943, Captain Duval presented the results of one such trip in his report:

"Anti-tank ditches were built:
Yasinuvata - 1,600 running meters are available;
Avdiivka - 1,800 running meters are available;
Kostyantynivka - 140 linear meters.
A total of 1,560 linear meters were built during the reporting week.

Built infantry positions:
Yasinuvata - 481 cubic meters;
Avdiivka - 123 cubic meters (4 fortified points for infantry units, 2 positions of heavy machine guns, 3 positions of hand machine guns, 90 meters of communication channels);
Mykytivka - 220 cubic meters (9 fortified points for infantry divisions, 175 meters of communication passages);
Kostyantynivka - 435 cubic meters (204 infantry firing positions of the "Panzer Deckungsloch" type, 18 positions of heavy and hand machine guns, 3 positions for anti-tank guns);
Druzhkivka - 100 cubic meters;
Grishine - 1584 cubic meters (45 fortified points for infantry units, 70 positions of heavy and hand machine guns, 700 meters of communication channels);
Dzerzhynsk - 149 cubic meters (7 fortified points for infantry divisions, 30 meters of communication passages);
A total of 1,524 cubic meters were built during the reporting week.

Built infantry shelters:
Hryshyne - 2 anti-splinter shelters;
Yasinuvata - 18 basements were converted into shelters;
Hryshyne - 7 light-type shelters and 5 basements converted into shelters.
A total of 2 splinter shelters were built during the reporting week.

The number of civilians involved in the works:
Yasinuvata - 300 people;
Avdiivka - 960 people;
Mykytivka - 50 people;
Kostyantynivka - 143 people;
Druzhkivka - no one worked;
Dzerzhinsk - 100 people;
Hryshyne - 250 people.
A total of 1,803 people worked."

Likewise, Captain Duval pointed out that the report did not include data on Kramatorsk and Artemivsk, because from March 20 to this day, no reports on the progress of the construction of defensive positions were received from the military commandants of the mentioned settlements. It seems that these military commandants did not fully realize that they were under the direct command of the commandant of the rear area and were obliged to obey all Korück 531 orders without question.

It is not surprising that the military commandant of Kramatorsk ignored the order of the chief of staff of the commandant of the rear area. In the period from March 18 to May 7, 1943, this position was held by a very famous combat commander, a knight of the orders of the German Cross in Gold and the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, commander of the 3rd panzer-grenadier regiment, lieutenant colonel Ernst Wellmann (German: Oberstleutnant Ernst Wellmann).

In the photos: 1. Position for a light mortar 2. Position for a heavy mortar


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Konstantin
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Re: Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Post by Konstantin » 04 Sep 2022 07:23

Konstantin Abramenko. The use of field and long-term fortification structures by the German army to organize the defense of settlements in the rear area of ​​the 1st Panzer Army in 1943. Part 8

In May 1943, the headquarters of the inspector general of engineering forces and fortresses were developed, and the Supreme Command of the Ground Forces approved new standards and requirements for the construction of individual elements of field fortification. These documents were supposed to arrive from Potsdam in mid-May. However, due to some delays, they arrived in the 1st Tank Army only on May 27. They were handed over to the troops and district commandants no earlier than June 6, 1943.

The new standards emphasized that with the correct engineering equipment of positions, a grenadier company can successfully defend a section of the main battle line up to 2,000 meters long. From this, the entire set of measures for the construction of fortified rear positions should be aimed at providing them at the disposal of the troops as soon as possible.

Such a concept as the "bone" of a defensive position was recorded. The system of field shelters for the personnel of the platoon was considered to be such a backbone. Each compartment should have its own shelter for anti-split protection, for heating and protection from adverse weather conditions. Similarly, it was necessary to equip one shelter for the platoon commander and the reserve unit, for each position of a heavy machine gun and anti-tank weapon.

The sequence of construction of defense elements was marked depending on the season.

The sequence of construction in the summer period:
- anti-tank ditch;
- rifle and machine gun cells;
- shelter for each department, for each position of heavy machine gun and anti-tank gun;
- shelter for the platoon commander and management;
- connecting trenches;
- lines of communication between departments and platoon;
- company and battalion command posts;
- observation points

The sequence of construction in the winter period:

- shelter for each department;
- shelter for the platoon commander and management;
- one shelter for each heavy machine gun and anti-tank gun position;
- rifle and machine gun cells;
- anti-tank ditch;
- connecting trenches;
- lines of communication between departments and platoon;
- observation points;
- company and battalion command posts.

The construction of command and observation posts was ordered to begin simultaneously with the construction of an anti-tank ditch. Depending on the combat situation, the state of the terrain and the number of green spaces along the front, it may be necessary to add such a measure as "clearing the firing sector in front of the section of the main battle line".

In the 20th century, the ancient idea of ​​defensive ditches was continued in the form of anti-tank ditches. An anti-tank ditch is an artificial obstacle against tanks in the form of a wide and deep ditch. The width of the trench is made so that the tank cannot move through it. But at the same time, it is desirable that the ditch is narrow enough so that the tank cannot turn along the ditch after falling into it. And the depth should be such that the tank, having fallen into the ditch, could not get out of it. For the same purpose, slopes, especially escarpments, should be quite steep. Approaches to the trench should be fired with flanking and frontal artillery and machine gun fire. The ditch itself must be flanked, otherwise it will become a hiding place for the enemy. Which will quickly make passages for tanks in it.

The drawing of an anti-tank ditch on the terrain is done in the form of various breaks so that it can be flanked. The length of the trench faces should not be greater than the range of the flanking fire means. The earth removed from the ditch during construction is spread nearby in such a way as not to create dead spaces behind the ditch.

In the photo: Drawing of the engineering arrangement of company defensive positions, updated according to the new requirements of May 1, 1943.
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Konstantin
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Posts: 204
Joined: 06 May 2009 10:14
Location: Poltava, Ukraine

Re: Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Post by Konstantin » 04 Sep 2022 07:41

Konstantin Abramenko. The use of field and long-term fortification structures by the German army to organize the defense of settlements in the rear area of ​​the 1st Panzer Army in 1943. Part 9

The previously valid standards for the construction of an anti-tank trench (German: Panzer Spitzgraben) – 3.50 meters wide, 2.50 meters deep – required one-sided soil discharge to a height of 70 centimeters to 1 meter. This method was found to be unsuccessful as unmasking. It was easy for the enemy to shoot from heavy weapons along such conspicuous earthen parapets.

Also, the changes directly affected the dimensions of the trench profile. The largest Soviet tank T-35 was 9.60 meters long and could overcome trenches 4.75 meters wide. Based on this, the width of the anti-tank ditch should be about 5 meters. But fortunately, these tanks were found to be bulky and not suitable for the modern realities of tank combat. And they were discontinued.

The possibility of crossing ditches with enemy armored vehicles:

Soviet tank T-70 - 1.80 m.;
American tank M3 - 1.80 m.;
Soviet tank T-34 - 3.00 m.;
British tank MkII - 1.80 m.;
British tank MkIII - 2.40 m.;
American tank General Lee - 2.20 m.;
Soviet tank KW-1 - 2.80 m.;
American tank MI - 3.30 m.;
Soviet tank KW-2 - 2.80 m.;
American tank General Grant - 2.20 m.;
British tank MkIV "Churchill" - 2.80 m.;
Modern German tanks - about 3.00 m.


From the above data, it is clear that there was no need to use anti-tank obstacles wider than 4.50 meters and deeper than 3.20 meters. What was adopted by the headquarters of the inspector general of engineering forces and fortresses in the new standard.
It was also undoubtedly taken into account that an average of 7.2 cubic meters of soil must be removed for one linear meter of anti-tank obstacle. As opposed to 6.0 cubic meters in the old standard. Which will undoubtedly cause an increase in labor costs. According to the developed statistics, under rather frequent difficult ground conditions, as well as the widespread use of female and child labor, the construction of 1 linear meter of an anti-tank ditch was carried out in an average of three working days. Under favorable conditions - in two working days. Based on this, the new standard was a very strict standard - with the mandatory use of preliminary plowing of the construction route (the surface layer of the soil is the most time-consuming), the construction of one linear meter of the anti-tank ditch must be completed in three working days.

The flanking of anti-tank obstacles was adopted as a mandatory measure. At the same time, it was indicated that for flanking it is advisable to use various means of fire that are available. When used for this heavy machine gun, the trench can be effectively controlled at distances of up to 300 meters. As the ditch profile approaches the flanking machine gun, the anti-tank ditch narrows. Therefore, the placement of an armored machine gun firing point (German M.G.Panzernest) was seen as an ideal solution here. Which, if necessary, can also act frontally.
The preferred option for flanking an anti-tank ditch was the use of an anti-tank gun. If the obstacle is planned on the terrain and built correctly, then the anti-tank gun will be able to control two trenches in the longitudinal direction at once. At a firing distance of 800 meters, two anti-tank guns in the defense sector of the infantry company will be quite enough to keep the area of ​​the anti-tank ditch under constant fire. On the flanks and in the "dead zones", support will be provided by "neighbors".

The main debate was about the location of the anti-tank ditch in relation to the main battle line. As a result, a decision was made to prohibit the use of an anti-tank ditch at a distance from the main battle line. Only the factory dug trenches directly to the main battle line to ensure mandatory flanking of the trenches.

An anti-personnel obstacle in the form of an artificial fence made of barbed wire (German: Flandernzaun). Until then, it was usually located between the anti-tank ditch and the main battle line. The task of such an obstacle is to stop or cut off the infantry accompanying the tank. When the anti-personnel obstacle is located close to the main battle line, the firing cells find themselves in the zone of defeat of hand grenades, which can be used by the enemy. To prevent this, the location of the obstacle in relation to the anti-tank ditch was standardized: where the anti-tank ditch moves away from the main battle line, anti-personnel obstacles must be placed between the ditch and the main battle line; where the ditch approaches the main battle line, the anti-personnel obstacles should be in front of the anti-tank ditch.


In the photo: Drawing of a barbed wire anti-personnel obstacle, updated according to the new requirements of May 1, 1943.
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Konstantin
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Posts: 204
Joined: 06 May 2009 10:14
Location: Poltava, Ukraine

Re: Create fortification monument of World War II, Ukraine

Post by Konstantin » 09 Sep 2022 11:03

Konstantin Abramenko. The use of field and long-term fortification structures by the German army to organize the defense of settlements in the rear area of ​​the 1st Panzer Army in 1943. Part 10

Practice has shown that individual shooting cells are not very effective. Due to certain shortcomings of single trenches of the old model, the troops gained a very sad experience during the five years of the war.

First, in case of injury or failure of weapons, the soldier has nowhere to expect immediate help. Therefore, the new guidelines prohibited the use of single firing cells. Only trenches for two soldiers. Which make it easier to psychologically tolerate the conditions of modern combat and provide mutual assistance.

Secondly, the massive use of armored vehicles by the enemy makes it possible to provide maximum protection for the infantry even if the tanks broke through directly into the position. The design of the trench should provide the ability to allow the enemy's tanks to pass through the main battle line without harm to the personnel, instantly destroy or cut off the accompanying infantry, and do everything to destroy the tanks in close combat. For example, using magnetic hand anti-tank mines.

These possibilities and advantages should have been provided, according to German sappers, by firing cells of the "anti-tank hole" (German: Panzer Deckungsloch) type. In the soldier's jargon, there were various definitions of this type of trenches - from "fox hole" to very obscene.

The "Panzer Deckungsloch" type trench for gunners or machine gun personnel was designed in such a way that armored vehicles could run into it and not damage the soldier who is there. Such a trench had two levels in depth. Higher (depth 1.4 - 1.5 meters, depending on the shooter's height), which served as a ledge for locating the shooter during firing (German: Schutzenloch). And the lower one (1.8-2.0 meters deep), to which the shooter moves for protection when a tank hits a trench (German: Deckungsloch). The horizontal profile of the trench had the appearance of an obtuse angle, which is most suitable for the possibility of evasion during shelling or throwing a grenade.

The soil excavated during the construction of positions should be distributed evenly so that the enemy does not visually guess the presence of a position. Soldiers must equip the necessary parapet and a stop for a rifle on their own. The choice of their form will depend on the relief of the area and the intensity of precipitation.

But it is especially important that:

- every soldier must wear a steel helmet;
- special wooden shields must be prepared in advance for quick closing of the firing cell, which is not in use.

The experience of the First World War taught that if these points are ignored, it will lead to sad consequences.

The shooting position for the machine gun personnel in the form of a semicircle open to the enemy turned out to be the most effective. The bipods of the machine gun remain fixed in one point when turning. And the machine gunner can turn in any direction without moving the bipod.
Ammunition bay equipment is highly customized and is usually assigned to troops. In the shooting chamber, they are most suitable on the left at the height of the elbow joint. In the machine gun position, the niche for ammunition should be on the left narrow side, where the second number of the machine gun is located. Ammunition niches must in no case be used as steps for exiting the trench.

Connection steps should be as narrow as possible. At the same time, dead ends must be provided for the opportunity to warm up. A horizontal profile in the form of a serpentine is better for more convenient transportation of the wounded. Profiles with a sharp angle are not suitable for this.


In the photo: Construction of cells of the "Panzer Deckungsloch" type in Kramatorsk
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