HEAVY ANTI TANK BATTALIONS - 1939

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HEAVY ANTI TANK BATTALIONS - 1939

Postby WAKEN » Wed Nov 24, 2004 5:27 pm

I believe that there may have been 3 Heavy Anti Tank Battalions (Schwere Panzerjagerabteilung) in existence in 1939: 525, 560 and 605. I think they were equipped with 88mm FlaK 18 guns towed by Sd Kfz 7 armoured half tracks. Can anybody confirm this and does anybody know how many guns there were in each battalion?

Regards,

Neil
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Postby Arne » Thu Nov 25, 2004 4:09 am

Hi there was an article about that in the magazin Batailles & Blindes Jul/Aug 2004. It was mainly about the Sd.Kfz. 8 but also some equiment photos from the 3 sPzJ Abt. 525, 560, 605. It was mentioned that these unit where composed from 3 companys.
From what I gather there was a forth sPzJ Abt. in 1939 - No.8 - with Sd.Kfz. 8

How god is your french? I can send you a scan of the pages if you can handle it...
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Postby Ron Klages » Fri Nov 26, 2004 1:36 pm

Waken,

There were three Heeres Truppen as you thought.

Here is a bit of their History:
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 525 (mot) established in Wehrkreis IX on 26 August 1939 and reequipped with 8,8 gun on 3 November 1939. Renamed as Panzerjäger-Abteilung 525 on 1 April 1940. Did not participate in Polish or French campaigns. Arrived in Bouillon area of France on 3 December 1940 and assigned to 16.AOK, AG A. Re-equipped with the 3,7cm Pak and invaded Russia in June 1941. In 1942 they were reequipped with Marders and then in May 1943 they were issued Nashorns. Fought in Italy from September 1943 to the end of the war.

Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 560 established in Wehrkreis VI on 26 August 1939 and reequipped with 8,8 gun prior to May 1940. Renamed as Panzerjäger-Abteilung 560 on 1 April 1940.Participated in Polish campaign with the 3,7cm Pak. In French campaign served as a reserve with the 12.AOK. Arrived in Bouillon area of France on 3 December 1940 and assigned to 16.AOK, AG A. Reequipped withthe 3,7cm Pak prior to invasion of Russia. In May 1942 reequipped with the 7,5cm Pak towed. On 28 September 1942 redesignated as Panzerjäger-Abteilung 127 and assigned to the 27. Panzer-Division.

Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 605 established in Wehrkreis II on 26 August 1939 and reequipped with 8,8 gun on 16 October 1939. Fought in Poland with the 3,7cm Pak and fought in France with the 8,8cm gun. renamed as schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 605 in 1 April 1940 and on 28 October 1940 was reeqipped with the 4,7cm Pak auf Panzer I and was renamed as schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 605 (Sfl) and sent to fight in North Africa. Surrendered to the Allies in May 1943 and not reconstituted.


Here is their organization on 10 May 1940 while equipped with the 8,8cm gun.


1X Stab per KStN. 1106 dated 1 October 1937 with
2 motorcycles
1 motorcycle with sidecar
1 Kfz 12 medium cross country personnel carrier
1 Kfz 21 heavy cross country staff car

1X Signal Platoon per KStN. 1192 dated 1 October 1937 with
2 motorcycles
1 Kfz 15/1 medium cross country signal car
4 Kfz 2/2 light cross country radio carrier
2 SdKfz 261 light armored radio car

3X Anti-Tank company per KStN. 1145 dated 1 February 1940 with

--1X Stab with
3 motorcycles
1 motorcycle with sidecar
1 Kfz 15 medium cross country personnel carrier

--2X heavy AT platoon with
1 motorcycle
1 motorcycle with sidecar
1 Kfz 15 medium cross country personnel carrier
3 SdKfz 7 8ton halftrack prime movers
2 medium 3 ton cross country trucks
2 8,8cm Flak guns with trailers

--2X AT platoons with
1 motorcycle
1 motorcycle with sidecar
1 Kfz 15 medium cross country personnel carrier
4 Kfz 69 cross country prime movers for light guns
2 ammo trailers
2 3,7cm Pak guns towed

This meant that a AT company had 4 8,8cm Flak guns towed and 4 3,7cm Pak guns towed for a total of 12 and 12 repectively authorized in the abteilung.

I hope this explains the situation.

Best regards,

Ron Klages
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Postby WAKEN » Fri Nov 26, 2004 5:19 pm

Thanks very much for the replies. Arne, my French is okay so I'd be very grateful if you would scan the article you refer to and email it to me at neilandjulie.wakefield@ntlworld.com.
Thanks very much,

Regards,

Neil
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Postby Ron Klages » Fri Nov 26, 2004 9:54 pm

Waken,

The unit Arne was talking about was the 1. Company of Panzerjäger-Abteilung 8 which was issued 6 SdKfz 8 halftracks that had been converted to mount the 8,8cm Flak 18. It was a partially armored vehicle with the cab being armored. The unit participated in the invasion of France as an independent GHQ unit but was attached to the 2. Panzer-Division.

The hood had 14,5mm of armor and the driver's cab was also armored with 14,5mm. There was a slit cut out to the front so the driver could see. The bed of the halftrack was reinforced and the Flak 18 was provided with a 10mm armored shield. Since the cab for the driver had been lowered, the gun could traverse 360 degrees.
The company was organized under KStN. 1146 dated 1 February 1940 with the following equipment:

Stab with
2 motorcycles
1 motorcycle with sidecar
2 Kfz 15 cars
1 Kfz 76 van
2 Kfz 2/2 radio vehicles

It also had three platoons each with
1 motorcycle
1 motorcycle with sidecar
1 Kfz 15 car
2 trucks-3ton for munitions
2 SdKfz 8s with 8,8cm Flak 18 mounted.

For the invasion of Russia the unit was assigned to XXXIX Corps of the 3. Panzer Group with Army Group Center.

If you do a search with google you should find some data on this strange combination. These were the only 6 units ever built. Later they tried the gun on the SdKfz 9 18 ton halftrack. I believe that a few of these were built but not many.

best regards,
Ron Klages
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Postby WAKEN » Sat Nov 27, 2004 1:58 am

Ron,

When was 1. Company of Panzerjäger-Abteilung 8 equipped with these 88mm guns?

Regards,

Neil
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Postby Ron Klages » Sat Nov 27, 2004 10:26 am

Waken,

I do not have the exact date other than it was in late 1939, after the invasion of Poland.

Ron
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Postby Arne » Sat Nov 27, 2004 2:36 pm

Tryed to send you the scans but your mailbox seems to be full (or to full to handle about 2MB in 2 mails...
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Postby Akira Takiguchi » Sat Nov 27, 2004 6:02 pm

Ron, there are at least 9 known license numbers of 8,8cm auf Sd.Kfz.8, ranging from 5088 to 241021.
Akira Takiguchi - Wehrmacht in World War II
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Thank You

Postby Ron Klages » Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:57 am

Akira,

Thank you for that information. I suspected that there were 10 produced but I know of only the initial assignment of 6 to a unit. I also believe that there was at least one destroyed in the fighting in France and I suspect that others were damaged or disabled so it is most likely hat repkacement were sent to the unit. Nine being accounted for also would be consistent with 6 initially being allocated and 3 replacements being sent to the unit. The 10th unit was probably kept by the Waffen Amt.

All conjection but logical.

best regards,
Ron
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Postby Arne » Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:35 pm

The french magazine clearly states that:

a: all 10 build SdKfz8 where delivered to sPz.Jg.Abt.8
b: That the unit survived poland without loses
c: That one vehicle was lost in may 1940 in France.
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Postby WAKEN » Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:44 pm

Arne, do you know what Division sPz.Jg.Abt.8 was attached to during the Polish campaign? In May 1940 I believe it was seconded to 2nd Panzer Division.

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Neil
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