1944 73. Infanterie-Division equipment

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Mattias Rönnblom
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1944 73. Infanterie-Division equipment

Post by Mattias Rönnblom » Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:46 pm

I'm trying to find out how the 73rd Infantry Division was equipped in terms of heavy weapons and AFVs after its reconstitution in mid-1944.

I guess it was suppose to be a "Type 44" infantry division and thus equipped with a company (?) of StuG/Hetzers. Was this the case? Maybe there's a 9. Armee armored strength table as of mid/late -44 that includes any of these vehicles?

What kind of AT and Infantry guns did it receive? Is it safe to assume that since it was reconstituted, it was equipped with "current" (new) models? (ie PaK 40.)

According to Feldgrau 73rd ID entry, there are no known unit histories. Is this correct?

Mattias Rönnblom
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Post by Mattias Rönnblom » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:24 am

Maybe someone with knowledge on how a typical German infantry division set up during this time were equipped could make an educated guess?

Ron Klages
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StuG IIIIs and Hetzers

Post by Ron Klages » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:02 am

Mattias,

Allocation records that I have show the following allocations to the 73. InfDiv.

10 StuG IIIs were transported to the division on 1 October 1944 and then on 15 January 1945 there were 14 Hetzers and 1 Bergehetzer transported to the division.

Then I have a strength report dated 30 December 1944 that reports the division having no StuG IIIs but that there were 14 Hetzers and 1 Bergehetzer in transit to the division. This is consistent with the data on allocations as shown above.

Best regards,

Ron Klages
Ron Klages
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Panzeralex
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Post by Panzeralex » Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:49 pm

Hi, all.
I know about equippment 73 I.D. only on 6.2.45:
6 m.Gr.W
6 s.Gr.W
3 le.I.G.
1 s.I.G.
4 le.FH 18/40
4 7.5 cm kan (i)
9 7.62 cm (r)
1 8.8 cm Pak
2 7.5 cm Pak
1 2.0 cm Flak

best regards,
Panzeralex

Martin Block
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Pz.Jg.Kp. 1173

Post by Martin Block » Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:53 pm

Sorry Ron, you probably consider me a real pain in the neck by now but actually the story of Pz.Jg.Kp. 1173 was far more complicated than it looks from the records you have. Maybe I should have answered Matthias's question earlier, but I was to lazy.

According to the orders to refit the 73. Inf.Div. issued by OKH/GenStdH/Org.Abt. on 28.5.1944 and Chef H Rüst u BdE/AHA on 30.5.1944 the division was to be organized as "Inf.Div. 44" but without Stab Pz.Jg.Abt., Stu.Gesch.Abt. and Fla-Kp., i.e. initially it was to have a Div.Pz.Jg.Kp. 173 only. This company was to be armed with 12 7,5 cm Pak mot.Z. and these guns were then issued accordingly.

During the summer of 1944 the Stab Pz.Jg.Abt. 173 was added as well as a 3.(Fla) Kp.. The monthly 'Zustandsberichte' of Pz.Jg.Abt. 173 from 1.9.1944 until 1.1.1945 do show that during this time the unit consisted of Stab, 1.(Pak mot.Z.) Kp. and 3.(Fla) Kp. only.

Although according to the records of the Gen.Insp.d.Pz.Tr. the allocation of the 10 StuG III to 73. Inf.Div. was made on 27.9.1944 there must have been some changes on short notice. In the original allocation records the shipment of 10 StuG III to 73. I.D. on 1.10.1944 carries the handwritten remark "für Westen" which is an indication that the guns apparently were redirected as replacements to the Western Front. And indeed, as I already stated above the ‘Zustandsberichte’ of Pz.Jg.Abt. 173 also list no arrival of any StuG III after 1.10.1944.

Records of the OKH/GenStdH/Org.Abt. now show that the formation of the 2. Kp., i.e. Pz.Jg.Kp. 1173, in Mielau was only later ordered on 15.10.1944. No StuG were delivered and at the end of December 1944 it was decided to equip the unit with Jagdpz. 38 instead and so it was transferred from Mielau to Milowitz. Here it received the 14 Jagdpz. 38 and 1 Bergepz. 38. Training was to be completed and combat readiness to be achieved by 25.1.1945 at the latest.

But already on 19.1.1945 orders arrived to immediately prepare Pz.Jg.Kp. 1173 for train transport to H.Gr.A (Mitte) area and on the next day it left Milowitz. During the next months the company was attached to various units in the AOK 17 sector and finally on 25.4.1945 it was incorporated as new Jagdpz. Kp. 1248 into the 168. Inf.Div.

So why did Pz.Jg.Kp. 1173 never join its parent 73. Inf.Div.? After barely escaping from ‘Festung’ Modlin the 73. Inf.Div. became encircled in ‘Festung’ Thorn on 25.1.1945. There was no chance of getting Pz.Jg.Kp. 1173 there. And there was no need since already at the very end of December 1944 the Pz.Jg.Kp. 1510 (originally intended for Radf.Jg.Brig. 10) with 14 Jagdpz. 38 had been tactically subordinated to the division instead. Pz.Jg.Kp. 1510 later lost all Jagdpz. 38 during the breakout from ‘Festung’ Thorn in early February 1945.

Martin Block
Last edited by Martin Block on Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ron Klages
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Post by Ron Klages » Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:01 pm

Martin,

You are not a pain in my neck nor do you need to apoligize for you detailed explanations and corrections of my responses.

I am in this activity to learn and I appreciate any information I can obtain regarding certain aspects of WW II history. You have always been a person that shares his knowledge and I appreciate that fact.

Thank you and please always continue adding and correcting so that the facts can be known.

as always, the best,

Ron Klages
Ron Klages
Lynnwood, Washington USA

Mattias Rönnblom
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Post by Mattias Rönnblom » Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:26 pm

Thanks Martin and others for a very interesting read.

So with no StuGs in late July 1944 I guess it safe to assume that the division had no AFVs whatsoever? Or were PSWs issued to the Infantry Divisions at this stage of the war?

How and when did the Division receive the Italian 75mm and Russian 76mm guns mentioned in the February 1945 report? Were the Italian 75s artillery pieces or AT guns?

Martin Block
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Pz.Jg.Abt. 173

Post by Martin Block » Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:53 pm

No, there were no other AFV issued to the 73. Inf.Div..
The weapons available in the 6.2.1945 73. I.D./Ia report quoted by Panzeralex belonged to the following subunits:

6 m.Gr.W = Gren.Rgt. 170 & 186
6 s.Gr.W = Art.Rgt. 176
3 le.I.G. = Gren.Rgt. 70 & 170
1 s.I.G. = Gren.Rgt. 170
4 le.FH 18/40 = Art.Rgt. 176
4 7.5 cm kan (i) = Art.Rgt. 176
9 7.62 cm (r) = Art.Rgt. 176
1 8.8 cm Pak = Pz.Jg.Abt. 173
2 7.5 cm Pak = Pz.Jg.Abt. 173
1 2.0 cm Flak = Pz.Jg.Abt. 173

When and were the foreign guns were received I do not know.

Martin Block

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