16th Panzer OOB Salerno

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Paul Timms
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16th Panzer OOB Salerno

Post by Paul Timms » Mon May 26, 2008 12:57 pm

I'm doing some research into Salerno. I've got pretty good info on the Allies but my sources are sketchy on the Germans.

Does anyone have info on the 16th Panzer or the 79th Panzer Grenadier Regiment (part of 16th) at Salerno or specifically the battles for the tobacco factory 11-14th September 1943.

Anything greatly appreciated or sources I could look into ?

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John W. Howard
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Re: 16th Panzer OOB Salerno

Post by John W. Howard » Tue May 27, 2008 12:28 pm

Hi Paul:
Let me look through my notes, but I doubt I have anything on the 16PD that you do not already have. My main sources were histories published by British authors, both quite good by the way. What I do have, but you may not, are the after-action reports for the US 143rd Infantry Regiment, and a division history for the US 36ID. If you need any of that let me know, and I will consult my notes for 16ID info. Best wishes.
John W. Howard

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Re: 16th Panzer OOB Salerno

Post by Paul Timms » Tue May 27, 2008 9:16 pm

John, I would be interested in both US sources, particularly AAR's. I have some good stuff on the 157th Infantry and the US Official history. It is strange that the German side of such an important action is so poorly covered ?

Thanks

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Re: 16th Panzer OOB Salerno

Post by Rich » Wed May 28, 2008 12:30 pm

Paul Timms wrote:I'm doing some research into Salerno. I've got pretty good info on the Allies but my sources are sketchy on the Germans.

Does anyone have info on the 16th Panzer or the 79th Panzer Grenadier Regiment (part of 16th) at Salerno or specifically the battles for the tobacco factory 11-14th September 1943.

Anything greatly appreciated or sources I could look into ?
What exactly were you looking for Paul? The division was essentially at full strength on 1 September, reporting a Fehl of just four officers. It was also pretty well up to strength in regards to equipment, although was well short it's planned number of StuG.

Panzgrenadier-Regiment 79. was at full strength in all particulars I can see on the Gliederung? I. and II. were identical, with the three rifle companies each have two m.Gr.W., four schwer and 12 leichte MG. The heavy companies had six m.Gr.W.. three PaK (hard to see, but possibly 7.5cm?), five or six le.MG(?), three (?) 7.5cm lIG, and a Pionier Zug (sorry, my copy is too blurred to read the weapons). The Stabskompanie was full strength, 9. Kp. had 12 2cm Flak (Sfl), and 10. Kp. had four 15cm sIG (Sfl).

Hope that helps.

Rich

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Re: 16th Panzer OOB Salerno

Post by Martin Block » Wed May 28, 2008 1:38 pm

Hi Rich,

a few corrections if I may:

Stabskp. Pz.Gren.Rgt. 79 = 3 s.Pak, 9 M.G.
I. and II. Btl.
1. - 3. Kp. and 5. - 7. Kp. = 4 s.M.G. + 18 le.M.G. and 2 m.Gr.Wf. each
4. and 8. Kp. = 3 M.G., 4 le.I.G., 3 s.Pak and 6 m.Gr.Wf. each; Pi-Züge 4 M.G. each, flame-thrower symbol shown but no figure given
9. Kp. 12 - 2cm Flak (Sfl.)
10. Kp. 6 - 15cm s.I.G. (Sfl.)

From the divisional history of the 16. Pz.Div. it appears that mainly the I./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 79 was engaged in the battle for the tabacco factory.

BTW it's a bit odd that the 'Zustandsberichte' continued to list 93 authorized Stu.Gesch. until 1.11.1943 since reduction to only 45 Stu.Gesch. had already been ordered on 13.5.1943 (actually delivered then were 42 StuG and 3 Bef.Pz. III).

Martin Block

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Re: 16th Panzer OOB Salerno

Post by Rich » Wed May 28, 2008 1:45 pm

Martin Block wrote:Hi Rich,

a few corrections if I may:
Thanks, I was going blind trying to read my copy. :D
From the divisional history of the 16. Pz.Div. it appears that mainly the I./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 79 was engaged in the battle for the tabacco factory.

BTW it's a bit odd that the 'Zustandsberichte' continued to list 93 authorized Stu.Gesch. until 1.11.1943 since reduction to only 45 Stu.Gesch. had already been ordered on 13.5.1943 (actually delivered then were 42 StuG and 3 Bef.Pz. III).

Martin Block
I agree it really was strange? I wonder if they were just too busy and never noticed? :wink:

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Re: 16th Panzer OOB Salerno

Post by Paul Timms » Wed May 28, 2008 2:22 pm

I am after the details of what fought in and around the tobacco factory. Initally I have it defended by about 15 MKIV's and 1/79 Panzer Grenadier. There is mention of a lot of halftracks so I assume this was the mechanised battalion. From what you say it appears the 75mm IG's are towed and the 150's SP's. Is this correct ?

Thanks again

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Re: 16th Panzer OOB Salerno

Post by Martin Block » Wed May 28, 2008 3:49 pm

Sorry, can't help you much further. The divisional history of the 16. Pz.Div. is not very detailed about the fighting around the tobacco factory. The I./79 did not have any APCs. The mechanized battalion of the 16. Pz.Div. was the II./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 64. Can't tell if perhaps elements from it or from the fully armored Pz.A.A. 16 may have been engaged there. The book also mentions the II./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 9 (26. Pz.Div.) supporting the I./79 on 13./14.9.1943 but that battalion didn't have APCs either. The Pz. IV probably belonged to II./Pz.Rgt. 2 (16. Pz.Div.).

Yes, The 7,5cm le.I.G. in the 4. and 8. Kp. were towed and the 15cm s.I.G. in the 10. Kp. were self-propelled 'Grille'.

Martin Block

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Re: 16th Panzer OOB Salerno

Post by Rich » Wed May 28, 2008 5:53 pm

Martin Block wrote:Sorry, can't help you much further. The divisional history of the 16. Pz.Div. is not very detailed about the fighting around the tobacco factory. The I./79 did not have any APCs. The mechanized battalion of the 16. Pz.Div. was the II./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 64. Can't tell if perhaps elements from it or from the fully armored Pz.A.A. 16 may have been engaged there. The book also mentions the II./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 9 (26. Pz.Div.) supporting the I./79 on 13./14.9.1943 but that battalion didn't have APCs either. The Pz. IV probably belonged to II./Pz.Rgt. 2 (16. Pz.Div.).

Yes, The 7,5cm le.I.G. in the 4. and 8. Kp. were towed and the 15cm s.I.G. in the 10. Kp. were self-propelled 'Grille'.

Martin Block
Elements of Pz.A.A. 16 were all along the area, as would be expected. One ot the Pz.Sp.Wg. Zuge I know was observing the port of Salerno on the night of 9 September, but I've seen no mention of the infantry companies? It would certainly be possible. I know early on in the landing the Flammpanzers of Pz.Regt. 2 were heavily engaged and they are mentioned on and off in many US accounts. Somewhere I think I have the LXXVI Pz.K. document that gives the composition and strength of the various divisional KG around 12 September, I'll see what I can find.

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Re: 16th Panzer OOB Salerno

Post by Paul Timms » Thu May 29, 2008 10:39 am

Thanks for all your help guys this is great info. Flammpanzers ? any idea of type I assume a MKIII variant. Info on the 26th in the counter attacks of the 13/14th would be great to.

Thanks again.

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Re: 16th Panzer OOB Salerno

Post by Rich » Thu May 29, 2008 12:52 pm

Paul Timms wrote:Thanks for all your help guys this is great info. Flammpanzers ? any idea of type I assume a MKIII variant. Info on the 26th in the counter attacks of the 13/14th would be great to.

Thanks again.
Yes, they were Flammpanzer III. There were seven of them all committed early in the battle. Six were lost, probably all by 12 September since none were reported operational in the Panzerlage of that date?

On 12 September the divisional organization with Gefechtsstaerke was (from T314/541):

KG Stempel (engaged at Battapaglia on 9-10 Sep and Belizzi on 12 Sep)
Pz.Gren.-Regt. 64. = 1,286
2./Pz.Pi.-Btl. 16. = 232
III./Pz.-Regt. 2. (minus one Kp., probably 12. Kp., see below) = 145 (29 StuG?)

KG Doering (engaged on the Sele)
I. and II./Pz.Gren.-Regt. 79 = 912

KG Limberg (engaged on the Sele?)
Stab/Pi.-Btl. 16. = 25
Erk./Zueg (?) = 34
2 8.8cm Flak = 32
3 s.Pak = 33
4 2cm Flak = 35
13 Panzer = 65
1./Pz.Pi.-Btl. 16. = 142

Divisions-Begleit-Kompanie = 163 (not sure where it was engaged)

Kommandeure Sele Bruecken = 773 (engaged on the Sele)

KG Bohmler (attacked Battapaglia on 10 September, reinforced by two Panzer Kp.)
I./Fs.Jg.-Regt. 3. = 154
Pz.Jg. (?) = 53

Pz.A.Abtl. 16. (3. and 4. Kp. with 12./Pz.-Regt. 12) = 958 (probably 8 StuG, a total of 37 were operational 9/10 September)(was engaged vicinity of Salerno 9-11 Sep)

The rest of Pz.-Regt. 2., other than III. and two un-named companies are unaccounted for. The 13 Panzers with KG Limberg though was 15 percent of the 85 Pz IV reported operational 9 Sep, so was probably at least a company?

As of 3 September it was reported that the following weapons were operational:

Divisions-Begleit-Kp. = 2 m.Gr.W., 2 lIG, 3 sPak

Pz.Gren.-Regt. 64.
I. = 8 m.Gr.W., 4 lIG, 2 sPak
II. - 6 m.Gr.W., 2 lIG, 9 3.7cm Pak (SPW 251/10), 2 sPak
9. Kp. = 2 s.Pak (?)
10. Kp. = 5 sIG (Sfl)

Pz.Gren.-Regt. 79.
I. = 9 m.Gr.W., 2 lIG, 2 sPak
II. = 7 m.Gr.W., 2 lIG, 2 sPak
9. Kp. = 1 sPak (?)
10. Kp. = 6 sIG (Sfl)

Pz.Art.-Regt. 16
Stabs-Kp. = 4 2cm Flak
I. = 10 lFH
II. = 8 lFH, 5 sFH (Sfl)
III. = 8 sFH, 4 10cm K

Not sure what was going on with 9. Kp. in the Panzergrenadier regiments? Unless I went crosseyed taking notes ten years ago?

Hope that helps.

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Re: 16th Panzer OOB Salerno

Post by Paul Timms » Thu May 29, 2008 12:57 pm

What can I say ? Thanks again this is most useful to me.

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Re: 16th Panzer OOB Salerno

Post by John W. Howard » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:18 pm

Hello Paul:
I guess we both learned a lot about the 16PD, did we not?? I can copy the pages of the After Action Reports and send them to you by mail; I am scanner-less unfortunately. Pm me with an address and I will send them to you. I also have a link to the US 36ID web-site, where you can read the text contained in the US 36ID Divisional History book. There may be some personal histories from Salerno on there as well. Thanks as well to Rich and Martin for the great info on 16PD. Best wishes.
John W. Howard

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Re: 16th Panzer OOB Salerno

Post by Paul Timms » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:32 am

Right John, The level of knowledge on this board never ceases to amaze me.

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