Korps Cramer

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Helmut
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Korps Cramer

Post by Helmut » Thu Jan 15, 2004 12:31 pm

Servus,
Can anyone tell me anything about this formation? Was is formed from an actual HQ or was it an adhoc unit, a corps sized Kampfgruppe if you will? How long was it in existence. I know it fought on the Southern portion of the eastern front in the winter of 1942-43.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Helmut

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Post by Abel Ravasz » Thu Jan 15, 2004 12:43 pm

Hi,

Korps zbV Cramer was formed 1 Jan 1943 by HG B to control the reserves of the army group. It was displaced in the area of Alexejevka, near Ostrogozhk, behind the lines of the 2. Hungarian army. At the beginning of the Soviet offensive (12 Jan 43) the Korps consisted of 26. Inf Div, 168. Inf Div, 1. Hu Arm Div, 700. PzVb :D , 190. StuG and 242. StuG. It had to retreat and parts of it were cut off. General Cramer was sent to Afrika soon, and thus 10 Feb general Raus took over from him and the unit was renamed Korps zbV Raus.

Please see this thread about the transition of Cramer to Raus:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=15923

Feel free to ask any more specific questions.

Best,

Abel

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Post by Helmut » Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:56 pm

Servus,
I guess what I'm asking is what headquarters was used as the basis of Korps Cramer? Was a Division or Corps staff used or were the headquarters personnel just " pulled of the train" and told to "make it happen?" I have never been able to find the origin of these adhoc units and I cannot believe that, even with their legendary organizational skills, that the Germans were able to put together a Corps staff, such as Corps Cramer, and make it function as efficiently as they did.

Please can anyone clear this up. Thanks in advance.

Helmut

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Michi
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Post by Michi » Fri Jan 16, 2004 6:25 am

@ Abel:

According my info on
Tessin-Errata: (by Dr. Niehorster)

Generalkommando z.b.V. Cramer
* Ende Nov. 1942 bei Hgr. Don auf dem Kdo. Wege gebildet.
7.2.1943 umbenannt in Gen.Kdo. z.b.V. Raus


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Post by Helmut » Fri Jan 16, 2004 9:12 am

Thanks Michi but the question now is, what is Kdo Wege? I now know where Korps Cramer went, now to find out where it came from.

Thanks again to all

Helmut

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Post by Piet Duits » Fri Jan 16, 2004 9:31 am

Hi,

Auf dem Kommandowege gebildet/aufgestellt. It means that it was formed in the field, using available sources.

This meant that the unit in question was not formed by Befehl of the Organisations-Abteilung of the OKH/GenStdH.


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Post by Abel Ravasz » Fri Jan 16, 2004 10:13 am

This quote is from JC at the Axis History Forum:
The correct date for the transfer of command from Cramer to Raus was Feb 10, not Feb 12, and certainly not Feb 28! This information is found in documents from Erhard Raus' personnel file so I am confident of its veracity.
Best,

Abel

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Post by Helmut » Fri Jan 16, 2004 12:44 pm

Thanks to all for all your help.

Regards,
Helmut

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Post by Helmut » Fri Jan 16, 2004 12:46 pm

Piet Duits wrote:
Auf dem Kommandowege gebildet/aufgestellt. It means that it was formed in the field, using available sources.

This meant that the unit in question was not formed by Befehl of the Organisations-Abteilung of the OKH/GenStdH.

Thanks Piet,
What is your source for that information?

Thanks again,
Helmut

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Michi
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Post by Michi » Fri Jan 16, 2004 2:40 pm

Piet Duits wrote:

Auf dem Kommandowege gebildet/aufgestellt. It means that it was formed in the field, using available sources.
This meant that the unit in question was not formed by Befehl of the Organisations-Abteilung of the OKH/GenStdH.
Thanks Piet,
What is your source for that information?
Thanks again,
Helmut
Hello Helmut,

sorry to say, but there is no source for „Auf dem Kommandowege gebildet/aufgestellt“.
It's very simple and it's fact.
Not the OKW or OKH did form this Generalkommando, but it was formed by locally higher command, in this case (maybe?) by the Heeresgruppe Don.
In German we have a phrase „nicht etatisiert“, which means also temporary.
This is one thing you can see in the correct name for Cramer's Generalkommando:
Generalkommando z.b.V. Cramer


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Post by Piet Duits » Fri Jan 16, 2004 4:34 pm

Thanks Michi,

and to say it in mobster slang: forgedaboudit :)
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Post by Marko » Sat Jan 17, 2004 7:26 am

Hello!

Came across this very interesting passage (Sperker: GenOberst Raus):

"Die Ursprunge dieses Korps gehen bis in das Jahr 1942 zurück. Nachdem die Gruppe Strecker - die die Nachfolgerin der 1942 gegründeten Gruppe Kortzfleisch war - vernichtet worden war, hatte Generalleutnant Cramer mit Verfügung des OKH im Jänner 1943, in den kritischen Tagen des Zusammenbruches der Donfront, mit Offizieren des OKH und einer ungarischen Nachrichtenabteilung einen taktischen Korpsstab improvisiert, dem die neu herangeführten Divisionen "Großdeutschland" und die 168. Inf.Div. unterstellt wurden."

Marko

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Leo Niehorster
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Post by Leo Niehorster » Mon Jan 19, 2004 2:46 am

CORPS z.b.V. CRAMER
[I have combined von Witzleben's report and General Cramer's statements]
[See also the current thread dealing with the Panzerverband zbV 700 - 'A REALLY Hard One!!!']

After the OKH promised German reinforcements, the question arose just exactly how these reinforcements were to be used. Jány (Commander-in-Chief, Hungarian Second Army) wanted to place the German infantry and antitank units into the line, while keeping the mobile units as an operational reserve behind the center. Jány's plan was rejected. The OKH decided in the last days of December of 1942 that the new forces were to be added to those already in reserve in the southern area of the Hungarian Army, thereby creating a mobile corps-echelon group. As this group consisted mainly of German units (although it did include the Hungarian 1st Armored Field Division), the OKH looked around for an appropriate German officer to command it. Initially Gen.Maj. von Witzleben (German Chief Liaison to the Hungarian Second Army Deutsche General beim Stab ung. 2. Armee) was considered. Suddenly, towards the end of December 1942, the OKH proposed that von Witzleben and his staff take over command of the entire Hungarian Second Army!

The OKH enquired about the possibility of assuming direct command of all Hungarian forces by the liaison staff. The liaison staff (energitically endorsed by Hgr. B) rejected the OKH's strange proposal, indicating that such a move would lead to complete and total confusion. After this rejection apparently the OKH lost confidence in von Witzleben, and looked around for another commander who would be more compliant to the OKH's wishes. Their eyes fell on Gen.Maj. Hans Cramer. Cramer was at that time the OKH General of the Mobile Troops General d. Schnellen Truppen im OKH.

On 28.12.1942, General Cramer was ordered to report to Gen.d.Inf. Zeitzler (OKH Chief-of-Staff), where he was informed that Hitler wanted him to go immediately to the East Front and inspect the Hungarian 1st Armored Field Division, check its combat worthiness, and report back to the OKH without delay.

Cramer flew from Lötzen, arriving at Straobjelsk (headquarters of Hgr. B) on 30.12.42. Gen.Ob. von Weichs (Commander-in-Chief Hgr. B) informed him of the situation, and discussed the details of his mission. Cramer continued on the same day to the headquarters of the Hungarian Second Army at Nikolajwesk, where he met by Gen.Maj. von Witzleben. Von Witzleben warned Cramer against overestimating the Hungarian troops. One could just not judge their value based on experiences from WWI, as was apparently thought back at OKH headquarters. What was needed was German reinforcements and effective weapons.

On 31.12.42, Cramer made his first inspection of the Hungarian armored division in Marki. The inspection turned up nothing out of the ordinary, and Cramer returned to Hungarian Second Army headquarters on 01.01.43. Upon his arrival there, Gen.Maj. Cramer received order Hgr.B/Ia/Nr. 4824/42 geh.Kdos. (see below) from Hgr. B naming him commander of a corps headquarters created to control the OKH reserves within the Hungarian Second Army. Details were indicated in the following telex:

I was mistaken in my errata regarding the date Corps zbV Cramer was raised. :oops:

The correct date of the creation by of the Corps zbV Cramer by OKH has to be end December (probably 31.12.42), as General Cramer himself was appointed to an existing command on 01.01.43 by telex at 05:00 in the morning.

------------------------
F E R N S C H R E I B E N
HBIX/Fü. 1.1.1943.0500
Geheim !
An ung. AOK 2 über dt.Gen.b.ung.AOK.2.
An Generalmaj. Cramer über dt.Gen.b.ung.AOK.2

1. Im Bereich der ung.2.Armee wird das Gen.Kdo.z.b.V. CRAMER eingesetzt. Mit der Führung wird Generalmajor CRAMER beauftragt, als Chef des Gen.Stabes Generalmajor KINZEL eingeteilt.

2. Das Gen.Kdo.z.b.V. wird taktisch dem ung.AOK. 2 unterstellt.

3. Das Gen.Kdo.z.b.V. CRAMER mit unterstellten:
2 Drittel 168. ID.
26. ID.
1. ung. Pz.Div.
Panzerverband 700
Sturmgeschütz Abt. 190
hat sich so zu gliedern, daß es im Falle eines russischen Einbruchs in die 2. Armee die Lage wiederherstellen kann.
Es kommt darauf an die Kräfte keinesfalls zu verzetteln oder einzeln einzusetzen, sondern geschlossen und möglichst in die Tiefe der feindl. Angriffsflanken zum Genenangriff antreten zu lassen. Dazu ist erforderlich, Feindeinbrüche in die Front der Generangriffstruppe CRAMER unter allen Umstände, insbesondere durch den Aufbau starker Panzerabwehr zu verhindern.

4. Ich bitte danach dem Kdr. General weitgehend Freiheit in seinen Entschließungen hinsichtlich Versammlung und Bereitstellung der unstestellten Truppen zu gewähren. Die Unterkunfträume der Verbände werden - je nach Weiterentwicklung der Feindlage und auch sich mehrenden Anzeichen für feindl. Angriffe in bestimmten Abschnitten - Änderungen unterworfen sein.

5. Ge.Kdo. z.b.V. meldet an Obkdo. der Heeresgr. unmittelbar und dem ung.AOK. 2.
a) Befehlsübernahme
b) Haupt Qu. bzw. Gef. Stand.

6. Zusammensetzung des Stabes und Zuteilung von Nachrichteneinheiten werden gesondert befohlen.

Ia. Num. 4824/42 geh.Kdos..
gez. Frhr. von WEICHS, Generaloberst

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Post by laszlo.nemedi » Mon Jan 19, 2004 3:48 am

Leo Niehorster wrote:...
Suddenly, towards the end of December 1942, the OKH proposed that von Witzleben and his staff take over command of the entire Hungarian Second Army!
...
Dear Dr. Niehorster!
This part is very new to me, can you give me the source for that (however you mentioned two source).
Thanks,
Laszlo

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Post by Leo Niehorster » Mon Jan 19, 2004 5:46 am

Hi,
Here's the exact text in German [square brackets my inserts]:

"... Ende Dezember [1942] eine Besprechung aller deutscher Verbindungsoffiere abgehalten, um erneut zu prüfen ob und wie die vom OKH angeregte direkte Befehlsübernahme im Falle eines sowjetischen Angriffes möglich sein würde. Alle Angehörige des Verbindungsstabes [zur ung. 2. Armee] lehnten ein Beiseitescheiben des ungarischen AOK oder auch nur Versuche, mit Befehlen und Empehlungen einzugreifen, entschieden ab. Der Verbindungsstab vertrat die Ansicht, dass solche Massnahmen nur ein völliges Durcheinander erzeugen würden. Nachdem sich die vorgesetzte Heeresgruppe [Heeresgruppe B] der Ansicht des Verbindungsstabes angeschlossen hatte, wurde der Plan engültig fallengelassen."

Page 15
v. WITZLEBEN, Herman J.W.
"Bericht über die Erkenntnisse und Erfahrungen bei der Kgl. ung. 2. Armee Herbst und Winter 1942/43"
Unpublished, carbon copy of a typewritten manuscript, signed by the author, 19 pages.

Leo

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