The 6 Pz in 1940.

German Heer 1935-1945.

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The 6 Pz in 1940.

Post by tigre » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:11 am

Hello to all :D; another more. A few info from this unit.......................

Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.

Assembly and Preparation - January to May of 1940.

In October of 1939, was organized the new 6 Pz Division on the base of the ex - 1 Leichte Division under the command of Generalmajor Werner Kempf; the core of the new armored division was given by Panzerregiment (PR) 11 under Oberst Wilhelm Phillips and was organized in two battalions (abteilungen), I./PR 11 commanded by Major Stephan and the II. /PR 11 by Major Koll. The armored regiment had been reinforced as well by the Panzerabteilung 65 commanded by Major Thomas. This was the unique division equipped with the Czech tanks Skoda LT 35 (Light Tank mod 1935) designated as Pz Kw 35 (t) with a weight of 10 ton, a crew of 4 men and armed with a tube of 37 mm L/42 plus 2 machine guns of 7.92 mm. It was fitted with the FuG 5 (10-watt transmitter/receiver) and the FuG 2 (receiver) radio equipment. The Germans also added a fourth crew member to act as a loader (as it was requested by the Divisional Commander), giving space in the turret but increasing the rate of fire of the Pz Kw 35 (t) which was comparable to the German PzKpfw III and was an important addition to the Armored Branch.

Besides were within the organic of the division:

Schützenbrigade 6

SR 4 (con I., II y III. Bon)

Kradsch. Btl 6

AR 76 (con I. y II Grupos) + Schw. Art Abt 605.

Pi Btl 57.

Pz Jäg Abt 41.

A.A. 6

NA 82.

Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Attachments
image002.jpg
Tanks LT-35 are examined by German soldiers after the occupation of the Czech state in March of 1939.
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image004.jpg
The core of the 6 Pz, the Pz Kw 35 (t).
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: The 6 Pz in 1940.

Post by tigre » Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:48 am

Hello to all :D; something more on this unit.......................

Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.

Assembly and Preparation - January to May of 1940.

Around January 30 of 1940, the new division left its quarters in the region of Wuppertal and on February 02 of 1940 it was assembled in the area of Euskirchen with the dvisional CP in Münstereifel; in the West the German and the Allies stayed face to face without nobody dared to take the first step although with the conclusion of the Campaign in Poland and the deployment of the armor divisions and the active infantry divisions of the German Army on its western borders all possibility of a fast Allied victory had disappeared.

On March 01 of 1940, the 6 Pz was displaced towards the Westerwald and subordinated under the XXXXI AK (Mot) which was commanded by General der Panzertruppe Hans-Georg Reinhardt. To this Army Corps also belonged the 8 Pz and the 29 ID (Mot). In turn the XXXXI AK (Mot) was fitted as well in the Pz Group of General der Kavallerie Ewald von Kleist together with the XIX AK (Mot) of General Guderian and the XIV AK (Mot) of the General von Wietersheim.

Towards the end of April of 1940, all the tracked vehicles were across the Rhine and were concentrated again in the area of Mayen, while the bulk of the division remaining in the Westerwald.

Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Attachments
image002.jpg
The crew of a Pz Kw 35 (t) belonging to the PR 11, resting and carrying out maintenance tasks within a wooded area around Mayen - Apr 1940.
image002.jpg (42.69 KiB) Viewed 7022 times
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: The 6 Pz in 1940.

Post by tigre » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:31 pm

Hello to all :D; something more on this unit.......................

Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.

Fall Gelb – May of 1940.

From the border with Luxembourg to the Mosa river.

When the effective operations began, on May 10 of 1940, the 6 Pz advanced in four series of march (Marschgruppen) led by Oberst Freiherr von Esebek (Commander of the 6 Schützenbrigade); Oberst von Ravenstein (Commander of Schützenregiment 4); Oberstleutnant von Seckendorff (Commander of the Kradschüstzen bataillon 6) and the columns and trains under control of Major Dr. Topf.

The division was retained yet during a day to avoid interferences with the columns of the 2 Pz and finally crossed the international border with Luxembourg by Vianden on May 12 of 1940; the border between Luxembourg and Belgium was reached that same day at 16:00 hours. After entering Belgium, the tanks crossed calmly through a prairie that had been mined in the previous winter before the incredulous watch of an officer of the Belgian army who had already been captured; apparently the rigorous climatic conditions had affected the mines.

At dusk of that day, 12 of May of 1940, the 1º Platoon of the 1. /Pz Abt 65 led the march soon followed the motorized infantry, behind the rest of the 1. /Pz Abt the 65 (Oberleutnant Franz Bäke) and finally the combat engineers with its pneumatic boats; the column advanced with all its lights turned on.

Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.
Blitzkrieg Legende. K.H. Fischer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Attachments
image001.gif
Pz Group Kleist's march along its four routes on May 10 of 1940. Std (stunde) = hours.
image001.gif (38.26 KiB) Viewed 6997 times
image003.jpg
Traffic jam - Ardennes 12 May of 1940.
image003.jpg (41.33 KiB) Viewed 6997 times
image005.jpg
The Pz 35 KW (t) heading towards the Mosa River.
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: The 6 Pz in 1940.

Post by tigre » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:19 am

Hello to all :D; something more on this unit.......................

Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.

Fall Gelb – May of 1940.

From the border with Luxembourg to the Mosa river.

For next day, 13 of May of 1940, with the Marschgruppe von Esebeck in the lead, the division left the region Belgian Ardennes and had reached the Mosa River in Monthermé, about 32 kilometers due north of Sedan. The 6 Pz was got across three borders and marched the 95 kilometers which stretched between the German-Luxemburgish border and the franco-belgian boundary, mainly at night in 24 hours by winding roads with heavy slopes and weak bridges those that were a common characteristic of the routes that crossed the region.

Nevertheless, the advance was not realised without misfortunes, since in circumstances in that the Ia of the division, Major Helmut Staedtke, asked for strong air support, at 17:00 hours two German bombers type He-111 threw their full load of bombs on the batteries of the II. /AR 76 (Major Dr. Albrecht Aschoff) which at that time had occupied firing positions in Les Valeries; as a result of the incident, the 4. /AR 76 suffered 14 KIA and 16 WIA; besides in addition were destroyed two howitzers and two prime movers vehicles; on the other hand the 8. /AR 76 had 6 KIA and 10 WIA.

Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.
Blitzkrieg Legende. K.H. Fischer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Attachments
image001.jpg
A direct hit on one Sd Kfz 6/7 prime mover and its gun. May be of the AR 76.
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: The 6 Pz in 1940.

Post by tigre » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:39 am

Hello to all :D; something more on this unit.......................

Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.

Fall Gelb – May of 1940.

On the Meuse River.

By Montherme.

Montherme, shown on the accompanying picture below, was at that time a small French village located on the Meuse River between Namur and Sedan. In the vicinity of Montherme, the mountains force the Meuse into a narrow, gorge-like valley which makes a sweeping curve in the form of a peninsula. The town is small, remote and quiet, in surroundings of scenic beauty, but it is of great strategic importance.

At the base of a steep descent from the hills to the river, a bridge crosses the Meuse into Montherme. This bridge was partially destroyed by the retreating French forces. Along the river’s edge on the Montherme side were extensive barbwire entanglements. Many of the houses in the village were converted into miniature forts. South of Montherme was a large wooded area.

At 3:00 PM on May 13, 1940, a thin haze enveloped the lowlands of the Meuse River. German troops of the 3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment (III./ SR 4) under Oberstleutnant Häfer, had reached the heights overlooking Montherme. At that time, desultory French artillery fire was falling in the area occupied by the German battalion. Concentrations by division (German) artillery (AR 76 under Oberst Werner Forst) will be fired on Montherme (village) until 4:00 PM.

Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.
Blitzkrieg Legende. K.H. Fischer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Attachments
image002.gif
Monthermé as it would be seen later by the Commander of the III./ SR 4.
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: The 6 Pz in 1940.

Post by tigre » Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:38 am

Hello to all :D; something more on this unit.......................

Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.

Fall Gelb – May of 1940.

On the Meuse River.

Montherme.

The situation at 3:00 PM, as known to the German battalion commander, is shown on the accompanying map. (The outline’ symbols represent known concrete MG bunkers. The location of the German armored infantry battalion is shown by solid symbol.) The mission of the battalion at 4:00 PM is to seize the crossing at Montherme and establish a bridgehead covering the construction of a division bridge.

The organization of the troops, the equipment, and the weapons available to the Commanding Officer, 3d Battalion are listed below:

Battalion (consisting of 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th Companies)
Headquarters Company
Signal Platoon
3 Rifle Companies (9th, 10th and 11th Companies each 145 Rifles, 12 L. MGs and 12 Sub-MGs, 3 mortars, 50-mm, 3 AT Guns).
Machine gun Company (12th Company 12 MGs, 6 mortars, 81-mm).
Attached to Battalion
2 Inf. Howitzers (75-mm)
1 Company of Tanks (13 Tanks, armed with 37 mm Guns)
2 Guns 105-mm Self-propelled
12 Rubber boats (each 12 men capacity)
1 Platoon of Engineers
250 ft. Foot Bridge.

Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.
Blitzkrieg Legende. K.H. Fischer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Attachments
image002.jpg
Map Nº 1.
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: The 6 Pz in 1940.

Post by tigre » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:54 am

Hello to all :D; something more on this unit.......................

Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.

Fall Gelb – May of 1940.

On the Meuse River.

Approaching the river.

“Over the Meuse . . “ People other than the actual witnesses have not the slightest conception of the intense feeling and nerve-wrecking excitement prevalent among the men while anticipating a major engagement with the enemy.

The entire event was represented in the one word “Montherme,” which is the name of a small French town somewhat dormant, remote and desolate. It is strategically located on the bank of the Meuse River and surrounded by the scenic beauty which is created by the winding course of the stream effected by mountains forcing the stream to take a long sweeping curve practically circliwg the town and creating an inland isthmus.

The Commanding Officer and his staff viewed the isthmus as well as this town from the heights north of the river, observing the ruined bridge at the base of the steel descent and recognizing the extensive preparations of barbed wire defenses erected by the enemy, the numerous peasant houses each of which may be a miniature fort, and the wooded areas south of Montherme which possibly contain unlimited hostile forces.

Time slowly drifted into evening, punctuated at 15 minutes’ intervals of French artillery firing while the lowlands became swathed in a fog of hazy surroundings. Soon the monotonous routine will be broken by the striking of the clock at which time waves of Stukas will appear from the north while the roaring artillery provides a well-aimed protective barrage in support of the riflemen who will cross the river in rubber boats and open the way by use of hand grenades and hand-to-hand combat if necessary.

Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.
Blitzkrieg Legende. K.H. Fischer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: The 6 Pz in 1940.

Post by tigre » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:35 am

Hello to all :D; something more on this unit.......................

Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.

Fall Gelb – May of 1940.

On the Meuse River.

Approaching the river.

Meanwhile the Pi Btl 57 had received its assignment also, which consisted of helping the assault waves of the infantry in the crossing of the river and to build as soon as possible a bridge which could resist the passage of the tanks of the division.

“ . . . animated by the sole thought to force the crossing of the Meuse River at Montherme !“ The determination and feelings of the German forces on May 13 are characterized in this one quotation from the commander’s remarks. The moving of the time indicator up to the hour set for the attack is hardly noticeable. If it were only 4:00 PM! Yet Stukas and air bombs stay away, The roaring of aircraft motors may be heard elsewhere, the signal of attack…. perhaps up-stream near Sedan. But not at Montherme.
Well, we can do without them.

Our units are already placed in the steep rocks over Montherme. It is indeed a difficult job for them calmying machine guns, mortars and ammunition to make the difficult descent in the absence of trails.

The enemy must have noticed us. Yet, is his counterbattery fire placed on our rear all that he has to offer in reply to our preparatory artillery barrage? The entire area of the isthmus with its numerous hills is covered by an increasingly dense fog. Below in the river valley and the town itself, there continues a mysterious calm and peace. However, our rubber boats dragged by vehicles are in readines at a distance of only 50 yards from the residences of Montherme. “March!”“March!”

Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.
Blitzkrieg Legende. K.H. Fischer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Attachments
image002.jpg
A wave of dive bombers Stukas flying to its objective....Sedán!.
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: The 6 Pz in 1940.

Post by tigre » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:24 pm

Hello to all :D; something more on this unit.......................

Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.

Fall Gelb – May of 1940.

On the Meuse River.

On the river bank.

The trackless descent appeared to be too long. Suddenly the sound of bullets could be heard between the walls of the valley. The men carrying the boat; dropped to the ground in the middle of their run. The casualties were dragged into the cover by the more fortunate. Piercing eyes searched the other side of the river for hostile machine-gun positions.

“The bunker—in the house beside the bridge— !“ “Panzers nach vorn”.

The tanks with their guns slowly moved toward the river bank and with them the assault guns .The Pz Kw 35 (t) were armed with guns of 37 mm L/42 and the Stug with a short tube of 75 mm. “Fire at the machine gun nest at twelve” ordered Oberleutnant Bäke; his gunner already had acquired the target, carried out a small correction and opened up fire. The first shot crossed the river, knocking underneath the position, the second impact hit fully in the nest, silencing the weapon. Lined up on the margin the tanks of the 1. /Pz Abt 65 shot at will; the assault guns shot on the French fortifications, aiming at the small embrasures. Their shells caused the walls to turn into debris, and flames of fire to set the buildings ablaze.

The situation was becoming more serious as our 11th Company met with stiff resistance from the enemy. Parts of the 9th Company had successfully advanced past the perilous bridgehead only to seek cover near the river bank behind a concrete building which housed the village transformer. The rest of their company was driven back by intense cross-fire from concealed positions, in particular bunkers erected inside of private buildings. Neither our artillery shells, infantry guns nor even the constant machine-gun hammering of our “heavy” company seemed able to wipe out these bunkers.

The commander of the 11th Company, all of a sudden erect in the center of the company, calmly said, “What is the matter anyhow? Nobody is shooting here. Now let’s get across! “The men once more jumped up and now brought the boats into the turbulent stream. All danger was forgotten “in the midst of the excitement. The other shore was their first objective regardless of the fact that their commander was seriously wounded in the upper leg, Inspired by the critical moment, they gained strength and daring courage. The other bank, fortified with barbed wire defenses which were quickly eliminated, was soon taken.

Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.
Blitzkrieg Legende. K.H. Fischer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Attachments
image002.jpg
Monthermé, on Mayo 13 of 1940.
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: The 6 Pz in 1940.

Post by tigre » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:24 pm

Hello to all :D; something more on this unit.......................

Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.

Fall Gelb – May of 1940.

On the Meuse River.

Crossing the Mosa River.

The outboard motor roaring to the life and led them through the river up to the second margin. The French moved their fires on the boats, one of them took a hit and collapse; the men in their interior sent themselves to the water and swam as they could looking for the coast. “To engage against those machine guns’ positions” instructed Oberleutnant Dr. Bäke and the 18 operative tanks (four were left back due to mechanical failures) directed their fires against the hostile weapons. The shooting of the machine guns was confused with the explosions of the grenades in the most distant river bank.

The other bank, fortified with obstacles of wire fences which were eliminated, soon was conquered. The boats returned to ferry more men, and before long a simple footbridge was completed by the men of the Pi Btl 57 which could not endure due to the enemy fire. From then on the 9th and 10th Companies hurriedly entered the town which was by now one mass of ruins, flames and smoke.

The German assault had knocked against the troops of the 42 Demi-Brigade (it was equivalent to German type regiment) belonging to the 102 Fortress Division (French); isolate machine guns still shot from Monthermé and the tanks and assault guns moved their fires on it. Shortly afterwards several flares signals rose to the sky indicating “We are here” signalizing the presence of our own troops.

In the meanwhile the engineers had been built raft which were utilized for ferrying the heavy weapons, artillery pieces and light armored reconnaissance vehicles among others equipment hence the rest of the battalion followed without great difficulty. Hand grenades, automatic pistols and wire cutters were used in getting close to the death-spitting bunker. A courageous soldier climbing at the top of the bunker demanded with a yelling voice the surrender of the bunker crew of colonial troops. Terribly frightened their dark faces turned ashen-gray, which made them look more animal-like than ever.

Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.
Blitzkrieg Legende. K.H. Fischer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Attachments
image002.gif
The troops of the III./ SR 4 crossed the river by the footbridge built with pontoons by the Pi Btl 57.
image002.gif (387.91 KiB) Viewed 6805 times
image004.jpg
Source: Panzerregiment 11/Panzerabteilung 65/Panzer-Ausbildungs-und-Ersatzabteilung 11. Michael Schadewitz.
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: The 6 Pz in 1940.

Post by tigre » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:59 pm

Hello to all :D; something more on this unit.......................

Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.

Fall Gelb – May of 1940.

On the Meuse River.

Widening the bridgehead and rupture.

The rest of the casemates and other defensive positions, including improvised fortifications were blinded with smoke. A good extension of the way that took until the top of the heights had been properly cleared and the battalion conquered its second objective, the commanding heights located in the isthmus, by 19:00 hours after three hours of bloody fight. Nevertheless when the attacking troops met against a second line of defense the Germans the attack came to a standstill and they proceeded to consolidate the position which had been conquered.

Image
A Pz Kw II of the PR 11 on the eastern margin of the Meuse at Monthermé.

Throughout this night French gun fire was directed at the river crossing rounds of machine gun fire were exchanged and guerrilla warfare continued behind the new lines.

The following day saw the Frenchmen very active, covering our new positions with seemingly endless shell and machine-gun fire, and attempting in vain to break through them. In spite of their desperate efforts for many hours, units of our batteries advanced through the forest defense positions of Bois de Roma to the pill-boxes on the cliffs of Hill 398. Another counterattack intended to throw us back as far as the Meuse River was repulsed, however, not until after many hours of intense combat. The second night resounded with a mighty ever increasing artillery barrage on both sides.

The difficult crossing of the Meuse had been accomplished and a bridgehead was formed. During the night a bridge was constructed by our pioneers (Pi Btl 57) under heart-breaking and hazardous conditions. This bridge was a classic construction of the type of pontoons and trestle, nominally classified as category of 20 tons but in fact had capacity to bear the burdens of a division to panzer standard, that is 25 tons.

Image
The pontoon bridge built by the Pi Btl 57.

Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.
Blitzkrieg Legende. K.H. Fischer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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tigre
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Posts: 6046
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: The 6 Pz in 1940.

Post by tigre » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:39 pm

Hello to all :D; something more on this unit.......................

Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.

Fall Gelb – May of 1940.

On the Meuse River.

Widening the bridgehead and rupture.

On the morning of May 15 the attacking tanks passed through our position. The powerful enemy defenses had been eliminated and the hostile forces routed. Our breakthrough had been achieved.

According to the story of the Pi Btl 57, once the tanks crossed the river it was carried out the task of reducing the French fortifications and the assault detachments of engineers supported by the heavy weapons of infantry, tanks, dive bombers and using flame thrower, conquered two lines of pillboxes of concrete an a ratio of one per hour taking advantage that the moral of the enemy infantry was far below to the German infantry (German).

On the other hand and according to the story of the French Commander of artillery, as he told to the personnel of the AR 76, the previous day had fallen in action the Commander of the Sector and a pair of officers of his General Staff due to an artillery burst and consequently when the attack took place it had not reestablished yet a suitable chain of commando in the defense.

Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.
Blitzkrieg Legende. K.H. Fischer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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tigre
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Posts: 6046
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: The 6 Pz in 1940.

Post by tigre » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:13 pm

Hello to all :D; something more on this unit.......................

Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.

Fall Gelb – May of 1940.

Advance towards the Oise.

After getting across, the armored forces of the division spent some time recognizing the difficult wooded ground which stretched before them; but once they did so the force was put in its way towards Montcornet via Liart and at 20:00 hours on May 15 of 1940 the objective was reached after crossing 65 kilometers towards the west in a single day and destroying in the way a French regiment (the 61 RI). Meanwhile the Pi Btl 57 had remained in the area of Monthermé in charge of the bridge and carrying out other cleaning tasks.

General Reinhardt ordered for next day (May 16 of 1940), the pursuit of the enemy which had been beaten, reason why the 6 Pz had to advance as fast as it could until the Oise River, reaching the crossing points in Etreaupont and Marly. Generalmajor Kempf called Oberst von Esebeck and ordered him to execute a fast advance up to Guisé with his battle group; Oberleutnant Bäke and his 1. /Pz Abt 65 would be the vanguard of the formation.

The displacement began at 15:30 hours and after overcoming some resistance arrived at dusk at Falvigny a suburb of Guisé, where the motorcyclists which marched in the lead, received machine-gun and cannons fire from the town. The antitank pieces of 37 mm of the Pz Jäg Abt 41 were moved ahead but they were beaten by enemy tanks firing from well masked positions.

After carrying out the necessary reconnaissance, the Germans attacked towards Guisé with the first lights on May 17 of 1940 and managed to conquer the locality after several hours of battle house by house counting with support of Bäke’s tanks. Once the combat had finalized, it was continued with the advance and the elements of the Battle Group v. Esebeck captured intact the bridges in Hauteville and Marquigny. Meanwhile the Battle Group v. Ravenstein, accompanied by the Divisional Commander, arrived at Grigny.

On May 17 of 1940 the day had been successful after all, nevertheless by dusk of that day, the 6 Pz had to face an armored counterattack against the bridgehead of Hauteville - Neuvillette and the antitank guns of the Pz Jäg Abt 41 had again an arduous task to fight with the heavy French tanks, one pak of 37 mm of the 3. /Pz Jäg Abt 41 (Oberleutnant Neckenauer) had to fire not less than 26 shots before halting an enemy tank.

Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.
Blitzkrieg Legende. K.H. Fischer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Attachments
image002.jpg
A Pz 35 KW (t) leading a motorized convoy towards the front, in the opposite way an ambulance.
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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tigre
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Re: The 6 Pz in 1940.

Post by tigre » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:23 pm

Hello to all :D; something more on this unit.......................

Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.

Fall Gelb – May of 1940.

Towards the Channel’s coast.

On May 18 of 1940, the Battle Group v. Ravenstein assaulted Le Catelet, capturing the General Staff of the 9º French Army inside of the town’s centric hotel. If they would have arrive half an hour before, the success would have been more spectacular because Marshal Pétain and the Commander of the 9º French Army, General Giraud, would have been caught also. Meanwhile personal of the Pi Btl 57 managed to capture a French General when that very night (18 of May) three soldiers on duty as sentries on the outer edge of a minefield (to guide the vehicles through it) saw two automobiles of French model approaching to them. The soldiers gave the stop voice while requesting the surrender of the occupants; the cars halted and one officer stepped out. When he realized the situation, went into the car again trying to escape. The soldiers opened fire against the tires and were able to toss some grenades. At this point the officer, who turned out to be the General Commander of a French mechanized division (General Bruneau?) together with his five companions who carried the insignias of the engineers’ branch in the French Army surrendered.

In this day the Commander of the I./AR 76, Oberstleutnant Viktor Polzer, was killed in action in the neighborhood of Cambrai due to fire of an enemy tank; in his place assumed Major Walter Glemann. During the night from 18 to 19 of May of 1940, a patrol of the Pi Btl 57 carried out a reconnaissance task when it took a break in the neighborhoods of a motionless French tank in the roadside ditch; since such fact were very common in those days the germans were not bothered in investigating with more care and suddenly the armored opened up machine-gun fire. The three motorcycles turned around and fled chased by the tank; a motorcycle managed to escape, another one was unutilised and a third crashed against a cart which blocked the escape route. As a result of this action three corporals of the Engineer battalion were killed.

Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.
Blitzkrieg Legende. K.H. Fischer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

User avatar
tigre
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Posts: 6046
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: The 6 Pz in 1940.

Post by tigre » Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:47 am

Hello to all :D; something more on this unit.......................

Through Belgium and France with a Panzer division – 6 Pz in the west 1940.

Fall Gelb – May of 1940.

Towards the Channel’s coast.

On May 19 of 1940, the Commander of 9º French Army, General Giraud, who had been cut of his troops and had looked for refuge in a barn was captured. Unfortunately for him that place was selected also by the cooks of the 7. /PR 11 to install their mobile field kitchen. They found the French General, captured him and then conveyed him to the division. That night (19 of May) it were established and assured bridgeheads on the Channel du Nord in Flesquières and Havrincourt in the old battlefields of Cambrai.

On May 20 of 1940, the division found a new enemy near Mondicourt, they were indeed British troops pertaining to the 36 Brigade of Infantry which defended Doullens; this locality was retained until the dusk by the enemy. After being broken the resistance, the vanguard’s head reached Rougefay only 20 kilometers far away of the coast.

After crossing 350 kilometers in nine days, on May 21 of 1940, the 6 Pz turned to the right and received the order to establish bridgeheads along the Aa river from the 22 of May of 1940 onwards. In this day (22 of May) the Pi Btl 57 reached the Channel of La Bassée, crossing it in the environs of Saint Omer. A patrol of the battalion composed by a Leutnant and two soldiers were able to seize the vital railroad bridge of Arques, just avoiding in time their demolition.

Sources: Artillerie-Regiment 76 - Lexikon der Wehrmacht.htm
Panzer Aces. Chapter 1. Franz Bäke.
The 6th Panzer Division 1937 – 45. Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen.
3d Battalion 4th Armored Regiment Forces a Crossing of the Meuse River at Monthermé May 13, 1940. Lieutenant Colonel James Crockett. Military Review Vol XXI, Nº 83.
Diario de una Campaña. Ingenieros “Panzer” a través de Bélgica y Francia. Ingenieros en Combate. Brig General Paul W. Thompson. Círculo Miltar.
PANZER Photo Album. Auction of Historical media 2007. LLC (now expired). Sábado, 25 de Octubre de 2008.
BATTLES IN THE ARDENNES, ON THE MEUSE RIVER AND IN THE MONT-DIEU AREA (10-25th May 1940). David Lehmann
Mit dem K durch Frankreich.
Blitzkrieg Legende. K.H. Fischer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Attachments
image002.jpg
6 Pz's route during the West Campaign.
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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