sPzjgAbt 614

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HvH909
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sPzjgAbt 614

Post by HvH909 » Mon May 31, 2004 6:31 pm

Where was this unit stationed December 44 - January 45? This was the last unit in the east to have the Jagdpanzer Elefant. Thanks! :D

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Vistula; XXIV. Corps, 4. Army, HG "A"

Post by 4444 » Tue Jun 01, 2004 6:39 am

HvH909 wrote:Where was this unit stationed December 44 - January 45? This was the last unit in the east to have the Jagdpanzer Elefant. Thanks! :D
In Dec 44 - Jan 45 the 614. schwere Panzerjager Kompanie was subordinated directly to the XXIV. Corps (Nehring), 4. Pz Army (Graeser), HG "A" (Harpe). The 614. was stationed in in the Middle Vistula area, blocking the Soviet bridgehead on the left bank of the river. At that time, the unit operated 8 Elefants.

I presume the unit was wiped out during the panzer battle of Kielce on Jan 17-20, though maybe some single Elefants made it to the Upper Oder.

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sPJKp. 614

Post by Ron Klages » Tue Jun 01, 2004 11:54 am

By 1 August 1944 sPJA 653 was down to only 12 "Elefants". They were then combined into a single company---2./sPJA 653 with Oblt. Werner Salamon as the commander. They were they refitted at Krakow receiving 2 additional "Elefants" from St. Polten, Austria.
The 2./sPJA 653 was then assigned to the 17. Armee on 19 September 1944, The 1./sPJA 653, returning from Italy and the 3./sPJA 653 went to Fallingbostel then later the Döllersheim Training Area where they would be equipped with the Jagdtiger.
This left only the 2./sPJA 653 in the Krakow/Tarnov area and it was known as the Elefant Kompanie during this time period. On 24 November 1944 Hptm. Bernhard Konnak assumed command of the 2. Kompanie. On 15 December 1944 the 2./sPJA 653 was renamed as sPJKp. 614 and was assigned to the 4. Panzer-Armee. It occupied positions in the Kielce area. On 12 January 1945 the Soviets began there offensive. As a result of this Soviet offensive the unit had no operational "Elefants" by the end of January 1945.
In a report at the end of January by Hptm Ritter, the new commander of the kompanie, he reported the following equipment inventoryall in rail transport:
1 officer-12 NCOs-39 enlisted men
4 Elefants
1 Bergepanther
1 motorcycle
1 VW kubelwagen
2 Steyr cars
2 3ton Opel trucks
1 Opel 3ton Maultier
2 4.5ton Büssing trucks
3 trailers.


The remainder of the company withdrew through Oppeln, Brteslau, Sorau [30 January 1945]; Sprottau area [15 February 1945]; and through Frankfurt ao the Oder to the berlin area.

On 6 February 1945 it was reported that the company, less the Elefants, were to be transported to Germany for refitting. Then on 15 February 1945 orders were given to return all personnel and equipment to the company.
Then on 20 February 1945 a order was issued too refit the company with 10 Elefants or possibly Jagdtigers.

However on 25 February the company, now located in the Stahnsdorf area to the west of Wünsdorf, reported having only 4 Elefants all of which needed much repair.

On 22 April 1945 an order is issued to create Kampfgruppe Ritter in the Zossen area. It will be formed using the following forces:
Stab II./PR 36
4./PR 11
Arm. Car Kp. [Biwa-Uelzen]
sPJKp. 614

The fate of the 4 remaining Ferdinands was:

1 Elefant remained at Mittenwalde because of mechanical problems
1 Elefant took up firing positions in Klein Köris at the road fork to Löpten and remained there.
The two remaining Elefants made it to the Berlin inner city area and took part in the4 fighting at the Karl-August-Platz and Trinity Church. They were captured by the Soviets on 1 May 1945.
The supply trains and other personnel of the company managed to escape berlin and were captured by the British in Kiel.

I should also note while there were orders for Jagdtigers ot be issued to the company none ever were.

Source of this information comes from the book by Karlheinz Münch on the COMBAT HISTORY OF SCHWERE PANZERJÄGER ABTEILUNG 653.

Hope this data helps.

Ron Klages
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Excellent - Thank You

Post by HvH909 » Tue Jun 01, 2004 4:45 pm

Great info. I'm buying that book!!! :D BTW Ron, when is your next one out? Looking forward to it! I was in Seattle last week, GREAT place. Saw Mt. Ranier for two and half days straight!

Question now is what Elefants were lost around Jedrzejow, at the village of Borszowice between 12 and 31 January 1945. I'm afraid this one will be a tougher one to crack. Thanks! Dallas

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Next Book

Post by Ron Klages » Wed Jun 02, 2004 10:54 am

Dallas,

You would like the book on sPJA 653 and if you add the book on sPJA 654 you will have all the history of the Ferdinand/Elefant. They are a bit pricey but well worth the investment.

I am shooting to have my next book available by September/October of this year. It will cover all of the Sturmartillerie units-at the moment 101 of them. It will provide by unit a brief history, commanders, KC and GC in G winners, locations during the war and armored vehicles they were allocated. I also plan tp have a section on the TOEs [KStNs] at various points in time as well as OOBs for the Sturmartillerie units at various battles. As you can see it will be a bigger book than Trail of the Tigers but it should provide a single reference point for all as StuG fans.

Here is some additional data on the Elefants in anuary from the book:
Emanuel Schlenzka, a gun commander wrote that the compny had the kjob of protecting the flanks of the vehicles breaking out of the Kielce pocket. My commander ordered me to secure the withdrawal. The terrain favored the Russians and they had constructed a trap to pick off each Elefant. It was 15 January 1945 when the Elefant driving in front of me, under Uffz. Karl Baasch, was knocked out. We picked up Uffz. Baasch and some of his crew, Uffz. Leo Koch and Uffz. Horst peters. All three were wounded. Our Elefant suffered the same fate around noon on 15 January 1945. The vehicle had just received a full load of ammunition and had refueled, so it immediately burnt out. Only three of us managed to escape from the vehicle. Our other comrades all perished in the vehicle.
I was captured by the Russians three days later. I was able to escape in June 1945 and, after many unspeakable hardships, arrived in Bavaria in August 1945.

He alos states the Elefant to be invulnerable in the front even from the heavy Josef Stalin tank which hit them many times on the frontal armor without any effect.

He also notes that they were constantly employed wherever situations were untenable. We were always rescuing green, inexperienced troops from the interior, formed from Hitler Youth and similar units.

He wrote this data into a letter to the author of the sPJA 653 book, Karlheinz Münch, dated 26 July 1989.

Hope this data adds to your data base on the Elefant.

If in Seattle again, let me know and we can arrange to meet.

Best regards,

Ron
Ron Klages
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Re: sPJKp. 614

Post by 4444 » Thu Jun 03, 2004 5:57 am

Ron Klages wrote:The fate of the 4 remaining Ferdinands was:

1 Elefant remained at Mittenwalde because of mechanical problems
1 Elefant took up firing positions in Klein Köris at the road fork to Löpten and remained there.
The two remaining Elefants made it to the Berlin inner city area and took part in the4 fighting at the Karl-August-Platz and Trinity Church. They were captured by the Soviets on 1 May 1945.
I found a slightly different info:

On April 20th the 614. „had four ‘Elefant’ self-propelled guns of which two were abandoned due to breakdowns near Zossen. The other guns fought on Berlin’s suburbs. In addition, the groups’s composition was augmented with one captured Soviet T-35 tank taken from the Kummersdorf proving ground, however, it was quickly destroyed. In the besieged city, two self-propelled ‘Elefant’ guns fought on Karl Augustus Platz and near the Holy Trinity Church. According to other information, one ‘Elefant’ was abandoned near Mittenwalde due to engine problems. The second ‘Elefant’ fought positioned near Klein Köris by the road to Lepten”.

Image

Maxim Kolomyec, Ilia Moshanskiy, Panzerwaffe 1945, vol I, p. 69. No source is given. Instead, there is a photo of an Elefant somewhere in a wood, with a Soviet soldier on board, titled "A soviet soldier inspecting a captured by Soviet troops 'Elefant' SP gun of the 614th schwere Heeres Panzerjager Kompanie captured in Klein Köris in Germany in April 1945".

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Thanks Ron and 4444

Post by HvH909 » Fri Jun 04, 2004 6:25 pm

Thanks Ron, I'll be sure to let you know the next time I make it back there. 4444 where did you get that text? It looks like one called Kielce 1945. Where's a good place to get that?

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Post by Jan » Sat Jun 05, 2004 4:27 am

Hi

Gibt es Informationen über die Kampfgruppe "Ritter" ??

Jan

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Re: Thanks Ron and 4444

Post by 4444 » Sun Jun 13, 2004 8:02 am

HvH909 wrote:4444 where did you get that text? It looks like one called Kielce 1945. Where's a good place to get that?
you can order a copy at http://www.militaria.net.pl/strony/main.html

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