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Regarding the LAH, I guess the late SS-Obersturmführer Hans-Martin Leidreiter summed it up quite nicely in one of the appendix for Tiemann...Reb wrote:As an example: LAH had bee reconstituted several times and lost more men as cadres to HJ, when it got to Belguim in '44 for a refit. It then absorbed thousands of men and much new equipment.
The core of the div was still good and did a remarkable job of pulling the new guys together to form units. The huge problem IMHO is the lack of junior leaders - they were desperately short of the men leaded to lead at the small unit level. They had men of that quality but not with the training. Same deal with armoured vehicle crews - good men, often didn't get their gear to the last minute plus petrol shortages that limited training. They went back into battle prematurely, got beat up badly again, and repeated the whole process in time for the Ardennes.
9 and 10 SS looked pretty good in their 'blooding' at Tarnopol. Then to Normandy where they were hacked up pretty badly. Plus they were made up largely of VolksDeutch but officered by good men who largely had won their spurs with the original SS divs. In '44 they probably were in better shape in some ways than LAH and DR. They hadn't been in battle yet (until UKraine) and hadn't lost their original caddre of junior leaders.
By Dec '44 they were in the same shape as LAH in my example above. Frundsburg never even got their panthers until Jan '45. The trained men and officers weren't there, and while they were still receiving equipment, it ain't about the tank with the man, its about the man in the tank.
But to answer your question about 9 and 10 SS - they were late to the party. LAH and the other 'original' divs had photographic crews with them and participated in key battles, particularly the early victories. The second wave of SS Pz Divs was represented by HJ and you can have only so many media heroes.
Near as I can tell, both divs gave a good accounting of themselves right up the end.
"Eine Vorausabteilung oder Schnelle Gruppe, wie man uns später nannte, das muß mindestens ein wenig so etwas sein, wie eine Meute fiebernder Jagdhunde, hoch trainiert. Mindestanforderungen an Ausbildung und Ausrüstung aber auch an Einsatzgeist und Mut, jeder Gruppe, jeder Zug, jeder Kompanie fest in der Hand ihrer Führer…So, wie wir vielleicht noch in der Offensive von Kursk und Bjelgorod antraten. Da waren wir noch die LAH. Aber als wir dann dort in dem unwahrscheinlich tiefen Stellungsystem, in den Großen Panzerschlachten der russischen Führung und ihren tapfer kämpfenden Soldaten mehr oder weniger ins offene Messer liefen, da war das doch so etwa wie unser Stalingrad. Und jetzt in Dezember 1944 hatten wir die Invasion hinter uns. Wir kamen aus dem Kessel von Falaise und Argentan. Wir hatten die zerbombten deutschen Städte gesehen, den Bombenangriff auf Düren miterlebt. Im Herbst 1944 waren die Russen in meiner ostpreußischen Heimat zum ersten Mal auf deutschen Boden. Man brauchte nicht der größte Feldherr aller Zeiten zu sein, um sagen zu müssen, daß eine neue russische Großoffensive unmittelbar bevorstand. Bei uns herrschten Wut und Verzweiflung; wenn wir weiter dachten, als an der nächsten Tag - was wir nach Möglichkeit vermieden - dann hatten die Alliierten dafür gesorgt, daß wir an unser armes Deutschland und die geforderte bedingungslose Kapitulation denken Mußten. Von der Division stammte die Information, daß das, was wir an Material während der Aufstellung erhielten, das letzte sei, was das deutsche Reich und unser Volk produzieren konnte. Das glaubten wir, wir mußten es leider glauben. Aber ob es ein gute Motivation war?"
On the other hand 2./AA LAH was usually a Schwimmwagen-Kompanie but was now fully equipped with le.SPW. 2. and 3. simply switched numbers. Basically an unnecessary change carried out by Wawrzinek which created confusion with Knittel when he returned to the AA. 1./AA wasn't missing but that's another story.Kelvin wrote:both 3./SS. panzer Aufklarung abteilung 1 and 12 of 1.SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler and 12.SS Hitlerjugend Panzer divisions used Schwimmwagens for transport instead of sd.kfz.250 leSPW and both 1./ Panzer Aufklaruang abteilung of Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler and Das Reich were missing and waited for the arrvial of sd.kfz.250/9.
I repeat: there was nothing odd about those Schwimmwagen apart from the fact that 2./AA used to be a Schwimmer-Kp and 3./AA used to be the le.SPW-Kp. Wawrzinek simply renamed 2. to 3. and 3. to 2. Indeed, those should both have been le.SPW-equipped at that time but if the company commanders had anything to say at that time they would want TWO Schwimmer-equipped companies! Manfred Coblenz (2./AA) had a long career in motorcycle and Schwimmer-equipped companies and very much disliked the poor combat strenght of his le.SPW-Kp. Leidreiter (3./AA) complained about the m.SPWs he had to use in Normandy as he considered the Schwimmwagen the ideal vehicle for the tasks his men had to perform. He did however complain about the number of Schwimmer he recieved and especially about the quality of the recruits he had to work with.Kelvin wrote:both 3./SS. panzer Aufklarung abteilung 1 and 12 of 1.SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler and 12.SS Hitlerjugend Panzer divisions used Schwimmwagens for transport instead of sd.kfz.250 leSPW
In the case of the 1./SS-Pz.AA1 LSSAH this did not mean they were missing. This company was deployed both in Normandy and in the Ardennes just not in its intended role.Kelvin wrote:and both 1./ Panzer Aufklaruang abteilung of Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler and Das Reich were missing and waited for the arrvial of sd.kfz.250/9.