Schwere Panzer Regiment Bake

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Wolfkin
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Schwere Panzer Regiment Bake

Post by Wolfkin » Mon Oct 14, 2002 6:51 pm

Schwere Panzer Regiment Bake

I have read about this unit quite a bit and thought I knew much. But now, I am confused by something. Namely the composition of this unit.

In some sources it says that sPz Regt Bake consisted of sPzAbt 503, II/Pz Regt 23, a battalion of SP guns, an engineer battalion and some support troops.

Other sources say that sPz Regt Bake consisted of Bake's own command, Pz Regt 11, PLUS sPzAbt 503, II/Pz Regt 23, a battalion of SP guns, an engineer battalion and some support troops.

Can anyone help me with the proper composition of sPz Regt Bake? If the latter is true then it makes quite a big difference, a whole Panzer Regiment's difference! On the other hand, I have always thought that the former was the correct composition, but I could be wrong.

Thank you in advance!

Wolfkin
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Post by Jerry » Mon Oct 14, 2002 7:03 pm

Yes, s.PzRgt Bäke included Pz.Rgt 11/6 Pz.Div. plus the other units you mentioned, and those SP guns were 88's of I/AR(mot.) 88/18 Art.Div.

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Post by Wolfkin » Tue Oct 15, 2002 10:46 pm

Thank you very much Jerry!

I was wondering about that, sPz Regt Bake was actually quite a large force then. For the longest time I never realized that it included Pz Regt 11 and then a few months ago I bought a couple of books that mentioned that Pz Regt 11 was indeed a part of it. Then, I didn't know which source to believe and I lapsed into confusion. :D

Thanks again,

Wolfkin
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88mm SP Guns?

Post by Paul Hanson » Wed Oct 16, 2002 7:25 am

Jerry;

What kind of SP guns were I/AR(mot.) 88/18 Art.Div. using?

PH

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Post by Jerry » Wed Oct 16, 2002 4:56 pm

My mistake, they were not 88's they were the 150mm, Hummel!

Jerry

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Post by Vicgonz » Wed Aug 27, 2003 9:18 am

Hi
Can you give me some info about formation & campaigns of Pzreg Bake?
Thanks in advance
Victor

heinz kling

PzRgt 11

Post by heinz kling » Wed Aug 27, 2003 5:10 pm


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Post by Helmut » Thu Aug 28, 2003 12:00 pm

So what was 6 Pz Div doing for an armored element while their Pz regt was with Bake.

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Post by Marko » Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:09 pm

I believe Jerry made a mistake here. From what I gather the only unit from the 6th Panzer Division in the schwere Regiment Bäke was Panzer Regiment 11's Stab. From spring 1943 I./Pz.Rgt.11 was sent to West to be re equipped with Panthers, the battalion became operational in spring 1944 but was attached to the Pz.KG Friebe - 8th Pz.Div. So Pz.Rgt.11 had only one panzer battalion (II./Pz.Rgt.11) in the winter 1943-44.
At the end of January 1944 OberstLt. Bäke received orders to lead, with his regimental staff, a Pz.KG known as schwere Panzer regiment "Bäke" (Stab Pz.Rgt.11, II./Pz.Rgt.23 - 47 Panthers, s.Pz.Abt.503 - 34 Tigers, I./AR88 - 2 Wespe and 1 Hummel battery). It first participated in destroying Lipowez pocket and was then sent to relieve Gruppe Stemmermann at Cherkassy. (Vicgonz: try Kurowski's Panzer Aces I, for more information on the regiment's actions).
Now detaching Stab of the Panzer Regiment was nothing unusual, similar examples happened earlier in summer 1943 (Pz.Rgt.10, 35, 39). In late 1943 and early 1944 most of the Heer Panzer Divisions possessed only one (pretty beat-up) Panzer battalion, so the regimental staff wasn't really needed other then to lead various divisional KGs.
But back to the 6th Panzer Division, like Pz.Rgt."Bäke", it too was attached (from late January 1944) to the XXXXVI.Pz.Korps (Golnick) first as a mobile reserve. Because of difficulties in clearing the last pockets of stubborn resistance and also redeployment of forces for the Tcherkassy relief effort (Leibstandarte and Pz.Rgt."Bäke") in early February 1944, the division was ordered to send a KG (1 Pz.Gren.Rgt. reinforced with an armored group - most probably II./Pz.Rgt.11) to destroy the enemy together with the Artilleriekampfbataillon 18 (18th Art.Div.). With the mission complete the KG returned to its parent division. During the early mud period in February the division didn't see any action until 26 February when it was sent to Staro Konstantinow area. On 6 March Bäke returns to the division and forms another KG, this time the "gepanzerte Gruppe Bäke" is consisted from Pz.Rgt.11 (as mentioned before only one battalion with around 10 Pz.IV), I./Pz.Rgt.1, s.Pz.Abt.509 and I./Pz.Gren.Rgt.114.

Hope this helps
Marko

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Post by Jerry » Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:38 am

Hi Marko,

I don't know where you got the information that only the staff of PzRgt. 11 was detached from 6 PzD to sPzRgt. Bäke, but if you check the source that you suggested to Vicgonz, namely Panzer Aces I by Kurowski, you can read on page 62:

"When Bäke returned to the command post following the successful mission, he found orders awaiting him for a special operation. In addition to the 11th Panzer Regiment, thirty-four Tigers (of sPzAbt.503) and forty-seven Panthers (of II/PR23) had been placed under his command. These units combined to form "Heavy Panzer Regiment Bäke". Also placed at his disposal was I Battalion, 88th Artillery Division, which was equipped with Hummel self-propelled artillery."

I am aware that I/PR11 had been detached and that only II/PR11 remained with the division but I didn't think it important to point that out in my original response.

As to 6 Panzerdivision in Bäke's absence, it appears to me that they paused to lick their wounds and refresh a bit. I'm not sure of this and would appreciate more information about their activity at this time if you have it Marko. However, the Kdr., Generalmajor von Waldenfels, went on leave in February and was temp replaced by Oberst Werner Marcks.

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Post by Marko » Fri Aug 29, 2003 7:46 am

Jerry, most of the info I've posted comes from Wolgang Paul's divisional history Brennpunkte. I know what Kurowski wrote in his book I must say he (or the translator) made a simple mistake. For comparison:

Kurowski:
"When Bäke returned to the command post following the successful mission, he found orders awaiting him for a special operation. In addition to the 11th Panzer Regiment, thirty-four Tigers (of sPzAbt.503) and forty-seven Panthers (of 2./PR23) had been placed under his command. These units combined to form "Heavy Panzer Regiment Bäke". Also placed at his disposal was I Battalion, 88th Artillery Division, which was equipped with Hummel self-propelled artillery."

Paul (p.350):
"Vom Gefechtsfeld nachts zurückkehrend, findet Oberstleutnant Bäke den Befehl für ein Sonderunternehmen vor, das ihn vom 23. Januar 1944 bis zum 1. Februar 1944 mit dem Stab Panzerregiment 11 von der Division wegführt. Ihm werden 34 Tiger und 47 Panther (schwere Panzerabteilung 503 und II.Abteilung des Panzerregiments 23) unterstellt, mit denen er, nun als schweres Panzerregiment Bäke, begleitet von der I. Abteilung des Artillerieregiments 88 der 18.Artilleriedivision (Hummeln und Wespen) ohne Rücksicht auf offene Flanken einen Panzerraid unternimmt."

For those who don't understand German, Kurowski's text is basically the direct translation of Paul's with a few errors. Now I don't belive that a veteran translator like David Johnstone would make such a mistake, so this just further implies Kurowski's unreliability. There're plenty of more examples for s.Pz.Rgt."Bäke" alone in Panzer Aces I, which I still recommend as a relatively good and cheap source for this unit's actions, though I guess Michael Schadewitz's regimental history would probably be the best source but it's both expansive and extremely hard to find.

The part about I./Pz.Rgt.11 and II./Pz.Rgt.11 was meant more as a reply to Wolfkin.

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Post by Jerry » Fri Aug 29, 2003 8:45 am

Hi Marko,

Well, I yield to your superior source! Although it seems a bit strange that the Regiment staff and commander would be detached and leave the only tanks behind. I realize that the II Abteilung had its own commander and staff but still... it was surely disruptive. Does the division history mention Marcks taking Waldenfels' place temporarily? I got that info from a document in Marcks personnel file and have not seen it mentioned in any published sources.

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Post by Vicgonz » Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:11 am

Heinz & Marko Thanks for Reply
Regards
Victor

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Post by Marko » Sun Aug 31, 2003 7:18 am

Hi Jerry!

No mention of Marcks temporarily replacing von Waldenfels in the book.

Would a Panzer regimental staff's detachment from a Pz.Rgt. with around 20 panzers really cause any disruption? Not to mention that like you wrote the division was basically licking its wounds at this time - in February 1944 only a panzer supported pz.gren. regimental KG saw action (and this lasted only a few days).
It seems to me that some other Panzer Divisions (with only one Panzer Abt.) performed quite well even without the Panzer Regiment's Stab in 1943/44 for longer period of time.

Best Regards
Marko

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Post by Wolfkin » Wed Sep 10, 2003 7:32 pm

Hey, a little late but I just noticed this!

Thank you, Marko, for that added information on sPzRegt Bake! I guess this finally clears up the confusion about this unit. This must be the last word on this now, I believe that this settles this matter!

To think...all because of an incorrect translation! I believe that many sources most likely used Kurowski as one of their sources. This could have been the start of the confusion. Thanks again!

Cheers,

Wolfkin
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