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21st Panzer-Division May-August 1944

Tactical symbol of 21. Panzer
Tactical symbol of 21. Panzer

Generalleutnant Feuchtinger before D-Day

Picture: Generalleutnant Feuchtinger shows off one of the Division's self-propelled 105's from Sturmgeschutz Abt 200 to Rommel as he inspects the unit before D-Day.Yves Buffetaut, La Campagne de Normandie (1), 6 Juin 1944, La Premiere Vague, Histoire & Collections, Paris, page 22.

Division HQ
HQ: 1 HQ Platoon in Staff Car (Generalleutnant Feuchtinger)

G1: Major Heeringer

G2: Hauptmann Vorster

G3: Major Frhr. v. Berlichingen, until the end of August, then Major Scharnhorst

G4: Major Frhr. v. Luedinghausen

Recon: 1 SMG Motorcycle Platoon

Division Security Company: 2 SMG Platoons in Sdkfz 251/1, 1 PAK40 & Tractor

Nebelwerfer batterie : 1 SP Nebelwerfer /Somua half-track


Panzer Reg’t 22 (Oberst von Oppeln-Bronikowski)

Reg’t HQ: 1 HQ Pz IVH, 1 Recon Pz IIIL/M

Flak Ko.:3 2cm AA & Tractors (by June, use 3 Flakpanzer 38)

I. Panzer Abt, : (Hauptmann von Gottberg)

(Rate as Regular until July, then Veteran)

1 HQ Pz IVH, 1 Recon Pz IIIL/M

4 Tank Kompanien, each: 3 Pz IVH

Flak Ko.:3 2cm SPAA, 1 SP 7.5cm PAK 40 on GW H39

II. Panzer Abt, : (Major Vierzig)

April:

1 HQ Pz IVH, 1 Recon Bef. Somua

5. Ko.: 1 Pz IVH, 1 Pz IVG

6. Ko.: 1 Pz IVH, 2 Somua

7. Ko.: 1 Pz IVH, 2 Somua

8. Ko.: 2 Somua, 1 Hotchkiss SPAT (PaK 40)

June: All Ko. strength 1-2 PzIVH, 1 Ko. should be represented by MkIV Ausf C/G

July (near EPSON): II. Abt. left for Grafenwoehr, Germany for refit to Panthers

Abt. converted to Panthers 7 Aug, 1944


Panzer Grenadier Reg’t 125
(Major von Luck)

(Rate as Regular until July, then Veteran)

Regimental HQ: 1 HQ in Sdkfz 251/1

1 Engineer Zug : 1 Engineer (Rifles/Flame-thrower) in Truck

1 Aufklarung Zug: 1 SMG on Motorcycles

1 Infantry Gun Ko.: 1 150mm SP Gun (Gesch Pz sFH 13 Lorraine)

1 PanzerJager Ko.:1 PaK 40 & Truck

1 Nebelwerfer Ko.: 1 SP Reihenwerfer Somua (20-barrelled tiered mortar launcher on Somua MCG or MCL half-track)

1 Gepanzert Abt (Major Liehr) with:

Bttn HQ: 1 HQ Platoon in Sdkfz 251/1

3 Infantry Kompanien each with: 3 Rifle Platoons in le SPW 107 (Unic Half-track)

1 Heavy Weapons Ko. with: 1 75mm SPAT (Gesch lgkw Somua. PaK 40 on Somua MCG S 307 half-track), and 1 Gesch lgkw P107 Flak

1 Motorized Abt (Hauptmann Kurzow {KIA 7 June},Major Kurz) with:

Bttn HQ: 1 HQ in Truck

3 Infantry Kompanien each with: 3 Rifle Platoons in Trucks

1 Heavy Weapons Ko. with: 1 75mm SPAT (Gesch lgkw Somua. PaK 40 on Somua MCG S 307

half-track), and 1 Gesch lgkw P107 Flak

Panzer Grenadier Reg’t 192 (Oberstleutnant Josef Rauch)

(Rate as Regular until July, then Veteran)

Use same organization as above. One bttn is Gepanzert, one bttn is Motorized (Major Zippe).


Panzer-Jaeger Abt 200 (Major Becker)

Bttn HQ: 1 HQ Stand in Half-track

3 Batteries each with: 2 88mm ATG & French Laffly Tractors.

Prior to June, organized as two 3-stand batteries.


Panzer
Artillerie Reg’t 155 (Oberst Huehne)

Regimental HQ: 1 HQ Platoon in Beob Pz Lorraine

I. Abt with: 2 122mm Howitzers (horse-drawn), 1 105mm Howitzer & Tractor

II. Abt with: 3 10.5 cm Gesch Pz le FH 18 Lorraine (SP)

(#5 Btty lost its guns by June 27-use one stand of infantry instead)

III. Abt with: 2 10.5 cm Gesch Pz le FH 18 Lorraine (SP), 1 15.0 cm Gesch Pz sFH 13 Lorraine, 1 SP 107 "Stalinorgel"

 

Heeres FLAK Abt 305 (Major Ohlendorf)

Abt HQ: 1 HQ in Truck

2 Heavy Batteries each with: 1 88/56mm & Tractor and 1 20mm Flak SdKfz 10/4

1 Medium Battery with: 1 Quad 20mm Flak SdKfz 7/1 , 1 20mm Flak SdKfz 10/4

 

Panzer Aufklärungs Abt 21 (Major Waldow {KIA 9 June}, Major Brandt)

Abt Staff : 1 HQ in 250/1, 1 8.0 cm 250/7 (from 3,4 Ko.), 1 75mm 250/8

1 Ko.: 3 SdKfz 250/9, 1 SdKfz 250/1

2 Ko.: 1 50mm armed AC, 1 75mm armed AC, 3 light AC

3 Ko.: 1 Inf stand in leSPW, 1 3.7cm AT gun & Tractor, 1 SP 3.7cm PAK 35/36 on Infanterie Schlepper UE 630(f) or 251/10

4 Ko.: 3 Inf stands in leSPW, 1 3.7 cm AT gun & Tractor

5 Ko.: 3 Inf stands in leSPW, 1 SP 3.7cm gun (as above), 1 250/7

 

Panzer Pionier Abt 220 (Major Hoegl)

Abt HQ: 1 HQ in Truck

1 8.0 cm 250/7 (from 1,2,3 Ko.)

1. Armoured Assault Ko: 3 Pionier Platoons (Rifles/Flame-throwers) in 251/1

2. Armoured Assault Ko: 3 Pionier Platoons (Rifles/Flame-throwers) in 251/1

3 Motorized Ko. with: 3 Pionier Platoons (Rifles/Flame-throwers) in Trucks

4.Bridging Column: 1 Large Bridge (60t)/Trailer, Pionier Platoon & Truck

 

Sturmgeschutz Abt 200 (Major Becker)

(Rate as Veteran)

Abt HQ:1 HQ Fu Pz P107, 1 PAK 40 & Truck, 2 SP 4.7cm PaK (t) auf Renault 35.R.

4 Batteries, each of 1 7.5cm PAK 40 on GW H39, 1 10.5 cm lFH 16 or 18 on GW H39

Division combat losses:

6 June, 1944: 16 tanks lost.

8 June, 1944: 70 out of 124 Mk IVs operational after air attacks. Staffordshire Yeomanry AT and artillery get 13 more.

6 June to 8 July losses as total write-offs were 54 Pz IVs.

1 August, 1944: Pz Mk IVs down to 42 vehicles.

10 August, 1944: First contact with American troops.

22 August: "The strengths of the companies of the Panzer Grenadier Regiments were only 40-50 men. Artillery, assault gun units, and AA units had lost 2/3 of their weapons owing to the fire of the enemy" Note 10 below.

25 August,1944: Division down to 12 tanks.

Late September,1944, Rgt. 192 was down to 240 men (including the attached Luftwaffe Field Bttn)

1 October-11 November: Deployed on a 52-km broad front, the averages in combat forces in the area of the Vosges each day:

15 Mk IVs

4-5 light field howitzers with SP carriages

9 Batteries of 3 guns, among them 3 batteries with heavy howitzer "18"

2 Batteries with 88 AA guns

6-8 AT guns (88s)

10 At guns (75s)

"The number of weapons was never greater than this but often considerably lower owing to losses". Pg 24 (see note 10 below).

 

Major Hans von Luck

Major Hans von Luck (center) receives a report from Lt Gerhardt Bandomir (left), who commanded 3. Ko. of I./125 Panzer Grenadier Regt. Picture from pg.24,Georges Bernage and Jean-Pierre Benamou, "Goodwood" Bombardement geant anti-panzers, Editions Heimdal, 1994. (ISBN 2 84048 028 X)

Miscellaneous notes:

1) Division was assigned to LXXXIV Army Corps (Marcks) 7.00 hrs June 6,1944

2) 4 Ko. of tank battalion had at least 1 Pz Mk IV with 75mmL24

3) "Among the units in Normandy there were two exceptions to the tank’s [Mk IV] usual allocation to the II. Abteilung of a panzer regiment: in Panzer Regiment 33…and in Panzer Regiment 22, where both I. And II. Abteilung were equipped with it." Pg. 20, Eric Lefevre, Panzers in Normandy Then and Now, Battle of Britain Prints International Ltd, London, England 1983

4) "On 20 May 1944, Panzer-Regiment 100 of the 21st Panzer Division was ordered to reorganize to the "Frie Gliederung" and was renamed Panzer-Regiment 22 effective immediately . The I. Abteilung/Panzer-Regiment 22 was to be outfitted with 17 Pzkpfw IVs in each of it’s four Panzer-Kompanien and the II. Abteilung still in possession of Beute-Panzers [captured tanks] was to be outfitted with 14 Pzkpfw IVs in each of its four Panzer-Kompanien", Pg 158, Thomas L. Jentz, Panzertruppen Volume 2, Schiffer Military History, Atglen, PA 1996

5) "August 3 1944, OKH/Gen.Insp.d.Pz.Tr/GenStdH/Org.Abt issued reorganization orders for Heeres Panzer Divisions but "Panzer-Lehr-Division and the 21.Panzer-Divisions are exceptions. A special organization applies to these two divisions.", Pg 158, Jentz, ibid.

6)21st Division strength 1 June was 121 Pz IV (including 6 Pz III and 23 Somua 35.S tanks) and 98 StuG/JagdPz, Pg 9, Steven Zaloga and George Balin, "D-Day Tank Warfare", Concord Publications Co., Hong Kong, 1984.

7) Division strength June 1944 was 4 Pz III (75),21 Pz IV(kz), 96 Pz IV(lg), 12 Flakpanzer 38, 2 PzBef, Pg 178, Jentz, ibid.

8) Morale rating is subjective, but the Division upon forming received 2,000 DAK veterans. It’s combat record showed it an able opponent for the Allies. Unless specified, treat as Regular for morale rating.

9) Take Cover Divisional Organizations for WWII, No. 13, is source for Laffly tractors in Panzer-Jager 200.

10) Page 9,"21st Panzer Division in Combat Against American Troops in France and Germany", English copy, Historical Division HQ US Army, Europe, Foreign Military Studies Branch" by Edgar Feuchtinger, Generalleutnant a.D.

11) "Feuchtinger had organized the annual Nuremberg (Nazi) party rallies in the 1930's and held his command for political reasons. (He had commanded a horse-drawn artillery regiment on the Eastern Front in 1942 but had no experience in leading armored units prior to assuming command of the 21st Panzer.)" , pp 43-46, Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.,"The Desert Fox in Normandy", Praeger Publishers, Westport, Connecticut, 1997.

Battle opponents:

June 6-8 : Br 6 Airborne Div, Br. 51st Highland Division, Br. 3rd Infantry Division

June 12 (St Honorine): Canadian II Corps

June 27-30 (EPSOM): Br. 11 Armd Division

July- August (GOODWOOD): Br. 11 Armd Division, Br. Guards Armd Division

Sept 12 (Epinal): Fr. 2nd Armd Division

Spearhead charts for 21. Panzer Division

German Records for 21. Panzer Division

Weapons and Equipment of the 21st Panzer Division

21. Panzer Division in 1:300 models

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