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|WorldWar2.ro Forum > Eastern Front (1941-1944) > Panzer Forces in Iasi-Chisinau Operation aug. 1944|
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 04, 2009 07:27 pm|
| Hallo to everybody,
Hope I don't miss something and this subject was nowhere opened till now.
I'm opening this for the following reasons:
-I am interested in the german panzer forces fighting in august 1944 on the moldavian front, their equipment, capabilities and actions, as well as their remainings in early september in Transilvania.
-I wish to have a good image about the romanian panzer forces -especially the 1st Armoured Division Romania Mare -particular in equipment since the official sources speak different : Ion S. Dumitru in his book Tancuri in flacari said our 1st Armoured Division had 60 Pz.IV G/H/J and 32 StuG.III G prior to soviet attack but on your site I found only 48 Pz.IV G/H/J prior to 20 august 1944 -where is the trough?
-I want to speculate a bit -what if some of the german elite units like GROSSDEUTSCHLAND and SS TOTENKOPF Panzer Divisions weren't retreat from our front in Poland? Could they stop the soviets in the early battles in 20-22 august?
-Why the german panzer forces still present on the front line /or near the front/ were so much understrength in august 1944 -I mean here 13th Panzer and 10th PanzerGrenadier Divisions -not talking about the KampfGruppe form 20th Panzer Division -who was weaker than a Brigade -german appreciation! The front was quiet since june 1944, and reinforcements were possible and more necessary! Why Hitler or the germans do nothing in this direction. Can we speak about romanian betray in this conditions? -speaking about 23.08.1944.
Waiting your contribution...
|Posted by: Victor April 05, 2009 06:06 am|
| Hello Andreas,
1. Actually none of the figures are exact. I have been postponing the update of the Armor section for a long while now. Maybe it's time to do it in the following months. At the beginning of August 1944, 12 or 15 T.4s (the figure is not yet clear to me) were sent to the CIMM (The Mechanized Forces Training Center). Thus the 1st Tank Regiment had around 48 T.4s (definitive figure to be published later on) on 20 August. There may even be an article on the Romanian 1st Armored Division in the events of August 1944, sometime this year
As an advice, do not take for granted everything Ion S. Dumitru wrote.
2. The Germans had to retreat most of their panzer forces due to the desperate situation of Army Group Center (see Operation Bagration). Without them, the Soviets would have been in Berlin much earlier or maybe could have entered Romania from Hungary. The reason the Germans didn't send more mechanized forces to the Romanian front was most likely because they didn't have these forces to send.
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 05, 2009 12:30 pm|
| Thank you very much Victor!
And surely waiting the update of the Armor section you'll make. So that's why on Baneasa the so-called Armor Detachment Gen. Nicolescu Gh. had 13 Pz.IV G/H and 2 Pz.III N alongside with 10 StuG.III G (*source: Dimensiunea istorica a primei operatii a romanilor in razboiul antihitlerist) in 25.08.1944. If the numbers are accurate? I'm wondering for long time where this tanks and s.p. guns came from?
And again Ion S.Dumitru wrote that he personally, during his escape from russian captivity find at Monteoru station (between Buzau and Mizil) a train with german new Pz.IV H/J -some 22 tanks- it will be a complete tank company 1944 TO&E. Is this possible? I mean an abandoned train with so much new materiel? Defenceless? That was in 5 september according to Ion S.Dumitru. Is it possible the russian find and take the material or just destroy it? I read about some russian divisions who used german armor -not to mention artillery or trucks! Just thinking...
But again criticizing the germans they could find -f.i. in Hungary or Balkans forces for strengthening the Moldavian front -but many generals and Hitler himself wouldn't believe the iminent russian offensive! My opinion.
|Posted by: MMM April 05, 2009 01:39 pm|
|What? I have Ion S Dumitru's book, "Tancuri în flăcări", I've read it but I cannot remember such a thing! It's quite hard to believe that at 05.09, at 4 days after SU troops entered Bucharest, the Wehrmacht would have 22 tanks on the road to... what?|
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 05, 2009 10:11 pm|
| No MMM, please read -page 142 paragraph 3- where the author narrate that during his run from the soviets he finds at Monteoru railway station (between Buzau and Mizil) a train with 22 german abandoned tanks in perfect condition -brand new- he said. The story intrigue me since this was in northern Muntenia so, normally, our military suppose to have some authority, and trying to take this tanks so necessary for the war was a must! But we were /then/ and still are /now/ in Romania and this explain a lot Of course if we believe the story?!?
|Posted by: Dénes April 06, 2009 05:28 am|
| All captured German war matériel automatically became Soviet property.
|Posted by: Victor April 06, 2009 06:04 am|
The source of these tanks was CIMM and most likely the T.4s were those transfered from the 1st Tank Regiment to CIMM early in August. The two Pz III Ns were the remnants of the Stalingrad campaign and were used for training in 1944.
|Posted by: MMM April 06, 2009 02:21 pm|
Romania or not, those belonged to the Wehrmacht's Supply Service and it would have been highly irregular to leave that kind of equipment "at random" in what just became enemy territory! The same services did a great job four months later for the "Battle of the Bulge" in December 1944, when they managed to mass quite a lot of troops and armor and tanks and whatever at just a couple of kilometres from the frontline, without letting the Allied forces suspect a thing. So, this episode seems too much of a Romanian blunder to be true... I re-read that and it sound very Sven-Hassel-like - i.e. very funny and also hard to believe without a second testimony.
However, I tend to agree to the oppinion expressed earlier, that there were simply NO German tanks to spare, especially on a "quiet" front, such as the Moldavian front from april to august.
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 06, 2009 06:08 pm|
| To MMM,
I agree, this story seems hard to believe and the fact that nobody /I mean romanians or soviets/ secure such a valuable /for soviets to, for us not to mention/ material until 5 september make this unlikely.
A friend of mine showed me a photo from a Book called -in hungarian 'A Parduc harckocsi'/the Panther tank/ in which a train with some Panther tanks in natural camouflage -broken boughs, leafage, a.o.- stationed in a Moldavian railway station in early august 1944 -at least so it was written under the photo-in german!. But the photo looks bad and is impossible to identify a buiding, anything but the train itself and the camouflaged tanks who looks like Panthers from the rear. No landscape can be seen so this can't help. Do you believe it is possible that the weak Panzer Forces stationed in mid august on the front line -speaking about moldavian-bessarabian front of course- could have Panther tanks? Of course the german forces who were send in july in Poland prior stationed in Moldova/Basarabia -especially the elite Grossdeutschland and SS Totenkopf Panzer Divisions-had Tiger or Panther tanks- but the weak 13.PzDiv or 10.PzGrDiv??
you are right, the numers fit with what you said before, and this was our luck/or smart thinking/ having this tanks close to Bucharest. They played a decisive role in the Baneasa battles in the late august 1944 /stopping the german ground attacks/. And a question to you -do you heard anything about german light PSW 8x8 recon armoured cars deployed in the Ploiesti region -several companies- in the 5th Flak Division? Do the germans from this division have light armoured units?
|Posted by: Taz1 April 07, 2009 03:00 pm|
|The story in wich the 3 SS Totenkops was completely retired from the front prior to 23.08.44 is not throght, I found in many surces that elements from this divizion where stel on Moldova front at 23.08, including in the book,, Tancuri in flacari " the autor relates on episod in which he encontred elements of this divizion after 23.08.44- The 159 Corp ?? I think which was composed from 2 tanks, 3 stugs and ather vehicles and give them indications to cross the mountains in excenge of spare parts and ammo for the tanks. In other books I found the same information.|
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 07, 2009 10:12 pm|
| Hello Taz1,
Interesting story you tell, but ... are you sure you not mistake something? I mean on the Moldo-Basarabian Front in august 1944 several Sturmgeschütz-Brigaden /SP Gun Brigades/ were present. Some were before atached to the SS Totenkopf or Grossdeutschland Divisions, but remained on our front in august 1944. On 29. july 1944 for instance -a published document of the General Chieff of Staff of the romanian army speak about 9 Sturmgeschütz-Brigaden present on the front or behind it! And other 7 Sturmgeschütz-Abteilungen /SP Gun Battalions/ all together 416 StuG-III G and StuG-IV! So it's easy to make a confusion. All german or romanian documents I found speak about the SS Totenkopf Division leaving Moldova in end july 1944. If you know something different please tell the source!
My source : Romanian Army in WWII -MMN, Institutul de Studii Operativ-Strategice si Istorie Militara, Sectia Arhive a SMG, Ed. Meridiane Bucuresti 1995.
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 10, 2009 09:51 pm|
| New informations over the german Panzer/Panzergrenadier Divisions present in august 1944 on the Moldova front.
A good informed ex-classmate of mine living for years in Germany send me some interesting informations reguarding the 10th Panzergrenadier Division present in the front region west from Iasi city, south from the river Bahlui, in mid august 1944.
His source is the book written in 1963 by general August Schmidt, the former commander of this division. In this book he describes in detail the battles of this big german unit on the eastern front, and also on the moldavian front in august 1944. So the new informations are:
-the german mechanised division /that's what Panzergrenadier means/ was very strong and complete in mid august with 3 tanks Pz.IIIM and 43 sp guns StuG.IIIG, 110 armd. halftracks and a strong artillery. The division commander was general August Schmidt, an very experienced officer, and his troops over 12.000 strong.
-the division was encircled from the first days due to romanian divisions -any idea which? -leaving their front with little resistence. He manage to avoid destruction with high losses and retreat towards Husi. More heavy fighting with the soviet units weaken the division who, without enough fuel for the machines had to abandon some battle ready armd vehicles and sp guns. On 24 august the colomns marched trough the Vutcani village where they meet soviet armour but manage to cross. But the shortage of fuel was the worst ennemy, and again many vehicles had to be destroyed
In 25 august the hope had returned since remnants of the 13. Panzer Division were in the Leova area, over the Pruth river. But the total encirclement of the Division was finished and the only order the commander could give was -abandon all the heavy materiel and destroy it and try, in small units, to escape. Some 2500 soldiers were able to cross the ennemy lines and after several tentatives they cross the Sireth river in the Condrea -Suraia east of Focsani in 27 august. The march trough Baragan towards Bulgaria was the only posibility since the Buzau area was closed by ennemy units. Remnants of the division pass Baragan with numerous clashes with romanian army and reserve units and could not cross Danube in Bulgaria. They abandon all the remaining motorised and armoured vehicles and also the light and medium guns in Varasti area, west from Calarasi, in 30 august, and tried to cross the Danube in Bulgaria with little succes. Most of them were captured by romanian troops and few crossed into Bulgaria.
If you know something ref. 13.Panzer Division or K.G. 20.Panzer Division please reply.
|Posted by: Taz1 April 13, 2009 09:52 am|
Hy, Andreas, the informations abaut the presence of the elements of SS Totenkoph division I found in diferent surses. In the book ,,Tancuri in flacari ", the aothor Ion S Dumitru tells the story about his encountrd with element of this divizion. Despite his sometime exagerations in book, he knew very well the divizion, he c,ant make a confusion whith ather german unit. In the book ,,Pumnul de Fier " the author allso recolect that afther 23.08.1944 he tried to save the live of anWaffen ss soilder. Hear on the site you can find the story of a veteran how was there on the front in that period and he allso recolects that he tied to escape the russ captivity and on the road he encontrd an Waffen SS - unterofficier and togeder make their escape. All those informations are from eyewittneses how where there on the front at that time it c,ant be a coincidence. Not allways oficial document present the hole picture and in the haos of the war some data and informations are lost. I found that on many subjects.
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 14, 2009 08:18 pm|
| Hallo Taz1,
Since I speak only based on the books, documents published and indirect informations I got, certainly can't deny that elements of the 3rd SS Totenkopf division existed on /or near/ the front line. But that fact means not much since the bulk of that division forces were not on our front in august 1944! All documents I read speak about 2 romanian armoured/mechanised divisions and 3 german armoured/mechanised divisions which were all identified: the romanian 8th cavalry/mechanised division and the 1st armoured division and the german 10th mechanised and 13 tank divisions and a battle group (brigade size) from the 20th tank division. I am now more convinced that the german 13.Panzer Division was the strongest from them all, followed by the romanian 1st Armoured Division and the romanian 8th Mech. Cavalry Division and after them by the german 10. Panzergrenadier Division (strong and good trained by with almost no tanks!) and the battle group of the 20. Panzer Division (with only one tank company! -if I am right).
My hopes to find here answers about german tank forces present on our front line in august 1944 are low since that kind of info can't be easily found and in all cases not in Romania!
But still waiting anybody with even parts of information who could help!
Thanks anyway Taz1 and waiting new contributions!
|Posted by: Victor April 16, 2009 06:37 pm|
| The total number of armored vehicles of Army Group South Ukraine on 1 August 1944 was 155 tanks, 225 assault guns and 30 self-propelled howitzers. See Klaus Schoenherr, Luptele Wehrmachtului in Romania, Ed. Militara, Bucharest, 2004, page 80. The primary source is from the operations diary of Army Group Southern Ukraine.
Regarding the 3rd SS Panzer Division, no matter what the veteran recollections may be, it wasn't in Romania then. The German panzer/panzergrenadier forces I identified were:
- the 13th Panzer Division
- 10th Panzergrenadier Division
- the Kessel Detachment (elements of the 20th Panzer Division), which was subordinated to the Romanian 1st Armored Division on 20 August
There were also various StuG detachments. For example, the Maj. Brausch Detachment (10 StuGs+one infantry battalion), which was also subordinated to the Romanian 1st Armored Division.
The 8th Cavalry Division was at Tecuci during the offensive. On 23 August its tank and StuGs were given to the Braun Detachment, made up of its instructors from the 20th Panzer Division. So it was just a motorized cavalry unit.
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 16, 2009 10:07 pm|
| Hallo Victor,
I really apreciate your contribution and thank you for the elucidation of the SS Totenkopf Division story! And also for the source -the Book - Klaus Schoenherr, Luptele Wehrmachtului in Romania- it's wonderful! And a request if possible -how could I command it? Do you know somebody who have it -at least for a print-?
Thanks again and best regards!
|Posted by: Victor April 17, 2009 06:21 am|
|See here: http://www.edituramilitara.ro/shopping/product_details.php?id=57|
|Posted by: ANDREAS July 21, 2009 07:20 pm|
| Hallo everybody and thank you Victor,
I read the book Klaus Schoenherr, Luptele Wehrmachtului in Romania and found it very useful ... It helps a lot for understanding so much of the unclear decisions and actions...
And clearify the astonishing succes of the soviet offensive Iasi -Chisinau in mid august 1944... even if the germans manage to save a part of their forces ...a small part it's true.
On the other hand I appreciate the decent tone of the writer who recognise the true motive of the german disaster who were, like in Stalingrad defeat, other than simple betrayal of romanian allies...
Anyway, an interesting and useful book for everybody interested in WWII history.
|Posted by: Florin July 31, 2009 04:25 pm|
| Just as a fact, near Iasi the Germans from Gross Deutchland had for the first time the chance to look into a JS-2 tank (Joseph Stalin-2). It was not for long, as a Soviet counterattack forced the Germans to abandon the recently captured Soviet tank (they had it for less than a day).
To their shock, the Germans realized that the new Joseph Stalin-2 was able to penetrate the frontal armor of a Tiger I.
|Posted by: ANDREAS August 02, 2009 10:51 am|
| Hi Florin,
Yes you're right but only if you speak about the battle from mai 1944 in the Targu Frumos region... there's the place where the IS-2 heavy tanks first meet the german armor... Details can be read in Magazin Istoric nr.10(475) from october 2006.
|Posted by: ANDREAS August 06, 2009 09:48 pm|
| As the main contributor of this page until now, I need to write the latest information I received...
In 20 august the 13. Panzer Division under the command of Generalleutnant Hans Tröger had only 40 tanks combat-ready, mostly Pz.-IV G and H, and a small number of StuG-III Gs. That makes our 1st Armored Division the better equipped unit of the moldo-bessarabian front in august 1944...
|Posted by: MMM August 07, 2009 07:57 am|
Except, maybe, the quality of services and of the tankmen... I doubt that the battle-forged German crews and maintenance and supply services were inferior to their Romanian counterparts!
|Posted by: ANDREAS August 07, 2009 03:59 pm|
| Yes MMM, you're right...
But I only speak about equipment, I said nothing about training or fighting abilities...
Of course the german panzertruppen from 13th were superior to their romanian counterparts, and if anybody doubt that -please read the faith of the kampfgruppe of both 13th and 20th Pz.D. or the 10th PzGr.D. -they survived the fightings but were captured or by the romanians in the Baragan plains or in Bulgaria... few escaped in Transilvania but without the heavy weapons... Our Armored Division come apart in many detachements after the first day of heavy combat... the detachements fight apart one from another until the cease-fire of 23-24 august... and were never reunited again... only the russians tried to form a stronger armored detachement in 27-28 august, if I remember correctly...
That show something, I guess...
|Posted by: Victor August 08, 2009 09:24 am|
The Armored Division did not come apart during August 1944.
|Posted by: MMM August 08, 2009 10:42 am|
|They also did not fight as a division or as a regiment, but rather as a number of companies...|
|Posted by: Victor August 08, 2009 12:08 pm|
Sources please. I'm tired of personal opinions aired as historical truth.
|Posted by: MMM August 08, 2009 02:33 pm|
|Ion S. Dumitru's book. Is that enough for now?|
|Posted by: Victor August 09, 2009 07:13 am|
It is common sense not to draw a conclusion on how the entire division acted based on the memoirs of one man who got lost from the bulk of his unit and wandered around the countryside. Although very entertaining, his memoirs should be taken with a grain of salt, especially since his claims are somewhat exaggerated in some aspects.
The 1st Armored Division acted as a pretty cohesive force under the given circumstances and delayed as much as it could the Soviet advance in its area, allowing the Romanian infantry to escape southwards. Contrary to what Ion Dumitru claims, general Korne was well enough in control of his unit, as the official documents clearly show.
|Posted by: ANDREAS August 09, 2009 08:08 am|
I agree your opinion but, as you say, we speak on sources... Mine and MMM is well known... Ion S. Dumitru's book...
What's yours? And what exactly did that source say... about the armored force of the Division?
Because, I beg your pardon, if you speak about an armoured division who fight apart of his own tanks and SPG-s only with motorised infantry, artillery and services... even reunited in a strong formation...you can't call it an armoured division anymore...
Hope you agree that...
|Posted by: Agarici August 09, 2009 08:40 pm|
My suggestion would be to put all the numbers (and types) together in a list (the timeframe 20-23 August, Iaşi-Chisinău front). Perhaps Victor will help us with the promised complete figures concerning “România Mare” division, indicating also his sources. I’ll start by sorting out the number already discussed here, adding only the armored machines having at least a 75 mm gun, specifying also the types when known:
- 1 Romanian Armored Division “România Mare”: 48 (up to 65) T 4 (Pz. IV H and G) + 12 TAS/Stug III G (why so few) + 10 (?) TACAM R-60
- 13 German Panzer Division: 40 serviceable tanks + ? Stugs (small number)
- 10 German Panzergrenadier Division: 43 Stug III G + 3 Pz III M (N?)
- The Kessel Detachment - elements of the 20 German Panzer Divison: one tank company? (how many machines?)
- The Braun Detachment: 56 machines (?), some from Romanian 8 cavalry Division
- The Maj. Brautsch Detachment: ~ 10 Stugs
- Romanian 4th Army Armoured Detachment ? (source: www.worldwar2.ro, Weapons and equipment, TAS): how many machines?
- 8th Romanian Cavalry division: how many machines, if any?
+ other independent assault/self-propelled guns battalions/detachments (how many, with how many armored vehicles?)
So up until now, we have a provisional and incomplete total of 222 (minimal figure - including the estimates for the Braun Detachment) or 239 (maximal figure - counting 65 tanks for “România Mare”) tanks and self-propelled guns. I’d say the total number was obviously bigger than that, but I look forward for your additions.
|Posted by: Victor August 10, 2009 06:01 am|
| Andreas, I already stated my sources in previous posts: original documents from the archives.
I only gave a friendly warning not to take everything Ion S. Dumitru wrote for granted. However, you and MMM are free to believe whatever you want regarding this subject.
Regarding what the source is stating, I do not have the time now to write the story down. Maybe during the autumn.
|Posted by: Agarici August 10, 2009 12:46 pm|
According to Soviet sources, used by Gh. Buzatu, the German-Romanian forces had 404 tanks (probably the figure included the self-propelled guns) on Iaşi-Chişinău front around 20 August 1944.
|Posted by: ANDREAS August 10, 2009 08:58 pm|
| Answers : first to Victor :
Ok, I remember now you speak about archives and it's wonderful you have access to such a valuable source...
Hope you don't believe I was unpolite to you...
But as a person of the general public who didn't have access to such sources like you did... is normal to take Ion S Dumitru as a base for discussions...
Don't you agree?
to Agarici :
Thanks for you're arrival in this topic... and your contribution as well...
but do not forget the independent StuG batallions like the
- 325. attached to VI. Rumanian Corps, 4. Rumanian Armee, Armee-Gruppe “Woehler”,
- 825. assisted by 79.Infanterie-Division and 370.Infanterie-Division, were scheduled to spearhead the breakout of IV. Armeekorps which was trapped deep within Rumanian territory by the Soviet August offensive. The escape attempt failed and IV. Armeekorps was destroyed.
- 905. Not much is known of the fate of this unit after the Soviet Second Ukrainian Front thrust down from the north directly into Armee-Gruppe “Woehler”. Like many of the other StuG.Brigades, attached to Heeresgruppe Sudukraine, it was probably destroyed as a cohesive fighting unit at the time.
- 911. The Soviet Armee’s Third Ukrainian Front attacked due west from their positions, south of Tiraspol, shattering the 6. Armee and completely destroying Stu.Gesch.Bde.911 on this “Black Sunday” for the German Heer
and surely others...
Source : http://www.axishistory.com
|Posted by: ANDREAS August 11, 2009 06:37 pm|
| In 19.08.1944 the mobile forces available for the ArmeeGruppe SudUkraine were :
- 1st Romanian Armored Division “România Mare”: 48 T 4 /Pz. IV G/H + 21 TAS /StuG III G + 10 (?) TACAM R-60
- 13th German Panzer Division: around 40 (could be less if the Kessel Detachment had 5 Pz. IV H) Pz. IV H/J + around 20 StuG III G or StuG IV
- 10th German Panzergrenadier Division: 43 Stug III G + 3 Pz III M (N?)
- The Kessel Detachment - elements of the 20th German Panzer Divison: one tank company -only 5 operative Pz. IV H
- The Braun Detachment: 56 machines (30 Pz. IV H and 21 StuG III G from Romanian 8 Mechanised Cavalry Division) and other 5 Panzers or Sturmgeschuetze
- 8th Romanian Mechanised Cavalry division : 30 Pz. IV H and 21 StuG III G until 22 august 1944
- some of the following units : 228, 236, 239, 243, 278, 286, 325, 905, 911 Sturmgeschütz-Abteilungen /Brigaden each with 19 to 31 StuG III G or StuG IV and maybe some command tanks
This could be for now a better image of the german-romanian mobile forces who faced the soviet armies in the Iasi-Chisinau Offensive...
Thanks again for the suggestion, Agarici.
|Posted by: Agarici September 06, 2009 03:17 am|
You are welcomed!
So, that gives us a rough total of 126 tanks and about 345 assault/self-propelled guns = 471, close enough to the figure given by Gh. Buzatu using Soviet sources (405-415 machines, not mentioning if including or not the SPGs).
My question which I guess still stands is where were the rest of Romanian tanks, assault guns (100 + each) and even SPG while the country defense was in danger to be overwhelmed and every single gun could have been needed? We learned from this site that on the event of the Soviet Spring-Summer offensive ARR mobilized all its resources (also having to deal with the Allied bombings), what was going on with the Romanian amour?
|Posted by: Victor September 07, 2009 02:41 pm|
| There weren't that many battle ready AFVs behind the front. Let's try to evaluate the situation.
The 8th Cavalry Division, the other major unit equipped with modern equipment, was still training to use its tanks and assault guns and was not ready to be sent to the front line or at least this what the General Staff thought. I am not very familiar with the effort to turn this unit into an armored one so I can only speculate on how battle ready they were and if keeping them in reserve was a good idea or not. IMO it would have made more sense to take at least a part of the personnel of the 2nd Tank Regiment and assign them to this new unit. They had some armored warfare experience and probably could have been trained quicker. In fact adequately trained personnel was probably the main "plague" of the Romanian armored formations during the war. I would venture to say more important that equipment shortages.
The other owner of relatively large numbers of modern AFVs was the CIMM (the Mechanzied Training Center) or 1st Armored-training Division. As we have already seen, 15 T-4s were reassigned to it from the 1st Armored Division in August 1944, prior to the Soviet offensive. In my notes I found the more detailed follow up of the order: 12 T-4s and 2 T-4s with "short barrel", 2 T.3s and 5 TAs were transferred to CIMM.
Now let's take them one type at the time. The R-2s, of which around 20 served in the first fights against the Soviets in Moldova in early 1944 (this is an unknown chapter that requires thorougher research), were mostly being prepared to be transformed into TACAM R-2s in August or lying unserviceable in Bucharest.
The R-35s were in better shape and on 5 August, the 2nd Tank Regiment shipped the 1st And 2nd R-35 Companies to the front to act as armor support at the disposal of the 3rd and 4th Army commands. Each company had 10 R-35 tanks. This leaves another 20-30 serviceable R-35s unused. A part of them were probably on the waiting list for the conversion to the 45 mm gun, but there was enough materiel for a third company IMO
The T-38s were mostly unserviceable in mid-July (only 5 serviceable) and it took some time to bring up the numbers. It is arguable if one company could have been organized or not in August.
The TACAM T-60s were all being used. The 1st Armored Division had 10 and the 2nd Tank Regiment had 18 (16 serviceable in mid-July) was in the process of organizing two batteries. I know for sure that at least was ready: the 61st TACAM Battery, which had 9 TACAM T-60s.
The TACAM R-2s however don't seem to have been ready for the fight in August. In late June, 10 TACAM R-2s of the 1st Tank Regiment were training to become operational at Dadilov, under the command of cpt. Becheru. I do not know however if it was on the front in August.
The FT-17s were out of the question for operational use on the front in Moldova.
In conclusion, with the exception of the transfer order from the 1st Armored Division to the CIMM and the doubt on the training process of the 8th Cavalry Division, we can't say that much more could have been done.
Hope this helps
|Posted by: PanzerKing September 22, 2009 06:59 pm|
| Here is some information I found about 1st Armored Division.
Some of the designations seem to be incorrect. He said Romanians called the Panzer III & IV the R-3 & R-4, not the T-3 & T-4 like everyone else.
Also, he says the Panzer IV had maximum armor of 58mm, not 80mm like in reality! That's a very obvious mistake.
Other than that, the information seems to be correct. What do you guys think about the narrative? Is it correct?
Here's the link:
|Posted by: PanzerKing September 22, 2009 07:03 pm|
Wow, not a tank in site armored with a gun larger than L/48 75mm.
|Posted by: Victor September 23, 2009 03:51 pm|
|No, the designation was T.3 and T.4|
|Posted by: PanzerKing September 25, 2009 02:31 am|
That's what I thought.
|Posted by: ANDREAS August 22, 2011 09:55 am|
| According to this source http://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/thread.php?threadid=8099&threadview=0&hilight=&hilightuser=0&page=5 the 13.Panzer Division had in 01.08.1944 37 PzIV tanks (36 battle ready G/H or J type probably), 80 armoured vehicles (75 battle ready Armoured Personnel Carriers, Reconnaissance, a.o.), 17 SPG (probably MarderII or III), 7 Hummels 150mm SPH and 16 Wespe 105mm SPH. It can't be excluded that following the withdrawal of numerous tanks and mechanized divisions from the romanian front in july-august 1944, the 13.Division was reinforced by delivery of new armored vehicles until 20.08.1944, reaching about 60-70 tanks (maybe?) in mid august 1944.
|Posted by: Victor October 17, 2011 02:51 pm|
Please elaborate how did you arrive at that conclusion.
|Posted by: Cantacuzino September 18, 2012 08:05 am|
|Posted by: ANDREAS September 19, 2012 07:39 pm|
| Victor, I am so sorry I haven't read until now what you asked and that's why I didn't answer! My assumption is based on a mathematical calculation which starts from a situation published in the book Romanian Army in World War II -National Military Museum, Archive Section of the General Staff a.o. Meridiane Publishing, Bucuresti 1995, on page 93 -the table. As you can see the table indicates the Romanian and German formations present on the romanian front on 29.07.1944. The 2 M.U. Blindate germane (in fact Divisions) were as I know the 13. and the 20. Panzer Divisions (this one a battle group in fact). The german armored formations had 99 tanks as it is written there, so I wonder if the 13. Pz. D. had only 37 tanks (all Panzer IV) and the 20. Pz. D. only 2 tanks (1 Panzer III and 1 Panzer IV) where are the rest? 60 tanks missing is a big number! The numbers (for the 13. Pz. D. on 01.08.1944) are taken from the book Die 13. Panzer Division 1935-1945 by Leo Beckmann..., Dörfler Verlag GmbH, 2003 and from a ww2 german forum (for the 20 Pz. D.). I know for sure that the other mechanized german division from the romanian front the 10. Panzer Grenadier Division had only 3 Panzer III command tanks in august 1944.
It is interesting that in the book Luptele Wehrmachtului in Romania august -octombrie 1944 the tank number is bigger -155 tanks (78 romanian and 77 german) on the moldavian front in 01.08.1944.
Cantacuzino, thanks for the image I appreciate that you posted it!
|Posted by: Taz1 September 22, 2012 08:30 am|
| A question .It is possible to now how many tank formtion manage to survive the soviet ofensive ? On internet we can find 2 diferent information for example one saying that 13 panzer division was totally destroed by the russians , 10 panzer grenadier division also and other surces that they manage to breakthrough the soviet encirclement. I now that 10 panzer grenadier divion manage to escape the encirclemet after heavy fighting and withdrew though Romania, elements of the division being able to cros the danube river in bulgaria others being captured by romanians near Calarasi. The fate of others kampfgroupe ?
Cantacuzino nice picture hope you will buy it
|Posted by: ANDREAS September 23, 2012 04:03 pm|
| Hallo Taz1,
From the book I mentioned "Die 13. Panzer Division 1935-1945 by Leo Beckmann..., Dörfler Verlag GmbH, 2003" it is sure that parts of the battlegroups of this division (it is written that subunits of this division fought in the Iasi-Chisinau soviet offensive as battlegroups not as a division) managed to cross the mountains into hungarian-controlled Transylvania. The so-called "Kampfgruppe Grade" is deployed in the Targu-Mures -Odorheiu Secuiesc area in the first days of september 1944, area later occupied by troops of the 8. SS Kavallerie Division "Florian Geyer".
I have to add to the armored units mentioned before as stationed on (or near) the romanian front in Moldova (in august 1944) the "schwere Heeres-Panzerjäger-Abteilung 93" (heavy tank hunter battalion) with 25 Panzerjäger „Nashorn“, subordinated to the 6th Army Command, Army Group South Ukraine. The unit was totally destroyed in the battles in central and southern Bassarabia in august 1944.
|Posted by: Agarici September 23, 2012 10:24 pm|
This had to be a very potent unit, the defensive equivalent of a Tiger battalion/Abteilung. I had no idea that there were such powerful machines on the Moldavian front in August 1944.
Are there any info about their actions/performance during Iasi-Chisinau offensive?
|Posted by: ANDREAS September 23, 2012 11:37 pm|
| Agarici, in the book it is mentioned that a battle group of this division (the II Abt. /Pz.Rgt. 4 of the 13. Pz.Div., also other units) fought alongside this heavy tank hunter battalion in Popovka (today Popeasca, north-west of Ermoclia, in eastern Bassarabia) where they tried to stop the soviet offensive (6Gd Corps and 66 Corps of the soviet 37. Army). They managed to resist only 2 days before the 306 german Infantry Division will loose half of his capacity to fight and the 13. Panzer Division a quarter, but also most of his combat vehicles. There are mentions about StuG.III Ausf.G of the Sturmgeschütz-Brigade 239 as fighting together with the 13. Pz.Div. in this battle!
On the other hand, I've found a source on internet (http://www.vksvg.eu -they identified german soldiers fallen in battle) who confirm this information! On second half of august 1944 the heavy tank hunter battalion was positioned between the german 15 and 294 Infantry Divisions and was involved in the in the battles to prevent the soviets to penetrate the front line. It is possible that some units retreated in the pocket of the 6th Army encircled in central and eastern Bassarabia at end august 1944.
|Posted by: Agarici September 25, 2012 11:04 am|
Andreas, thank you for the answer!
|Posted by: ANDREAS September 25, 2012 06:37 pm|
|It's my pleasure Agarici to bring something new and to be helpful if I could!|
|Posted by: Taz1 December 20, 2012 09:53 pm|
|There is a site where it is possible to find data regarding german tiger tank crew dead or wounded in Moldova in the spring summer 1944 ?|
|Posted by: Taz1 August 30, 2013 08:40 pm|
| In the revue History Magazine nr 10 1975 it is an article regarding the fate of the german army 29 corp romania. The 10 panzergrenadier division and the 13 panzer was part of that corp.I will try to post the article.
Regardind the 13 panzer division in romania there is major :
It was decorated for leading a beatlle group from the Ploiesti (some 2000 men) with elements from the 5 Flak Division and ucrainians from Vlasov army across Carpatians in Transilvania. It is possible that this major was from the 13 Panzer Divion ? So elements of that division arrived in Ploiesti area in late august 1944 ? Other elements of the division were in Baragan including the comander of the division and manage to cross in Bulgaria.
Can somebody now the fate of the Braun detachment ?
|Posted by: Taz1 October 03, 2013 08:34 pm|
Regarding the 10 th panzer. In romanian surces we had the information that after a clashes with the romania 21 infantery division. They had ( the germans) 20 dead, 100 wounded and 3600 prisoniers. So many more troops were able to cross the Prut river and to escape the soviet encirclement than 2500. This first clush with romanians took place at Pogoanele on 29 august . It was the first time when romanian army used 75 mm resita antitank cannons against german armor ( stug 3 and stug 4 ) with excelent results. Other clashes ocured in Slobozia, Gemenele village,Albesti village .Intial the 10th panzergrenadier division was part of the 29 army corp comanded by the general Anton Freiherr von Bechtolsheim toghether with the 13 panzer division, Braun detachment and 153 training division. There were no fewer than 5 general present with the 29 army corp. von bechtolseim general Troger, general von Dewitz, general Bayer, general Burckhardt comander pf the koruck 593. General August Smith and von Bechtolseim were the only general tah evoided campture . Von Bechtolsteim buy crossing the carpats mountains with some 100 of his man. Interesting that the comander ot the 10th panzergrenadier division manage to evoid capture in Bulgaria but general troger comander of the 13 panzer division no.
|Posted by: ANDREAS October 12, 2013 10:50 am|
|Taz1, rooted reluctance to contradict the romanian sources on the 10. PzGren Division annihilation in south Baragan when crossing the Danube to Bulgaria, we can not exclude the possibility that the higher number of german soldiers captured there could be gathered from the road, soldiers who joined the 10. Division in an attempt to escape of imprisonment or certain death! Or it is possible that the German source to be imprecise, although I personally doubt that!|
|Posted by: Taz1 October 15, 2013 08:24 pm|
Andreas you are right it is very posssible that the 3600 germans captured on 29.08.1944 near the Village Pogoanele were not only from the 10 th panzergrenadier division. There is a tendency by the romanian to exagerate. What is true is the fact that 10 th panzergrenadier division and the 13 panzer division split in several kamphgruppe and one of this belonged to the 10 th panzergrenadier was destroed on 29.08.1944 near Pogoanele the rest of the division made this way to Varesti area and manage to cross the danube river. One kamphgruppe from 13 panzer division all so make this way in Bulgaria. In the book writen buy the general August Smith is is written how many men from 10th panzergrenadier divion escape in Bulgaria ? And how thay manage to escape and to evoid the bulgarian captivity ? The comanader of 13 panzer division did not escape and it was made prisonier in Bulgaria.
There are books that are very interesting and full of information regarding the fate of the german division in Romania in late august 1944 but unfortunelly not translate in romania even that our military historians had acces to this bools even from 1960,s 1970 ,s
Some example :
"Die Katastrophe in Rumämien 1944" von Hans Kissel
- "Verratene Schlachten, Die Tragödie der Wehrmacht in Rumänien und Ungarn" von Hans Frießner (ehem. OB der HGr.)
- "Finale Rumänien, Das Schicksal von 750 000 deutschen Kriegsgefangenen
- "Der Landser Nr. 2226" - Todesfalle Bukarest - August 1944 - Deutsche Soldaten in der rumänischen Hauptstadt - Krieg gegen die ehemaligen Verbündeten (mit original Zitaten von Frießner und offiziellen Darstellungen"
|Posted by: ANDREAS October 26, 2013 04:41 pm|
|Taz1, in the book "Die Geschichte der 10. Infanterie-Division" -August Schmidt, Dörfler Verlag, 10.2005 there is a indication about the number of soldiers who crossed the Danube into Bulgaria, "less than one hundred men". A larger number, unknown, had fallen in the hands of romanian troops. Of these, less than half were able to reach the German Occupation Zone in Serbia.|
|Posted by: Taz1 November 25, 2013 11:03 am|
| Thanks Andreas for answer. Do you have the book regarding the History of the 10 Panzergrenadier Divison ? Or can you copy/ scan the pages regarding the division operations in Romania in spring, summer 1944 ?
Regarding the fate of the 10 panzergrenadier division it seems that the decision tto cross Romania into Bulgaria was a big mistake made buy the german hight comand and buy the comanders of the panzer forces involved in the Iassi- Chisinau ofensive .They had a much bigger chance to escape if they chose to cross the Carpatians mountains in Transylvania . Most of the forces that tried that arrived in Transilvania in much greater numbers then the forces that tried to cross the Danube .
|Posted by: Taz1 October 25, 2015 09:01 pm|
| A relic of the 13 panzer divizion was found in the Prut river this summer. Most probably the sdkfz 8 was from the 66 artillery regiment from the 13 panzer divizion.
All so regarding the 13 Panzer divizion I found this map with the course taken by the divizion in august 44 in Romania during the retreat :
Remains the question if the major Wather Neuer was a member of the 13 panzer divizion or the comander of the panzer batallion of Ploiesti. All maybe somebody knows in Ploiesti area how many panzers were present and what type .