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> Lunca de Sus Sept. 1944 (Carpathians)
aidan zea
Posted: November 13, 2012 06:43 pm
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In central Transylvania in early september 1944, the other major unit who received the Jagdpanzer 38 (Hetzer) was the 8. SS-Kavallerie Division 'Florian Geyer' with 29 vehicles shipped until the 7 September 1944. That number was significant for that time as it was close to the number of vehicles of a StuG Brigade (31 vehicles)! On the other hand it is not sure if these vehicles were actually used by this division alone or were send where they were needed most... I can give you the total number of StuG IIIG and StuG IV (both 75mm guns) StuH 42 (105mm howitzer) and JPz. 38 (Hetzer) in early september 1944 for the Heeresgruppe "Sud" (former SudUkraine): reste 6. Armee: 6 tanks, 24 assault guns; 8. Armee: 54 assault guns (no hungarian armor included).
About the birth of the german -czech armored vehicle it is written that in october 1943 a set of projects could already been presented to the Heereswaffenamt in Berlin (the organism charged with the war production of the german land army) which were a starting point for what would be born in early 1944 as Jagdpanzer 38. The prototype was tested in april 1944 but the production could be started the same month. This armored vehicle was born out of necessity, not by pleasure, as the germans saw it as a "crisis vehicle", that could not be compared to their Sturmgeschutze or Jagdpanzers!
Hope this is useful!

This post has been edited by aidan zea on November 13, 2012 06:45 pm
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mabadesc
Posted: November 14, 2012 05:34 pm
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Aidan, this is indeed very useful information, thank you again!

I wonder if these 72 Hetzers received in August by German divisions on the Moldova front were included in the total number of armored vehicles attributed to the 6th and 8th Army.
It would also be interesting to pinpoint the location of these divisions on the map for the period Aug 17-23.
I am speaking without having done the research, but the question arises whether these 72 Hetzers were dispersed at divisional levels, and, if that being the case, whether it would have been wiser to concentrate them into an armored reserve "group". However, once again, this just comes to mind at first glance. I am sure there is an explanation for it.
Although, as you describe below, this is really fascinating:

QUOTE
But the author of the book expresses his doubts that these units (1335, 1179 and 1257 StuG Abt) were present and actually took part in the battles from late august 1944 on the moldavian front, considering the fact that their parent divisions (335th, 79th, 257th Infantry Divisions) were completely destroyed there so... he assumed that these units were stationed behind the front line, in the rear, for crew training!


Secondly, with regards to your interesting quote regarding the Romanian Tank Destroyer program, I don't know if you speak Romanian or not, but there is a valuable military archival report describing the visit of two German officers - experts on armored warfare - in which they witness and discuss the trials of the "Maresal", a Romanian improvised Tank Destroyer. They appear to give very good marks to the "Maresal" and compare it to some German tank destroyer models. It may be of interest to you, so I am attaching the link to the document, located on this very same forum:
http://www.worldwar2.ro/documents/maresal.pdf

Of particular interest is your mention that
QUOTE
in october 1943 a set of projects could already been presented to the Heereswaffenamt in Berlin (the organism charged with the war production of the german land army) which were a starting point for what would be born in early 1944 as Jagdpanzer 38.


This is relevant to the ongoing discussion of which design influenced the other (Hetzer vs. Maresal), if at all. I won't draw any conclusions as there are varying opinions. I have yet to lean towards on opinion or another myself, I think further info is needed.
Regardless of whether it happened by coincidence or design, both models share similar concepts and display remarkable similarities. Unfortunately, the Maresal was not tested in battle due to production delays, but the Hetzer had a good, reliable reputation in action. Therefore one could make the fair assumption that the Maresal would have performed in a somewhat comparable manner to the Hetzer.

I wonder what the track record of the Hetzers employed in Transylvania was during the September battles (both those employed in Abt. 1219/1335/1179/1257 as well as those assigned to the 8. SS Florian Geyer Division).

Anyway, thanks again for the valuable info you provided.

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Agarici
Posted: November 14, 2012 08:52 pm
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According to Wikipedia: Jagdpanzer 38 Hetzer of the 8th SS Cavalry Division "Florian Geyer" in Hungary (Transylvania), 1944: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesar...22Hetzer%22.jpg
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ANDREAS
Posted: November 25, 2012 07:55 pm
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After I had read again parts of the book I talked about, from the public library of Arad, book dedicated to fighting actions of the tank troops on the western front from september 1944 to mai 1945, I am quite confused as on the one hand is mentioned that a german powerful armored detachment was positioned in Lunca de Sus area, on Trotus valley, in 4 september 1944, but in the battles in this area are not listed clashes with German tanks, but on the other hand is mentioned the withdrawal of the german armored detachment on 8 september 1944, day when the enemy lost 2 tanks and other 4 armored vehicles with 2 romanian tanks being hit (able to continue fighting) in Frumoasa valley area (north east of Miercurea Ciuc city)! More than that the next day 2 romanian Pz.IV are destroyed in battle while the germans lost other 2 tanks and are repelled from Herastrau village (can't find it on the map). From 11 september no ennemy armor is mentioned anymore, only antitank guns! From battle description there are no results of strong ennemy armor actions, only small group of tanks (3 to 4) in counterstrikes supporting hungarian infantry... In conclusion is inconceivable the presence of a strong german armor detachment in the area or better to say if the detachment was there the bulk of german tanks and assault guns were retrated before a large fight, and only few remained there to support the hungarians in battle.

This post has been edited by ANDREAS on November 25, 2012 07:57 pm
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sebipatru
Posted: January 01, 2013 09:57 am
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i'm in lunca de sus wright now and this is the most awkard place were you can find a
tank battle even a small one
a narrow valley flanked by mountains covered with pine woods
i understand that soviets an romanians came from moldova but why would have germans and hungarian stationed an armored unit here it's no rom to deploy it
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paul panzer
Posted: January 01, 2013 09:08 pm
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Andreas
(1) Could you please be more specific in the way the "german armoured detachment" in the area of Lunca de Sus in Sept. 1944 is referred to in your Romanian source (i.e. quote - as the case may be translate - accurately)?
(2) What are the dates + places of the support of counterstrikes of Hungarian infantry by 3-4 armoured vehicles you also referred to? Trotus valley?
(3) What is your source of information ?
Many thanks in advance for your help that is very appreciated. This is important. I think that we are finally on the right path to discover the historical facts.

This post has been edited by paul panzer on January 01, 2013 09:27 pm
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ANDREAS
Posted: January 03, 2013 01:35 pm
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Happy New Year 2013 for all forum members!
Paul Panzer, there are many sources, from which I extract the informations posted:
1. "Hitze, Frost und Pulverdampf - Der Schicksalsweg der 20. Panzer-Division" - Rolf Hinze, Verlag Hinze, Meerbusch 1991 (in german) where it is written that the german LVII. Panzer-Korps command who included elements of the Battle Group of the 20. Panzer Division and a StuG Brigade covered the Ghimes pass to prevent a Soviet penetration into the Ciuc valley in early September 1944. They were positioned at Lunca de Sus, in the mountains, it is written.
2. "În primele linii de foc - Amintiri ale unor participanţi la războiul antihitlerist" -Memorii de război, Editura Militară, Bucureşti, 1981. Chapter 9 -Asalt cu blindatele din creastă în creastă de munte -Colonel (r.) Alexandru Mihailovici pag. 85-98.
I also quoted from the book "Atacă tancurile..." - Colonel Gheorghe Tudor, Editura Militară, Bucureşti, 1966, but I can not quote the pages as I handwritten them some time ago at the the county library of Arad. In none of these last two books large tank battles were described only fire engagements with small groups (3 or 4) of ennemy tanks, but the presence of a strong ennemy (german) armored group is mentioned before entering the battle by both books. This german armored detachment is said to have been placed in Lunca de Sus in the first days of September 1944.
About the counterattacks of the Hungarian troops from 8 September (3 actions led in the evening of that day) supported by German tanks and assault guns they took place from the Herastrau hamlet towards the 1230 height (hill) defended by the romanian tankers. The attack were unsuccessful and the germans lost 2 tanks and other 4 armored vehicles. Other encounters with ennemy armor happened in 9 September when the Romanians tried to advance towards Frumoasa valley. After heavy battles in which at least 2 romanian tanks were destroyed and other 2 damaged, from the ennemy 2 tanks were destroyed and other 2 forced to withdraw. The Herastrau hamlet was taken from the ennemy. In the 10 September other counterattacks happened but no ennemy armor involved...
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paul panzer
Posted: January 04, 2013 11:57 am
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Many thanks for the answer.
I wonder which elements of 20. PzDiv. and which StugBrig might have been in the Lunca de Sus area during the relevant time period (Sept. 1944).
I will try to get some more information.
I could not find a vicinity called Herastrau on the map. Where is the closest bigger vicinity?

This post has been edited by paul panzer on January 04, 2013 02:39 pm
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ANDREAS
Posted: January 04, 2013 03:20 pm
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Welcome Paul Panzer!
I am not sure if its correct but because in early September 1944 the 6th Army was given responsibility to defend the Eastern Carpathian Mountains and she has at his disposal the Sturmgeschütz-Brigade 905 (StuG-40/75 and StuH-42/105) and the Sturmgeschütz-Abteilungen 1015 and 1076 (Hetzer/75) is very likely that one of these units could be the one!
From the books I can't tell the location of Herastrau hamlet, as there was no map of the area. If you found something please please let us know!
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