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"Turret Number of Peiper's Panther for the Bulge" Topic

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comte de malartic Inactive Member03 Jan 2013 3:51 a.m. PST

I recently purchased Battlefront's "Peiper" and they show his tank as number 200. After a little research on the web people had mentioned "R01" and "001." They had also mentioned that he was not in his tank that much.

Can anyone clarify?



Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Jan 2013 4:07 a.m. PST

My old notes have 001 for him, probably in black edged white, but rarely used; he seems to have used an SdKfz 251/3 most of the time.

Grumpy Monkey03 Jan 2013 5:54 a.m. PST

I am probably wrong here, but weren't all/most German command tanks numbered 001 ?

Darby E Inactive Member03 Jan 2013 7:18 a.m. PST

The research I did for Peiper At The Gates for THW showed that in the TO&E 001 was supposed to be his tank, but most often than not he rode in a "staff" car (which was most often a Kubel)for "safe" hauls and the 251 when "working" (as it had radios). He also bounced between tanks, and took over 302 once to reposition it and look over a hill.

I read nothing that said he did any actual fighting from within a tank though.

Korvessa03 Jan 2013 7:24 a.m. PST

Aren't generals too busy doing general things to fight individual tanks?

21eRegt03 Jan 2013 9:39 a.m. PST

Yes, if he is involved with the fighting then he isn't coordinating his resources, keeping aware of changes, etc. The problem with leading from the front. OTOH, if you are going to be near the shooting, I'd like a Panther to protect me. ;-)

GROSSMAN Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2013 10:25 a.m. PST


donlowry03 Jan 2013 10:52 a.m. PST

Theoretically it should have been R01, the prescribed number for a panzer regiment commander. 001 would, IIRC, be the number for the division commander. (BTW, he was a colonel, not a general, or was it lieutenant colonel?) However, by that point in the war the Germans had learned that it was dangerous to have a 0 on your tank (let alone 2 of them), as their enemies had figured out that it indicated a command tank of some kind. So he might have used some other number.

A famous photo of him during the Bulge shows him in, or beside, a schwimwagen.

Fred Cartwright03 Jan 2013 11:17 a.m. PST

A famous photo of him during the Bulge shows him in, or beside, a schwimwagen.

That famous photo isn't Peiper. See the After the Battle book "The Battle of the Bulge – Then and Now" by Jean Paul Pallud for a full exploration of who it is most likely to be.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2013 12:02 p.m. PST

I am not aware that he ever got into a tank during that battle. Oh, there is of course Hessler, but he got blow up at the fuel depot. :-)

Peiper's coat is on display at the VA Military Museum. Great place to see, if you get a chance.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2013 2:31 p.m. PST

Aren't generals too busy doing general things to fight individual tanks?

Yes, they are. But he bought a Battlefront one.
Flames of War has rules and figures for Patton, Rommel and Monty. Remember that you are a company commander…

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2013 2:34 p.m. PST

Speaking of Peiper, Senator Joe McCarthy launched his illustrious career coming to the defense of him.


heavytrack1 Inactive Member03 Jan 2013 8:56 p.m. PST

Very interesting John, many thanks


Chortle Fezian Inactive Member03 Jan 2013 11:04 p.m. PST

>Speaking of Peiper, Senator Joe McCarthy launched his illustrious career coming to the defense of him.

That is very interesting.

All but two of the Germans in the 139 cases we investigated had been kicked in the testicles beyond repair. This was standard operating procedure with our American investigators


Personal logo Martin Rapier Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2013 3:35 a.m. PST

"Aren't generals too busy doing general things to fight individual tanks?"

Peiper wasn't a general but an SS-Standartenfuhrer, roughly equivalent to a Colonel.

He commanded the 1st SS Panzer Regiment (which only had one battalion!), around which KG Peiper was formed with attached elements from the rest of the division.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2013 6:24 a.m. PST

On 20 January 1944, Peiper was withdrawn from the front and left his unit. He went directly to the headquarters of Hitler, who presented him with the Oak Leaves to be added to his Knight's Cross. Shortly afterwards, on his 29th birthday, Peiper was promoted to Obersturmbannführer.

I believe he still held this rank during the battle, though he was in command of the panzer regiment (though it was just a battalion in strength).

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2013 10:58 a.m. PST

The actual division commander of the 1st SS during the battle was Wihelm Mohnke:

21 June 1944 SS-Standartenführer
4 November 1944 SS-Oberführer

It is speculated he was given command as Peiper was too young for division command, though he had more combat experience than Mohnke.

Now that I think about it, I think Peiper did ride breifly in a Panther, but not for very long. I'll see if I can track down the tank number. They often hopped into tanks that weren't officially theirs. Wittman did not die in his own assigned tank, IIRC.

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