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"Early war German tank mix" Topic


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©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo doctorphalanx Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2017 1:48 a.m. PST

In early War German armoured divisions with a mixture of Panzer IIs, IIIs and IVs, at what level were they mixed or not mixed?

John Armatys27 Aug 2017 2:14 a.m. PST

Niehorster's German World War II Organizational Series, Vol. 2/I Mechanized Army Divisions (10th May 1940) shows a number of different organizations for the Panzer Abteilung. All companies had mixed tank types, platoons all had the same tanks except some light platoons in light tank companies had 2 Pz I and 3 Pz II.

Personal logo doctorphalanx Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2017 2:55 a.m. PST

Thanks, John, that's extremely helpful.

deephorse27 Aug 2017 3:08 a.m. PST

You're going to have to more closely define what you mean by 'Early War'. Probably also decide upon which panzer division(s) you are interested in. Only those with German equipment, or including those with 35t or 38t? There are a number of differences depending upon your decisions.

Personal logo doctorphalanx Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2017 5:38 a.m. PST

For now,3 and 4 Pz Divs in Belgium 1940…

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2017 6:44 a.m. PST

If you take a look at Steven Zaloga's Panzer III vs SOMUA S 35: Belgium 1940, it gives the breakdown for the 35th Panzer Regt, 4th Panzer Division: Pzkw IIIs and IVs were concentrated in the 2nd and 8th Companies--that is, one company per battalion--while the light companies "were the usual mix of Panzer I's and II's. There was no pattern." I think John's right: the overall intention was homogeneous platoons, but they couldn't leave the Panzer I's without something heavier to look after them. So the 2nd and 8th Companies would probably be a single platoon of Panzer IV's and three of Panzer III's. All subject to change once people started shooting at them or tanks broke down, of course.

deephorse27 Aug 2017 8:13 a.m. PST

As of 10th May 1940 the 3rd & 4th Pz. Divs. had essentially the same organisation. Two Pz.Rgts. in the division, each consisting of two battalions of three tank companies (not including staff companies etc.) Each battalion had one medium and two light companies making four medium and eight light companies in each division.

The February 1940 organisations for these companies were;

Light Company
Company Troop of 1 x PzIII, 2 x PzII, 1 x PzBefWgI
1st Pl. of 3 x PzII, 2 x PzI
2nd Pl. of 3 x PzII, 2 x PzI
3rd Pl. of 3 x PzIII
4th Pl. of 3 x PzIII

Medium Company
Company Troop of 1 x PzIII, 1 x PzII, 1 x PzBefWgI
Light Pl. of 5 x PzII
1st Pl. of 4 x PzIV
2nd Pl. of 3 x PzIV

sources – Jentz, Nafziger and Battistelli

John Armatys27 Aug 2017 9:55 a.m. PST

Niehorster gives the same numbers of tanks as Deephorse's sources, but adds 3 mcl and 1 car (15/2) to each company HQ.

Personal logo doctorphalanx Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2017 10:02 a.m. PST

So what were the mixes like in the divisions that had the Czech tanks?

christot27 Aug 2017 10:55 a.m. PST

In the 6th and 7th and 8th Panzer Divs the 35 and 38t's essentially replace the PanzerIII's.
For May 1940 Jentz gives:
6th panzer:
60 PII
118 35t
31 PIV
14 PzBef35t
7th panzer:
34 PI
68 PII
91 38t
24 PIV
8 PzBef 38t
8th Panzer:
58 PII
116 38t
23 PIV
15 PzBef38t

SeattleGamer27 Aug 2017 10:56 a.m. PST

Here are the total numbers for all Panzer Divisions at the start of the campaign in France, 10 May 1940. The 6th, 7th and 8th are the ones with 35(t) and 38(t) vehicles:

1st Pz Division
52 Pz I, 98 Pz II, 58 Pz III, 40 Pz IV, 8 Pz Bef

2nd Pz Division
45 Pz I, 115 Px II, 58 Pz III, 32 Pz IV, 18 Pz Bef

3rd Pz Division
45 Pz I, 115 Pz II, 58 Pz III, 32 Pz IV, 16 Pz Bef

4th Pz Division
135 Pz I, 105 Pz II, 40 Pz III, 24 Pz IV, 10 Pz Bef

5th Pz Division
97 Pz I, 120 Pz II, 52 Pz III, 32 Pz IV, 26 Pz Bef

6th Pz Division
60 Pz II, 118 Ps 35(t), 31 Pz IV, 14 Pz Bef 35(t)

7th Pz Division
34 Pz I, 68 Pz II, 91 Pz 38(t), 24 Pz IV, 9 Pz Bef 38(t)

8th Pz Division
58 Pz II, 116 Pz 38(t), 23 Pz IV, 15 Pz Bef (38(t)

9th Pz Division
30 Pz I, 54 Pz II, 41 Pz III, 16 Pz IV, 12 Pz Bef

10 Pz Division
44 Pz I, 113 Pz II, 58 Pz III, 32 Pz IV, 18 Pz Bef

deephorse27 Aug 2017 12:13 p.m. PST

So what were the mixes like in the divisions that had the Czech tanks?

Different

In a 35t regiment;

Light Pz.Kp.
Company Troop 2 x 35t
Light Pl. 5 x PzII
1st Pl. 5 x 35t
2nd & 3rd Pls. the same

Medium Pz. Kp.
Company Troop 2 x PzIV
Light Pl. 5 x PzII
1st Pl. 4 x PzIV
2nd & 3rd Pls. the same

In a 38t regiment

Light Pz. Kp.
Company Troop 1 x PzBefh I, 1 x PzI, 2 x 38t
1st Pl. 2 x PzI, 3 x 38t
2nd & 3rd Pls. the same
4th Pl. 5 x 38t

Medium Pz. Kp. (designated Lt. Pz. Kp. a)
Company Troop 1 x PzBefh I, 1 x 38t, 1 x PzIV
Light Pl. 5 x PzII
1st Pl. 4 x PzIV
2nd Pl. 4 x PzIV

deephorse27 Aug 2017 12:27 p.m. PST

But ….

further reading of Battistelli indicates that the formation of new panzer divisions, prior to the invasion of France, caused shortages of certain equipments and that standardisation of organisation was abandoned for some formations. In particular, 3, 4 & 5 Pz.Divs. retained a 1st March 1939 KStN. Therefore the tank companies of 3 & 4 Pz. Div. were probably;

Light Company
Company Troop – 1 x PzBefh I, 1 x PzI, 2 x PzII
1st Pl. 2 x PzI, 3 x PzII
2nd & 3rd Pls. the same
4th Pl. 5 x PzII

Medium Company (designated Lt. Pz. Kp. a)
Company Troop – 1 x PzBefh I, 7 x PzII
1st Pl. 3 x PzIII
2nd Pl. 6 x PzIV

I'm not including the various staff elements (or motorcycles!) here.

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