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"Falschirmjaeger Vehicles used in Normandy" Topic

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1,175 hits since 6 Oct 2018
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MiniPigs06 Oct 2018 8:55 a.m. PST

I found this basic structure for the Para Divisions but wanted to know if anyone knows what sorts of:

1. Trucks the infantry used such as Horch's , Opel Blitzes or Opel maulitiers?

2. What sort of SP Guns they used?

3. What sort of SP AA guns they used?

Lion in the Stars06 Oct 2018 9:12 a.m. PST

I'd guess 3-tons (Opel Blitzes) for the most part. You can just about fit a whole platoon into a 3-ton, which minimizes vehicles needed. Though I end up with some Kubelwagens (or better, Schwimmwagens) that have been 'acquired' by the FJ troops doing recon.

SP 75mm AT would likely be Marders. Stugs or Jagdpanzers were in separate brigades.

SP AA is just about guaranteed to be SdKfz7s with 2cm Flak38 or maybe 37mm Flak 37. Not many 88s on halftrack mounts.

Onomarchos Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2018 11:02 a.m. PST

Many of the trucks used in Normandy by the Germans were French.

Here is some info by David Lehmann that I found on the Axis History Forum:

Many French trucks (Laffly, Citroën, Panhard, Peugeot, Renault, Unic, Matford, Willeme, etc.) or halftracks (Citroën-Kégresse, Unic, Somua) were impressed (booties) in German service.

Then the occupied French industry produced also extra vehicles for the Germans:

- Berliet:
Various Berliet trucks were used by the German army (DGRA, GDC, GDM, VDCA etc.) and about 30 Berliet tank carriers were used by the Wehrmacht. During 1943-1944 e.g. 1,262 extra trucks (5t) were produced for the German army.

- Bernard:
A few Bernard trucks (fuel tank trucks etc.) were used by the German army.

- Citroën:
Many booty cars, trucks and halftracks (Citroën Kégresse P14, P17, P19) were captured and used by the Germans. The Citroën-Kégresse P19 = Ci380(f) can for example be found in the Schnelle Brigade West. Many other vehicles were produced for the Germans between 1941 and 1944 like for example:
- 3,700 type 23 trucks
- 6,000 type 32U trucks
- 15,300 type 45 trucks (the majority of the trucks of Schnelle Brigade West)

- Delahaye:
About 1000 SdKfz-11 were produced for the Germans (ordered in 1942).
The Delahaye factory also produced spare parts for the Büssing-NAG 4500.

- ELMAG (in Mulhouse, Alsace):
Production of 1,143 SdKfz-8 halftracks and spare parts for German halftracks between 1942 and 1944.

- Ford:
At the beginning of WW2, the French Ford factories located at Poissy and Asnières were controlled by the Laffly company. They transformed 1,000 Ford trucks in halftracked trucks (Maultier) and produced spare parts for the Ford trucks captured in Europe.

- Gnôme-Rhône:
The Gnôme-Rhône factory in Gennevilliers (nowadays SNECMA) produced engines for aircrafts like the Henschel 129. Gnôme-Rhône motorcycles and side-cars were also used by the Germans.

- Hotchkiss:
During the occupation, Hotchkiss produced spare parts, engines and several chassis for the Germans from 1940 to 1944 . Some Laffly vehicles (R15R, S20TL, W15T etc.) and several Hotchkiss personal cars (PKW Typ680, 686 and 686 PNA) were also produced for the Germans.

- Isobloc:
Numerous buses had been produced for the French army. Several W843M medical buses were used by the Germans. They could carry 30 lying wounded soldiers or a whole mobile chirurgical antenna.

- Laffly:
Many Laffly V15R, S15R, S20TL, W15T etc. were captured and used by the Germans.
A small number of armored SPW based on the W15T were produced for the Schnelle Brigade West.
In 1942, 60 Renault R40 tanks were transformed for snow milling. 119 Renault R40 tanks were modified for the Luftwaffe (towing vehicles?) and 200 various German tracked vehicles were also modified for the Luftwaffe by the Laffly factory. Laffly transformed also 22 wheeled and 33 tracked vehicles in snow ploughs.

- Latil:
Many Latil trucks and utility vehicles had been captured by the Wehrmacht. Some of the heavier trucks (Latil TAR H2) were again produced for the German forces.

- Lorraine:
Many Lorraine 37L and 38L tractors were captured and used or modified by the Germans. The Lorraine factory also produced 500 SdKfz-9 in 1942.

- Matford (in Strasbourg, Alsace):
Matford was born from the fusion between Ford and the French Mathis company. A few trucks were produced but mainly spare parts for the French booty Matford trucks like the Matford F917.

- Panhard & Levassor:
About 2,000 Panhard trucks were delivered to the Germans army and about 1,000 couples of tracks for the SdKfz-7 have been produced.

- Peugeot:
The factory is controlled by KDFWagen (future Volkswagen). Many cars (Peugeot 202 and 402) and light trucks (Peugeot DMA, DK etc.) were captured and used but also produced.
Between 1941 and 1944 Peugeot delivered to the Germans:
- 12,500 Peugeot DK5
- 15,300 Peugeot DMA
- about 15,000 Peugeot 202 and 402 cars
That makes about 28,000 trucks delivered to the Germans.
The factory produced also spare parts for the Kübelwagen and a few Volkswagen type 82 and 166 were completed. 150 SdKfz-10 per month were also planned to be produced in 1942 but the delivered number is unknown.

- Renault:
For Renault, most of the archives have disappeared during the allied bombings of 1944 but in François Vauvillier's book "l'automobile sous l'uniforme" it is indicated that about 28,000 Renault trucks had been produced for the Germans during the occupation (AHS, AHN, AHR, AGC, ADK, ADH etc.). The Renault factories were administrated by Prinz Von Urach (who will later be the press attaché of Daimler-Benz after WW2).
About 23,000 Renault AHS trucks were used by the Germans (captured and produced). From 1941 to 1944 4,000 Renault AHN and 2,000 Renault AHR had been produced for the German army. In 1943, 704 AGC3 were delivered. Renault produced also spare parts for the SdKfz-7 and SdKfz-11.

- Saurer:
Several trucks were still produced for the Germans, especially the Saurer type 3CT which was liked. For example between 1943 and 1944 some 1,800 3CT trucks were delivered to the Germans.

- Simca:
Simca produced personal cars for the German/Italian Army
1941/1942: 5,983 Simca 5 (aka Fiat 500 Topolino) and 3,960 Simca 8 (aka Fiat 1100)
1943: 122 Simca 8 and 19 Simca 5
1944: 180 Simca 8 and 23 Simca 5
Simca was intended to produce 2,500 SdKfz-2 Kettenkraftrad but there seem not to have been produced. Tracks for the SdKfz-7, SdKfz-10 and SdKfz-11 were also produced.

- Somua:
Beside the Somua S35 tanks, many MCL named S303(f) and MCG named S307(f) halftracks were captured. Many of these halftracks have been armored.

- Talbot:
From 1941 to 1944, Talbot produced tracks for the SdKfz-7, SdKfz-10 and SdKfz-11, braces for the Büssing-NAG S4500 and whole steering for the Panzer 38(t).

- Trippel:
The factory was located at Molsheim (Alsace) in the former Bugatti factory. They produced the Trippel SG6 amphibious car.

- Unic:
About 200 Unic TU1 U305(f) and 3,000 Unic P107 U304(f) halftracks were used by the German army.

- Willeme:
A few Willeme type DU10 (10t) heavy trucks were used by the German army.

Beside the booty vehicles, the main companies (Renault, Peugeot, Citroën, Panhard, Berliet and Saurer …) produced about 90,000 new trucks for the German army between 1941 and 1944.

Lee49406 Oct 2018 4:35 p.m. PST

I'd strongly recommend Zetterlings book Normandy 1944. The 2nd FJ Division was so shot up from the Eastern Front that on July 1st it (according to Zetterling) could only muster less than 100 trucks and was short over 600 cars and motorcycles. The 3rd FJ Division had less than 50% of its authorized equipment and could motorize only one battalion in each regiment. The 5th FJ Division had less than 10% of its authorized vehicles and the 6th FJ Division was similarly weak. Basically they were "leg" infantry in Normandy. Of course we wargamers always seem to find a way to field the unit that was fully equipped and fully motorized lol. Cheers!

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2018 4:45 p.m. PST

Lion, wait for one of the serious treadheads to come on line, but in the wackiness which was Nazi Germany, there were fallschirmjaeger Stug brigades. I assume they'd be attached to the divisions rather than being organic, but they're clearly the ones Minipigs would want to support his infantry.

Someone help me out here? I had unit designations once.

MiniPigs06 Oct 2018 4:56 p.m. PST

Yeah, I dont care what they actually had, I want to know, if they were properly equipped, what they would've had so I can wargame with it.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2018 7:11 p.m. PST

Found it! There was a Fallschirm-Sturmgeschutz Bde 12 in support of 3rd FJD just at the end of Normandy--Stug III's and Stuh 42's. A pity I can't find any way in which they look different from heer guns yet.

Blacky75006 Oct 2018 9:04 p.m. PST

The lads at Rapid Fire recently released a free Rapid Fire Normandy Battlegroup .org for 3rd FJ Div.

It gives the Recce bn a Fiat AB41 and Unic P107 just for something different

HappyHussar06 Oct 2018 9:05 p.m. PST

Would be fun to see miniatures games with the variant truck selection :) Really nice idea for a Normandy setup.

Lion in the Stars06 Oct 2018 9:11 p.m. PST

The French trucks may well have been 'proper equipment'. Wasn't it Opel and Ford that were using the same engines?

@Robert piepenbrink: yeah, and by late in the campaign that FallshirmStug brigade was down to 5 running tanks… Fun to scare the crap out of someone when you tell them that you have an entire Stug Brigade in ambush! evil grin

Simo Hayha07 Oct 2018 9:53 p.m. PST

6th fallschirm regiment had 70 vehicles of 50 different makes. Most of which broke dowm quickly and were not repaired. they had no anti-tank guns either.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2018 2:43 a.m. PST

Does anyone ever refer to the Maultier as the "Mouth-Animal" in the same way that the Koenigstiger is referred to as the "King Tiger"?

Martin Rapier08 Oct 2018 7:55 a.m. PST

As noted above, the FJ units in Normandy were at best partly motorised and they didn't have any SP anti-tank weapons either, although some divisions had towed AT. They did have a few FJ armoured cars, as some were used at Brest.

I'd be utterly amazed if they had any SP Flak, they weren't panzer divisions. They might have put a 20mm gun on the back of a lorry.

There was however the mighty Fallschirm Stug Brigade mentioned above.

huevans01121 Oct 2018 8:43 p.m. PST

Confused why on earth anyone would ask the original question. They're good quality leg infantry. Dump them in hedgerow country and don't pull them out of the line, unless they need a rest and refit for a few days.

They're dug in deep in bocage country. The Amis and Tommis are cruising around the sky with total air superiority. Anything that moves more than a few yards on a raid during the day is going to get jugged or tiffinned.

Why on earth is someone trying to figure out how to make them some variant of Totenkopf in the Ukraine in summer 1943??!!

Rivoli veteran22 Oct 2018 12:09 a.m. PST

"4th Cuirassier" Maultier translates as Mule . We do call it the mule in our games.

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