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OT: Panzer Brigades

Guest fytinghellfish

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Guest fytinghellfish

Howdy folks!

Does anyone know what the PAPER organization of a panzer brigade is in 1944? I know these formations were never up to strength, and I can't seem to find a proper OOB/TO&E for them. I know they were built around a theoretical 40-Panther panzer battalion, but what else? A panzergrenadier battalion also? An assault gun company? An artillery battalion? Anyone? Specifically, I'm looking for the 106th and 111th Panzer Brigades.





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The best single source for this sort of thing, on the web, is right here -


To answer your question, the Panzer *brigade* was not really a standardized formation. It was a kampgruppe style entity, formalized and made an independent unit. It generally meant half the mobile fighting power of a panzer division, but it varied down to a reinforced panzer battalion and up to a small panzer division.

But since you ask about particular formations, much more definite answers can be given. Here is the basic TOE of the 106th Pz Bde -

panzer battalion with 1 HQ and 1 FLAK-panzer platoon, 3 companies of Panthers, and 1 company of Jadgpanzer IV L70s.

panzer grenadier battalion in half-tracks, 3 infantry companies, 1 standard weapons company (MGs and mortars), 1 gun company (gun-armed halftracks)

pioneer battalion with 3 companies. Probably not all in halftracks but I didn't find that out.

There were also supporting elements, but I do not know if that included an artillery battalion. It probably did, but I haven't been able to confirm it. This formation lasted a long time, from mid '44 until the spring of '45, when it was folded into a late-war Pz. division.

The 111th was more obviously a kampgruppe. It was formed in early September 44 and folded into the 11th Pz. Div. in October of the same year. In addition, the Panther battalion of the 116th Pz. Division was attached to it for part of September, but returned to 116th Panzer before the end of the month.

Its own force was based on a Panther battalion like the above 106th, but with the 4th company StuGs instead of Jadgpanzers. As mentioned, it had the second panther battalion for part of its short operational life. It had a full Pz Gdr regiment of 2 battalions, plus an armored recon company, a FLAK company, and a StuG 'battalion' of ~15 vehicles. Again I haven't determined its artillery compliment.

While it had the 116th's Panthers attached, it was practically a small Pz Div, or the teams that would fight as the "up" elements of one, but without the full depth of a Pz Div. in supporting elements or staying power when taking infantry casualties. It soon passed the added Panther organization back to 116th Panzer, and was itself folded into the 11th Panzer.

At the time when all this was going on, it is unlikely these sub-units were actually at TOE. For some of the history of the 106th, certainly, but September to early October 1944 is not a "full TOE time", anywhere really.

I hope this is useful.

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The Panther Brigades should also be modelled as having an experience level of "Green" since very few of their members had combat experience prior to being commited to battle. The performance of these organizations was terrible and they lost vehicles at an alarming rate. The creation of the brigades was due to Hitler's insistence at creating new units at the expense of reinforcing/refitting existing, experienced units. The experienced 21st panzer, for instance, was starving for tanks when it fought in conjunction with a couple of these brigades in the Lorraine campaign. The badly handled brigades were wiped out.

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