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In another thread you said you were "the sage of little things and detail". Well, now here is your chance to shine (again) ;)

I need to know what German forces defended Leipzig in April 1945. So far I've confirmed the following:

-Ersatz Abteilung of Infantry Regiment 107

-Kraftfahr-Ersatz-Abteilung (No info on designation)

-Eight battalions of Volksturm (again, no info on designation)

-The city's 3,400 man police force (who refused to fight anyway)

My questions are:

What were the designations for the Volksturm and Kraftfahr battalions?

The city of Leipzig sat in the center of one of the most concentrated AA belts in all of Germany. Were any of these weapons used in the actual defense of the city?

Were there any other forces defending the city?

And if you think this all pertains to a scenario I am designing, well...


...Yes, it does ;)

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Are you looking at The Last Offensive by Charles MacDonald? If not, I would suggest checking it out for info on the FlaK belts in the ground role. Naturally, this is from the American point of view. There is a little bit on the German forces involved, but really nothing more than that which you've already described.

American armor came out on the short end in several engagements vs FlaK belts towards the end of the war, but it looks like Leipzig was not one of those situations. The American units involved came up with interesting tactics to circumvent the threat of the FlaK units — reminiscent of the 30th Infantry Division advances at the end of February 1945 closing up to the Rhine — which could possibly make for an interesting Operation.


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Originally posted by Buq-Buq:


Are you looking at The Last Offensive by Charles MacDonald?

No, my source of reference material is "The battle for Leipzig" Issue #130, After the Battle Magazine. Ironically enough, there is an entire section that talks about Capt. MacDonald and his role in getting the Germans to surrender the city.

There is also a picture of him chatting with Lee Miller, a combat reporter for Vouge magazine (no joke!), one of the few women reporters of WW2.

The American units involved came up with interesting tactics to circumvent the threat of the FlaK units —
There is a brief mention of taking out the guns by waiting for night, then infiltrating close enough to call down artillery fire on the guns, whose crews would abandon or surrender. There is also a nice pic of a 128mm flak gun in a fixed mount.
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Hi there King

I see you remain adamantly productive.

And you're right, this was by no means your easist question so far. Everything is complete confusion in the records that late in the war.

1. The Volksturm battallions

Volkssturm units present were;

- Volksst.Btle. "Leipzig", there were three of them as there were three remaining party districts in the Leipzig area.

- Volksst.Btl.336

- Volkssturm "Wurzen" (elts)

- Volkssturm "Torgau" (elts)

- Volksst.Ers.Btl. "Halle"


- Command of these was held by Kreisleiter Strobel. The other two Kreisletern in Leipzig, Wiederroth and Dönicke, both commanded Leipzig VS battallions.

- "Halle" is a trifle confusing since it is actually a police reserve unit (it had the liquidation of Lidice on its track record) but for the battle it sorted under the VS, not the police.

- All units are listed as below 50% of establishment strength.

- Two Leipzig battallions had boosted numbers by so called Jungsturm, i.e. drafted children with Panzerfausts.

- Equipment listed as issued to the three Leipzig battallions shows only rifles, pistols and large amounts of Panzerfausts. No input on the others.

In addition, there was the

- Hitlerjugend Standarte 107


- I believe this must be the 8th VS unit, since they served under VS command.

2. The Kraftfahr-Ersatz unit

- Kraftfahr-Ers-Abt 4


- Leipzig contained elements of Wehrkreis IV, among others the Kdr. der Kraftfahrparktruppe IV. The unit beloinged to him (actually not a he but a whole staff) and had been stationed in the northern Leipzig barracks since 1943.

3. Flak units

Present was

- Flak-Regiment 90


- The unit was at the disposal of the city commander, Gen.Maj. Hans von Ziegesar and was thus supposed to participate in the ground battle (if it actually did, I don't know).

- It contained battallions (Abteilungen) 121 (heavy), 568 (heavy), 729 (light) and Heimat-Flak-Abt.43/IV (using captured guns). There were also two railborne detachments.

- Personnel situation was unsatisfying in the regiment. Understaffed and principally containing a core of cripples and low quality conscripts, around which were large groups of children (Flakherlfer/in), including quite a few female such.

- Leipzig was under incessant heavy air attack until the US troops actually entered the suburbs. I gather they will have been kept busy and might not have had opportunity or possibility to shift to ground battle.

4. Deutsche Polizei and SS troops

Not all policemen gave themselves up with the surrender of SS-Brigadeführer (Pol.Präs.) Grolmann. And many of those who surrendered with him were VS men. In his policeforce there were elements of SS, including Totenkopf units from the Abtnaundorf KZ. There were other security services present as well. Elements of these fought to the end by the monument or the railway station, or City Hall. Other elements went amok, murdering prisoners in jails and in Abtnaundorf (mixed groups of SS men and VS men). There were several such massacres in the last three days.


Finally - yes other units participated. Leipzig is a huge city and contained a bewildering mass of staffs and administrative units from all branches of service. However, colonel von Poncet, the tactical commander in the battle, reported having only 1148 combat soldiers belonging to the regular armed forces. So the mass of staffs and administration will probably have mattered very little in the actual battle.

Phew... ;)

Very depressing to research the Stunde Null :(

So when do we see your Leipzig CM map?



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Was this a different formation than the Ersatz Abteilung of Infantry Regiment 107?
I think not, but the truth is I don't know. The 107th was a problem for me, I was never able to locate the Ersatz Abteilung. By default I concluded that the HJ Bann must be the same unit, but in fact it might just be that I can't identify the correct unit.

Infantry regiments did not normally have replacement battallions of their own, such battallions would normally be feeding the entire division with replacements. A division would normally have two of them, grouped in a regiment (plus the Feldersatz battallion which accompanied the division in campaigns), but most had shrunk to battallion size by mid 44.

So first I checked all units numbered 107 belonging to the replacement army. There is one obvious suspect. The Ersatz Btl numbered 107 (formally "Grenadier-Ers.u.Ausb.Btl.107") belonged to 172nd infantry division and Wehrkreis XII (which was in the Southwest of Germany - Leipzig was in WK IV, i.e. East). Under normal conditions the Ersatz bataillon would be training in the WK. Gren.Ers-.u.Ausb.Btl.107 last listed location is Germersheim, which is in Südpfalz, i.e. in the home WK. The listing is not very confidence inspiring, it simply says "1945?" (it normally pinpoints dates).

Among the units numbered 107, there are no other suspects that still exist in april 1945 (except the Res.Gren.Btl.107, which however changed name to II./Gren.Rgt.880 and changed from replacement to field army).

Looking at Gren.Rgt.107 herself, she was in Italy with all battallions. Also a unit from WKXXII.

There were some dozen units wearing the number 107 other than these in the field army, but tracking them all down, none were in Leipzig as far as records can reveal.

The origin, composition, strength and equipment of HJ Bann 107 are unknown to me. The unit is mentioned in two contexts, which makes it possible for me to pinpoint them with good certainty as participating in the battle. First and most obvious, it scored the sole registered enemy AFV kill listed in the KTB of that battle (the KTB is little more than a log). Secondly, it appears in trial records. One officer and three NCOs were summarily shot for allowing kids from this unit to desert posts and run away into the night. Their executioners were trialled by the DDR for this, and records are rather good from this trial.

So at the end of the day I had only the HJ Bann with the number 107, and no Ersatz, and thought "well, they're probably one and the same". But this thought does create a problem, as I am sure you realise. If there was no army Ersatz batallion, then who were the 1148 combat soldiers of the regular army as reported by Poncet? They cannot all have been truckdrivers and anti aircraft gunners.

I'll leave you pondering smile.gif

Always a pleasure by the way, nobody could ever quite match the obscurity of your questions smile.gif



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Kingfish and Dandelion,

From what I've read, Allied ground troop encounters with the flak belt were most unpleasant. I believe

the MacDonald book describes the harrowing effects of heavy flak airbursts on his men. Would suggest modeling this by letting the Germans use VT, but there isn't any! Nor is there any modeling of fuze MT for such applications. Have you thought of putting in lots of scattered trees to create treebursts in lieu of the missing capability?

Kingfish, congrats on your "war effort" of scenario development! Dandelion, am blown away by your info resources!


John Kettler

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Originally posted by Dandelion:

First and most obvious, it scored the sole registered enemy AFV kill listed in the KTB of that battle (the KTB is little more than a log).

I believe this kill is documented in the After the Battle magazine, with pics to boot. A Sherman of the 777th Tank Battalion was rounding a corner on the way to the Klinger Bridge, one of the many spans crossing the Weisse Elster, when a Panzerfaust took it out, killing two crewmen. Here is the pic:


You can see one of the crew's bodies draped in a tarp lying in front of the tank. The other is by the door of the building. IIRC, the photo's caption describes the PF shooter as a 'child'.

Also, I believe the 'T' intersection in the distance is the road leading to the Zepplin Bridge, where Robert Capa took his famous photos of the MG crewman who was killed by a sniper.

Always a pleasure by the way, nobody could ever quite match the obscurity of your questions smile.gif
Thanks for all your help. I'm not sure why these little details interest me, but they do. Good to know that no matter whatever off-the-wall question I can come up with you are there with the goods. smile.gif
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Originally posted by John Kettler:

Have you thought of putting in lots of scattered trees to create treebursts in lieu of the missing capability?

The scenario is set in a mostly urban setting, although there is a nice big park with plenty of woods and scattered trees. Download the scenario to see what I mean.

In any event DF weapons do not produce treebursts in CM.

Kingfish, congrats on your "war effort" of scenario development!
Blame it on Holien. He got me hooked on the After the Battle magazine. Great rag for the designer.
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Don't put away that "Obscure trivia about the German armed forces vol. 1 & 2" just yet. I have another question, totally unrelated to Volksturm and Lepizig.

According to Zetterling the 2nd Panzer division's Panzer regiment included the 4th company of 301.Fkl.Abt.

What was the composition, and role, of this unit?

I found a few references to this unit online, most notably here and here, but as you can see the first date listed for this unit is August '44. I am interested in the period June 13-18 when 2nd Pz took over the Villers-Bocage sector.

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Originally posted by Kingfish:

What was the composition, and role, of this unit?

Fkl = "Funklenk" = Radio controlled demolition tanks. Think Goliaith, although I think these guys actually had ... something else. Borgward Bv IV, or sumfink. They also had a few StuGs in attendance. Pz.Lehr also had a company of these things, and there is a bit more detail in that entry. I have Zs book at home, and can pull up the full blurb for 2.Pz.Div. if you wish.



Not a sage of anything, although I do like a little sage with lamb.

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Ah, Jon at large again, and he beat me to it, again.

I remember this question, we had this at the Axis History Forum too and there Timo beat me to it, writing an answer I could not hope to excel. I paste it in here, but the research as thus not mine but Timos.

1st Question: Was the Tiger fitted out differently, and if so in what way?

...Part of the ammo storage was replaced with a Funklenk radio set;

2nd Question: What is/are BIV Sprengstofftraeger

...A Borgward BIV (SdKfz.301). A tankette stuffed with explosives;

3rd Question: What does Funklenk & Sprengstofftraeger stand for in English.

...Funklenk = Radio Controlled. Sprengstoffträger = Explosives Carrier.

Directly after the Polish campaign, the German Army recognized the need for remotely controlled vehicles to clear gaps in minefields. Borgward was given a contract on 21 Nov/39 to develop their "B1", a fully tracked, radio controlled vehicle weighing 1.5 tons with a 4 cyl engine that could be used to tow mine detonating rollers. A total of 50 of these Minenraumwage(SdKfz 300) were produced between Jan. and May 1940.

Borgward was issued a second contract on 3 Apr/40 to develop the "B2", a slightly larger vehicle of 2.3 tons with a 49hp engine. The first unit to be issued the B2 was Minenraum Abteilung 1, formed in 1940 with 2 companies. However, it does not appear that it saw action in France or in the East. In Oct./41 Borgward got another contract to design a radio controlled vehicle that could carry an explosive charge of 500 kg. Known as the B IV, it was officially designated by the Waffen amt as the Sprengladungstrager (SdKfz 301). It weighed 3.5 tons and was powered by a 6 cyl, 49hp engine. Twelve trial vehicles were completed by Apr./42 and full production began in May/42. Minenraum Abt. 1 was reorganized and designated Pz.Abt. (Funklenk) 300.

The unit now consisted of 3 companies with an official organization published in KStN 1171f, dated Jan.1/43 as follows:


Kompanie Trupp: 2 PzKpfw III (5cm) (SdKfz 141).

1. Zug: 4 PzKpfw III (5cm) (SdKfz 141) and 12 Spengstofftrager (SdKfz 301).

2. Zug: 4 PzKpfw III (5cm) (SdKfz 141) and 12 Spengstofftrager (SdKfz 301) Pz.Abt. (Funklenk) 300 was was shipped to the Eastern Front and assigned to Heeres Gruppe Sud in late May/42. On June 7/42 it had 27 PzKpfw III and still had 20 operational Pz.III by July 11/42. Before being transferred to Heeres Gruppe Nord in early Sept/42 the active field unit was renumbered from 300 to 301, and an experienced cadre returned to Neuruppin, the home base for the Panzer Versuchs and Ersatz Abt(Funklenk) 300. Pz. Abt. (FKL) 301 with an operational strength of 25 PzKpfw III on Sept 17/42 remained with H-G Nord until Dec./42, when it returned to Neuruppin to rest and refit.

The next major employment of the Funklenk units was at Kursk, when the HQ of pz.Abt.(FKL) 301 was assigned to H-G Mitte with 3 new companie(312, 313, and 314) under its command. These independent companies were formed in Jan./43 and ordered to be operational by May/43. Instead

of PzKpfw III, StuG III were issued to the units for control and command.

Pz.Kp (FKL) 312 had 7 StuG, 313 had 7 and 314 had 9 on July 5/43.

The only detailed action account from 5th to 8th July comes from 312, attached to sPz.Abt. 505 (with 31 Tigers and 15 Pz.III), is as follows:

One B IV was sent 800 meters against a PaK Nest of 2 or 3 anti-tank guns and detonated, destroying the guns along with their accompanying infantry. A second B IV was sent 400 meters against a T34, which was destroyed when it rammed the B IV. Three B IVs were sent 400 to 600 meters against three concrete bunkers and destroyed them. Two B IVs were sent 800 meters against an anti-tank gun position and an infantry gun position, destroying both of them. One B IV reached a Russian position and was set on fire by a Molotov Cocktail. It exploded and eliminated the position. Pz.Kp.(FKL) 313 was attached to the II.Abt./sPz.Jag. Rgt. 656 (sPz.Jag.Abt. 654 with 44 Elefants). Its initial role was to clear a gap thru the enemy minefield. Before reaching the minefield 4 B IVs were lost in German minefields, and 4 made it thru to blow a gap thru which the Elefants passed. Later, 3 B IVs destroyed two PaK Nests and a bunker. Pz.Kp. (FKL) 314, attached to the I. Abt./sPz.Jag.Rgt. 656 (sPz.Jag.Abt. 653 with 45 Elefants), used 12 BIVs to blow a gap thru deep enemy minefields. The StuGs used as control vehicles moved thru, but the Pioniers could not mark the gaps since they were pinned down by heavy artillery fire. The Elefants lost track of the gap and some were disabled on the mines, delaying the attack considerably. Later that day, two BIVs were sent into a woodline held by enemy infantry. After detonating, enemy resistance ceased to exist. The companies under command of Pz.Abt. (FKL) 301 had lost 20 BIVs in 4 days. Only 4 BIVs didn't reach their assigned targets due to being hit by A/T and artillery fire. Two of these were burnt out and two were recovered. Those BIVs that did not have the spring detonators set, did not explode but burned when hit. Overall, the unit was pleased with the performance, but the radio control proved to be effective for a range of 800 - 1000 meters instead of the desired 2000 meters.

The unit commander requested that Tigers replace the StuGs as a much more effective control tank, due to the thicker armor and higher profile to view the BIV's progress. All 3 companies were quickly decimated in the heavy fighting in H-G Mitte during July and August, and returned to rebuild in Germany in late 1943. A fourth company, 311, was not was not ready for Kursk and was later sent to H-G Sud in mid-August, outfitted with 10 StuGs, and remained on the East Front until May 18/44, when it was ordered back for refit with Pz.Versuchs und Ausbildung Abt. 300 in Eisenbach. The HQ of Pz.Abt. (FKL) 301 returned to Neuruppin and again took over command of its original 3 companies. In Sept./43 the unit was outfitted with 32 StuG. In addition, two new companies, Pz.Kp. (FKL) 315 and 316 were formed and each was issued 10 StuGs in Aug./43.

At the close of 1943, all of the Funklenk units except 311 were in training centers in the West, with the following strength as of Dec. 31/43:

301 had 31 StuG; 311 had 7 StuG; 312 had 2 StuG; 313 had 10 Pz.III/N;

314 had 4 StuG;

315 and 316 each had 10 StuG.

In response to the Allied landings at Anzio, in Jan./44 Pz.Abt.(FKL) 301 was sent to help reinforce the front, remaining in action there until Mar./44.

A new phase in the deployment of Funklenk units occurred in Dec./43 when 313 was assigned to sPz.Abt. 508 as its 3. Kompanie. 314 was sent to sPz.Abt. 504 as its 3. Kompanie in Jan./44, and 316 was assigned to the Pz.Lehr Abt.

All 3 of these units were to receive Tigers as control tanks, as dictated by KStN 1176f dated Feb. 1/44:


Kompanie Trupp: 2 PzKpfw Tiger (SdKfz 181 or 182)

1. Zug: 4 PzKpfw Tiger (SdKfz 181 or 182) and 9 Sprengstofftrager (SdKfz 301), plus 1 mSPW (251/1)

2. and 3. Zug: Same as 1. Zug. Sondergerat Reserve of 9 SdKfz. 301.

The 3. Kp of sPz.Abt 508 with 14 Tiger I was sent to Italy to the Anzio beachead in Feb./44, and the 3. Kp of sPz.Abt 504 with 14 Tigers was sent to Italy in June/44. Both of them remained in Italy until October, when their personnel were sent back to Germany for further employment with other units.

Pz.Kp. (FKL) 316 under the Panzer Lehr Rgt.received the first 5 production Tiger IIs to replace their StuGs in Feb./44. When the Allied landed in Normandy the Tiger IIs were mechanically unsound and it was decided to ship them back to Germany. However, transport could not be arranged and the 5 Tiger IIs remained in France at Chateaudun where they were subsequently destroyed to prevent capture.

The Funklenk company fought in Normandy with the Pz.Lehr Rgt., starting with an operational strength of 9 StuG and 3 Tiger Is. They still had 7 operational StuG on July 1/44 and were pulled out of the front later in July to join the newly formed Pz.Abt (FKL) 302.

301 was built up to 4 companies by the addition of 312 as the 1. Kompanie. When the Allies landed at Normandy 301 was attached to 2. Pz.Div. with an operational strength of two Pz.III, 32 StuG, and 146 B IVs. The organization had been updated by KStN 1171f dated 1/Jun/44 as follows:


Kompanie Trupp: 2 StuG (SdKfz 142/1)

1. Zug: 4 StuG (SdKfz 142/1) and 12 Sprengstofftrager (SdKfz 301), plus

1 mSPW (SdKfz 251/1)

2. Zug: (Same as above 1. Zug). Sondergerat Reserve of 12 Sprengstofftrager (SdKfz 301) The unit was quickly decimated in June and July 1944 and pulled out to rebuild.

Pz.Abt (FKL) 302 was formed in June 1944 and by the time of its employment consisted of 4 Kompanies. Pz.Kp. (FKL) 316 became the 1. Kompanie, 315 the 2. Kp., 317 the 3. Kp., and 311 the 4. Kp. It was sent to Heeres Gruppe Mitte in the East in Aug./44 with 3 PzKpfw IV, 40 StuG and 144 B IVs. It remained there and reported having 38 StuG on Dec. 5/44, and 28 StuG on Jan. 15/45, but was down to 3 StuG by Mar. 15/45. The unit ended its days in East Prussia.

The last independent company, Pz.Kp. (FKL) 319, was formed and sent west in Sept./44. It had been outfitted with 10 StuG and 36 B IVs. the 319 took part in the Ardennes Offensive in Heeres Gruppe B and reported an operational strength of 10 StuG on Jan. 15/45. It was pulled out of the front to help form the battalion sized Funklenk unit in Feb./45.

After leaving France, 301 was ordered on Aug. 19/44 to reorganize and re-equip as sPz.Abt (Tiger/FKL) 301. Each of the 3 companies were to have 10 Tiger Is and the Abteilung HQ was to have 2 Tiger Is. Since the Tiger I had gone out of production the unit was issued a total of 31 Tiger Is that had been rebuilt, of which 10 were acquired from an SS sPz.Abt. The new 301 also took part in the Ardennes Offensive under Heeres Gruppe B.

Late in the war a third Abteilung, the Pz.Abt (FKL) 303 was organized by pulling together the remains of 319, 301 and 302. On Feb. 17/45 it was ordered to be formed as a normal Panzer Abteilung without Funklenk equipment. Issued 31 Pz. IV, it was renamed Pz.Abt. "Schlesien" and sent to face the Russians during the closing months of the war.

The last unit to be formed was Panther Zug (FKL) 303. It consisted of the remnants of personnel and vehicles from Pz.Abt. (FKL) 303 and Pz.Versuchs and Ausbildung Abt. 301. On Feb. 18/45 this platoon was ordered to be quickly organized, issued 4 StuG and 12 B IV, and shipped to the Eastern Front and attached to 35. Pz.Gren.Div. under H-G Mitte. The overall worth and effectiveness of these Funklenk units in the closing months of the war was minimal.



There, everything anyone ever wanted to know about Fkl units. Pictures were posted too at the forum



PS. Jon. I'll get you next time. Next time.

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I tried.


Absolutely fascinating stuff from Timo. Knew nothing of the combat history of the units described, though have long known of the vehicles and their intended function. Seems like the Germans got a great return on their investment there, unlike with the rather pathetic, grandiosely named Goliaths!


John Kettler

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Originally posted by JonS:

KF, there is a description of Funklenk units in Reids "No Holding Back". They were particularl ineffective there.

Wait, wait...I know this one...

Hill 195...Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada...night infiltration...Kampfgruppe Olboeter...German counterattack...Grenadier Guards to the rescue...Damn, another scenario that needs designing!!!

I'm taking a break and heading East, to Greece, and a lovely little castle overlooking the Aegean ;)

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From Zetterling:

4./Panzer-Abteilung 301 (Funklenk)

"On 1 June this company had two Panzer III's, six Sturmgeschutz III's and 36 B IV remote-controlled vehicles. Given the strength of the entire battalion, it can be assumed that the company had 200-250 men."

The other three companies had been ordered away to the Eastern Front, and did not take part in the Normandy Campaign.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hill 195...Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada...night infiltration...Kampfgruppe Olboeter...German counterattack...Grenadier Guards to the rescue...Damn, another scenario that needs designing!!!

Hill 195 " Hill 195. The project, which has the support of the Canadian government, begins filming in Southern Ontario in 2006. Hill 195 is a multi-million dollar World War II era action-feature, which showcases the heroic actions of a single Canadian regiment just weeks after D-Day.

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Is that the same thing Kingfish is talking about or is the Canadian government making the same mistake as Colonel Worthington did about Hill 195?

My guess is the movie project is about the BCR and the Algonquing Regiment's ill-fated night voyage. Let's see if they get the bit about the map-reading skills of the heroic Canadian commander right.

Linky to MOD PDF

The BCRs, with three companies of the Algonquin Regiment riding on the tanks, set off at 2 a.m. on Aug. 9. Enemy fire seems to have forced them to veer to the east, and when dawn broke they headed for the high ground they hoped was Point 195. They were, in fact, some four miles east of their objective and within 1,000 yards of a 12th SS battle group equipped with Tigers and Panthers. A German lieutenant captured by the BCRs provided this graphic description of what it was like to be in the Canadian position: "Tigers and Panthers advanced in order to encircle the positions on the hill. One Canadian tank after another was knocked out and ended up in smoke and flame. Some crews...tried to reach a small woods close by. They took me along. Soon after the wood came under sustained attack from fighter bombers."

Historians have emphasized the faulty navigation of the BCRs without exploring more fundamental problems. By late July the Americans, aware of the difficulties in coordinating ground-air operations, had revised their air doctrine to create Armoured Column Cover. This provided for direct VHF radio contact between an air force officer with the armoured unit and the aircraft overhead. This system was one of the crucial methods used by the Americans in exploiting their breakthrough after July 25. If such an arrangement had existed with the Royal Air Force on Aug. 9, Worthington would have been in constant touch with the fighterbombers, avoiding friendly fire and directing Typhoons onto the enemy. The BCR-Algonquin force had breached a position the enemy was trying desperately to hold until the newly arrived 85th Divivision could be deployed in depth. If reinforcements had arrived from the 1st Polish--which was less than a mile away--a very different situation would have developed. As it was, Worthington and many of his force were killed or captured.


The story of Worthington Force is one of great tragedy, but there are more stories of great triumph to tell. When Simonds learned that Point 195 was still in enemy hands he demanded that a new effort be made. Lt.-Col. Dave Stewart’s Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada were told to take the hill. Stewart was one of a number of absolutely outstanding battalion commanders with which the Canadian Army was blessed in the war. Jack Harper, then a captain, remembers the almost-instant rapport Stewart established with officers and men: "He commanded by earning respect." Stewart received his orders late on the afternoon of the 10th, and led the scout platoon to recce the route he had chosen from a map. "On the way back," he recalled, in a reminiscence published in the magnificent new Argylls history Black Yesterdays, "I left members of the scout platoon at strategic points to guide the battalion." That night the Argylls, with perfect confidence in their leadership, moved single file through enemy lines towards the high ground. Stewart was up front because "you can’t win battles from behind," and supervised placement. When a battery of 17-pounder anti-tank guns arrived, he sited them to control the approaches from the west and settled in to wait for the inevitable counterattack. The Lincoln and Welland Regiment had moved on a parallel course to secure the right flank, so the 12th SS was faced with a real dilemma. German doctrine required immediate counterattacks but the Argylls met each one with devastating fire.


All the best


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While doing research on Tiger I's for a Battle of the Bulge scenario, I ran across this information from Danny S. Parker's book, "Battle of the Bulge: Hitler's Ardennes Offensive

1944-1945". This appears to show, that for at least a time, the 301st Funklenk Heavy Panzer Battalion was assigned to the 9th Panzer Division.

I found the comments, by the battalion commander, interesting regarding the employment of the


301 FKL s. Panzer Battalion

The 301st Funklenk Heavy Panzer Battalion was originally assigned to the Sixth Panzer Armee for the Ardennes Offensive along with the 319th Panzer Kompanie. This was the radio or Funklenk (FKL) Tiger unit that had hit the U.S. 29th Infantry Division on the Roer plain on November 26th. It was the only German panzer unit with Tiger I’s in the Ardennes fighting. The attached 319th Panzer Kompanie consisted of remote control

B-IV demolition tanks (3.5 ton low-profile tracked bombs powered by a 49 hp motor) and a few Sturmgeschutz. The theory was that the Tigers would control and provide protection for the demolition tnaks so that they might advance to the obstacle and blast a hole through the enemy line with their 450 kilogram charges. The robot tanks could be ussed to establish a path through enemy minefields. The Tigers would then exploit the breach in the line: a nice idea that usually didn’t work. Generally, the Tigers were employed as regular panzer units.

The 301st theoretically contained 31 Tiger I/E command tanks and 59 B-IV’s in the 319th Panzer Kompanie. As of 16 December, the battalion reported it’s strength at 27 Tiger I tanks, of which only 14 were combat ready, with the rest in repair. The assault panzer company had 36 B-IV’s with five Sturmgeschutz in long term repair. The battalion was still with the LXXXI Armeekorps to the north on O-Tag. Hptm. Kramer’s Tigers were subsequently detached from the Korps on December 20th and attached to the 9th Panzer Division, which it accompanied into the Bulge fighting. The Tigers appear on OB West maps at the end of the year, defending the tip of the salient with 20 operational Tiger Is. In the withdrawal from the Ardennes, one of the tanks was destroyed near Oberwampach where it was photographed by members of the U.S. 90th Infantry Division.

The overall usefulness of the panzer Funklenk concept was questioned in the after-action report submitted by Hptm. Kramer in early 1945 to the General Inspector of Panzer Troops:

“During the entire employment of the battalion since November16th, due to both tactical and technical reasons, it was not possible to utilize this unit as a panzer funklenk battalion. The battalion was employed exactly as a normal panzer battalion as part of a panzer division to attack enemy tanks or employed in tank pack of 5 Tigers for mobile defense and counter attacks. The operations in which the BIV’s were employed in all cases, resulted in complete failure or at best a partial success. Due to the small number of ‘Lenk-panzer’ (Tigers with control sets) only a few BIV’s could be employed. These were, for the most part, destroyed by heavy enemy fire before reaching their objective. The employment of the expensive equipment is by no means justified by the end result.”

Hope this helps some Kingfish.

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Originally posted by Kingfish:

In any event DF weapons do not produce treebursts in CM.


This is wrong. DF weapons can hit trees and explode there. Low velocity weapons flying in an arc are best suited for treebursts. Even 88 will do if the treetops get in the way - but it depends on the terrain. Firing thru woods towards a target 5 to 10 m above or below the firer will do. It does not happen very often, but it happens.

15cm rounds work best to verify - you will see whether there is a crater from the shot. If not, replay and watch for the treeburst.



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  • 2 weeks later...
Originally posted by Kingfish:

[QB] I believe this kill is documented in the After the Battle magazine, with pics to boot. A Sherman of the 777th Tank Battalion was rounding a corner on the way to the Klinger Bridge, one of the many spans crossing the Weisse Elster, when a Panzerfaust took it out, killing two crewmen. Here is the pic:


You can see one of the crew's bodies draped in a tarp lying in front of the tank. The other is by the door of the building. IIRC, the photo's caption describes the PF shooter as a 'child'.

Also, I believe the 'T' intersection in the distance is the road leading to the Zepplin Bridge, where Robert Capa took his famous photos of the MG crewman who was killed by a sniper.

Not really related to this topic, but there was a documentary on Belgian television a couple of days ago on camera men advancing with the U.S. army in the period between the Rhine crossing and the end of the war. It was called "Embedded '45" if I'm not mistaken. Anyway I remembered this thread as I watched it as there was actual live footage of the above scene. Although camera men weren't allowed to film GI's being hit or dead, you do see the above scene with smoke welling out of the Sherman. Just thought I'd share.


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Here's a link to Steve Zaloga's Borgward B IV Ladungsleger (charge layer) diorama. The Ladung (or demo charge) is shown in the dropped (or close to it) position, with a jeep for size comparison. It's easy to see that we're talking a lot of explosives, making it clear why some of the combat accounts speak of great havoc when the charges went off.



John Kettler

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