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11th Schutzen brigade and why do I need it in my 11th Pz Div Estab?

Grognerd

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Don't read anything it helped accomplish in the book Panzer Battles, it is mentioned in the 11 Panzer unit history book but that's all.
With the PzGren Rgt 110 and 111 do I need it in my Establishment? Does it require units base? Really having issues with what this HQ does as none of the articles and books really say.
 
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Don't read anything it helped accomplish in the book Panzer Battles, it is mentioned in the 11 Panzer unit history book but that's all.
With the PzGren Rgt 110 and 111 do I need it in my Establishment? Does it require units base? Really having issues with what this HQ does as none of the articles and books really say.

This may help.

 

Grognerd

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Yep read something very similar. Very curious as to it's function - Staff & supply distribution or both???
I have a kindle book on the history of the 11th Panzer. During the Chir river battles it is listed along with both PzGren regiments. It had a commander as did both PzGren regiments. It seems to me this was just a staff to both Panzer Gren regiments. But all accounts of battle mention PzGren Rgt 110 &/or 111, never Schutzen Brigade 11. I don't recall it ever being mentioned in Von Mellenthin's book Panzer Battles. I think at this point, I'm going to leave it out of the Establishment as both PzGren rgts have bases & staff.

I'm fairly far along with the scenario - Map is finished and worked in a test scenario. Russians are partially complete, working on the Axis now - I switch back and forth between Axis and Allies and the scenario creation tool so I don't get too tired of the tedious nature of creating a scenario. The battles ran for 13 days, that's a little long for a scenario. May have to break it up a bit.
 
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Yep read something very similar. Very curious as to it's function - Staff & supply distribution or both???
I have a kindle book on the history of the 11th Panzer. During the Chir river battles it is listed along with both PzGren regiments. It had a commander as did both PzGren regiments. It seems to me this was just a staff to both Panzer Gren regiments. But all accounts of battle mention PzGren Rgt 110 &/or 111, never Schutzen Brigade 11. I don't recall it ever being mentioned in Von Mellenthin's book Panzer Battles. I think at this point, I'm going to leave it out of the Establishment as both PzGren rgts have bases & staff.

This translation from German indicates you are right, the brigade served as a command staff for the panzer grenadier regiments.


My guess is it allowed for some flexibility in deployment of the 11 panzer regimental assets, in effect becoming active when the regiments were assembled into a battlegroup operating separate from the division's assignment,


I'm fairly far along with the scenario - Map is finished and worked in a test scenario. Russians are partially complete, working on the Axis now - I switch back and forth between Axis and Allies and the scenario creation tool so I don't get too tired of the tedious nature of creating a scenario. The battles ran for 13 days, that's a little long for a scenario. May have to break it up a bit.

It kind of depends on whether the 13-days were planned as a single multi-step campaign or there were separate ad hoc battles that took place over a period of 13 days that resulted in reaching the goal.

Whether the commander is is allocated 13 days in which to to accomplish the mission is different from taking 13 days to do i as soon as possible.
 

Grognerd

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Reading 3 different versions of the battles, seems like breaking it down to 4 discrete periods might be best - a lot of dead time otherwise. There could be a longer scenario that comprised 2 of the battles with the last being the Soviets surrounding the PzGren Rgt at night. That might be 3 to 4 days.

This particular battle will be kind of hard to recreate as a scenario, as you can't simulate sneaking up behind the Soviet tanks real confidently (or at all). Might be fun as the Germans or very challenging as the Soviets.
 

Grognerd

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Yeah, that org chart looks like the German Army Handbook, I've been using niehorster but unbelievably I did not see the one you just linked!
Thanks

Using all the editors sure is a tedious business! There is a myriad of detail to get information on in the Establishment Editor alone. I'm getting reasonably competent with them now. I figure a month at least to finish the first scenario. Which is the battle on 8 Dec. Next scenario with either be the Aksay river rescue attempt or the first tank battle at Radziechow 23 June 1941 (preliminary to the battle of Brody).
 

GoodGuy

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My guess is it allowed for some flexibility in deployment of the 11 panzer regimental assets, in effect becoming active when the regiments were assembled into a battlegroup operating separate from the division's assignment,
No, the 11th Schützenbrigade was formed in 1939 and was one of the few independent infantry Brigades, it had 2 Schützen-Regiments (Schützen = riflemen), means rifle regiments. In March 1940, MG bn 14 and Panzer-Abteilung 40 z.b.V. were assigned (subordinated) to the brigade. The Brigade was supposed to participate in the invasion of Norway in April, but was actually held back in Denmark (possibly for occupation duties), while the bulk of the tank Bn (Abteilung) was sent to Norway. I am not sure about the MG Bn, but it seems like it was held back as well and then either redeployed to participate in the French campaign or to perform occupation duties after the fall of France. The MG Bn was sent to Finland in 1941.

The 11. Panzer-Division was formed in Germany by expanding the 11. Schützen-Brigade, which means that the brigade received a Panzer-Regiment, along with the other units (additional staff, fully motorized supply columns, etc., an AA-unit) needed to upgrade the Brigade to a full tank division, on 1st of August 1940. The actual reorganization and training might have taken a few months, as its first deployment (to Rumania) occured in January 1941. The Brigade was nicknamed "Gespenster-Division" (ghost(s) division) for its speedy onslaught and spearhead role in France, 1940, and because the unit kept popping up at different places in short chronological sequence in the French Army's rear, but also for the fact that the superiors often didn't know the whereabouts of the unit, as it kept operating way outside of German radio ranges for long periods (as signal and supply units could not follow). The Brigade then used the nickname as insignia, the 11th Panzer-Division retained the insignia.
 
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No, the 11th Schützenbrigade was formed in 1939 and was one of the few independent infantry Brigades, it had 2 Schützen-Regiments (Schützen = riflemen), means rifle regiments. In March 1940, MG bn 14 and Panzer-Abteilung 40 z.b.V. were assigned (subordinated) to the brigade. The Brigade was supposed to participate in the invasion of Norway in April, but was actually held back in Denmark (possibly for occupation duties), while the bulk of the tank Bn (Abteilung) was sent to Norway. I am not sure about the MG Bn, but it seems like it was held back as well and then either redeployed to participate in the French campaign or to perform occupation duties after the fall of France. The MG Bn was sent to Finland in 1941.

The 11. Panzer-Division was formed in Germany by expanding the 11. Schützen-Brigade, which means that the brigade received a Panzer-Regiment, along with the other units (additional staff, fully motorized supply columns, etc., an AA-unit) needed to upgrade the Brigade to a full tank division, on 1st of August 1940. The actual reorganization and training might have taken a few months, as its first deployment (to Rumania) occured in January 1941. The Brigade was nicknamed "Gespenster-Division" (ghost(s) division) for its speedy onslaught and spearhead role in France, 1940, and because the unit kept popping up at different places in short chronological sequence in the French Army's rear, but also for the fact that the superiors often didn't know the whereabouts of the unit, as it kept operating way outside of German radio ranges for long periods (as signal and supply units could not follow). The Brigade then used the nickname as insignia, the 11th Panzer-Division retained the insignia.
So, you recite what's in the links I posted for Grognerd!

That doesn't answer the original question, if the Brigaade HQ shows up in the 11th Panzer Division OOB he's using, why are the two regiments that made up the 1940s version of the Brigade also listed on the OOB as assets reporting to the division command?
 

Grognerd

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One of the resources being used is this (below), at the Chir river battles is lists the regimental commanders of both 110 and 111 PzGren rgts.
It also list a commander for the 11 Schutzen Brigade. So I think it was being utilized like Arkadiy had shown in niehorster file. Since it does not appear to be a combat unit or command unit (It's never mentioned in the battle reports) I left it out of the scenario. The scenarios on these battle can get pretty big as it is!

11pz.jpg
 

Arkadiy

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Also, funny enough - at least in 10th division, Schutzen brigade was renamed to Panzer-Grenadier brigade (and so were the regiments) by mid-August of 1942, so the regulations were likely updated. But that's purely cosmetic
 
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Also, funny enough - at least in 10th division, Schutzen brigade was renamed to Panzer-Grenadier brigade (and so were the regiments) by mid-August of 1942, so the regulations were likely updated. But that's purely cosmetic
Based on the organizational chart you provided, it would seem appropriate to assign a brigade number to the division base. This appears to be one instance where the base isn't abstracted as an accumulation of all support assets from echelons ranging through regiment and below.
 

GoodGuy

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So, you recite what's in the links I posted for Grognerd!

That doesn't answer the original question, if the Brigaade HQ shows up in the 11th Panzer Division OOB he's using, why are the two regiments that made up the 1940s version of the Brigade also listed on the OOB as assets reporting to the division command?
Sorry, it was late and I was tired, that's why my answer was incomplete.

In theory, the two Grenadier regiments in the 11th Panzer-Division reported to the Brigade HQ as long as it existed, that would be correct. The question is: when was the brigade HQ removed? It did not show up anymore in the 1943 OOB, for sure. Also, it's not totally clear whether the Brigade HQ/staff was actually used for command/control say after mid-1942, and if it even still existed in late 1942.

Grognerd pointed out, that the Brigade HQ isn't mentioned in any book/source he read.
In his memoirs, General Balck points out (page 403) that he would make plans for the following day, discuss them with his staff officer Kienitz and that he - while staying in touch with his staff officer (Major Kienitz) via radio - then visited each of his regiments to explain the orders in person.
He then went back to his CP to speak on the phone with the chief of staff of the XXXXVIII. Pz. Corps, Oberst von Mellenthin. "If Knobelsdorf, the commanding general, agreed, the regiments would receive a short acknowledgment: 'No Changes'. If changes were necessary, I would visit all the regiments once more that night. There were no misunderstandings. By daybreak I was back at the decisive place."
(Page 35 of the quite interesting Master's Thesis (Robert G- Walters) covering the Chir river battles, which I attached below.)

As Balck worked and interacted with Pz.Rgt 15 and Gren.-Regt. 110 directly, I doubt that the Brigade HQ was involved, and it's questionable if it still existed at that point. I can't imagine that Balck actually used such structure, given his description of his command style.
My guess is that he either ignored the Brigade HQ, or it didn't exist anymore at that point. It's possible that then the OKW, with the organizational changes and the changes regarding the naming conventions in 1943, deleted it (see paragraphs about the Brigades, below), so that the division layout would comply with the new regulations.

Grognerd, you might have to get the Division's Kriegstagebuch (Band) 6 (war diary volume 6, and possibly Anlageband Nr. 3 = Appendix Volume 3) or literature covering/discussing the bulk of it to make sure, tho.
If you'd put it in, then you'd have to render it as pure staff HQ, without base unit, as the columns of the Bns and the Rgts. handled the supply columns. Right now, I tend to think that it's ok to leave it out.

The author of the thesis points out that the authorized strength of the 11th Panzer-Division was 99 tanks. The actual strength on 18 December 1942 was 47 operational/mission ready, 21 requiring limited repairs and 15 requiring extensive repairs. The division had only 2 of its authorized 3 tank Bns, the 3rd Bn remained with Army Group Center in Roslavl. A Panzer Division with its full complement of tank Bns was authorized 150 tanks at the time.


The chart of the 10th Panzer-Division posted by Arkadiy is even more tricky, as it's a snapshot from April 1942, as the unit was sent to Africa in May and as the Brigade HQ in this Division was explicitly kept to lead the Inf regiments (which were rebranded as Gren.-Regts. in July). Moreover, the tank regiment had only 1 Bn.
Same here, though, the Brigade HQ diseappeared from the OOB at some point in 1943.

My guess is it allowed for some flexibility in deployment of the 11 panzer regimental assets, in effect becoming active when the regiments were assembled into a battlegroup operating separate from the division's assignment,"

My answer should have been "yes and no", but for the 10. Panzer-Division, only.
It's likely that the 11. Panzer-Division was a way different affair when Balck assumed command in May 1942, as discussed above.

10. Panzer-Division: "Yes" regarding the suggested flexibility, as its rifle regiments were most likely used to the Brigade structure and staff (since it used to be an independent brigade HQ), so the HQ was kept to ease C+C most likely, and "no" regarding the "becoming active" part as - according to the accounts I read - the Brigade HQ was fully active until its deletion. The brigade idea stemmed from pre-war organizations (1938), where the Wehrmacht believed that brigade-sized armored/motorized formations had some advantages, but where it also thought that smaller units would be a perfect deception for the enemy.

The chart posted by Arkadiy shows that the 10. Panzer division was in a transitional state (only 1 Tank Bn in April 1942, transition from a pure hull-HQ unit without supply trains etc. in 1939/1940 to a divisional HQ with proper infrastructure in 1941/42), so I wouldn't rule out that the divisional HQ lacked supply/baggage elements and some signal equipment/elements, and that would be another hint towards the Brigade HQ still being needed.

--
In general, Tank Brigade HQs were established to lead the attached tank regiments within divisions, but - once they got extended to or integrated into divisions - the Wehrmacht figured that the divisional HQs could handle command and control and deleted most of the brigades in 1941. The remaining HQs were dissolved in 1942, afaik. This goes for Panzer-Brigades 1-8.
In turn, the Tank-Brigade HQs 10, 18 and 21 were specifically established in 1942 and 1943 to assist the corresponding divisions, or to form Kampfgruppen, or to be at the disposal of particular Army HQs, and in 1944 an OKH order had explicitly ordered to establish tank brigades 101-110, as well as 111-113 (as part of the Valkyrie plans). The idea here was to be able to create a number of brigades instead of divisions, as there was not enough equipment available to establish 13 complete tank divisions, anymore, so these brigades were actual units in most - if not all - cases. Hitler ordered the establishment, Guderian opposed this. Most brigades had a short life span, as their combat value was questionable, so they were dissolved or used to replenish existing tank divisions in September and October 1944.

In turn, Schützen-Brigades, as I understand it, were primarily established as independent brigades sometimes with changing motorized (or even armored) attachments, but were then used as HQs for the infantry elements, when they were absorbed by or extended to tank divisions. Most of these HQs were dissolved until mid-1942, one or another until early November 1942. I wouldn't rule out that one of these 24 brigade HQs existed until early 1943.
Some were renamed to zbV (at special disposal) and then used to form or control KG/fire brigades in late 1942, usually on the Army level.

--

The 10th Division had several interesting/changing compositions, it lacked AT elements, for instance, in September 1939 it had only 1 inf Rgt. (SS), and in 1940 (France) it featured a tank brigade HQ (Panzer-Brigade 4) and 2 tank regiments (7. and 8.) and the 2 rifle regiments which were lead by Schützen-Brigade 10.
The tank brigade 4 HQ was meant/established as independent tank brigade (HQ) actually, and it had formed the staff of Division "Kempf" (1938/1939) eventually, which was another odd unit, as it contained only around half of the personnel/equipment of a regular division in 1939, Tank Regiment 7 and SS-Regiment 7.
2 reasons: 1) the attempt to put SS troops under the command of the Wehrmacht, 2) the attempt to stay under the Polish surveillance radar when shuffling around such smaller unit.
The SS-Regiment formed the bulk of the SS-Verfügungstruppen-Division later on, the Tank-Brigade 7, along with tank regiment 8, was assigned to the 10th Panzer in 1940.

From July 1942 to April 1943 the AA-Bn 302 was assigned to the Division's artillery regiment as 4th Bn. It looked odd in April 1942, too:

1638588166501.png

Some interesting material:
Additional links: https://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p4013coll3/id/2033/
https://www. amazon .com/Appreciation-Tactical-Agility-Function-Decision-Making/dp/1249458218
https://www. amazon .de/When-Pull-Trigger-Counterattack-Sophistication/dp/1288329695
 

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Arkadiy

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Sorry, could not help myself :) Went ahead and downloaded 11th tank division archives. As of Nov 1st, the division didn't even bother putting the Brigade HQ on its OOB:


There is also an order for the end of November for moving the division by train, and it lists everyone except said Brigade HQ. So maybe it was rationalized away by that time?
The OOB itself is pretty cool as far as the level of details it goes into (so it appears to depict current, not "desired" state)
 

Grognerd

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Where does one go to find these archives? Seems nicely detailed, although I can't quite see it closely.
 

Arkadiy

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Where does one go to find these archives? Seems nicely detailed, although I can't quite see it closely.

Have to warn you - you are about to say “goodby” to your free time! Now with that out of the way:

I also use German federal archive: https://www.bundesarchiv.de/EN/Navigation/Find/Search-Systems/Invenio/invenio.html
the latter unfortunately doesn’t have division level ones digitized.

For the details on this particular page with OOB - when the image comes up on Imgur site, click on it and you’ll a hi-res version you can zoom into
 
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Arkadiy

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Thanks for the links - I tried to bring up the OB in Imgur but it does not come up.
ah, it’s a “feature“ of these forums. For some reason the image does not load via a redirect - copy the image url, and use it to go to the page directly.
 

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Grognerd: For the Germans, you'd want to look for the NARA rolls T315 (IIRC :)) R595 and R596, these microfilm rolls should contain the (complete?) paperwork of the 11th Division. I do know for sure, that the 11th Panzer's complete war diary is in there, I am not sure if these rolls contain the/all monthly actual strength reports. They may be in there.
The site URL Arkadiy posted is pretty good, I've been there too, actually.
This is where you can find the NARA rolls covering the particular German Divisions (in theory, have not checked the file):


I don't know if the zips are protected with passwords, I never downloaded those biggies.
The R595 archive is like 2.8 GB :D

In general, quite a few documents were lost during bombing raids/archive fires, so I am not sure whether the archived sections are complete. What you'd need for the German units would be those actual strength reports that are closest to the start of the operation. Say you want to depict an operation starting at 12 December, you'd need the report from 1 November, the literature you have may then give additional hints regarding the actual strength situation a few days before or at the start of the operation.

For instance, the 11th Panzer and the 6th Panzer-Division were almost or even complete divisions that were pulled from the reserve. The several IDs involved can be depicted in detail if you find their strength reports. It will involve a somewhat lengthy search, but once you find the report I can help with the translations, if you want.

Alternatively, you might be able to find the actual strength reports of quite a few divisions on scribd.com, actually.
There is a lot of NARA material floating around, on there. Do a search for a German unit, try several spellings, eg. "11th Panzer", "11. Panzer", "336. Infanterie" or "336th Infantry", then scroll down to the document section and click on "more" to get the full list. It's amazing how much NARA material found its way to that site.

Sorry, could not help myself :) Went ahead and downloaded 11th tank division archives. As of Nov 1st, the division didn't even bother putting the Brigade HQ on its OOB:
Good job ! :)

There is also an order for the end of November for moving the division by train, and it lists everyone except said Brigade HQ. So maybe it was rationalized away by that time?
The OOB itself is pretty cool as far as the level of details it goes into (so it appears to depict current, not "desired" state)
At least in the 11th Panzer-Division, obviously. The OOBs from 1943 I saw a while back (and the ones I checked now, when Grognerd came up with his interesting question) didn't list the brigade HQs. And the last info I had was that most were deleted until late 1942. Thanks to you we have a documented date where we can say that it was gone on 1 November in the 11th Panzer, at least, so Grognerd is right if he says he'll do without the HQ. It's still possible that it was deleted in mid-1942 already, though. We'd need another OOB from May and August or September to pin-point the deletion date, if such OOBs existed, as the renaming convention was ordered on 5 July, and this name switch from Schützen-Brigade to Grenadier-Brigade is documented for a bunch of those Brigade HQs.
 
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