Monday, December 13, 2010

OTHER GERMAN UNITS IN NORTH AFRICA


Other German Division in North Africa. There are no originaly Afrika Korps members, but somethimes they are refered as this:



DIVISION von BROICH / von MANTEUFFEL
 
COMMANDERS:

Oberst Fritz Freiherr von Broich
Generalmajor Hasso von Manteuffel
Generalleutnant Bulowius
18/11/42 - 05/02/43
07/02/43 - 31/03/43
31/03/43 - 09/05/43
In November 1942 a "Stab Stolz" was formed to control all German units in Tunisia and a little later on the 18th November was given the title of "Division von Broich". Included in this new formation were artillery and and infantry units as well as a contingent of Fallschirmjäger and an Italian Bersaglieri Regiment. Later on the 26th Novemember it was the first German unit to engage American armoured units during World War 2.

In December 1942 Panzer Armeeoberkommando 5 was formed and Divison von Broich came under their direct control and was sent to the northern sector of the Tunisian front. Later in February General der Panzertruppe Hasso von Manteuffel took over command and von Broich was sent to take over command of 10th Panzer Divison. This gave the division the new title of Division von Manteuffel. Under his command the division made impressive advances, almost reaching Djebel Aboud before it incurred heavy losses. At the end of March the command was handed over to Generalleutnant Bulowius who remained with the division on the northern sector of the Tunisian front until it's surrender on 9th May 1943.



10th PANZER DIVISION


The 10th Division goes to Tunisia on December 1942 and was
destroyed in May 1943.

REGIMENTS And BATTALIONS:
  • Panzer Aufklarung Abteilung 10
  • Panzer Regiment 7(two bataillone)
  • Panzergrenadier Brigade 10
  • Panzergrenadier Regiment 69 (two bataillone)
  • Panzergrenadier Regiment 86 (three bataillone)
  • Artillerie Regiment 90 (three units)
  • Heeres Flak Abteilung 302
  • Panzerjaeger Abteilung 90
  • Nachrichten Abteilung 90
  • Panzer Pioniere Batallion 49
  • Panzer-Kradschützen-Bataillon 10
Thanks to Michal Zurawski from Poland



SCHWERE PANZERABTEILUNG 501


The first German Panzer unit with the new Panzer VI Tigers that fought in Africa.

One Panzer VI Tiger from the Schwere Panzerabteilung 501 in Tunis (Colorized Picture by me)
Commanders:
Major Lueder - 05/42 - 02/42
Major Löwe - 09/43 - 23/12/43
Oberstleutnant von Legat - 01/44 - 08/44
Major Saemisch - 08/44 - 13/01/45

Only part of this unit was sent to North Africa and saw action around the areas of Teboura and Hamra in late 1942 and early 1943. In February it saw heavy combat around the Faid/Kassrine area and later that month incurred heavy losses around Hunt's Gap. It's last actions were fought around Maknassy and the Medjerda Valley in early May and surrendered with the rest of the Afrika Korps later that month in 1943.

The first three Tiger I's of Schwere Panzerabteilung 501 arrived in Tunisia on 23 November 1942 via Bizerta, the tank crews and personnel having been flown across in Ju 52 aircraft. From there they moved south to intercept the Allied advance on Tunis, and are incorporated into "Kampfgruppe Lueder".

The first real deployment of the three Tigers, accompanied by four Pz. III's of 1st Co. is from an area 7 km east of Dschedeida on 1 Dec./42, and is aimed at capturing Tebourba via the Chouigi Pass. Eleven Allied tanks are detroyed, but both the company commander and his replacement are killed in this action. The following day, with a single Tiger and five Pz.III's they move forward again. Three of the Pz.III's are lost, but six Stuarts are also destroyed.


SCHWERE PANZERABTEILUNG 504


Commanders:
Major Seidensticker - 02/43 - 05/43
Hauptmann Kühn - 11/43 - 09/44
Major Nill - 09/44 - 05/45

This battalion was formed in 1943 and as with sPzAbt 501 was partly sent to North Africa in February1943. The battalion staff, workshop company and 1st Company were sent to Tunisia with the rest of the battalion which contained 2nd and 3rd Companies remained in Sicily with the 2nd Company being assigned to FallschirmPanzer Division "Herman Göring" for the defence of Sicily.

The 1st Company saw action in Tunisia around the areas of Maknassy and Medjerda from March until May when the unit surrendered to Allied forces. The rest of the battalion was evacuated across the Messina Straits into Italy after some action in Sicily and were later withdrawn into Holland for re-fitting. The battalion was rebuilt incorporating three new companies with additional personnel coming from PzAbt 18. It was trained in Germany and in June returned to Italy.

17 Mar./43: The first 3 Tigers of 1.Co./504 arrive in Tunis on 12.03.43 and are united with the 11 Tigers from 501, and begin a 400km road march to Sfax-Maknassy area to strengthen the Schott positions. Five more of 504's Tigers arrive in Bizerta by the 23rd.

24-25 Mar./43: Allied attacks on Hill 322 north of Maknassy are repelled. At the end of March the battalion is moved far to the north to support PzGrenDiv."HG" near Medjes el Bab. One Tiger has to be blown up. By April 1 only 6 Tigers are operational, but two more arrive in Tunis.

05 Apr./43: There are now 6 Tigers available at 5.PzArmee, and 7 at D.A.K. Hopeless counterattacks fail at La Skhirra, and eventually a delaying action toward the Enfidaville position is taken. On 16 April the last Tiger to reach Tunisia is unloaded at Bizerta. The 2nd Co. of 504 will remain in Sicily.

19 Apr./43: Two Tigers take part in "Operation Fliederblute" with III.Bn FJR 5 on Djebel Djaffa, but with little success. Several enemy tanks are knocked out, but the crew of Tiger "131" panic and abondon their Tiger after two hits from a Churchill. The next few days are spent repelling the 9th British Armoured Div. thrusts and destroy about 40 tanks. Tiger "712" received a hit from a Churchill which jams the turret and is left behind by its crew. There are now, numerous skirmishes right to the end of April with the Tigers slowly diminishing in number.

01 May./43: Only 4 Tigers are operational and all are concentrated against attacks in the Medjez el Bab region. Another Tiger has to be blown up after running out of fuel on May 6th. By May 7th they are fighting around the El Alia airfield.

10 May./43: Nine Tigers now operational again, but with the surrender of the remnants of the two Tiger battalions on the Bone Peninsula, most of these vehicles are now destroyed by their crews.



999th Leichte Division


Division 999 was a so called "Bewährungseinheit" or "Strafbatallion", where former german native legionaires served as well as german soldiers, who had done some failure (thiefs, almost - deserters, so called "cowards in front of the enemy"and so on). Serving in the 999 was almost the last chance to "earn" their honour back. But most of them got killed in action before getting a real chance.

That div. was formed at the end of 1942 in Belgium as disciplinary brigade.Being in this unit was the only chance to rehabilitation for its personel. At the begining 999Brigade has been stayingat the Antwerpian region. In march'1943 unit has reached up the division size.In the same time 961 and 962 Jaeger Regiment (motorized) were removed to N.Afrika. 961 rgt.became a part of Kampfgruppe "Fullriede" and fights in the region of Fondouk.962 rgt. defended so known "Longstop hill".

Debate as to whether this unit was a penal unit. Despite this assumption the ordinary ranks were not permitted to wear the national eagle, collar patches or cockade on their uniform nor were they allowed to wear the traditional army belt with the national eagle displayed on them. The officers and NCO's of this division were, in contrast, hand picked and totally reliable with the commanding officer Generalleutnant Kurt Thomas having served with Hitler's headquarters guard battalion. He was posted missing in action when his plane was shot down over the Mediterranean on 5th May 1943 but was reported killed in action on the Eastern Front in October 1943 so it would appear that he did survive the shooting down of his plane.

It was redesignated 999 leichte Afrika Division in March 1943 with two of it's rifle regiments (961st & 962nd) being sent to North Africa from depots in Holland and Belgium, initially fighting as individual regiments and then assigned to the DAK and fought as such until the end of the campaign in Africa.

Shortly after it's arrival Schutzen Regiment (mot) 961 was assigned to Kampfgruppe Fullreide and fought against the British in the Fondouk area on 7th / 8th April, with its rifle regiment Schutzen Regiment 962 also fighting the British at "Longstop Hill" in mid-April. They fought in several small defensive actions until the eventual surrender on 13th May 1943 and during their short history and despite the fact that they were supposidly a penal unit they committed themselves fairly well. Those units of the division not sent to North Afrika were posted to Greece.

UNITS:
  • HQ Division
  • Afrika-Schützen-Regiment 961
  • Afrika-Schützen-Regiment 962
  • Afrika-Schützen-Regiment 963
  • Artillerie-Regiment 81
  • Panzer-Jäger-Kommpanie 999
  • Aufklärungs-Abteilung 999
  • Engineer Regiment 999
  • Astronomical Survey Section (mot) 999
  • Ambulance Platoon 999
  • Pionier-Bataillon 999
  • Nachrichten-Abteilung 999
  • Feldgendarmerie Truppen 999
Commanders:
Gen.lt. Kurt Thomas (23.12.1942-1.04.1943)
Oberst Ernst-Günther Baade (02.04.1943-13.05.1943)
Thanks to Waldemar from Poland, Francisco de Asís Romero y Medina, Uwe Wiedemann from Augsburg, Bavaria/Germany and Jeffrey Wendt from USA



Waffen SS in North Africa
 
SS fought in North Africa? the answer is no. Rommel wanted to keep the Waffen-SS out of North Africa. Although some Enitzgruppen commandos (part of the Greater SS or the Allegmeine-SS) worked in Tunisia and in Libya and rounded up Jews to be sent back to Europe for extermination.
Thanks to Chad Crompton


GLOSSARY:
Waffen-SS - Fully militarized formations of the SS which supplied nearly 40 combat divisions during World War II. The Waffen SS was Nazi Germany's elite fighting force, similar in many respects to the United States Marine Corps, Britain's SAS, and France's Foreign Legion. The Waffen SS were highly skilled in many technical fields as well as in foreign languages. They also recruited thousands of volunteers from virtually every nation in occupied Europe (France, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, the Ukraine, the Baltic states, and even Russia among others).


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