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21st Panzer Normandy

21st Panzer Normandy

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Published by: ptimms on Jul 30, 2011
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21. Panzer Division
Of the German panzer divisions that participated in the Normandy campaign this was probably the mostunique. It had no Panther battalion like the other panzer divisions (except 10. SS-Pz.Div.). On the other hand it had both an assault gun battalion and an anti tank battalion with towed 8,8 cm AT guns (such werenot found in the other panzer divisions). Each of its infantry regiments had one SPW battalion which wasrather unusual. Another unusual feature was that it had two, rather than one, of its companies in theengineer battalion equipped with SPW. Finally it had many modified captured vehicles included in itsorganization. The structure of the division on 1 June 1944 was
1
:Since this was an unusal division it can be of interest to present its equipment in detail
2
:
 
Stab Pz.Rgt. 22
 
3 Pz III, 1 Pz III (Bef), 5 Pz IV lg
 
Stab I./Pz.Rgt. 22
 
1 Pz III, 1 Pz III (Bef), 5 Pz IV lg
 
1./Pz.Rgt. 22
 
17 Pz IV lg.
 
2./Pz.Rgt. 22
 
17 Pz IV lg.
 
3./Pz.Rgt. 22
 
17 Pz IV lg.
 
4./Pz.Rgt. 22
 
17 Pz IV lg.
 
Stab II./Pz.Rgt. 22
 
5 Pz IV lg., 3 Somua (Bef)
 
5./Pz.Rgt. 22
 
5 Pz IV lg., 9 Somua
 
6./Pz.Rgt. 22
 
5 Pz IV lg., 2 Hotchkiss, 13 Somua
 
7./Pz.Rgt. 22
 
5 Pz IV lg., 13 Somua
 
8./Pz.Rgt. 22
 
6 Pz IV kz.
 
I./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 125 (gp)
 
137 MG, nine 3,7 cm Pak, four 7,5 cm Pak (Sf), three 2 cm Flak (Sf)
 
II./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 125
 
85 MG, three 7,5 cm Pak (Sf), three 2 cm Flak (Sf)
 
Rgt.Einh./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 125
 
six 15 cm IG auf Lorraine, four Reihenwerfer auf So, three 5 cm Pak, 25 MG
 
I./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 192 (gp)
 
104 MG, nine 3,7 cm Pak, four 7,5 cm Pak (Sf), three 2 cm Flak (Sf)
 
II./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 192
 
91 MG, three 7,5 cm Pak (Sf), three 2 cm Flak (Sf)
 
Rgt.Einh./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 192
 
six 15 cm IG auf Lorraine, four Reihenwerfer auf So, 26 MG
 
1./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155
 
four 12,2 cm howitzers (captured Russian)
 
2./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155
 
four 12,2 cm howitzers (captured Russian)
 
3./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155
 
four 10 cm K 18
 
4./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155
 
six 10,5 cm le.FH 18 auf Lorraine
 
5./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155
 
six 10,5 cm le.FH 18 auf Lorraine
 
6./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155
 
six 15 cm s.FH 13 auf Lorraine
 
7./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155
 
six 10,5 cm le.FH 18 auf Lorraine
 
8./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155
 
six 10,5 cm le.FH 18 auf Lorraine
 
9./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155
 
six 15 cm s.FH 13 auf Lorraine
 
10./Pz.Art.Rgt. 155
 
 Nebelwerfer (Sf)
 
1./Aufkl.Abt. 21
 
9 Beob.Pz., 16 m.SPW
 
2./Aufkl.Abt. 21
 
14. s.Pz.Sp.Wg (six of them with 7,5 cm gun)., 16 le.SPW
 
3./Aufkl.Abt. 21
 
2 le.Fu.Pz.Wg., 28 le.SPW, 7 m.SPW
 
4./Aufkl.Abt. 21
 
2 le.Fu.Pz.Wg., 28 le.SPW, 7 m.SPW
 
5./Aufkl.Abt. 21
 
27 m.SPW
 
1./StuG.Abt. 200
 
four 7,5 cm Pak 40 auf Ho, six 10,5 cm le.FH 16 auf Ho
 
 
2./StuG.Abt. 200
 
four 7,5 cm Pak 40 auf Ho, six 10,5 cm le.FH 16 auf Ho
 
3./StuG.Abt. 200
 
four 7,5 cm Pak 40 auf Ho, six 10,5 cm le.FH 16 auf Ho
 
4./StuG.Abt. 200
 
four 7,5 cm Pak 40 auf Ho, six 10,5 cm le.FH 16 auf Ho
 
1./Pz.Jg.Abt. 200
 
twelve 8,8 cm Pak (mot. Z.)
 
2./Pz.Jg.Abt. 200
 
twelve 8,8 cm Pak (mot. Z.)
 
1./Flak-Abt. 305
 
four 8,8 cm Flak (mot. Z.), three 2 cm Flak (gp)
 
2./Flak-Abt. 305
 
four 8,8 cm Flak (mot. Z.), three 2 cm Flak (gp)
 
3./Flak-Abt. 305
 
nine 2 cm Flak (Sf), two 2 cm Flakvierling (Sf)
 
1./Pz.Pi.Btl. 220 (gp)
 
two 8 cm GrW, 43 MG
 
2./Pz.Pi.Btl. 220 (gp)
 
two 8 cm GrW, 43 MG
 
3./Pz.Pi.Btl. 220 (mot)
 
two 8 cm GrW, 20 MG
 
Altogether this meant that the division had 98 Pz IV lg and six obsolete Pz IV kz. However, on 24 Mayanother fourteen Pz IV lg were sent to the division. Possibly they had not arrived by 1 June, since deliveries before 24 May comprised 98 vehicles.
3
The division also received tanks during the battle in Normandy. On8 July seventeen Pz IV were sent and three weeks later three Pz IV (Bef.Wg.) were also sent.
4
Finally on 10August another ten Pz IV were dispatched to 21. Pz.Div.
5
It is highly doubtful that the last ten arrived intime to take part in the battle.The manpower situation for the division on 1 June and 16 June was
6
:
Officers
 
Beamte
 
NCO:s
 
Men
 
Total
 
Pz.Rgt. 22
 
1 June 1944
 
58
 
5
 
558
 
1729
 
2350
 
Pz.Rgt. 22
 
16 June
 
51
 
5
 
524
 
1641
 
2221
 
Pz.Gren.Rgt. 125
 
1 June 1944
 
55
 
3
 
441
 
1891
 
2390
 
Pz.Gren.Rgt. 125
 
16 June
 
45
 
3
 
359
 
1484
 
1891
 
Pz.Gren.Rgt. 192
 
1 June 1944
 
57
 
4
 
512
 
1819
 
2392
 
Pz.Gren.Rgt. 192
 
16 June
 
43
 
4
 
442
 
1476
 
1965
 
Pz.Aufkl.Abt. 21
 
1 June 1944
 
20
 
3
 
289
 
829
 
1141
 
Pz.Aufkl.Abt. 21
 
16 June
 
20
 
3
 
255
 
684
 
962
 
Pz.Jg.Abt. 200
 
1 June 1944
 
18
 
2
 
87
 
439
 
546
 
Pz.Jg.Abt. 200
 
16 June
 
14
 
2
 
76
 
394
 
486
 
StuG.Abt. 200
 
1 June 1944
 
23
 
1
 
267
 
620
 
911
 
StuG.Abt. 200
 
16 June
 
20
 
1
 
247
 
573
 
841
 
Art.Rgt 155
 
1 June 1944
 
55
 
6
 
386
 
1323
 
1771
 
Art.Rgt 155
 
16 June
 
47
 
6
 
336
 
1106
 
1495
 
Flak-Abt. 305
 
1 June 1944
 
17
 
2
 
117
 
590
 
726
 
Flak-Abt. 305
 
16 June
 
16
 
2
 
113
 
565
 
696
 
Pi.Btl. 220
 
1 June 1944
 
20
 
4
 
126
 
735
 
885
 
Pi.Btl. 220
 
16 June
 
18
 
4
 
118
 
636
 
776
 
Other Elements
 
1 June 1944
 
84
 
57
 
597
 
2448
 
3186
 
Other Elements
 
16 June
 
84
 
57
 
576
 
2383
 
3100
 
Total
 
1 June 1944
 
407
 
87
 
3380
 
12423
 
16297
 
Total
 
16 June
 
358
 
87
 
3046
 
10942
 
14433
 
Since the division had an authorized strength of 16 925 it was close to full strength on 1 June.
7
From thetable above it can be concluded that casualties up to 16 June amounted to 1 864. The losses mounted and by20 June (inclusive) 2 390 casualties had been incurred.
8
Until 24 June (inclusive) casualties amounted to 2597.
9
During the enitre month of June, the division lost 472 men killed in action, 1 606 wounded and 776missing, while only 54 men had arrived to replace losses.
10
From 6 June to 11 July the division lost 3 411 men
11
, and during the entire month of July it lost 229 killed inaction, 601 wounded and 1 019 missing
12
. These losses were however covered by the arrival of 2 399replacements and 26 convalescents that returned.
13
This meant that the division had suffered 4 703
 
casualties 1 June &endash; 31 July and received 2 479 men to cover losses. Some of the replacementsreceived were probably infantry from the 16. LW. Feld.Div.At the end of July the II./Pz.Rgt. 22 was sent to Mailly-le-Camp.
14
It was still there on 18 August.
15
During June and July the division had been fighting in the Caen area. At the end of July the division wastransferred to the LXXIV. Korps.
16
It continued to fight on the northern shoulder of the salient protruding tothw west.The 21. Pz.Div. was among the German divisions that suffered most during the battle in Normandy. On 1October it had 12 097 men.
17
During September the division lost 593 men and received 1 745replacements.
18
This indicates that the division had about 10 945 men on 1 September. This was about 3 600less than it had on 1 August. The II./Pz.Rgt. 22 had not returned to the division after its departure and it probably had at least 500 men when it departed. This would indicate a loss of about 3 000 men duringAugust and almost 8 000 for the entire campaign.The tank strength of the division varied during the campaign:
Date
 
Panzer IV lgCombatReady
 
Panzer IV lg inShort TermRepair 
 
Panzer IV lg inCombatRepair 
 
1 June
19
 
98
 
6
 
8
 
9 June
20
 
approx 60
 
?
 
?
 
16 June
21
 
85
 
?
 
?
 
17 June
22
 
67
 
?
 
?
 
18 June
23
 
65
 
?
 
?
 
20 June
24
 
67
 
?
 
?
 
21 June
25
 
76
 
?
 
?
 
1 July
26
 
61
 
24
 
?
 
6 July
27
 
67
 
2
 
?
 
9 July
28
 
38
 
8
 
?
 
13 July
29
 
59
 
?
 
?
 
14 July
30
 
46
 
14
 
?
 
15 July
31
 
47
 
13
 
?
 
16 July
32
 
50
 
?
 
?
 
17 July
33
 
50
 
?
 
?
 
22 July
34
 
22
 
?
 
?
 
23 July
35
 
18
 
?
 
?
 
24 July
36
 
22
 
?
 
?
 
25 July
37
 
30
 
?
 
?
 
27 July
38
 
40
 
?
 
?
 
29 July
39
 
41
 
?
 
?
 
1 August
40
 
42
 
?
 
?
 
4 August
41
 
26
 
?
 
?
 
6 August
42
 
20
 
?
 
?
 
7 August
43
 
19
 
?
 
?
 
8 August
44
 
20
 
?
 
?
 
9 August
45
 
20
 
?
 
?
 
10 August
46
 
20
 
?
 
?
 
11 August
47
 
20
 
?
 
?
 
22 August
48
 
20
 
?
 
?
 Notes:
 

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