2.

Panzer Division The division was depleted after prolonged fighting on the eastern front and during the winter 1944 it was transferred to France for refitting. Since it had arrived in France early in 1944, the division was at full strength in most respects. It had also had time to train its replacements. Already on 1 April, the division was 573 men above authorized strength . The organization of the division when it arrived in Normandy was :
1 2

The panzer regiment was strong. It had 94 operational Panzer IV in the II. Abteilung, plus 2 in workshops on 31 May . The I. Abteilung reported 73 Panthers operational and 6 in workshops on 5 June . Most likely the division recieved no tank replacements during the fighting in Normandy .
3 4 5

The Artillery regiment had its full complement of SP-Artillery, 12 Wespe (10,5 cm howitzer on Pz II chassis) and 6 Hummel (15 cm Howitzer on Pz III/IV chassis) . Additionally there were 26 towed artillery pieces in the regiment .
6 7

Usually a Panzer Division only had one of its four infantry battalions mounted on halftracks, but the 2nd was an exception, having the I. battalion in both 2nd and 304th Panzer Grenadier Regiments equipped with armoured half-tracks. Consequently the division had a great number of SPW:s. On 31 May 468 were operational and 8 were in workshops .
8

The division had 25 PAK 40 7,5 cm towed AT-guns and 16 (plus 5 in workshops) JagdPz IV, also it had 8 8,8 cm Flak guns, that could augment the AT capabilities. The Panzerjägerabteilung had an unusual organization. The 1. Company had 7 JagdPz IV, while 2. and 3. companies had 4 and 8 respectively .
9 10

In terms of manpower the division was actually over strength by 296 men and had a strength (Iststärke) of 16 762 on 31 May , but this probably inlcludes the 301. Fkl.Abt. with its 1 085 men . This unit was subordinated to the 2. Pz.Div. at the beginning of June, but before D-Day it departed from 2. Pz.Div., except the 4. Kompanie. Thus the strength of the division was probably about 15 900 when it began to move to Normandy. The division was fully motorized.
11 12 13 14

In some publications, it has been stated that a Funklenk-Abteilung accompanied the division to Normandy. Both 301. and 302. Fkl.Abt. have been said to be the unit that fought with the division in Normandy. However, neither of these took part in the campaign. The 301. Fkl.Abt. was sent to the East Front, but one company (the 4.) remained in the west. It followed 2. Pz.Div. to Normandy. For more information on these units, see the narratives for 301. Fkl.Abt. and 302. Fkl. Abt.

When the allies landed the division was deployed in the area around Amiens. Two days after the invasion von Rundstedt decieded to send the division to Normandy . At 03.00 on 9 June the division received its orders to move. It was decided to begin the movement at dusk. However, since it was raining, it was begun at 14.00 , and during the evening the majority of the divisions wheeled elements passed through Paris . The tracked units were loaded on train, causing them to arrive later. On the morning of 11 July the wheeled elements of the division had reached Sées-Alençon, while only 6 trains with the tracked units had departed . The first elements of the division entered combat on 12 June , but it was not until 20 June that all units of the division had arrived . Among the late arrivals was the Panther battalion, which had arrived on the 19th with 52 operational vehicles and a further 20 that required minor repairs due to damage during the march . Simultaneously the Panzer IV battalion arrived with about 75 % of its tanks operational . Also the I./74 Artillery battalion arrived with 2/3 of its Wespe and Hummel SP Howitzers combat ready on the 19th .
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

For most of June the division was mainly operating in the Caumont area. On 26 June the British operation Epsom was launched. 2nd Panzer Division's Panther battalion was lent to support the forces resisting the British offensive. On the 28th alone, the battalion was credited with the destruction of 53 enemy tanks and 15 AT-Guns .
26

Casualties during June amounted to 275 killed in action, 1 021 wounded and 95 missing. On 1 July the division had 85 Panzer IV operational and 11 in workshops requiring short term repairs, while the number of operational Panthers was 21 . Another 29 Panthers were in short term repair , while 9 were in long term repair. Twenty had been lost during June . During June, the Panther battalion was credited with the destruction of 89 enemy tanks and 19 AT guns .
28 29 30 31

27

Since 1 June the organization of the Pz.Jäg.Abt had been changed, since on 1 July it had 10 JagdPz IV each in 1. and 2. Companies, while 3. Company had 9 towed AT guns .
32

On 21 July the 326. Inf.Div. began to relieve the 2. Pz.Div. Four days later the division reported that it had 13 Panthers operational and 26 in short term repair. This did probably not include 2./Pz.Rgt. 3 which remained with the 326. Inf.Div. until 27 July.
33 34 35

The division seems not to have been involved in costly fighting during July, since it was rated to have "Kampfwert I" (means that the unit was considered fit for any mission, offensive or defensive) on 30 July . Its infantry battalions were still considered strong .
36 37

The division took part in the ill-fated Mortain attack. According to the divisional history, written by Franz-Joseph Strauss , the division had about 60 tanks and 15 Jagdpanzers operational when the attack was launched. The strength of its main combat units on 11 August was: 820 men in 2nd Panzergrenadier Regiment, 760 men in 304th Panzergrenadier Regiment, 360 men in the Reckon battalion and 280 in the engineer battalion . Even after the Mortain battle the main combat units were still at close to half strength.
38 39

The exact losses the division suffered during the Normandy campaign are not possible to establish. It is known that losses during June were 275 killed in action, 1 021 wounded and 95 missing . Casualties during July are not known, but in the period 1 August - 30 September losses amounted to 315 killed in action, 370 wounded and 3 874 missing .
40 41

Given the status of the division on 30 July indicated above, it seem reasonable to assume that casualties during July were not greater than those suffered in June. If that assumption is valid, the division must have suffered casualties of about 7 000 men during the campaign. Also this assumes that the losses during September were small compared to August. This contradicts many statements that the division was destroyed in Normandy. That the division was far from destroyed is also evident from the fact that parts of it were still in action on 4 September . Evidently it had suffered severe losses, but many divisions suffered even worse losses during the campaign, both on the German and Allied side.
42

Date 31 May 5 June 19 June 1 July 11 August
43 44 45 46

47

Pz IV Combat Ready 94 ? ? 85 9

Pz IV in Short Term Repair 2 ? ? 11 ?

Panthers combat ready 67 62 52 21 8

Panthers in Short Term Repair 3 17* 20 29 ?

JagdPz IV Combat Ready 16 ? ? 12 5

JagdPz IV in Short Term Repair 3 ? ? 5 ?

* = Includes long term replacement Notes:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 WFST/Op. (H)/West Nr.004662/44 g.Kdos, den 3. Mai 1944, Fehlstellen der Divisionen im Bereich OB West, Stand 1.4.44, T77, R1421, F000237f. Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 31 May 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141. Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 31 May 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141. Panther Abteilungen Bestand nach Org und Gen Qu., BA-MA RH 10/70. No Panzer IV, StuG or PzJäg were sent to the division during June, July and August. 24 Panthers were sent to OB West 2 - 8 August to be distributed to the units in the west. It is not very likely that any of these arrived in time to take part in the fighting in Normandy, since 34 Panzer IV that were sent on 10 August did not arrive at the troops until 5 September. Lieferungen der Panzerfahrzeuge, Bd. ab Mai 1943, BAMA RH 10/349. Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 31 May 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141. Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 31 May 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141. Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 31 May 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141. Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 31 May 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141.

10 Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 31 May 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141. 11 Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 31 May 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141. 12 See narrative for 301. Fkl.Abt. 13 Ibid. 14 H. von Lüttwitz, Einsatz der 2. Panzer-Division in der Normandie, MS # B-257, p. 26. 15 OB West Ia Nr. 4484/44 g.Kdos, 8.6.44, T311, R25, F7029384. 16 H. von Lüttwitz, Einsatz der 2. Panzer-Division in der Normandie, MS # B-257, p. 5. 17 Ibid. 18 Ibid. 19 OB West Ia Nr. 4463/44 g.Kdos, 9.6.44, T311, R25, F7029425. 20 OB West Ia Nr. 4487/44 g.Kdos, 11.6.44, T311, R25, F7029461. 21 Franz-Joseph Strauss, Geschichte der 2. (Wiener) Panzer Division (Vowinkel, Neckargemünd 1977) page 160f. 22 OB West Ia Nr. 4748/44 g.Kdos, 20.6.44, T311, R25, F7029696. 23 AOK 7 Ia Nr. 1578/44 geh. 20.6.44, T312, R1565, F001161. 24 AOK 7 Ia Nr. 1578/44 geh. 20.6.44, T312, R1565, F001161.

25 AOK 7 Ia Nr. 1578/44 geh. 20.6.44, T312, R1565, F001161. 26 OB West Ia Nr. 5113/44 g.Kdos, 29.6.44, Fernschreiben an OKH, T78, R313, F6265719. 27 Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 1 July 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141. 28 Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 1 July 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141. 29 Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 1 July 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141. 30 Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 1 July 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141. 31 Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 1 July 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141. 32 Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 1 July 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141. 33 Pz.Gr. West Ia, Nr. 517/44 geh. von 22.7.1944., Nachtrag zur Tagesmeldung 21.7., BA-MA RH 21-5/50. 34 Pz.Gr. West Ia, Nr. 572/44 geh. von 26.7.1944., Nachtrag zur Tagesmeldung 25.7., BA-MA RH 21-5/50. 35 Pz.Gr. West Ia, Nr. 605/44 geh. von 28.7.1944., Nachtrag zur Tagesmeldung 27.7., BA-MA RH 21-5/50. 36 AOK 7 Ia Nr. 4174/44 g.Kdos. den 2.8.44, T312, R1569, F000359. 37 AOK 7 Ia Nr. 4174/44 g.Kdos. den 2.8.44, T312, R1569, F000359. 38 Franz-Joseph Strauss, Geschichte der 2. (Wiener) Panzer Division (Vowinkel, Neckargemünd 1977) page 170. 39 Mittagmeldung der HGr B, BA-MA RH 19 IX/12 and Mittagmeldung OB West Ia 15.8.44, T311, R29, F7035556. 40 Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 1 July 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141. 41 Strength report to Inspector-General of Panzer Troops, 1 October 1944, BA-MA RH 10/141. See Obkdo. H.Gr. B, Ia Nr. 6917/44 g.Kdos 4.9.44 (T313, R420, F8714263). The document lists the Panzer units scheduled for complete withdrawal from the front, to allow them to refit. Those were the 1st, 2nd and 12th SS-Panzer Divisions, the three Tiger battalions comitted to 42 the Normandy battle and the 654th heavy antitank battalion. The 2nd and 116th Panzer Divisions were supposed to remain comitted to combat with parts of the formations, while the remainder of the units were to refit close behind the front. This also applied to 9th and 10th SSPanzer divisions and 217th Sturmpanzer battalion. 43 BA-MA RH 10/141. 44 BA-MA RH 10/70. 45 AOK 7 Ia Nr. 1578/44 geh. 20.6.44, T312, R1565, F001161. 46 BA-MA RH 10/141. 47 Mittagmeldung der HGr B 11.8.44, BA-MA RH 19 IX/12.

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