Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Supporting image for Vol 3

I came across these images which change my understanding of the series of 5 images that cover pages 76 - 79 in Vol 3, showing PzIV F2(G)s and a StugIII. 

The vehicles in the images are mostly intact with only one PzIII apparently destroyed. I had always thought that they showed a German unit carefully returning to or picking over a recent battlefield. This was partly due to me thinking that part of the series I didn't buy was of PzGr with a SdKfz251. I have found this image too, which shows the same location but with German troops.

It is still unclear if theses images are all from the same series or two (one from either side) that have got mixed together.

The location is Veliki Luki, a brutal Kessel that could be seen as the Stalingrad of the North. 11th PzDiv were part of the relief force trying to break the encirclement.

However the presence of Russian troops in the image above, which is clearly part of the series, changes my interpretation and explains the creepy deserted feeling in the images. They must have been taken after the relief efforts had been thwarted and Russian troops inspected abandoned vehicles left by the unsuccessful rescue attempt amid the hellish landscape.

The image on p76 and the bottom right of p77 appears to show a column of vehicle in motion and the last PzIV does look like it has a Commanders head is poking above the lip of the cuploa? Perhaps  this image shows the salvage of vehicles that were abandoned due to lack of fuel and then taken as booty by the Russians. It is however unusual for troops abandoning vehicle not to disable them.

1 comment:

  1. These are not vehicles from Pz.Rgt 15 but from Pz.Rgt.18Pz.Rgt. In May 1942 PzRgt 18 was dissolved and two of its panzer battalions used to form Pz.Abt.103 and Pz.Abt.160. But other parts were spread to different units. See this old post from axis history forum:


    I am unsure which of the possible units in the relief force these new Pz.Abt. Were assigned to.