Tuesday, 16 April 2013

11th PzDiv images in Vol3 (part 2)

There are a series of images from one source on pages 90 - 92 of Vol3 that show an Ausf F2(G); turret number 623 undergoing some maintenance in a wood. I have found some other images of the same location:

The second one shows "mein Arthur" again. 623 carries the 3 vertical bars over a horizontal bar (upside down cricket stumps) symbol used by 11th PzDiv from 1943. This is often confused with the symbols used by SS Divs during Kursk. 

I also came across this image from the same period, some of the same crew are still around. This view shows the large box on the engine deck rear plate still in place, it was fitted earlier in 42 on vehicles sporting the ghost rider emblem.

Another well known image from the same unit and time frame.

It appears that 11th PzDiv were supplied, around the time of Kursk with a mix of new late Gs with Schurzen, upgrade early Gs with schurzen and some, as 632 below, in their original set up. Images show this mix in both 9th and 6th Kps.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Supplements to 11th PzDiv images in Vol3 (part1)

By chance there are a number of images of 11th PzDiv early Gs in Vol3. There are a group that show them during the Summer of 42 with the famous Ghost-rider (p50-53)and others that show them surviving through to the following Summer carrying the Kursk three vertical bars (p90-92). 

However I did not think the photo on page 48 of an Ausf F2(G) falling through a small bridge was anything to do with this unit. There seemed to be no clear unit markings, it wasn't until I came across this link to a trooper's album from III/PzRgt 15 - 11th PzDiv ; 

that the subtle emblem on the turret side became evident. The emblem is a "Wildesaukopf" = Boar's head, which is apparently an association to the estate of one of the third Abteilung's Leutnant's. 

This image of the incident from the album shows the interaction with the bridge more clearly as well as that Boar's head applied to the side of the turret.

This close up gives a good view of what the Boar's head looked like and how easily this unit's markings disappeared beneath even a thin layer of dust and grime.

Another image from a different source, this time the Archive of Modern Conflict (AMC). The emblem is visible here although hard to spot behind the open turret door and the watermark. 

The spare wheel fitted on the right superstructure side was also fitted to the other Abteilung vehicles in 11th PzDiv PzIV's during this period. These early vehicles pictured during the Summer of 42 still carry the smoke discharger on the rear plate of the engine deck.

Another well known image that I have never seen identified within the context above:

In all the images of Gs around this time I never see the Boar's head and the Ghost-rider together but both units have the Divisional symbol of the circle with bar. Does this mean that the Ghost and boar were Regimental or Battalion symbols at this point? There was only one Panzer Regiment within the Division in 41 so it was a moot point that the Ghost-rider was seen on all Division's Panzers. With the restructuring in early 42 this appears to have changed and the famous Ghost was not subsequently carried by all.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Vol4 supplementary images (Kursk)

In Vol 4 page 52 an early H from 2nd PzDiv circa Kursk; turret number 634 is described and reference is made to a film showing the same irregular number size. Here is a clip from that film showing 624 along with another image that may indicate the size issue was isolated to the digit 4 alone. 

On the the following page (p53) what is described as a late G or early H is shown rearming again during the Kursk offensive. 

This second image shows the scene from a slightly wider view, which allows a more concrete identification as a late G because of the now visible location of the aerial.