At the same time, these divisions were schnelle Truprn (mobile troops). For more flexible control, they were combined into two Army Armeekorps (mot) (motorized corps). With the headquarters of the XVIth motorized corps (1, 3, 4 and 5 tank divisions were a part), in the spring of 39 the command and staff exercises were conducted by the Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Halder. In the practice of the Wehrmacht for the first time worked out the issue of the massive use of tanks during the battle. Large field maneuvers were planned for the autumn, however, they had to "practice" on Polish soil in battles.
The structure of tank divisions (the first three were formed in 1935 year: the first - in Weimar; the second - in Würzburg, later redeployed to Vienna; the third - in Berlin. Two more were formed in 1938 year: the fourth - in Würzburg, Fifth - in Oppeln) was approximately the same: Panzerbrigade (tank brigade) consisted of two regiments consisting of two battalions, each with three Panzerkompanie (companies): two - leichte (light tanks); one is gemischte (mixed); Schutzenbrigade (mot) (motorized rifle brigade), which is part of a motorized rifle regiment of two Kradschutzenbataillon (motorcycle rifle) and motorized rifle battalions. The division included: Aufklarungbataillon (reconnaissance battalion); Panzerabwehrabteilung (anti-tank division); Artillerieregiment (mot) (motorized artillery regiment), included a pair of light battalions; Pionierbataillon (sapper battalion), as well as rear units. The division in the state numbered 11792 military personnel, of which 394 officer, 324 tank, forty-eight 37-mm anti-tank guns, thirty-six field art. guns with mechanical traction, ten armored vehicles.
Germany's Panzerkampfwagen I, SdKfz 101 light tank
German tank PzKpfw II overcomes reinforced concrete fortifications
Infanteriedivision (mot) (motorized infantry divisions) created in 1937 should be considered as the first result of the beginning motorization of the armed forces. The mechanized infantry division had three infantry regiments (three battalions each), an artillery regiment, a reconnaissance battalion, an anti-tank division, a Nachrichtenabteilung (communications battalion) and an engineer battalion. There were no state tanks.
But in the leichte Division (light division) there were 86 units, 10662 personnel men, 54 37-mm anti-tank guns, 36 howitzers. The light division consisted of two kav. Schützenregiment (cavalry rifle), tank battalion, artillery and reconnaissance regiments, communications and support units. In addition, there were the Fourth and Sixth separate tank brigades, having the same structure as the tank divisions. The reserve army provided for the deployment of eight reserve tank battalions.
In the tank units and formations of the Wehrmacht were listed quite a large number of tanks. But mate. the part was obviously weak: they were mostly light Pz Kpfw I and Pz Kpfw II, a smaller number of medium Pz Kpfw III and Pz Kpfw IV.
Here it is necessary to compare Panzervaffe with similar military structures in the countries of the future anti-Hitler coalition. The mechanized corps of the USSR Army in the 1940 state included 2 tank divisions and one motorized rifle division, the motorcycle regiment also included other units. The tank division had two tank regiments (four battalions each), an artillery and a motorized rifle regiment. Statewide, there were 10940 people, 375 tanks (four types among which are KB and T-34), 95 BA, 20 field artillery systems. The motorized rifle division had one third fewer tanks (275 light combat vehicles, mainly BT) and consisted of a tank and two motorized rifle regiments. The staff consisted of 11650 manpower personnel, 48 field artillery systems, 49 armored vehicles, 30 anti-tank guns caliber 45 mm.
In the USA, France and other countries there were no tank divisions before the war. Only in England in 38 was the mechanized mobile division formed, which was more a training than a combat unit.
The organization of tank formations and parts of Germany was constantly changing, which was determined by the presence of the mat. parts and conditions of the situation. So, in Prague in April 1939, on the basis of the Fourth Separate Tank Brigade (Seventh and Eighth Tank Regiments), the Germans formed the Tenth Tank Division, which had time to participate in the defeat in Poland with five other divisions. This compound consisted of four tank battalions. In Wuppertal, in October 39, the Sixth Panzer Division was created on the basis of the First Light Division, and two more (the Third and Fourth) were reorganized into the Seventh and Eighth Panzer Divisions. The fourth light division in January 40-th became the Ninth Panzer. The first three received a tank battalion and a regiment, and the last received only two battalions, which were brought into a tank regiment.
Tank Pzkpfw III forcing a river
German infantrymen in the tank PzKpfw IV. District Vyazma. October 1941 of the year
Pancerwaffe had one interesting characteristic feature: with an increase in the number of tank formations, combat power declined significantly. The main reason was that the German industry was not able to establish the production of the required number of armored vehicles. During the war things went even further. With a steady increase in the irretrievable loss of tanks, the German General Staff issued orders for the formation of new units. According to Muller-Hillebrand, in the Wehrmacht in September 1939, there was an 33 tank battalion, 20 of which were part of five divisions; before the attack on France (May 1940 of the year) - 35 battalions of the 10 armored divisions; June 1941 of the year - 57 battalions, 43 of which were part of the 17 tank divisions, which were intended to attack the Soviet Union, 4 - reserve of the Supreme Command (as part of the Second and Fifth Panzer Divisions); 4 - in North Africa (as part of the Fifteenth and Twenty-first Tank Divisions), 6 - in the reserve army. If in the 39 year, the state of each tank division was assumed to be the 324 tank, then already in the 40 year - 258 units, and in the 41 year - 196 units.
In August-October 40, after the French campaign, ten more tank divisions began to be formed - from Eleventh to Twenty-first. And again on the new structure. The tank brigade in most of them had a regiment of two-battalion composition, each of which had a company of Pz Kpfw IV vehicles and two companies of Pz Kpfw III. The motorized rifle brigade consisted of two regiments of three battalions (including a motorcycle battalion) and companies Infanteriegeschutzkompanie (a company of infantry guns). The composition also included division reconnaissance battalion artillery regiment (mixed light and two division) with 24-mja 105-mm howitzers, 8-th 150-mm howitzers and 4-I 105-mm cannons, with anti-division 24-mja 37- mm and 10-th 50-mm anti-tank guns, 10-th 20-mm anti-aircraft automatic guns, engineer battalion and others. However, only three tank battalions had 3, 6, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, and 20 divisions.
In various compounds, the number of tanks could range from 147 to 229 units. At the same time, 7, 8,12,19 and 20-I tank divisions were equipped only with Pz Kpfw 38 (t) tanks, which were built at enterprises in the occupied areas of the Czech Republic. As for the tank divisions in Africa, their composition was very peculiar. For example, the motorized rifle regiment of the Fifteenth Division had only a machine-gun and a motorcycle battalion, and the Twenty-first had three battalions, of which one was a machine-gun. Anti-aircraft guns in the anti-tank divisions were absent. The composition of both divisions included two tank battalions.
Waffen SS (SS): Reich (SS-R, Reich), Totenkopf '(SS-T, "Dead Head"), Wiking (SS-W, " Viking "), as well as the team of Hitler's personal security, which soon became a division (Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler LSS-AH). At the initial stage, all of them did not have tanks, and in their structure were more similar to infantry and included only two motorized regiments.
German armored vehicles in the steppe in the USSR. In the foreground is the Sd.Kfz armored personnel carrier. 250, further visible tanks Pz.Kpfw.III and Pz.Kpfw.II, armored personnel carriers Sd.Kfz. Xnumx
The accumulation of German armored vehicles in Belarus. The beginning of the war, June 1941 g. In the foreground - a light tank of Czech production LT vz.38 (in the Wehrmacht - Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t))
Hitler, over time, less trust in the army team, sympathizing with the SS troops. The number of their parts continuously increased. The mechanized infantry divisions in the winter of 1942 — 1943 received a Pz Kpfw VI “Tiger” company. The SS infantry divisions (except for Viking) and Grossdeutschland (army exemplary “Great Germany”) had more tanks in their ranks than any other tank division at the start of the battles of the Kursk Bulge.
The SS divisions at that time were at the stage of reorganization into the First, Second, Third and Fifth SS Panzer Divisions. Full-staffed in October. Since that time, the organization of the armored divisions of the SS and the Wehrmacht became different. SS divisions always received the newest and best equipment, had more motorized infantry.
In May, 1943, probably trying to raise the morale of the army, as well as to show the superiority of the German army in equipping infantry troops with armored personnel carriers, Hitler ordered to call the motorized infantry units and units Panzergrenadierdivision (panzergrenaderskimi).
Panzer divisions and Panzergrenadierdivision moved to a new state. The tank division consisted of two Panzergrenadir regiments consisting of two battalions. At the same time trucks remained the main vehicle of the infantry. Only one battalion per division was fully equipped with armored personnel carriers to transport heavy weapons and personnel.
The battalion looked impressive in terms of firepower: 10-37-75-mm anti-tank guns, 2-75-mm light infantry guns, 6-81-mm mortars and about 150 machine guns.
The tank regiment consisted of a battalion of four companies with 17 or 22 medium tanks Pz.Kpfw IV. True, according to the state, in its composition there should have been a second battalion equipped with a Pz.Kpfw V "Panther", however, not all formations had machines of this type. Thus, in the tank division now there were 88 or 68 line tanks. However, the drop in combat capabilities was largely offset by the inclusion of the Panzerjagerabteilung (anti-tank division), which counted 42 anti-tank self-propelled guns (according to 14 Pz Jag "Marder II" and "Marder III" in three companies) and an artillery regiment in which One howitzer division (there were three in all) had two 6 leFH 18 / 2 (Sf) "Wespe" batteries and a battery (later there were two of them) from the 6 PzH "Hummel". The division also included Panzeraufklarungabteilung (tank reconnaissance battalion), Flakabteiluiig (anti-aircraft artillery division), and other units.
German technicians carry out the scheduled repair of the tank Pz.Kpfw. VI "Tiger" 502-th battalion of heavy tanks. Eastern front
Tanks PzKpfw V "Panther" 130-th regiment of the tank training division of the Wehrmacht in Normandy. In the foreground - the muzzle brake of the gun of one of the "Panthers"
In 1944, the tank division, as a rule, already had a second battalion in the tank regiment (88 or 68 Panther); panzergrenadirsky regiments in the lower links have changed. In Panzerkampfbekampfungabteillung (anti-tank defense division, this name of anti-tank units existed until December 44 of the year) now there were two companies of assault guns Sturmgeschiitzkompanie (31 or 23 installations) and one company of anti-self-propelled self-propelled guns remained in one of the countries of the country, and a single-company anti-tank self-propelled guns, a single anti-tank unit, a single unit, an anti-tank self-propelled gun, a unit of anti-tank The staff is 12 people. The number of armored personnel carriers - 14013, tanks - 288 or 176 (the number depended on the organization of the company).
In 1945, the tank and panzergrenadir divisions consisted of two panzergrenadir regiments of two battalions and a gemischte Panzerregiment (mixed tank regiment). The latter consisted of a tank battalion (a company of Pz Kpfw V and two companies of Pz Kpfw IV) and a Panzergrenadir battalion on armored personnel carriers. The structure of the anti-tank battalion was preserved, but the 19 assault guns and anti-tank self-propelled guns were only 9 in the company. The personnel of the division - 11422 man, 42 tank (of which 20 tanks "Panther"), 90 armored personnel carriers, the number of anti-aircraft small-caliber artillery increased markedly.
In 1944, the SS Panzer Division included a tank regiment with the usual organization and two Panzergrenadir regiments, which consisted of three battalions (only one of them was equipped with armored personnel carriers). The division of anti-tank defense included two companies of assault guns (31 installation) and a company that included 12 self-propelled anti-tank guns. In 1943 - 1944, the SS Panzergrenadier Division was the same as a similar army unit. The tanks were not part of it, there were 42 assault and 34 (or 26) anti-tank self-propelled guns. Artillery numbered howitzers 30 and 4 100-mm guns with mechanical traction. This number was assumed by the state, but did not reach full strength.
In the 1945, the SS Panzergrenadier Division, besides the main regiments, included the assault guns division (45 units) and the anti-tank battalion from 29 self-propelled guns. Tanks on the equipment she did not have. Compared to the artillery regiment of the army Panzergrenadir division, it contained twice as many trunks: 48 105-mm howitzers (of which self-propelled) against 24.
With tank divisions defeated on the fronts, they acted differently: some served as the basis for the formation of new ones, some were restored with the same numbers, and some were transferred to other branches of the military or ceased to exist. For example, the Fourth, Sixteenth, Twenty-fourth and Twenty-First armored divisions destroyed in Africa were destroyed in Stalingrad. But the 43 of the Tenth and the Fifteenth, defeated in the Sahara in May, simply ceased to exist. In November, the 1943 year after the battles near Kiev. The Eighteenth Tank Division was transformed into the Eighteenth Artillery Division. In December, 44 was transformed into the Eighteenth Tank Corps, which additionally included the Brandenburg Motorized Division (Brandenburg).
German SAU Marder III on the outskirts of Stalingrad
German self-propelled guns and self-propelled howitzer Wespe. In the background, an inverted M4 Sherman tank can be seen. Eastern front
In the autumn of 43, the new SS Panzergrenadir divisions were formed: the Ninth Hohenstaufen (“Hohenstaufen”), the Tenth Frundsberg (“Frundsberg”) and the 12th Hitlerjugend (“Hitler Youth”). Since April, 44, the Ninth and Tenth have become tank.
In February-March 45 of the year, a number of nominal tank divisions were created in the Wehrmacht: Feldhernhalle 1 and 2 (Feldhernhalle 1 and 2), Holstein (Holstein), Schlesien (Silesia), Juterbog (Uterbogog) ), Miincheberg ("Müncheberg"). Some of these divisions disbanded (they did not take part in the battles). They had a very uncertain composition, being essentially improvised formations with little combat value.
And finally, about the Fallschirmpanzerkorps "Hermann Goring" (a special parachute tank corps "Hermann Goring"). In the summer of 1942, due to heavy losses in the Wehrmacht, Hitler gave the order to redeploy military air forces to ground forces. G. Goering, the commander of the Air Force, insisted that his people continue to be under the authority of the Luftwaffe, submitting to the army command.
Luftwaffenfelddivisionen (airfield divisions), their personnel did not have the appropriate training and combat experience, suffered huge losses. In the end, the remnants of the defeated units were transferred to infantry divisions. However, the favorite brainchild - the division that bore his name, remained for the Reichsmarshal.
In the summer of 43, the division fought in Sicily against the Anglo-American forces, then in Italy. In Italy, it was renamed and reformed into a tank division. This compound was very strong and consisted of two Panzergrenadir reinforced regiments and three tank battalions.
Only the artillery regiment and assault and anti-tank gun divisions were absent. In October, the 44 of the year created a somewhat strange, but at the same time very strong tank formation - the parachute-tank corps "Hermann Goering", in which the parachute-tank and parachute-panzergrenadirskaya divisions of the same name were combined. The personnel had parachutes except on their emblems.
During the war, Panzervaeff tank brigades were most often regarded as temporary structures. For example, on the eve of Operation Citadel, two identical brigades were formed, having much stronger equipment than tank divisions. In the Tenth, advancing on the southern face of the Kursk salient, there were more tanks than in the Great Germany motorized division. Three tank battalions totaled 252 tanks, 204 of which Pz Kpfw V.
German self-propelled howitzer "Hummel", right-hand assault gun StuG III
The soldiers of the 3 SS Division Totenkopf are discussing a defensive action plan with the commander of the Tiger from the 503 Battalion of Heavy Tanks. Kursk Duga
Created in the summer of 1944, the tank brigades were much weaker and staffed in two states. The hundred and first and hundred and second included a tank battalion (three companies, the 33 tank "Panther"), a demining company and the Panzergrenadirsky battalion. Artillery was represented by 10 75-mm infantry guns mounted on armored personnel carriers, 21 anti-aircraft self-propelled gun. Tank brigades from hundred and fifth to hundred and tenth were organized in almost the same way, but they had a reinforced panzergrenadirsky battalion and 55 self-propelled anti-aircraft installations. They existed for only two months, after which some of them were deployed in tank divisions.
One hundred and eleventh, one hundred and twelfth and one hundred and thirteenth tank brigades appeared in September 1944 g. Each of them had three companies equipped with 14 tanks Pz Kpfw IV, a panzergrenadirsky regiment of two battalions, as well as a company equipped with 10 assault guns. They were necessarily attached to the Pz Kpfw V battalion. In October 44, these units were disbanded.
With the appearance of the necessary number of "Tigers" and later the "Royal Tigers", ten (from Five hundred and One to Five hundred and Tenth) schwere Panzerabteilung (a separate SS heavy tank battalion) and several reserve formations of the Commander-in-Chief with the same equipment were formed. The typical staff of these units: headquarters and staff company - 3 tank, 176 people; three tank companies (each company had 2 commander tanks, three platoons of 4 tanks — a total of 14 tanks, 88 people); supply company consisting of 250 personnel; repair company, consisting of 207 man of personnel. In total, the state had 45 tanks and 897 people, of which 29 officers. Also, the company "Tigers" was part of the Panzergrenadir divisions "Great Germany" (from 44-th) and "Feldherrnhalle." The capabilities of such companies have already been tested in the majority of the SS Panzergrenadir divisions (except for the Viking division) on the Kursk Bulge in Operation Citadel.
The self-propelled artillery reserve of the commander-in-chief was reduced to Sturmgeschutzabteilung (separate assault artillery division), later reformed into brigades, Jagdpanzerabteilung (battalion of tank destroyers), fighter-anti-tank divisions, as well as other units. The assault artillery brigade consisted of three batteries of assault guns, infantry and tank escort companies, as well as rear units. Initially, it employs on 800 people, 30 assault guns, including 10 105 mm caliber howitzers, 12 tanks Pz Kpfw II, 4 20 self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon mm caliber, 30 armored vehicles intended for the transport of ammunition. Subsequently, tank companies were removed from the brigades, and the personnel at the end of the war were counted in the 644 man. Other states of such brigades are also known: 525 or 566 military, 24 StuG III and 10 StuH42. If in the summer of the 43 of the year there were a little more than the 30 battalions of assault guns of the RGC, then in the spring of 44 of the 45 brigades were formed. To this number one more brigade was added to the end of the war.
Four battalions (from two hundred and sixteenth to two hundred and nineteenth) assault StuPz IV "Brummbar" had a staff of 611 people and included a headquarters (3 machines), three linear (14 machines) companies, an ammunition company and a repair plant.
Jagdpanther tank destroyers began to enter the troops only from the autumn of the 44 year, but as early as the beginning of the next year there were 27 separate battalions of the reserve of the commander-in-chief armed exclusively with these machines. In addition to these, there were 10 mixed units whose personnel consisted of 686 people. Each consisted of a company that had a Jagdpanter on 17 equipment and two companies of the same type that had tank destroyers (assault guns) based on Pz Kpfw IV (Pz IV / 28) equipped on 70. Such equipment they were completed from spring 1944.
Abandoned by the German tank crews Pz.Kpfw. V “Panther” of the 51 Tank Battalion of the 10 Tank Brigade. Kursk arc. External damage to the tank is not visible, judging by the towing cable, he tried to tow to the rear. Most likely, the tank was abandoned as a result of a breakdown and inability to evacuate for repair. Near the "Panther" is visible unwound track from the T-34.
German SAU Sturmpanzer IV, built on the basis of a medium tank PzKpfw IV, also known as "Brummbär" (grizzly). In Soviet troops, it was called "Bear." Armed with 150-mm howitzer StuH 43
The Jagdtigry tank destroyers were part of the Sixty Fifty-third Battalion of tank destroyers, which had previously been armed with the Elephant, and the Five Hundred and Twelfth SS Heavy Tank Battalion. In December, 44-First was involved in the Ardennes operation, causing significant damage to the US One hundred and Sixth Infantry Division, then participated in the battles in Belgium, while in defensive battles did not completely lose the mat. part. In March, the second 45 defended the Ruhr area, distinguished itself in battles across the Rhine at the Remagen bridge.
The Shturmtigr self-propelled artillery mounts served to equip only three companies (from Thousand first through Thousand third) of the Sturmmorserkompanie (assault mortars), which operated without much success on the territory of Germany and on the Western Front.
By 1945-th, there were 3 battalions and 102 companies, which were equipped with self-propelled remote-controlled carriers of demolition charges. The six hundredth motorized special purpose engineer battalion "Typhoon" who participated in the Battle of Kursk consisted of 5 wire-driven subversive tracked Goliath vehicles. Later, the staff of the assault engineering battalion - 60 units of special equipment, 900 manpower was approved.
Originally, the B-IV mini-tanks were armed with the 2 battalion and the 4 radio company squadrons. Later, special heavy tank battalions were created, in which 823 was a man of personnel, 66 land torpedoes and 32 Tiger (or assault guns). Each of the five platoons had a commander tank and three control tanks, to which were attached three B-IV mini tanks, as well as an armored personnel carrier for the transport of demolition charges.
According to the plan of command, all the linear units of the Tigers were to be used in this way. But as General Guderian complained, "... great losses and limited production did not allow us to constantly assign radio-controlled mini-tankers to the tank battalions."
1 July 44 of the Wehrmacht reserve army numbered 95 units, formations and units armed with tanks and self-propelled guns designed to reinforce army and tank corps. January 1 45 of their year was already 106 - almost twice as many as 22.06. 1941 g. But with a generally small number of these units have not been able to perform the tasks assigned to them.
Let us briefly discuss the higher organizational forms of panzervaffe. Panzerkorps (tank corps) appeared after the war began. In terms of composition and substance, they should have been called army, since the ratio of infantry and tank divisions was three to two. In the autumn of 43, the formation of the SS tank corps began, which had approximately the same scheme as the Wehrmacht. For example, in the typical XXIV tank corps there were two tank divisions (the Twelfth and the Sixteenth), a heavy tank regiment of the Tigers, Fusilierregiment (mot) (a motorized fusilier regiment) consisting of two battalions, an artillery division with the 12-XNUM-15-Yen-15-Yen-15-Yen-15-Yen-15 X-YR-5X-YX-YX-YX-X-YMX-X-YMX-5X-X. , spare regiment, parts of the rear and support.
The number of tank corps and divisions increased steadily, but the combat capability of many units fell. In the summer of 44, there were 18 on the fronts, of which SS 5, and as early as January 45 of 22 and 4.
The highest operational association was Panzergruppe (tank group). Before the attack on the Soviet Union, their disposition from south to north was as follows: First, Commander Colonel-General E. Von Kleist, Army Group South; The second and the third are the commanders of General G. Guderian and Colonel-General G. Got, Army Group Center, the Fourth is Commander General Colonel E. Goppner, Army Group North.
Heavy tank destroyer "Jagdtigr"
The newest German heavy tanks “Tigr” (PzKpfw VI “Tiger I”) were delivered to combat trials at the Mga railway station near Leningrad, but the vehicles immediately needed repairs.
The most powerful Second Panzer Group included the Fourteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth Panzer and Twelfth Army Corps, Two hundred and fifty-fifth Infantry Division, support and reinforcement units. In total, it consisted of approximately 830 tanks and 200 thousand people.
In October, the tank group 41 was renamed Panzerarmee (tank army). In the East and the West there were several associations of non-permanent membership. Until the end of the war, the Red Army was opposed by the First, Second, Third and Fourth Tank Armies. For example, the Fourth Tank Army in 1943, in Operation Citadel, participated in two army and tank corps. The fifth tank army was defeated in Tunisia in May 1943. In North Africa, previously operated tank army "Africa", which was later reformed.
In the West, in September 44, the Sixth SS Panzer Army began to take shape, consisting exclusively of panzergrenadier and tank divisions. Besides it, the Fifth Panzer Army of a new formation was stationed on the Western Front.
Let's summarize some results. In different periods of the war, the state of the pancerwaffe can be judged from the data on their mate. parts. Most fully on tank destroyers, tanks, artillery and assault self-propelled installations they are represented in the works of B. Muller-Hillebrand.
So, at the beginning of the Second World War (September 1 1939 d) the Wehrmacht had 3190 tanks at its disposal, including: PzKpfw l - 1145 units; PzKpfw ll - 1223 units; Pz Kpfw 35 (t) - 219 unit; Pz Kpfw 38 (t) - 76 unit; Pz Kpfw III - 98 unit; Pz Kpfw IV - XNUMH; commander - 211, flamethrower - 215 and assault guns - 3. In the Polish campaign, irretrievable losses amounted to 5 of various machines.
On the eve of the invasion of France (1 in May of 1940) there was an 3381 tank, of which: Pz Kpfw I - 523; Pz Kpfw II - 955; Pz Kpfw 35 (t) - 106; Pz Kpfw 38 (t) - 228; Pz Kpfw III - 349; Pz Kpfw IV - 278; Commander - 135 and assault guns - 6. In the West, to 10 May 1940, there were 2574 machines.
As of 1 June, 1941 G .: military vehicles - 5639, of which assault guns - 377. Of these, combat-ready - 4575. For the war with the Soviet Union was intended 3582 machines.
As of 1 March, 1942 G .: fighting vehicles - 5087, of which combat - 3093. During the whole war it was the lowest rate.
As of 1 in May 1942 (before the attack on the Soviet-German front): machines - 5847, of which combat-ready - 3711.
As of 1 July 1943 (before the Battle of Kursk): machines - 7517, of which the combat-ready -6291.
As of 1 July, 1944 G .: Machines - 12990 including 7447 tanks. Combat - 11143 (5087 tanks).
As of 1 February, 1945 (maximum number of armored vehicles): vehicles - 13620 including 6191 tanks. Efficient 12524 (5177 tanks). And finally, it should be noted that on the Soviet-German front there was a 65-80% of German armored forces.
Finishing this part of the most logical data on the tank forces of the German allies, who together with the forces of the Wehrmacht took part in hostilities on the Eastern Front. In fact or officially they entered the war with the USSR: Italy, the Independent Croatian State and Romania - 22 June 1941 g .; Slovakia - 23 June 1941; Finland - 26 June 1941, Hungary - 27 June 1941
Of these, only Hungary and Italy had their own tank building. The rest used German-made armored vehicles, or purchased before the war in Czechoslovakia, France and England, as well as trophies that were captured during the battles with the Red Army (mainly Finland), or received from Germany - usually French. Romanians and Finns based on Soviet-made machines produced self-propelled guns, using captured artillery systems on them.
The first Reggimento Carri Armati (tank regiment) formed in October 1927 g. The 5 Grupro squadroni carri di rottura (light tank battalion) was assigned to this regiment, equipped with FIAT-3000 tanks. In 1935-1943, the 24 light tank battalion was formed, having CV3 / 35 tankettes as weapons. 4 such battalion was part of a light tank regiment. The battalion consists of three tank companies (13 tank shoes), which consisted of three platoons of 4 vehicles. Thus, the battalion had 40, and the regiment 164 tank shoes (including 4 staff platoon). Shortly after Italy entered World War II, the number of platoons in the regiments was reduced to three.
Fiat 3000 (L5 / 21)
The tank regiment of medium tanks consisted of three battalions (49 vehicles), each with three companies (16 tanks) consisting of three platoons (5 tanks). In total, the regiment consisted of 147 machines, of which 10 command tanks. In 1941 — 1943, 25 battalions of medium tanks were formed. The basis was tanks M11 / 39, M13 / 40, M14 / 41, M15 / 42. Two battalions were armed with French R35, one more - S35, which in the summer of 1940 were captured by the Germans and transferred to an Italian ally.
In February-September, 43 began the formation of two heavy tank battalions. They were supposed to get into service tanks Р40.
Statewide, tank divisions numbered 189 tanks. They consisted of a tank, Bersaliers (essentially motorized infantry) and artillery regiments, a service unit and a reconnaissance group. Divisions - One hundred and thirty first Centauro (“Chentauro”), One hundred and thirty second Ariete (“Ariete”), One hundred and thirty third Littorio (“Littorio”) were formed in 39.
The combat fate of these divisions was short-lived: Littorio defeated Don, Centauro and Ariete in November 42 (or rather, the One-hundred-and-Thirty-fifth division that became its successor) 12 of September 43 was disbanded after Italy capitulated.
The same fate befell Brigada Corazzato Speciale (special tank brigade) formed in December by 1940 from two regiments in Libya. In the spring of the year 1943 in the sands of the Sahara, it was crushed.
Semovente M41M da 90 / 53
Self-propelled installations were reduced to divisions, originally consisting of two artillery (four combat vehicles each) and a staff battery. There were 24 battalions, the 10 of which were armed with self-propelled guns of 47 mm caliber based on the L6 / 40 tank, 5 - Semowente M41M da 90 / 53 installations. The last of all released 30 in connection with which they are not enough. Perhaps part of the divisions armed with a mixed mat. part, probably even M24L da 105 / 25. The 10 divisions were equipped with da type 75 / 18, da 75 / 32 and da 75 / 34. The one hundred and thirty fifth tank division had two hundred and thirty fifth anti-tank artillery regiments equipped with a M42L da 105 / 25.
The Armed Forces of the Republic of Salo had two Gruppo Corazzato (separate tank battalion) and a tank company in three cavalry brigades. They also listed M42L da 75 / 34.
The Hungarian government in 1938 adopted a plan for the development and modernization of its own armed forces - Honvedseg (“Honvedseg”). Much attention in this regard was paid to the creation of armored troops. Before the beginning of the war with the Soviet Union, the Hungarian army had only three units equipped with armored vehicles. In the Ninth and Eleventh Tank Battalions (one each in the First and Second Motorized Brigades) there were three companies (18 machines in each), with the First Company considered training. The eleventh armored cavalry battalion (First Cavalry Brigade) consisted of two mixed companies with Toldi tanks (Toldy) and CV3 / 35 tankettes. In total, the Gyorshadtest (mobile corps), which united these brigades organizationally, counted the 81 fighting machine in the first line.
Hungarian tank column. Ahead - the Hungarian light tank 38M "Toldi", followed by the wedge of the Italian production L3 / 35 (FIAT-Ansaldo CV 35
Over time, tank battalions not only changed the numbering (Thirty-first and Thirty-second, respectively), but also the states. Now they numbered one company of self-propelled anti-aircraft installations Nimrod ("Nimrod") and two - tanks "Toldi".
The First Panzer Division arrived on the Soviet-German front in July 1942, which was completely destroyed during the battles on the Don. Despite this, in 1943 it was restored, and also created the Second Tank based on the Second Motorized Brigade. Both divisions except motorized infantry brigade, reconnaissance battalion, artillery regiment, support and support units included a tank regiment consisting of three battalions. Each battalion in the state had 39 medium tanks. At the same time, the armored cavalry battalion of the First Cavalry Division (elite unit “Honvedsheg”) included 4 companies - 3 Pz Kpfw 38 (t) and 56 Turan tanks (“Turan”).
Hungarian tank Turan ("Turan")
In the autumn of the same year, the three-tier battalions of assault (self-propelled) guns of combat vehicles comprising 30 were formed. They, along with tank divisions fought in Austria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
Hungarian military combat vehicles of their own design were considered “yesterday’s day”, and therefore sought to obtain from the main ally, that is, Germany, new equipment. And they were given Hungary more than any other ally — more than a third of the Hungarian armored fleet were German samples. Deliveries were begun as early as 42, when, in addition to the outdated PzKpfw I, the Hungarian army was handed over 32 Pz Kpfw IV Ausf F2, G and H, 11 PzKpfw 38 (t) and 10 PzKpfw III Ausf M.
1944 became especially "fruitful" in terms of deliveries of German technology. Then 74 Pz Kpfw IV of the latest modifications, 50 StuG III, Jgd Pz "Hetzer", 13 "Tigers" and 5 "Panther" arrived. In 45, the total number of tank destroyers was brought to 100 units. In total, the Hungarian army received from Germany about 400 machines. In the Hungarian army, Soviet trophy T-27 and T-28 were used in small quantities.
In 1941, the Romanian Royal Army had two separate tank regiments and a tank battalion that was part of the First Cavalry Division. Mat. the unit consisted of X-NUMX light tanks R-126 (LT-2) and 35 tanks of Czechoslovak production R-35, French-made 1 R75 (former Polish, interned in September-October 35 in Romania) and 39 old Peno FT -60.
Romanian R-2 (LT-35)
The first tank regiment was equipped with R-2 vehicles, the second - R35, in the tank battalion of the cavalry division were wedge shoes.
Shortly after the outbreak of hostilities against the USSR, the First Tank Division was formed under the R-2 tanks. In September 42, the division was reinforced by the German-made Math. part: 26 tanks Pz.Kpfw 35 (t), 11 Pz.Kpfw III, and 11 Pz.Kpfw IV. The division was defeated at Stalingrad, then it was reformed, and it existed until August 44, when Romania ceased to fight with the USSR.
In 1943, the tank units of Romania received from Germany 50 light LT-38 from Czechoslovakia, 31 Pz Kpfw IV and 4 assault guns. Next year - another 100 LT-38 and 114 Pz Kpfw IV.
Subsequently, when Romania went over to the side of the countries that fought with Germany, the German weapons "turned" against their creators. The Second Romanian Tank Regiment, armed with 66 Pz Kpfw IV and R35, as well as 80 armored vehicles and assault guns, interacted with the Soviet army.
The engineering plant in Brasov in 1942 redid several dozen R-2 into open self-propelled units, equipping them with a captured Soviet gun ZIS-3 of caliber 76 mm. On the basis of four dozen Soviet lightweight T-60 received from the Germans by the Romanians, the TASAM self-propelled self-propelled guns equipped with the captured Soviet X-gun of the 22 mm F-76 cannon were manufactured. Later they were reequipped with the ZIS-3, which fitted German ammunition for 75-mm.
Before the Second World War (the Finns, it was called the “continuation war”), the Finnish army had approximately 120 tanks and 22 armored vehicles (as of 31 in May 1941). As a rule, these were Soviet-made vehicles - trophies of the “winter” war (November 39 — March March 40): T-37 amphibious tanks, T-38 — 42 units; lightweight T-26 of various brands - 34 pcs. (among them dvuhbashennye); flamethrower OT-26, OT-130 - 6 pcs .; T-28 - 2 pcs. The rest of the vehicles were purchased in 1930 in England (27 light Vickers 6 T. tanks survived the war. They were initially equipped with the Swedish Bofors X-mm gun. Then these machines were armed with more powerful 40 mm guns of the sample. 45 / 1932 was a Soviet-made year. This machine received the designation T-1938.The 26 lightweight Vickers 4 g. And 1933 Renault FT from the First World War.
The first tank battalion by the Finns was formed in December of the 39 of two mouths of the Renault FT and two mouths of Vikkers 6 tons. Only the Fourth Company was involved in the fighting, which lost 7 from 13 vehicles. A squadron of Swedish-made armored cars, which was part of a cavalry brigade, was also under fire.
Trophy Soviet tanks became part of a reinforced three-battalion battalion, a platoon of heavy T-28 and several platoons of armored vehicles. A separate tank brigade was created in February by 1942 g. It consisted of the First (1, 2, 3-company) and the Second (4-company, 5-company) tank battalions. Each company consisted of three platoons of one commander and five line tanks. In the freelance company of heavy tanks trophies were collected: KB, T-28 and T-34, which made it possible in four months to create a tank division consisting of infantry, tank brigades, and support units.
In 1943, the Finns acquired 30 German assault guns and 6 anti-tank self-propelled Land Land anti-Swedish installations. In June, 44 for 3 a month before leaving the war 29 assault guns and 14 Pz Kpfw IV and 3 T-34 tanks were purchased from Germany.
By the time of the signing of the surrender, there were more than 62 self-propelled units and 130 tanks in the Finnish armed forces. Among the tanks were 2 KB (Ps.271, Ps.272 - Finnish designation, the latter had armor shielding), 10 T-34 / 76 and T-34 / 85, 8 T-28 and even 1 are very rare Soviet T- 50, 19 T-26, 80 various modifications of the T-26.
In addition to the Swedish self-propelled guns in service of the Finnish army, there were 47 assault StuG IIIG (Ps.531), 10 BT-42 (Ps.511) —the Finnish remake BT-7. On these machines, an English 114-millimeter howitzer from the First World War was installed in a fully enclosed and protected thin armor tower.
The losses of the Finnish side in armored vehicles were relatively small - they did not actively participate in hostilities.
After the Czech Republic and Moravia were occupied in the newly formed "independent" Slovak state, there were 79 light tanks LT-35, which belonged to the Third Czechoslovak Motorized Division. These units became the basis for the creation of a mobile division. The fleet of armored vehicles besides them was replenished with winches CKD model 33 of the year and 13 armored vehicles of the model 30 of the Czechoslovak year of production.
In 41 — 42, the Slovaks from the Germans received an 21 lightweight LT-40, ordered but not received by Lithuania, and also 32 captured LT-38. 43 Pz Kpfw 37 (t), 38 Pz Kpfw II Ausf A, 16 PzKpfw III Ausf H and 7 Pz Jag "Marder III" were added to them in 18 year.
Slovakia's mobile division acted against the USSR near Kiev and Lvov in 1941.
In the armed forces of Croatia, there were small units armed with armored vehicles. It was mainly represented by Italian-made CV3 / 35 tankettes, received from Hungarians, Czech-made MU-6 tankettes and several Pz Kpfw IV transmitted by Germans in 1944.
The Bulgarian armed forces did not act on the Soviet-German front, however, the organization and structure of the tank forces is interesting because Bulgaria at that time was an ally of Germany and participated in the April campaign of 41 against Yugoslavia. In the Bulgarian army, first there were 8 tanks “Vickers 6 tons” of English production, received in 34 year as technical assistance, and 14 tankettes of Italian production acquired in the same period 3 tanks. Bulgarians were kindly provided by the Germans: 33 of the Czech LT-37 tanks in the 35 year, 1940 of the French R40 tanks in the 35 year. This made it possible to form in July 1941. The first tank brigade, consisting of one battalion with the English and Czech, the second with French equipment, as well as a reconnaissance company with an Italian mat. part.
In 1943, the Germans transferred the 46 Bulgarians - Pz Kpfw IV, LT-10, 38 and Pz Kpfw III, 10 armored vehicles and 20 assault guns to the 26. Since September, 44, Bulgaria has taken the side of the anti-Hitler coalition, the tank units of Bulgaria operated in the Balkans.
According to the materials of the article by Igor Shmelev, the magazine "Equipment and weapons"