Monday, 29 November 2010

17thPzDiv - 9thK (ex PzLehr) cont.

The "distant and blurry right rear view from Trojka" as mentioned in the previous post:

On the left hand vehicle the track-links across the rear engine deck and the plate with the tac number on it are visible. Just above the fascine on the rear deck we also get a glimpse of the turret number on the rear of the bin is 912 and beside the top of the "G", it is unclear why no turret numbers can be seen on the other PzIV but there may be something draped over the turret bin.

Also of note is the Divisional symbol on the back of the staff car.

Plus this second image of the same pair of vehicles, possibly the same location viewed from a different angle.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

17th PzDiv - 9th K (ex-PzLehr)

The info in “Barbarossa stowage” relating to this unit was only gleaned from three images: my own (in the book) partial right hand view, the right hand view in “Panzertruppen”, which also has a small part of the left visible and a distant and blurry right rear view from Trojka. However I have just received a few more that show the rear view more clearly and also throw a bit more light on the left hand side of the vehicle. These allow another image to come out of the “unidentified” file. Not many left in there now but that’s another post.

The images I received (above) shows a small plate, with the tac number on it fitted either on or in front of the jack block (similar to the rhombus type used earlier in the war but rectangular in shape. It also shows the strange addition of a BK under the vision port on the turret side. I have only seen this once before on the image below.

Although the dappled light and the low res don’t help but the white tac symbol on the superstructure front, with the gothic L beside it seems very obvious now. Previously I had presumed it was part of something on the fender. Both show two fittings attached to the fender between the spare wheels. The crew mounting step may also have been moved a bit rearward to accommodate the third wheel. There also appears to be a small tool box mounted to the glacis plate in the same location as the 6th K Tauchs had it. The turret jerry can box is missing.

Other images from the same source show PzIIIs of the 7th K with the same jerrycan box on the roof as these PzIVs. This image from the group also shows the 17th PzDiv symbol on the rear, next to the PzLehr emblem.

Some other  images that showing PzIIIs following the stowage system described above.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

13th in colour

This stunning colour panorama of the Southern steppes had always puzzled me, primarily because of the balkankreus on the turret rear.

The "K" for army Kleist helped start the search but finding images of 13th PzDiv, 5th K vehicles with this unusual feature, as well as other b&w images from the same location with the balkenkreus visible and showing a PzII with the divisional symbol let me place it.

13th wheel fixing

Some of the images in the last post may have shown how the spare wheel was attached to the right superstructure side but this type of bracket does not seem to have been used on the other locations where wheels were stored. This image may show the other style of bracket without a wheels attached;

If the hoop on the rear section of the right fender is indeed a spare wheels bracket then it must have pivoted either forward or backward to allow the wheel to be stored. If the same system was used on the left fender on the two spare wheels then they must have forward and backward because of the closeness of their position.

Unfortunately again the Kompanie number is obscured by the shadow of the turret hatch and other relevant detail hidden by the archives logo.

more 13th images

Although these first three images are all of damaged vehicles at the time they helped clarify the Kompanie numbering system.

The bracket that held the spare wheel on the side of the superstructure, next to the radio operators side visor can just be made out in these low res images. Better scans confirm that this vehicle has the turret number 200 and that it carries both tactical and divisional symbols on its forward zusatzplatten.

13th PzDiv background images

Two copies of one image that help each other out. One shows the division symbol clearly, while the other gives a good view of the left hand of the vehicle.

This cover image was the only one of a PzIV in the book.

Unfortunately the r/o has popped his head out and obscures the Kompanie number. However the addition of the tracklinks on the aerial trough and the lack of a tactical symbol above the divisional symbol indicate that this is a 5th K vehicle.

Friday, 29 October 2010

+ Review

Positive review in the latest issue of AFV Modeller. Follow this link to see the content

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Help with 13th PzDiv

The search for images of 13th PzDiv was going nowhere until I found this propaganda clip on youtube. After 26 secs there is a short section showing 223 and 233

This was enough to confirm that they used a second Kompanie.

This version is not the best quality. I have saved the wrong URL - on a better copy the division symbol is evident in the front view and a fleeting glimpse can be had of the same along with a tactical rhombus on the left rear. If I track down the original I will swap it.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

1st PzDiv - 8th K from ebay album

The first two images are prior to Barbarossa but have elements of the stowage system used in Russia clearly visible.

  The double bar system for fixing the track-links across the hull front shows up well in this image.

The Divisional symbol was applied to the superstructure front and above the driver's side visor (see also penultimate image below although obscured by sellers watermark).

Although the remaining images don't have such clear content they give us more rare glimpses of 1st PzDiv PzIVs during Barbarossa. This time last year I had only found 1 partial image.
In the last image (on the rear most vehicle) we can see the spare wheel on the front fender with a bracket running along the superstructure side behind it.

These images confirm a single horizontal bracket, for holding jerry cans etc, on both sides of the superstructure for 8th Kompanie vehicles.

Monday, 13 September 2010

No WAY!!!!!

logged in to ebay for my daily sniff and what is there the day after I joke about making sacrifices to the ebay good but two whole pages of 1st PzDiv PzIVs!!!

The seller has just uploaded images from an album that cover preBarbarossa - Barbarossa - the summer of 42 right upto Greece in 43 an amazing group of images. I will post the relevant ones once I have got a chance to sift through them all.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

ebay delivers

As usual when you start writing or thinking about something it appears on ebay. I must be careful what I wish for the and make sure the sacrifices continue to be to the liking of its fickle gods :)
This nice photo fills in some gaps for the 8th Kompanie right stowage, a similar single horizontal bracket as seen on the left side of some 1st PzDiv. Plus a diagonal strap from under the aerial. These appears to match some bits on the mangled fender on page 13. And the image also confirms the carrying of the long fascines across the rear of the engine deck.

Of general interest is the unusual placement of the starter crank at the rear of the right fender sitting up against the engine deck side. The spare wheel mounted flat in its usual stowing (right front fender) may explain the move but its attitude is another matter.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

1st PzDiv continued

Here is the afore mentioned image of an Ausf C and an Ausf B together. The "foot" on the 4 is obvious and the open framed container on the right fender stands out.

This image was on the ? pile for a long while. The image is poor quality and very contrasty, so the white numbers on the turret rear were initially hard to make out (left hand vehicle).

An image I bought showed the recognisable turret numbers and the bracket holding jerrycans to the left superstructure side as we see in this image. Judging by its turret doors the PzIV in the middle distance appears to be an Ausf F.

Friday, 3 September 2010

1st PzDiv 4th & 8th Kompanies

As with some other units images of PzKpfw IVs in service with 1st PzDiv during Barbarossa have been exceptionally hard to find, not just PzKpfw IV but any vehicle.

There is one very well known and often published image of an Ausf E firing at night in which the divisional symbol is clear. And is another common image that shows an Ausf B (turret number 421) with an Ausf C (turret number 422) behind it, (often only the single vehicle is printed), which has been described as a 1st PzDiv vehicle and a process of elimination meant this probably fitted as the style of number is a continuation of that used in 1940. The addition of a serif or foot to the bottom of the 4 makes it easily distinguishable.

As well as the couple I found for my own book these are the only others I have come across, the first is low res but the distinctive 4 is visible as is the right fender stowage box.

The second shows a left side view with white numbers (800) and a frame box fitted to the engine deck side that is of the same open frame construction method as that worn on the right by 4th K.

This PzKpfw IV Ausf BorC is interesting because it appears to have the little plates fitted to the rear corners of its turret bin. A feature that I have only ever seen on some Ausf Fs before.

Any further known images people could point me to would be great.....

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

6th PzDiv - 4th K

Again from Bruce Quarrie, this image made sense of a photo I had owned for a while (page 40).

It shows a bracket attachment to the engine side that I had been puzzling over for a long time.

This angle let me make a connection, through the placement and style of other stowed items to the 4th K where clear images show two wheels in this location - puzzle solved! It had looked like a carefully engineered device to me, with movement and articulation to it but in fact it is an awkward (if practical) cobbling together of expedient material.

7th PzDiv -12th K

An old copy of Bruce Quarries "Panzers in Russia 1941-42" has given up some helpful images.

  His efforts in the late 70s in the Budesarchiv brought some interesting examples in to the light of day.

This image is assigned to the 7th PzDiv and we can just make out a 12?? on the third vehicle in the column. The assumption is therefore that all vehicle belong to that unit however the first panzer carries a box on its right fender where the jack should be. This doesn't fit with images I have of 12th K without this box and without the jack moved.

There are also no fittings, fore and aft for the long beam one would associate with the Division.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

BARBAROSSA stowage - a new direction

The book is finished and available now at Blurb. 150 pages, 125 images, 10 pages of diagrams. So the blog takes on a slightly different role. I will continue to post images here that filled gaps and confirmed information that I was unable to get from my own collection during the research but also add new and interesting stuff that continues to appear and if any errors appear correct them.

This preview is full just now but will be reduced to a partial review after a month on the website. Click on the link to be taken to the books page on the website.


I have been persuaded to add diagrams to the end of the book to help referencing the info. Here is 3rd PzDiv as an example.
A BIG job.


The book is finished and available now at Blurb. 150 pages, 125 images, 10 pages of diagrams. So the blog takes on a slightly different role. I will continue to post images here that filled gaps and confirmed information that I was unable to get from my own collection during the research but also add new and interesting stuff that continues to appear and if any errors appear correct them.

This preview is full just now but will be reduced to a partial review after a month on the website. Click on the link to be taken to the books page on the website.

image quality

The quality of the images when they are enlarged to fit the page is fuzzy. This doesn't happen to all of them? I am trying to sort this out but in any case an larger clearer view is available if you click on them.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

4th K sorted

The open topped 4 in these left sided views is the same as those on the right side, as are the wheel supports. The stack of planks and associated features in the next three images point to them being a unit feature.

However the run of tracks seen on the right side of the hull do not seem to be applied to the left.

This image confirms that these left sided feature are in fact 3rd PzDiv as the divisional symbol is visible in front of the driver's side visor. It is clear in on this vehicle as the planks have been removed, the vertical bracket can be seen clearly.

This last image show the large G and the low slung track-links across the hull front, neither of which were worn by 8th K.

4th K 3rd PzDIV

The size and style of numbers are similar to those of 8th K. Plus the use of bent rods to create the spare wheel supports which are identical to 8th K.

The cleaning rods are moved from the left to the right on the aerial trough and a run of track are mounted to the hull side.

3rd PzDiv - i/PzAbt?

Images of 8th Kompanie vehicles are easy to come across and a number of these are in "PzKpfw at the front" Vol 2 and 12th Kompanie has the distinctive TauchPzIV Ausf Ds with the log on the right side, large turret numbers, Notek moved to glacis and three spare wheels spread out down the left superstructure.

However 3rd PzDiv is another division with 3 battalion so the hunt is on for 4th K vehicles.

12th PzDiv

I had originally thought the "plank" along the hull side of 12th PzDiv PzIVs was additional armour. Being atached by 3 bolts, Its size and placement lead me to this conclusion. However images such as this turned up showing it removed. Why would supplementary protection be removed? (click on images to see larger version) The grenade launcher with its 3 stick grenades in place shows up well here as do the bolts welded to the hull side without the plank attached.

Although the lack of large turret numbers makes Kompanie identification difficult close up images show small numbers applied to the left superstructure side and to a rhombus plate on the aerial trough. This 3rd Kompanie vehicle still has something added to its hull side but the shadow indicates that this is log and not a plank shaped. Other close ups of the same vehicle confirm this and indicate is was supported on 3 brackets, not bolted. The conclusion is that what was stored in these locations was a device for unditching the vehicle. Plank on 6th K and log on 3rd K.The fire extinguisher is moved down the fender as 3rd K mounted a medium sized box on the front of the left fender instead of the large central box which seems to be a 6th K feature. The grenade launcher with its armoured cover is just visible behind the figure on the right of the image note also that this is a hybrid vehicle with an earlier C/B turret mounted on either an E or D hull.

This third image is added to show that although very common the use of the grenade launcher was not universal.
All 3 images show the regular use of the divisional symbol on vehicles. Front and centre and on both sides of the superstructure.

12th PzDiv also had 3 Battalions but no confirmed images of 9th K have yet been found to clarify any different items used by them.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

6th PzDiv 4th Kompanie

The combination of Kompanies in this Division is unusual. PzRgt 11 with two battalions (3rd & 6th K) had been joined by a third battalion that was made up by 65th PzAbt. For some reason when this unit joined the Division its nomenclature never changed and 65th PzAbt was not subsumed by PzRgt 11 as was the case in most other Division when such an amalgamation occurred. They also kept their Kompanie numbers and thus the anomaly of the 4th K occurred.

Even though their Stowage was shared, with the same system for holding jerrycans used in all three Kompanies and the two spare wheels on the engine side used on 3rd and 4th.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Kompanie structure in 6th PzDiv

I own a rather moth eaten copy of Opresy's 6th Panzer Division by Oberst. a.D. Helmet Ritgen

Which as you can see by the cover has some excellent colour photos of PzIVs attached to the division on the eave of Barbarossa. The images were taken by the author and clearly show the Divisional symbol of two Xs. So the lineage of them is not in question

but putting them with the other images already discussed we see a 6th Kompanie a 3rd Kompanie and in these colour photos the vehicles are clearly 4th Kompanie.
So 3rd, 4th and 6th? A strange combination indeed.
At first I thought that one of the images was from a different time period when the units were organised differently but this is not the case. 6th PzDiv did have 3 battalions So there should be three Kompanies. This is one of the anomalies that I mentioned earlier.

7th PzDiv - 12thK

7th PzDiv was one of the Divisions who split their PzRgt in to three Battalions. Therefore the hunt was on for a third Kompanie presumably the 12th.

This vehicle (1201) mirrors the placement of the two wheels on the left side seen for 8th K and the numbers are similar although the need for 4 digits would see them reduced. The location also looks like one where a number of KOed 7th PzDiv vehicles have been seen.

Here we see the same wheels and jerry can combination but the jack does not appear to have been moved. This may indicate the log was not used by this Kompanie or that it was stowed differently

A third image purchsed by me with the divisional symbol and the features above confirms these are 7th PzDiv 12thK.