Battle of Moscow 1941. Operation Typhoon.
Armies, plans, tactics, weapons, commanders, maps

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"With amazement and disappointment, we discovered …
that the beaten Russians seemed quite unaware that
as a military force they had ceased to exist."

- General Blumentritt

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Furious that the German army had been unable to take Moscow,
Hitler dismissed his commander-in-chief, General von Brauchitsch,
and took personal charge of the Wehrmacht.

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Introduction. The Battle of Historians.

The German Army in 1941.
"I am convinced that they [Russians]
will think a hurricane has hit them !"
- Adolf Hitler

- - - - - - - - - - High Command

- - - - - - - - - - Army Group "Center" (Order of Battle)

- - - - - - - - - - German tanks and motorized infantry.

The Russian Army.
"... the Red Army stood in 1941 as the most
formidable anvil that had ever been struck
by an attacker."

- - - - - - - - - - High Command.

- - - - - - - - - - Fronts and Armies Defending Moscow. (Order of Battle)

- - - - - - - - - - Infantry Divisions.

- - - - - - - - - - Guard Infantry Divisions.

- - - - - - - - - - Cavalry Divisions.

- - - - - - - - - - Tank Divisions and Brigades.

Operation Typhoon.

Large Map: Deployment of German and Russian Troops.

German Offensive.
"The German breakthrough was so sudden
that streetcars were still running in Orel
when 4th Panzer Division rolled in."

Large Map 1 (detailed): German Offensive.
Large Map 2 (general):

Map: Battle of Tula.

Russian Counteroffensive.

Aftermath.

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Miscallenous.

- - - - - Organization of German SS "Das Reich"

- - - - - Organization of German Panzer Division.

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Introduction. The Battle of Historians.
"For decades, both popular and official historians in the West
presented the Soviet-German struggle largely from
the German point of view."
- David Glantz

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The war on the Eastern Front is over but the historians are still fighting. So why do historians disagree ? Two two points are (1) that historical explanation can involve ideological presuppositions, and that these presuppositions differ between different historians; and (2) that historical data are always logically consistent with more than one explanation and admit of more than one description.

Parade of German troops "At one end of this spectrum, German historians and those who have described the war from the German perspective or relied almost exclusively on German sources preferred to focus on the stunning victories the Wehrmacht achieved during the first 30 months of the war to the exclusion of more embarrassing topics such as German war guilt and the specter of the Wehrmacht's humiliating defeats during 1943, 1944, and 1945.
Victory parade of Russian troops At the other extreme, Russian historians have focused almost exclusively on the Red Army's remarkable victories at Moscow, Stalingrad, and Kursk, and its triumphal march to victory in 1944 and 1945, and have avoided detailing the Red Army's humiliating performance during the first 18 months of the war
...
Even more damaging from the standpoint of objectivity, by obscuring the real nature of the war, these sharply differing accounts and interpretations reinforce the natural penchant for Westerners to view the War in the East as nothing more than a bloody backdrop for far more dramatic and significant battles in Western theaters of operations, such as the Battle at El Alamein, Operation Torch, the battles at Salerno and Anzio, Operation Overlord in Normandy, and the Battle of the Bulge. Finally, these 'selective' histories have contributed to the wholly mistaken impression that the Soviet Union's Western Allies actually won the war over Nazi Germany." (David Glantz - "Colossus reborn" pp 611-612)

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German casualties (killed, wounded and missing):


- on Eastern Front 1941-1945 : 4,300,000-5,915,000
- on Western Front 1941-1945 : 836,600
- in Italian Campaign 1943-1944 : 308,600-610,000 *
- in Polish Campaign 1939 : 44,000-290,000 **
- in French Campaign 1940 : 157,600-158,500
- in Afrika 1940-1943 : 150,800
- in Norwegian Campaign : 7,200
- in Invasion of Denmark 1940 : 205

*
Sicily: 165,000 casualties (of whom only 30,000 were Germans). Italian mainland: 308,600–580,630 (incl. Italian soldiers)
**
In his 1939 speech following the Polish Campaign Adolf Hitler presented these German figures: 10,576 killed, 30,222 wounded, and 3,400 missing. (Approx. 44,000). According to early Allied estimates, the German army suffered 90,000 killed and 200,000 wounded. (Total: 290,000)

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David Glantz
David Glantz is a military historian. He received degrees in history
from the Virginia Military Institute and the University of North Carolina,
and is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College.

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The German Army in 1941
"I am convinced that they [Russians]
will think a hurricane has hit them !"
- Adolf Hitler

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Parade of German troops "Some historians, such as British author and ex-newspaper editor Max Hastings, consider that "... there's no doubt that man for man, the German army was the greatest fighting force of the second world war.", while in the book World War II: An Illustrated Miscellany, Anthony Evans writes: "The German soldier was very professional and well trained, aggressive in attack and stubborn in defence. He was always adaptable, particularly in the later years when shortages of equipment were being felt". ( - wikipedia)

The military strength of the German army was managed through mission-based tactics, rather than detailed order-based tactics, and an almost proverbial discipline. Once an operation began, speed in response to changing circumstances was considered more important than careful planning and coordination of new plans.

Iron Cross - emblem of the Wehrmacht In June 1941 the German army had 3.8 million men, of which 3.3 million (!) were deployed against Russia. Of 21 panzer divisions, 19 were targeted for Russia and 2 were in North Africa.

German forces in Barbarosa Campaign (June 1941):
- 4 SS divisions
- 19 panzer divisions
- 11 motor. infantry divisions
- 4 light divisions
- 1 cavalry division
- 4 mountain divisions
- 100 infantry divisions
Other troops:
- - - - - - - 1 SS Police Division
- - - - - - - 9 Security Divisions

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German High Command in 1941:

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Photo: Jodl (left), Hitler and Keitel (right).

During the war Adolf Hitler was the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, in German "Wehrmacht".

The Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, in German "Oberkommando der Wehrmacht", or OKW, was subordinate to Hitler. In 1941 OKW was commanded by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel. Colonel-General Alfred Jodl was the chief of the Operations Staff.

The OKW had nominal oversight over the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. Rivalry with the armed services branch commands, mainly with the Army (OKH), prevented the OKW from becoming a unified General Staff in an effective chain of command. However it did coordinate operations among the three services. Hitler manipulated the bipolar system to keep ultimate decisions in his own hands

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Supreme Commander
of the Armed Forces
- Adolf Hitler


OKW
Ober Kommando der Wehrmacht (Supreme Command of the Armed Forces)
- Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel . In 1941 he was 59 years old.

  • Chief of the Operations Staff - Colonel-General Alfred Jodl
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - I Subdepartment
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - WFA/L - a subdepartment through which all details
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - of operational planning were worked out.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Chief: Major-General von Buttlar-Brandenfels.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - II Subdepartment
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Propaganda troops. Chief: Major-General von Wedel.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - III Subdepartment
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Army staff.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - IV Subdepartment
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Inspekteur of Signal Corps.
  • Abwehr (information gathering) - Admiral Wilhelm Canaris
  • Wirtschafts und Rüstungsamt (supply matters)
  • AAW, or Amtsgruppe Allgemeine Wehrmachtsangelegenheiten
    (miscellaneous matters: education, science, administration
    prisoners of war, casualties, etc.)

  • OKH
    Ober kommando des Heeres
    (Army High Command)
    - Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch

  • General Staff - Franz Halder
  • Intelligence Dept. - Kinzel
  • Chief of Operations - Heusinger
  • Chief Quartermaster - Paulus
  • OKL
    Ober kommando der Luftwaffe
    (Air Force High Command)
    - Marshal Hermann Göring
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    OKM
    Ober kommando der Marine
    (Navy High Command)
    - Admiral of the Fleet Erich Raeder
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    Eastern Front:

    Army Group Centre
    - Fedor von Bock
    - - - - - - - 2nd Panzer Army - Heinz Guderian
    - - - - - - - 3rd Panzer Army - Hermann Hoth
    - - - - - - - 4th Panzer Army - Erich Höpner
    - - - - - - - 2nd Army - Maximillian von Weichs
    - - - - - - - 4th Army - Günther von Kluge
    - - - - - - - 9th Army - von Strauss

    Army Group South
    - Gerd von Rundstedt
    - - - - - - - 1st Panzer Army - Paul von Kleist
    - - - - - - - 6th Army - Walther von Reichenau
    - - - - - - - 11th Army - Eugen von Schobert
    - - - - - - - 17th Army - Karl von Stülpnagel
    - - - - - - - Hungarian and Romanian armies

    Army Group North
    - Wilhelm von Leeb
    - - - - - - - 16th Army - Ernst Busch
    - - - - - - - 18th Army - Georg von Küchler

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    Western Front:

    Army in the West - Erwin von Witzleben
    (It was directly subordinate to OKW, not OKH.)

    NOTE:
    Hitler "Since the start of planning for Operation Barbarossa, Hitler and the OKW Staff had disagreed on the relative importance of Moscow as a campaign objective. Hitler was ambivalent about Moscow, prefering the destruction of Soviet field armies before diverting resources to seize prestige targets, but the OKW staff consistently advocated the Soviet capital as a worthwhile objective." (Robert Forczyk - "Moscow 1941", p 11 )
    Also two generals of OKH, Brauchitsch and Halder, advocated Moscow as the primary objective when the planning for Operation Barbarossa began. "However, it was not the geographical object that mattered most to them. They rather argued that the defense of Moscow would attract the bulk of the Soviet armed forces which they considered the real target. ...
    Hitler on another hand was more interested in economic assets and wanted to strangle the influx of resources to the Soviet military and use them for his own purposes." ( Niklas Zetterling, Anders Frankson - "The Drive on Moscow, 1941")

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    Army Group "Centre"
    (Heeresgruppe "Mitte")
    Order of Battle

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    Of the forces mentioned above the Germans massed three field and three panzer armies [17 panzer, 14 motorized, 6 luftwaffe, and 42 infantry divisions] for the offensive on Moscow. These troops formed the massive Army Group Centre (Heeresgruppe Mitte) under General Fedor von Bock. His Chief of Staff was Major-General Hans von Greiffenberg.

    Von Bock's force enjoyed an 1,5 : 1 superiority in manpower, 1,75 : 1 in tanks, and 2 : 1 in aircrafts. The German offensive against Moscow was resumed on 30 September 1941.

    The iron fist of the Army Group Centre consisted of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Panzer Armies. The 2nd was under the command of General Guderian, the 3rd was commanded by General Hoth, and the 4th by General Hoepner.

    The powerful panzer troops were supported by the 2nd Air Fleet was under Kesselring.

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    Army Group Centre - Fedor von Bock
    2nd, 3rd and 4th Panzer Army
    2nd, 4th and 9th Army
    Reserves
    2nd Air Fleet

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    2nd Panzer Army - Col. Gen. Heinz Guderian
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - XXIV Panzer Corps - Gen. Geyr von Schweppenburg
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3rd Panzer Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4th Panzer Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 10th Motorized Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - XLVII Panzer Corps - Gen. Lemelsen
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 17th Panzer Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 18th Panzer Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 29th Motorized Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - XLVIII Panzer Corps - Ltn. Gen. Kempf
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9th Panzer Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 16th Panzer Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 25th Motorized Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - XXXIV Army Corps - Gen. Metz
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 45th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 134th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - XXXV Army Corps - Ltn. Gen. Kaempfe
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 95th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 262nd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 293rd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 296th Infantry Division

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    3rd Panzer Army - Col. Gen. Hermann Hoth
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - LVI Panzer Corps - Gen. Schaal
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6th Panzer Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 7th Panzer Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 17th Motorized Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - XLI Panzer Corps - Gen. Reinhardt
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1st Panzer Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 36th Motorized Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - VI Army Corps - Gen. Forster
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 26th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 110th Infantry Division

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    4th Panzer Army - Col. Gen. Erich Hoepner
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - LVII Panzer Corps - Gen. Kuntzen
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 20th Panzer Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SS Reich Motorized Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3rd Motorized Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - XL Panzer Corps - Gen. Stumme
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2nd Panzer Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 10th Panzer Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 258th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - XLVI Panzer Corps - Gen. Vietinghoff
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5th Panzer Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 11th Panzer Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 252nd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - XII Army Corps - Gen. Schroth
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 34th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 98th Infantry Division

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    2nd Army - Col. Gen. Maximilian von Weichs
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - XIII Army Corps - Gen. Felber
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 17th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 26th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - XLIII Army Corps - Gen. Heinrici
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 52nd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 131st Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - LIII Army Corps - Gen. Weisenberger
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 31st Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 56th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 167th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - Reserves
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 112th Infantry Division
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    4th Army - Field Marshal Günther Adolf Ferdinand “Hans” Kluge
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - VII Army Corps - Gen. Fahmbacher
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 7th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 23rd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 197th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 267th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - IX Army Corps - Gen. Geyer
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 137th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 183rd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 263rd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 292nd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - XX Army Corps - Gen. Materna
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 15th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 78th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 268th Infantry Division
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    9th Army - Col. Gen. Adolf Strauss
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - V Army Corps - Gen. Ruoff
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 35th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 106th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 129th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - VIII Army Corps - Gen. Heitz
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 8th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 28th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 87th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - XXIII Army Corps - Gen. Schubert
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 102nd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 206th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 251st Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 256th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - XXVII Army Corps - Gen. Wager
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 86th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 162nd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 255th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - Reserves
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 161st Infantry Division
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    Reserves
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 19th Panzer Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 900th Motorized Brigade
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Grossdeutschland ("Greater Germany") Motorized Infantry Regiment
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1st Cavalry Division

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    2nd Air Fleet - Kesselring
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - II Air Corps - Loerzer
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - VIII Air Corps - von Richtofen

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    Russian Order of Battle, 1941.

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    Commander of Army Group Centre
    - General Fedor von Bock
    "The Master of Total Assault"

    General von Bock Fedor von Bock "... thin-lipped expression gave him an emaciated, almost hungry appearance. He seldom smiled; his humor was dry and cynical. His arrogant, aloof manner, unbending military bearing and cold absorption in his profession foretold a determination, industry, and nerveless physical courage for which war correspondents would give him the awesome title of 'master of the total assault.' (Alfred Turney - "Disaster at Moscow" pp 5-6)
    He joined the German Army and during the First World War won the Pour le Mérite. Von Bock was involved in the campaigns in Poland and France. He was shocked by the way the SS treated Jews but decided against an official protest. In 1940 he was one of twelve new field marshals created by Hitler.

    Commander of 2nd Panzer Army
    - General Heinz Guderian
    "Hurry-Up Heinz" (Schneller Heinz)

    General Guderian Heinz Wilhelm Guderian (1888 – 1954) was a military theorist and innovative commander. Germany's tank forces were raised and fought according to his works, best-known among them Achtung— Panzer! Fluent in both English and French, Guderian gathered ideas by the British maneuver warfare theorists J. Fuller and then-unknown Charles de Gaulle. Their works were translated into German language by Guderian.
    The panzer force he created would become the core of the German Army's power and would deliver the core of the fighting style known as blitzkrieg.
    In the Invasion of France, he personally led the attack that traversed the Ardennes Forest, crossed the Meuse River and broke through the French lines at Sedan. During the French campaign, he led his panzer forces in rapid blitzkrieg-style advances and earned the nickname "Schneller Heinz" (Hurry-Up Heinz) among his troops. Despite his successes Guderian never became a fieldmarshal.

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    German tanks and
    motorized infantry.

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    German tanks The tank represented the steel embodiment of the mighty German land forces in the 1940s.

    In general, the foremost tanks had the mission of rapidly thrusting through the depth of the enemy lines and destroying the artillery and tanks.
    The follow-on tanks fought in cooperation with their own infantry, and overcame the enemy infantry, machine guns, etc.

    After breaking through, the attack was carried forward into the enemy rear area. A numerical superiority of the defender could rapidly be neutralised if the tank attack against his position was closely coordinated with the aircrafts, artillery etc. as well as the operations of neighboring tank forces. On the one hand, that kept the enemy down so that aimed fire was impossible and, on the other, prevented the enemy from massing fire.

    Lieutenant Carius Photo: Lieutenant Carius of 502nd Heavy Tank Battalion had
    150 tank kills in WW2 and was awarded with the Ritterkreutz.

    Leading from the front did not mean that the commander of tank unit was continually and always in front. Completely aside from threats from the enemy, this was to be avoided because the commander would not be able to have situational awarenness of his own forces. Some battalion commanders (but not company commanders) chose to command from a "command post vehicle", which offered a more comfortable environment.

      German tanks in 1941:
    • Panzer II light tank
      It was ordered into production because the construction of Panzer III and IV, was falling behind schedule. Along with the Panzer I, the II made up the bulk of German tank forces fighting the Poles in 1939 and the French and British in 1940.
      Crew - 3
      Weight - 9.5 tonnes
      Armor - 15–35 mm
      Cannon - 20 mm
      Machine gun
    • Panzer III medium tank
      While it was designed to fight other tanks, its 37 mm and later 50 mm guns could not keep pace with Soviet T-34 and KV tanks. In 1941 it was the most numerous German tank, but by late 1943 it was largely replaced by Panzer IV. The Panzer III, as opposed to Panzer IV, had no turret basket, merely a foot rest platform for the gunner.
      When Panzer III met the Soviet KV-1 and T-34 tanks it proved to be inferior in both armor and gun power. The tank was up-gunned with a longer, more powerful 50 mm cannon and received more armour although this failed to effectively address the problem caused by the Russian tank designs. As a result, production of self-propelled guns, as well as the up-gunning of the Panzer IV was initiated.
      Crew - 5
      Weight - 23 tonnes
      Armor - 5–70 mm
      Cannon - 50 mm (in March 1942 - 75 mm)
      Machine gun
    • Panzer IV medium tank
      It was the workhorse of the tank force and the only German tank to remain in production for the entire war. It was armed with a 75 mm howitzer intended primarily to fire high-explosive shells in support of other tanks or infantry. The shock of encountering the Soviet T-34 medium and KV-1 heavy tanks necessitated a new, much more powerful tank gun. By Mid 1942, it was rearmed with a longer 75 mm dual-purpose gun which could defeat most Soviet tanks. In the second half of the war, about half of all German tanks were Panzer IVs.
      Crew - 5
      Weight - 25 tonnes
      Armor - 10–88 mm
      Cannon - 75 mm
      2 Machine guns
    • Panzer V heavy tank (Tiger I)
      Its production started in 1942.
      Crew - 5
      Weight - 54 tonnes
      Armor - 25–120 mm
      Cannon - 88 mm
      2 Machine guns

    The tank units were supported by motorised infantry.
    Motorisation provides no direct tactical advantage in small unit combat, because trucks are vulnerable to artillery and small arms fire. However, in larger battles, motorized infantry have an advantage in mobility allowing them to move to critical sectors of the battlefield faster, allowing better response to enemy movements, as well as the ability to outmaneuver the enemy.
    Motorised infantry Notwithstanding the obvious advantages of motorisation, the Germans only opted for partial motorisation of their infantry because of the cost and logistical implications caused by the deployment of so many vehicles and supplies of fuel.

    German half-truck The Sd.Kfz. 251 half-track was an armored fighting vehicle. It was used to transport a single squad of infantry to the battlefield protected from enemy small arms fire, and with some protection from artillery fire. In addition, the standard mounting of at least one machine gun allowed the vehicle to provide support by fire for the infantry squad once they had disembarked in battle.

    However, the German economy could not produce adequate numbers of the half tracks, and only a quarter or a third of the infantry in Panzer divisions was mechanized, except in a few favored formations. The rest were moved by truck.

    .

    Provisional Instructions for the Employment and Tactics
    of the German Motorized Infantry Regiment and Battalion
    in March 1941:

    1.
    Motorized infantry units form the offensive infantry element in the armored division. Their strength lies in their speed and cross-country performance, together with the possession of numerous automatic weapons and protective armor.
    2.
    The possession of armored personnel carriers enables motorized infantry units to overcome comparatively weak opposition without dismounting. They can follow up tank attacks on the field of battle without dismounting.
    3.
    Motorized infantry is characterized by ability to alternate between fighting from carriers and fighting on foot, and also to combine these 2 methods of combat.
    4.
    Mobility and numerous automatic weapons enable motorized infantry units to defend even a broad front against comparatively strong enemy forces.
    5.
    Motorized infantry on wheeled vehicles moves faster than motorized infantry on armored personnel carriers, although in difficult country movements on wheeled vehicles are restricted. Owing to lack of sufficient armor, motorized infantry cannot fight from their trucks.
    72.
    In deploying the units, roads and trails must be utilized as far as possible, in order to advance quickly and to save wear and tear on the vehicles. The cross-country performance of all vehicles in the regiment, however, allows movement to be continued off the roads and tracks without any great reduction in speed ...
    76.
    The formations adopted by motorized infantry on wheeled vehicles are to a great extent dependent on the terrain. They will make considerable use of the roads.
    78.
    In battalion arrowhead formation, one company occupies the front line, and two companies the second line. In battalion inverted arrowhead formation, two companies are in the front line and one company in the second line.
    97.
    In attacking on vehicles, the heavy weapons on self-propelled mounts must follow close behind so that they can quickly support the attack.
    98.
    For protection against enemy tanks, the anti-tank guns in the battalions will generally be attached to the forward companies. Attached anti-tank units will usually be held behind the flanks, in order to exploit fully their speed and mobility in surprise thrusts against enemy tanks.
    99.
    When battalions attack an objective from different directions, or attack separate objectives, the weapons (heavy infantry cannon, antitank guns, engineers) that they require for their separate operations will be placed at their disposal. The same principle applies to companies attacking separately.
    100.
    In close country, motorized infantry companies will have attached to them heavy mortars and antitank guns. The two machine-gun platoons of the machine-gun company, and the gun platoon of the heavy weapons company, will cover the attack of the advancing infantry companies. It is convenient to put the machine-gun company commander in charge of the heavy weapons unless these are attached to the companies. The engineer platoon follows the attacking motorized-infantry companies on vehicles. When obstacles are likely to be encountered, engineers will be attached to the forward companies.
    111.
    If the enemy has time to make preparations for action and the ground is such as to preclude a mounted attack, the motorized infantry will be assembled for attack. The assembly order is usually given by a higher commander.
    112.
    As far as possible the motorized infantry units should be moved up in vehicles to the assembly position. Their armor and cross-country performance make it possible to assemble close to the enemy. If the ground, or enemy fire, does not allow this, or if surprise is aimed at, a line can be laid down beyond which the vehicles may not go.
    113.
    The armored personnel carriers remain, as a rule, in the assembly positions. If the troops are dismounted beforehand, the vehicles usually remain where the troops dismount. Often the regimental commander must allot motor parks for the vehicles in order to prevent concentration of vehicles and interference with the movements of other units, especially tank units.
    123.
    As soon as the enemy antitank defense has been crushed, the battalion commander orders vehicles to move up. The attack is continued until the vehicles arrive. Unarmored motorized infantry will bring up their vehicles only when the enemy fire allows.
    124.
    When motorized infantry follow tank units, they usually assemble behind the tanks, mounted on their vehicles. The motorized infantry should move out of their assembly position in the formation in which they are to follow the tank attack. If the ground does not allow this, a short halt must be made after they have left the assembly position.

    .

    .

    ~

    .

    .

    The Russian Army.
    "... the Red Army stood in 1941 as the most formidable anvil
    that had ever been struck by an attacker."

    - R.H.S. Stolfi

    .

    Unofficial Red Army flag, 
since the Soviet ground forces 
never had an official flag The Red Workers' and Peasants' Army, or just the Red Army, was the armed force organized by the Bolsheviks during the Civil War in 1918-1922. ("Red" refers to the blood of the working class in its struggle against capitalism.)

    By the time of the German invasion in June 1941 the Red Army was roughly twice the size it had been in September 1939, but was sorely unprepared for war. "With approx. 20,000 tanks , 15,000 combat aircraft and huge reserves of tough peasant riflemen politically indroctinated by a meticoulously organized political party, the Red Army stood in 1941 as the most formidable anvil that had ever been struck by an attacker." (- R.H.S. Stolfi)

    Expansion of the Russian army :
    December
    1940
    January
    1941
    infantry divisions
    motor. infantry divisions
    cavalry divisions
    tank divisions
    airborne brigades
    152
    10
    26
    18
    12
    198
    31
    13
    61
    16
    men
    4,207,000
    5,373,000

    .

    The British troops fled 
before the Germans to Dunkirk, 
1940 Hitler in Paris Left: Allied evacuation in Dunkirk,26 May – 4 June 1940. At Dunkirk the Allies suffered 11,000 dead and 40,000 captured and lost 50,000 vehicles (including tanks).
    Right: Hitler and his generals tour Paris in 1940. Defeated France was divided into a German occupation zone in the north and west and a "free zone" in the south.

    The spectacular successes the German army achieved in 1940, when they employed blitzkrieg tactics to vanquish the British and French armies with unprecedented ease, both astonished and frightened the Russian generals.

    The first months of the war [with Germany] saw major Russian defeats as German forces trapped hundreds of thousands of Red Army soldiers in vast encirclements, causing severe loss of tanks and artillery. The Red Army suffered heavy casualties as a result of poor levels of preparedness, whose primary causes were inadequate officers, as a result of the purges, disorganization as a result of a partially completed mobilization, and the reorganization the Army was undergoing.

    Russian prisoners Photo: Russian prisoners in 1941.
    During the subsequent German–Soviet War, millions of Russian prisoners of war were taken. Some of them were executed in the field by the German forces, died under inhuman conditions in prisoner-of-war camps and during ruthless death marches from the front lines, or were shipped to Nazi concentration camps for extermination.

    After the capture of Smolensk almost all the German generals involved in Russian campaign, argued in favor of continuing the all-out drive toward Moscow. Besides the psychological importance of capturing the enemy's capital, the generals pointed out that Moscow was a major center of arms production and the center of the Soviet communications and transportation system.
    But Hitler was adamant, and issued a direct order to Heinz Guderian, bypassing his commanding officer von Bock, to send Army Group Centre's tanks to the north and south, temporarily halting the drive to Moscow.

    .

    .

    Russian High Command in 1941.

    .

    Stalin and Molotov A week after the invasion of Russia by the Nazi Germany, Joseph Stalin activated State Committee of Defense (Gosudarstvennyj komitet oborony, or GKO), a five-man body reminiscent – probably not coincidentally - of the 1918 Politburo, with himself as chairman and Molotov as deputy. (See photo -->)
    The necessity of creation of the organ were motivated by a complicated situation at the front-lines that required more dictatorial form of government (centralized to a maximum degree). A special decree concentrated the full power of the state in the hands of the GKO.

    On 23 June 1941 was established by the top secret decree signed by Joseph Stalin the Headquarters of the Supreme Main Command of Armed Forces (Stavka Verkhovnogo Glavnokomandovaniya, or STAVKA).
    Timoshenko and Stalin According to this decree STAVKA composed of Joseph Stalin (Supreme Commander), General Zhukov (Deputy Supreme Commander), Marshal Timoshenko (Commissar of Defence), and few others.

    Photo: Timoshenko (left) and Zhukov (right).
    Zhukov conducted military operations with dogged determination. Although there was little finesse in his operations, he skillfully employed the Russian army as the club it was to its full operational effect. He earned fame for his successful defense of Leningrad in September 1941 and for organizing the counteroffensive at Moscow.
    "His sheer force of will, tempered by occasional ruthlessness and utter disregard for casualties, sustained the Red Army during its costly trial by fire during the initial period of war, steel its defense of Leningrad and Moscow, inspired it as it embarked on its offensive path from late 1942 through 1944, and ultimately helped propel it to victory in 1945." (- David Glantz).

    .

    GKO
    (Gosudarstvennyj komitet oborony)
    State Committee of Defense

    Chairman - Joseph Stalin
    Deputy Chairman - Vyacheslav M. Molotov (Commissar of Foreign Affairs)
    - - - - - - - Secretary - Georgy M. Malenkov (a senior Party leader, Aviation Industry)
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Member - Lavrentiy E. Beria (Chief of the Commissariat of Internal Affairs, NKVD)
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Member - General Kliment E. Voroshilov

    STAVKA
    (Stavka Verkhovnogo Glavnokomandovaniya - or - STAVKA)
    Headquarters of the Supreme Main Command of Armed Forces

    Supreme High Commander - Joseph Stalin
    Deputy Supreme Commander - General G. Zhukov
    - - - - - - - - Chairman - General S.K. Timoshenko (Commissar of Defence)
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Member - Molotov (Commissar of Foreign Affairs)
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Member - General Kliment E. Voroshilov
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Member - General M.S.Budenny
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Member - General B.M. Shaposhnikov
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Member - N.G. Kuznietzov (Commander of the Navy)

    General Staff of the Army

    Chief - General B.M. Shaposhnikov
    (He resigned due to ill health in May 1942)
    Chief - General A.M. Vasilevski

    .

    .

    Russian fronts and armies defending Moscow in 1941.
    Order of Battle

    .

    Western Front - Col. Gen. Konev
    Bryansk Front - Ltn. Gen. Yeremenko
    Reserve Front - Marshal Budennyi

    .

    General Ivan Konev Western Front - Col. Gen. Ivan Konev (photo --->)
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 16th Army - Ltn. Gen. Rokossovsky
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 38th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 108th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 112th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 214th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 127th Tank Brigade
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 19th Army - Ltn. Gen. Lukin
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 50th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 89th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 91st Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 166th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 244th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 20th Army - Ltn. Gen. Yershakov
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 73rd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 129th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 144th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 229th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 22ndh Army - Mjr. Gen. Yushkevich
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 126th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 133rd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 174th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 179th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 186th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 256th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 29th Army - Ltn. Gen. Maslennikov
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 178th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 243rd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 246th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 252nd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 30th Army - Mjr. Gen. Khomenko
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 162th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 242nd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 250th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 251st Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - Cavalry Group - Dovator
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 45th Cavalry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 50th Cavalry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 53rd Cavalry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - Reserves
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5th Guard Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 134th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 152nd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 126th Tank Brigade
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 128th Tank Brigade
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 143rd Tank Brigade

    .

    General Andrey Eeremenko Bryansk Front - Ltn. Gen. Andrey Yeremenko (photo --->)
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3rd Army - Mjr. Gen. Kreizer
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 137th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 148th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 269th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 280th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 282nd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4th Cavalry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 13th Army - Mjr.Gen. Gorodnianskii
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 121st Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 132nd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 143rd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 155th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 298th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 307th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 55th Cavalry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 141st Tank Brigade
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 50th Army - Mjr. Gen. Petrov
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 217th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 258th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 260th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 279th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 290th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 299th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - Battle Group - Mjr. Gen. Yermakov
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2nd Guard Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 160th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 283rd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 21st Cavalry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 121st Tank Brigade
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 150th Tank Brigade
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - Reserves
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 154th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 287th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 108th Tank Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 42nd Tank Brigade
    .

    Marshal Semyon Budennyi Reserve Front - Marshal Semyon Budennyi (photo --->)
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 24th Army - Mjr. Gen. Rakutin
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 19th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 103rd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 106th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 139th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 170th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 309th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 144th Tank Brigade
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 146th Tank Brigade
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 31st Army - Mjr. Gen. Dalmatov
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 110th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 119th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 247th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 249th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 32nd Army - Mjr. Gen. Wisniewski
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2nd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 8th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 29th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 140th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 33rd Army - Onuprienko
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 17th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 18th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 60th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 113th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 173rd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 43rd Army - Mjr. Gen. Sobennikov
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 53rd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 149th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 211th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 222nd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 145th Tank Brigade
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 148th Tank Brigade
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 49th Army - Ltn. Gen. Zakharkin
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 194th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 220th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 248th Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 303rd Infantry Division
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 29th Tank Brigade
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 31st Tank Brigade

    .

    German Order of Battle, 1941.

    .

    .

    Konstantii Rokossovski Konstantii Rokossovsky
    Commander of 16th Army
    Rokossovsky was born in 1896 in Warsaw (Poland), then part of the Russian Empire.
    American military historian David Glantz writes "Based on their combat records and personal qualities, the most capable and accomplished Red Army Generals .... were Rokossovsky, Vatutin, Malinovsky, and Govorov." He played an important role in the battle of Moscow and in spoiling the German offensive at Stalingrad.
    General Rokossovsky often challenged Zhukov's judgements and criticized his harshness and disregard for casualties. In March 1942 Rokossovsky was badly injured by a shell splinter. It was widely rumored that Valentina Serova was a mistress of Rokossovsky during this time.
    Rokossovsky's reputation as great general grew even more after the gigantic tank battle of Kursk. "Rokossovsky combined outstanding professional ability with self-effacing modesty and a sense of traditional military values. ... dispalyed humanity and compassion for the suffering of the once powerful adversary and the hapless German population." "He never demeaned the dignity of his subordinates and never raised his voice" (- General I. Chistiakov).
    Many German generals regarded him as "the Russian Army's best general."

    Nikolai Vatutin Nikolai Vatutin
    Nikolai Vatutin - "... known early in the war as the 'boy wonder' ... had a well-deserve reputation as the Red Army's most audacious general" (- David Glantz). Many of his colleagues credited him as the architect of the victory at Stalingrad.
    During the battle of Moscow Vatutin halted the German advance at Kalinin. Vatutin was known for keen appreciation for the value of carefull staff work and an audacious enthusiasm for command. Zhukov selected him to defend the most vulnerable sector of front during the battle of Kursk.

    .

    .

    Infantry Divisions.

    Theoretically, Russian infantry divisions were supposed to deploy for combat in 2 echelons across frontage of 8-12 km. In practice, however, they formed single echelon formation with all three infantry regiments deployed abreast on frontages 12-20 km wide to depths of 3-5 km.
    The increasing strength of the army in late 1941 improved the defensive capabilities of infantry divisions. Despite these changes, however, infantry division's battle formation remained rather shallow in 1942. The division defended 12 km front, with two regiments in first echelon, and one in second echelon.
    Stalin's demands for counter-offensive obliged STAVKA (Headquarters of the Supreme Main Command of Armed Forces) to create anartillery reserve by stripping half of the artillery from front infantry divisions. In the long run, the creation of a STAVKA-controlled artillery reserve would add great power to Soviet offensives but in the short run, it greatly weakened the defensive firepower of the infantry units defending the approaches to Moscow.

    Infantry Division in April-June 1941

    Headquarters:
    (5 cars, 6 trucks, 8 special vehicles, 1 field kitchen, 12 riding horces)
    - - - - - - - - - - - Commander
    - - - - - - - - - - - Adjutant
    - - - - - - - - - - - Political Officer
    - - - - - - - - - - - Staff (130 men in seven departments)
    - - - - - - - - - - - Artillery Commander
    - - - - - - - - - - - Divisional Engineers Commander
    - - - - - - - - - - - Chemical Defence Commander
    - - - - - - - - - - - Intendent
    - - - - - - - - - - - Motor Vehicle Support
    - - - - - - - - - - - Divisional Doctor
    - - - - - - - - - - - Divisional Veteniarian
    - - - - - - - - - - - Cash Services
    With the HQ: Court Martial (12 men) and NKVD Special Duty Detachment (36 men)

    Signals Battalion
    Anti-tank Battalion (12 x 45mm guns)
    Anti-aircraft Battalion (8 x 37mm guns, 4 x 76mm guns)
    Reconnaissance Battalion (9 trucks, 10 armored cars, 5 tankettes)
    Motor Transport Battalion (120 trucks)

    Infantry
    Regiment
    Infantry
    Regiment
    Infantry
    Regiment
    Artillery
    Regiment

    and
    Howitzer Regiment
    HQ
    - - - - Commander
    - - - - Deputy Commander
    - - - - Political Deputy
    - - - - Political Department (3 men)
    - - - - Staff (16 men, 7 horses)
    - - - - Supply Depart. (15 men, 3 horses)
    - - - - Command Platoon
    - - - - - - (1 car, 3 carts, 1 field kitchen)
    - - - - - - - Infantry Group (1+11 men)
    - - - - - - - Supply Group (3+12 men)

    Cavalry Reconnaissance Platoon (32 men)
    Infantry Reconnaissance Platoon (52 men)
    Anti-tank Company [6 x 45mm guns]

    Infantry Gun
    Battalion

    - - [6 x 76mm guns, 4 x 120mm mortars]
    - - [3 anti-aircraft MG]
    - - [3 anti-aircraft heavy MG]

    Infantry
    Battalion

    - - - - - anti-tank platoon [2 x 45mm guns]
    - - machine gun company [12 heavy MG]
    - - mortar company [6 x 82mm mortars]
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company

    Infantry
    Battalion

    - - - - - anti-tank platoon [2 x 45mm guns]
    - - machine gun company [12 heavy MG]
    - - mortar company [6 x 82mm mortars]
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company

    Infantry
    Battalion

    - - - - - anti-tank platoon [2 45mm guns]
    - - machine gun company [12 heavy MG]
    - - mortar company [6 x 82mm mortars]
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company

    .

    .

    .

    HQ
    - - - - Commander
    - - - - Deputy Commander
    - - - - Political Deputy
    - - - - Political Department (3 men)
    - - - - Staff (16 men, 7 horses)
    - - - - Supply Depart. (15 men, 3 horses)
    - - - - Command Platoon
    - - - - - - (1 car, 3 carts, 1 field kitchen)
    - - - - - - - Infantry Group (1+11 men)
    - - - - - - - Supply Group (3+12 men)

    Cavalry Reconnaissance Platoon (32 men)
    Infantry Reconnaissance Platoon (52 men)
    Anti-tank Company [6 x 45mm guns]

    Infantry Gun
    Battalion

    - - [6 x 76mm guns, 4 x 120mm mortars]
    - - [3 anti-aircraft MG]
    - - [3 anti-aircraft heavy MG]

    Infantry
    Battalion

    - - - - - anti-tank platoon [2 x 45mm guns]
    - - machine gun company [12 heavy MG]
    - - mortar company [6 x 82mm mortars]
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company

    Infantry
    Battalion

    - - - - - anti-tank platoon [2 x 45mm guns]
    - - machine gun company [12 heavy MG]
    - - mortar company [6 x 82mm mortars]
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company

    Infantry
    Battalion

    - - - - - anti-tank platoon [2 45mm guns]
    - - machine gun company [12 heavy MG]
    - - mortar company [6 x 82mm mortars]
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company

    .

    .

    .

    HQ
    - - - - Commander
    - - - - Deputy Commander
    - - - - Political Deputy
    - - - - Political Department (3 men)
    - - - - Staff (16 men, 7 horses)
    - - - - Supply Depart. (15 men, 3 horses)
    - - - - Command Platoon
    - - - - - - (1 car, 3 carts, 1 field kitchen)
    - - - - - - - Infantry Group (1+11 men)
    - - - - - - - Supply Group (3+12 men)

    Cavalry Reconnaissance Platoon (32 men)
    Infantry Reconnaissance Platoon (52 men)
    Anti-tank Company [6 x 45mm guns]

    Infantry Gun
    Battalion

    - - [6 x 76mm guns, 4 x 120mm mortars]
    - - [3 anti-aircraft MG]
    - - [3 anti-aircraft heavy MG]

    Infantry
    Battalion

    - - - - - anti-tank platoon [2 x 45mm guns]
    - - machine gun company [12 heavy MG]
    - - mortar company [6 x 82mm mortars]
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company

    Infantry
    Battalion

    - - - - - anti-tank platoon [2 x 45mm guns]
    - - machine gun company [12 heavy MG]
    - - mortar company [6 x 82mm mortars]
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company

    Infantry
    Battalion

    - - - - - anti-tank platoon [2 45mm guns]
    - - machine gun company [12 heavy MG]
    - - mortar company [6 x 82mm mortars]
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company
    - - infantry company

    .

    .

    .

    HQ
    (1 car, 2 trucks, 9 carts,
    1 field kitchen,
    1 5-AK radio station,
    27 riding horses,
    5-AK radio station)
    - - - - Commander
    - - - - Deputy Commander
    - - - - Adjutant
    - - - - Political Department (2 men)
    - - - - Staff (9 men)
    - - - - Supply Department (17 men)
    - - - - Staff Battery (93 men)

    Artillery
    Battalion

    - - battery [4 x 76mm guns]
    - - battery [4 x 76mm guns]
    - - battery [4 x 122mm howitzers]
    Artillery
    Battalion

    - - battery [4 x 76mm guns]
    - - battery [4 x 76mm guns]
    - - battery [4 x 122mm howitzers]

    .

    .

    HQ
    (1 car, 13 trucks, 1 field kitchen
    1 5-AK radio station,
    1 radio message receiver)
    - - - - Commander
    - - - - Deputy Commander
    - - - - Technical Commander
    - - - - Political Department (2 men)
    - - - - Staff (9 men)
    - - - - Supply Department (19 men)
    - - - - Staff Battery (110 men)

    Light Howitzer
    Battalion

    - - battery [4 x 122mm howitzers]
    - - battery [4 x 122mm howitzers]
    - - battery [4 x 122mm howitzers]
    Light Howitzer
    Battalion

    - - battery [4 x 122mm howitzers]
    - - battery [4 x 122mm howitzers]
    - - battery [4 x 122mm howitzers]
    Medium Howitzer
    Battalion

    - - battery [4 x 152mm howitzers]
    - - battery [4 x 152mm howitzers]
    - - battery [4 x 152mm howitzers]

    MG = machine gun

    .

    Guards Infantry Divisions.

    Soviet officer Important innovation was the creation of the first guards divisions on September 18 1941. Guards units were an attempt to counter German qualitative superiority by combining the best combat-experienced Soviet troops with the best Soviet weapons and leaders.
    Thus three infantry divisions that distinguished themselves in combat, were awarded the guards infantry division designation.
    By 31 December 1941 the STAVKA had awarded the designation of 1st through 10th Guards Infantry Divisions to the former 52nd, 64th, 78th, 100th, 107th, 120th, 127th, 153rd, 161st Infantry Division. With their 10,670 men and 36 guns (in December 1942) the guards divisions were stronger than their standard counterpart.

    .

    Cavalry Divisions.

    The Russian army relied heavily on 80,000 men (on paper at least) cavalry force, particularly in an offensive role. The cavalry proved capable of operating effectively in difficult terrain and contributed significantly to the Russian army's victory at Moscow.
    The cavalry division consisted of 4 cavalry regiments (with each regiment having 4 cavalry and 1 machine-gun squadron), 1 light tank regiment, and sappers, signal troops, anti-aircraft and anti-tank guns. The cavalry division had 8,968-9,240 men and 7,625-7,910 horses, 64 light tanks, 18 armored cars, and artillery.
    The German army destroyed many Russian cavalry units. The remaining cavalry divisions were reduced to three cavalry regiments, artillery battalion, sappers and signal troops each. Total of 4,200 men. By 31 December 1941 new cavalry divisions were formed, each with 3,470 men only. Between July and December the Russians formed 82-87 new cavalry divisions, many of which were later disbanded as the Red Army rebuilt its tank and mechanized formations. 17 of the cavalry divisions distinguished in combat and were granted Guards status.

    Cavalry Division in June 1941
    Signals Squadron
    Pioneer Squadron
    Horse Artillery Battalion (8 x 76mm guns, 8 x 122 mm mortars)
    Anti-aircraft Battalion (8 x 76mm guns, 2 batteries of AA machine guns)
    Tank
    Regiment
    Cavalry
    Regiment
    Cavalry
    Regiment
    Cavalry
    Regiment
    Cavalry
    Regiment
    64 BT light tanks

    - - Artillery Battery
    - - - - - 4 x 76mm guns
    - - - - - 4 x 45 mm guns

    - - Anti-aircraft Battery
    - - - - - 3 x 37mm AA guns
    - - - - - 3 quadrupled MG

    Machine Gun
    Squadron

    - - - - - 16 heavy MG
    - - - - - 4 x 82mm mortars

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    - - Artillery Battery
    - - - - - 4 x 76mm guns
    - - - - - 4 x 45 mm guns

    - - Anti-aircraft Battery
    - - - - - 3 x 37mm AA guns
    - - - - - 3 quadrupled MG

    Machine Gun
    Squadron

    - - - - - 16 heavy MG
    - - - - - 4 x 82mm mortars

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    - - Artillery Battery
    - - - - - 4 x 76mm guns
    - - - - - 4 x 45 mm guns

    - - Anti-aircraft Battery
    - - - - - 3 x 37mm AA guns
    - - - - - 3 quadrupled MG

    Machine Gun
    Squadron

    - - - - - 16 heavy MG
    - - - - - 4 x 82mm mortars

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    - - Artillery Battery
    - - - - - 4 x 76mm guns
    - - - - - 4 x 45 mm guns

    - - Anti-aircraft Battery
    - - - - - 3 x 37mm AA guns
    - - - - - 3 quadrupled MG

    Machine Gun
    Squadron

    - - - - - 16 heavy MG
    - - - - - 4 x 82mm mortars

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    Cavalry
    Squadron

    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon
    - - - - - Cavalry Platoon

    MG = machine gun

    .

    Tank Divisions and Bigades.

    Each motorized corps was centered around two tank divisions, each authorized 10,940 men and 375 tanks organized in two tank regiments, one motorized infantry regiment, and battalions of reconnaissance, anti-tank, anti-aircraft, engineer, and signal troops.
    The Russians mixed Lend-Lease tanks and Soviet models in its separate tank brigades and regiments. Early Lend-Lease models, however, often earned Russian scorn. The Russian soldiers greetend the western tanks with mixed reactions. For example they nicknamed the General Lee tank the 'grave for 7 brothers.'
    Since Russian industry failed to produce a reliable armored car, the motorcycle was the vehicle of choice in most reconnaissance troops. The Russians used older and obsolete armored cars to form several armored car battalions in 1941. Motorcycles, however were not in short supply and STAVKA had 12 motorcycle regiments in its reserve.

    In place of the unwieldy tank divisions, STAVKA created tank brigades. These brigades were organized around two tank and one motor. infantry battalions. Shortages of tanks led to reduction in the strength of these units.

    Tank Brigade, August 1941
    Headquarters
    Tank Battalion
    Tank Battalion
    Motorized Infantry Battalion
    HQ (2 T26 tanks)

    Light Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (1 T40 tank)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)

    Light Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (1 T40 tank)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)

    Light Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (1 T40 tank)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)

    Medium Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (1 T34 tank)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T34 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T34 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T34 tanks)

    Heavy Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (1 KV1 tank)
    - - - - - Platoon (2 KV1 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (2 KV1 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (2 KV1 tanks)

    HQ (2 T26 tanks)

    Light Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (1 T40 tank)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)

    Light Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (1 T40 tank)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)

    Light Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (1 T40 tank)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (10 T40 tanks)

    Medium Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (1 T34 tank)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T34 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T34 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T34 tanks)

    Heavy Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (1 KV1 tank)
    - - - - - Platoon (2 KV1 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (2 KV1 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (2 KV1 tanks)

    HQ

    Motorized Infantry
    Company
    - - - - - - 9 light MG
    - - - - - - 2 MG
    - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles

    Motorized Infantry
    Company
    - - - - - - 9 light MG
    - - - - - - 2 MG
    - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles

    Submachine Gun
    Company

    Mortar Company
    - - - - - - 6 82mm mortars

    Anti-Aircraft
    Battery
    - - - - - - 3 anti-aircraft MG
    - - - - - - 4 37mm anti-aircraft guns

    Anti-tank
    Company
    - - - - - - 4 45mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - 6 anti-tank guns

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    NOTE:
    The T40 was an amphibious scout tank. It entered production just prior to the outbreak of war. As the need for large numbers of tanks became critical, a secondary non-amphibious variant was designed on the T40 chassis. This design became the T60. Production of the T40 was halted in favor of the T60. Thus only 222 T40s were issued, compared to over 6,000 T60s.

    .

    Tank Brigade, December 1941
    Headquarters
    Tank Battalion
    Tank Battalion
    Motorized Infantry Battalion
    HQ

    Light Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (2 T60 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T60 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T60 tanks)

    Medium Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (1 T34 tank)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T34 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T34 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T34 tanks)

    Heavy Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (1 KV1 tank)
    - - - - - Platoon (2 KV1 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (2 KV1 tanks)

    .

    .

    HQ

    Light Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (2 T60 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T60 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T60 tanks)

    Medium Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (1 T34 tank)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T34 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T34 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (3 T34 tanks)

    Heavy Tank
    Company
    - - - - - Command (1 KV1 tank)
    - - - - - Platoon (2 KV1 tanks)
    - - - - - Platoon (2 KV1 tanks)

    .

    .

    HQ

    Motorized Infantry
    Company
    - - - - - - 9 light MG
    - - - - - - 2 MG
    - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles

    Motorized Infantry
    Company
    - - - - - - 9 light MG
    - - - - - - 2 MG
    - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles

    Submachine Gun
    Company

    Mortar
    Company
    - - - - - - 6 82mm mortars

    Anti-Aircraft
    Battery
    - - - - - - 3 anti-aircraft MG
    - - - - - - 4 37mm anti-aircraft guns

    .

    .

    ~

    .

    .

    Operation Typhoon.
    The capture of Moscow was seen by the German High Command
    as vital to the success of the whole Russian campaign.

    .

    Hitler, Brauchitsch
and Halder Photo: Hitler (center) and two generals of OKH: Brauchitsch (left) and Halder (right). Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch was the chief of Army High Command. He played a key role in the victorious campaign against the French and British forces during the Invasion of France in 1940 and for his part was promoted to field marshal.
    The General Staff was under Colonel-General Franz Halder. For his role in the planning and preparing of the invasion of Poland in 1939 Halder received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

    "The OKH and Army Group Center staff took Hitler's guidance and developed the operational plan for Operation Typhoon, one of the largest German offensive operations of the war. Initially von Bock hoped to begin the Typhoon offensive in mid-September but delays in redeploying the panzer groups, rainy weather and logistical problems resulted in its being delayed several times. ( Robert Forczyk - "Moscow 1941", p 12 )

    "As early as 20 September, Konev reported the German preparations for an offensive ... Only 45 of Konev's 4779 tanks were new models ... The available tanks and other weapons were widely dispersed, and a continuing shortage of motor vehicles gave the defenders far less maneuverability than the attackers. The mobility differential was immediately evident when operation Taiphun (Typhoon) began on 2 October." ( David Glantz - "When Titans clashed" p 79 )

    "Between 22 and 28 September, Bock occupied himself with inspection tours of his reinforced Army Group Center. Accompanied by Kesselring, he flew several times over the Russian countryside, ranging far into enemy territory. On one occasion, Bock and Kesselring, guarded by fast fighter planes, flew over the city of Moscow. Bock saw that the Russians had erected formidable fortifications in a semicircular fashion in front of Moscow. ...
    On 29 September, Bock held a conference of his senior commanders, Strauss, Hoth, Kluge, Weichs, Hoepner, Guderian, and Kesselring. The conference had an atmosphere of grim determination rather than confidence. The optimism of earlier days was gone. Bock, however, drove home his point. Moscow must be taken by 7 November, before the onset of Russian winter." ( Alfred Turney - "Disaster at Moscow" pp 87-88)


    German motorized infantry and tanks in Russia in 1941.

    Map: Deployment of troops before the battle of Moscow, September 29 - October 1

    .


    Map: Deployment of troops before the battle of Moscow, September 29 - October 1

    .

    .

    ~

    .

    .

    German Offensive.
    "The German breakthrough was so sudden
    that streetcars were still running in Orel
    when 4th Panzer Division rolled in."

    .

    Field Marshal von Bock's plan was to be a double-pincer performed around the Russian Western Front (General Konev) and Reserve Front (Budennyi) located around Vyazma. This was to be followed by a single-pincer around the Bryansk Front (General Yeremenko) to capture the city of Bryansk.

    On the Russian side many defenders were seriously lacking in combat experience and some critical equipment (such as anti-tank weapons), while their tanks were obsolete.

    "Early on the morning of 30 September 1941, Field Marshal von Bock's three panzer armies launched a tremendous attack on the Russian defences guarding the approaches to Moscow. From the south and northwest, endless columns of German vehicles roared and rumbled across the rugged countryside on a front more than 400 miles wide. The weather was perfect; the sun shone with the golden pallor of a Russian autumn. German Stukas and low-flying bombers struck ahead of the advancing columns, bombing Russian defenses, known troop concentrations, airfields, towns, and cities. ( Alfred Turney - "Disaster at Moscow" p 92)

    German artillery The German tanks, armored vehicles, and infantrymen very boldly followed a powerful but short artillery preparation with a smokescreen along the front.

    The Germans also launched numerous air strikes that put the Western Front headquarters out of action temporarily. Marshal Buddenyi and his generals and staff officers found themselves in a very difficult situation.

    The 4th Panzer Army (General Hoepner) was able to advance along the weakly defended boundary between the Reserve and Bryansk Fronts, enveloping the southern flank of 43rd Army.
    The 3rd Panzer Army (General Hoth) penetrated between the 19th and 30th Armies of Western Front (General Konev) northwest of Vyazma. Some Russian troops were in disarray.

    German tanks and infantry The two German armored spearheads (3rd and 4th Panzer Armies) pressed forward, linking up at city of Vyazma on 8 October.
    (In 1812 at Vyazma was fought a bloody battle between the Russians and the French, Poles and Italian troops under the command of napoleonic marshals. For more information and maps click
    here.)

    "Konev's deputy, Ltn-Gen. I.V.Boldin, was in charge of the Westren Front counterattack, repeating the role he had performed in June. He was no more successful on the second occasion. Boldin's operational group, consisting of three divisions and two tank brigades, counterattacked the flanks of 3rd Panzer group (Army) on 3-4 October, and attempted to cover the withdrawal of other Western Front units on 6 October.
    The STAVKA had belatedly authorized this withdrawal once the German breakthroughs were apparent, but the Reserve Front lost communications with the headquarters of 24th and 43rd Armies, and Konev's Western Front headquarters soon lost contact with Boldin. In the ensuing desperate struggle, most of the 19th, 20th, 24th, and 32nd Armies, as well as much of Boldin's operational group, were encircled west of Vyazma." (David Glantz - "When Titans clashed" pp 79)

    The surviving elements of the Western (Konev) and Reserve (Budennyi) Fronts fell back to the new defensive line near Mozhaisk and Kaluga. German 9th and 4th Armies had difficulty in containing this pocket in the face of repeated Soviet efforts to escape. On the night of 12 to 13 October, at least two infantry divisions broke out to the east through a swampy sector.

    The 2nd Panzer (General Guderian) penetrated weak 13th Army of the Bryansk Front by 2 October and pushed on to Orel on the following day. Stalin telephoned Yeremenko to demand acounterattack, but the Bryansk Front had few tanks. Marshal Shaposhnikov (of STAVKA) insisted on a rigid defense of every position, denying Yeremenko the chance to delay the Germans through maneuvering. The Germans pressed on.

    Soviet POWs
    Russian POWs.

    German tanks "The German breakthrough was so sudden that streetcars were still running in Orel when 4th Panzer Division rolled in. The bypassed 13th and 50th Armies, together with the headquarters of the Bryansk Front, were pushed into two large pockets by German 2nd Army. ...
    The Germans were finally slowed by a combination of adverse weather and determined counterattacks. The first snow fell in Army Group Centre's sector on the night of 6-7 October. It soon melted but was followed by the rainy rasputitza (literally time without roads), a period of mud that strikes Russia each spring and fall as the seasons change. German mechanized units used up motor fuel at 3 times the rate they had planned. ...
    Even before poor weather arrived, however, a series of Soviet counterattacks along the entire front helped stabilize the situation. Perhaps the most effective of these blows fell on Guderian's 4th Panzer Division as it approached Mtsensk on 6 October. Here two Soviet officers who later gained fame as superb battlefield commanders cooperated to ambush the Germans. Majo-General D.D.Leliushenko's 1st Guards Rifle Corps had rushed to the scene to block the advance of 2nd Panzer Group (Army). Leliushenko's troops included two tank brigades, the 4th and 11th, and two airborne brigades, the 10th and 201st of 5th Airborne Corps, flown to a nearby airfield.
    Katukov Colonel M.E.Katukov's 4th Tank Brigade, equipped with newly produced T-34s, displayed a tactical ability that the invaders had not encountered before. ... By the end of the day, most of 4th Panzer Division's armor had been reduced to smoking hulls. This shock to 2nd Panzer Group (Army) was so great that a special investigation was conducted. Even Guderian grudgingly acknowledged that his opponents were learning. But it was a near-run race." (David Glantz - "When Titans clashed" p 81)

    Zhukov Stalin sent Zhukov (photo -->) from Leningrad to the threatened sector, making him commander of the Western Front on 10 October. Zhukov had to plead with Stalin to keep Konev as his deputy in order to maintain continuity and morale in the headquarters.

    On October 12th, von Bock received an order from German Supreme Command: "The Führer has reaffirmed his decision that the surrender of Moscow will not be accepted, even if it is offered by the enemy."

    In Moscow the initial reaction to the disaster was to deny that any German breakthrough had occured and to search for scapegoats. Once the enormity of the danger sank in, Stalin came close to panic. On 13 October he ordered the evacuation of the bulk of Communist Party and STAVKA from Moscow to Kuibyshev, leaving only skeleton staffs behind. The news of this evacuation, in combination with repeated German air raids, produced near-panic in Moscow on 16 to 17 October. Only the announcement that Stalin himself remained in the city stilled the panic."

    Zhukov badgered Stalin into aproving a series of counterattacks on advancing German forces. One such attack by Battle Group Belov against Guderian's right flank, caught the German 112th Infantry Division with no anti-tank guns that were effective against the attacking T-34s. The German infantrymen panicked and fled, an event almost unprecedented in the German Army.

    Mongolian cavalry The "44th Mongolian Cavalry Division, was committed southwest of Klin in a mounted counterattack across an open, snow-covered field. Two thousands cavalrymen and their horses were cut down by artillery fire and machine guns of German 106th Infantry Division, which suffered no casualties. ...
    While Zhukov's spoiling attacks continued, the ground had frozen hard, and von Bock's Army Group Centre resumed the offensive on 15 November. ... In the north, where General Hoth's redesignated 3rd Panzer Army posed the most immediate threat to the Russian capital, a desperate fight developed for control of the highway running from Kalinin through Klin to Moscow. (David Glantz - "When Titans clashed" pp 84-85)

    German tanks in Russia The 2nd Panzer Army (General Guderian) resumed the offensive on 18 November. Kluge's XIII Corps was supposed to support Guderian's attack against Tula by capturing Serpukhov, but to Guderian's disgust, von Kluge only allowed this corps to send patrols out. (Kluge commanded the 4th Army.)

    Many Soviet divisions and brigades were mere skeletons. The 108th Tank Division, for example, was down to 15 out of 217 authorized tanks !

    The Soviet 50th Army, defending the city of Tula, "launched counterattack after counterattack against Guderian's front and flank. With temperatures well below freezing and troops running out of fuel, ammunition, and functioning vehicles, the German advance slowly shuddered to a halt. Guderian repeatedly asked that the offensive be canceled, but no one in OKH had the authority to take such an action without Hitler's consent. Dogged Soviet defenses did as much to stop the Germans as did bad weather and poor supply lines." (David Glantz - "When Titans clashed" pp 85)

    Moscow itself had been turned into a fortress with 600 km of anti-tank ditches being dug, and some 30,000 firing points. Between 100 and 120 trains provided the city with what was required on a daily basis.

    German motorized troops in Russia in December 1941
    December 1941. The weather began to give serious problems
    to the German motorized troops during their advance on Moscow.

    Map 1 (detailed): Battle of Moscow 1941. German offensive.

    Battle  of Moscow.
German offensive.

    Map 2 (general): Battle of Moscow 1941. German offensive.

    Battle  of Moscow.
German offensive.

    Map of Battle of Tula.
    First German Attacks in 30 October - 1 November 1941.

    .

    The 2nd Panzer Army (General Heinz Guderian) broke through the 26th Army and moved up towards Tula, approx. 175 km south of Moscow.

    Eberbach Battle Group (60 tanks, motorized infantry, artillery) reached the outskirts of the city on 29 October.

    On 30th October Eberbach Battle Group began assault on the southern approaches to Tula. The German tanks attacked with one company of infantry of 3rd Panzer Division in halftrucks, supported by several companies of truck-borne infantry from the elite Gross Deutschland Regiment.

    Once the German infantrymen dismounted, they were pinned down in the open fields automatic weapon fire and could not advance.

    Artillery and especially air support were minimal and the tanks could not advance into the city unsupported. The German infantry suffered heavy losses and Eberbach called off the attack.

    In the night the 32nd Tank Brigade arrived and joined the defenders of Tula. This unit was followed by three infantry divisions. Guderian's best chance of capturing Tula had failed.

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    Russian Counteroffensive.

    .

    Moscow December 1941.
Troops going to front. Although the offensive had been stopped, German intelligence estimated that Russian forces had no more reserves left and thus would be unable to stage a counteroffensive. This estimate proved wrong.

    The Soviet winter campaign began on 5 December 1941.

    Konev "The 29th and 31st Armies of Konev's newly formed Kalinin Front attacked from the northern side of the bulge. The following day, 30th and 1st Shock Armies struck from positions north and south of Dmitrov on the Volga-Moscow Canal. By noon of 7 December, advanced Soviet units were overruning the headquarters of LVI Panzer Corps outside Klin.
    Zhukov Thereafter Zhukov (photo) sent three additional armies (20th, 16th, and 5th) into the attack against the southern side of the Klin Bulge, seeking to encircle all of 3rd Panzer Army as well as the XLVI Panzer Corps of 4th Panzer Army. ...
    In the south similar pincer movement was attempted against Guderian's 2nd Panzer army. Belov's Cavalry-Mechanized Corps immediately cut off the lead German elements near the tip of the Venev bulge, while an attack from Boldin's 50th Army at Tula overran one battalion of the elite Grossdeutschland Regiment.
    From the first day of the Soviet counterattack, Guderian began withdrawing back to the line of the Don River, southeast of Tula, because his line of communications was threatened by Belov.
    Soviet ski troops Soviet ski battalions harrassed the German withdrawal in the snow, but the Soviet main forces were too weak and immobile to encircle the bulge completely before the Germans escaped. (David Glantz - "When Titans clashed" pp 89)

    By 16 December the Army Group Center's commander, von Bock, made a request for authority to withdraw and adjust positions as necessary. Late that night, Field Marshal von Brauchitsch, chief of OKH, and General Halder, chief of the General Staff, explained the situation to Hitler. Hitler however insisted that a withdrawal was out of the question. On 18 December von Bock surrendered his command to Field Marshal von Kluge. Hitler ordered Army Group Center to use 'fanatical resistance' to stem the tide until reinforcements could arrive.

    By 1 January 1942 the Russians had retaken Kalinin and Kaluga and were besieging a series of German strongholds, some of which had already been bypassed and surrounded. On 7 January, Stalin ordered a general offensive along the entire front.

    Soviet cavalry. The Kalinin and Western Fronts attacked Vyazma. The cavalry led by Belov played an important role in the exploitation into the German rear.

    The threat to the Group Army Center was real, as a gaping hole existed in German line south of Kaluga. Within days Belov's cavalry raced through this hole into Germans' rear and toward Vyazma. The Russians retook Mozhaisk but thereafter the weather was so bad that their advance toward Gzhatzk took place at a snail's pace. Only the 33rd Army was able to reach Vyazma. The advance of 33rd and 43rd Armies was assisted by airborne drops.

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    Aftermath.

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    Photo: German POWs in winter 1941.

    Hitler was infuriated with the performance of his generals in failing to capture Moscow and by their inability to stop the Soviet Counteroffensive. He relieved Field Marshal von Brauchitsch as Commander-in-Chief of the army and Field Marschal von Bock on 19 December.

    Both German and Russian losses have been a subject of debate. David Glantz in his book "When Titans Clashed", gives Russian casualties at 658,279 for the defense phase alone, plus 370,955 for the winter counteroffensive until Jan 7 1942. The Moscow Encyclopedia (publ. in 1997) gives 145,000 German and 900,000 Russian casualties for the defensive phase, and 103,000 German and 380,000 Russian casualties for the counteroffensive until January 7 1942.

    "The primary reason that Operation Typhoon failed was serious German operational mistakes, combined with a logistic system that was not up to the task. The critical operational mistakes were:

          1.
          Hitler and the OKH's failure to weight the main effort to seize Moscow, in that they maintained simultaneous offensives in the other two army groups that deprived Army Group Centre of vital reinforcements and supplies
          2.
          Guderian failed to seal off the Briansk and Trubchevsk Pockets,
          which allowed thousands of Soviet troops to escape to Tula
          3.
          the OKH's dilution of the main effort by directing 9th Army and part of 3rd Panzer Army to advance northward towards Kalinin and 2nd Army to advance towards Kursk.
          4.
          von Kluge's deliberate disobedience in not supporting the second phase of Typhoon
          5.
          von Bock's removal of virtually all of 3rd Panzer Army's infantry divisions in order to reinforce the operationally useless fighting around Kalinin
          6.
          Reinhardt's failure to maintain an adequate mobile reserve to safeguard his vulnerable left flank
          7.
          the diversion of Luftwaffe assets to other fronts just as Typhoon was approaching success deprived Army Group Centre of vital close air support
          8.
          von Bock's operational plan for a double envelopment ignored the shortage of fuel, distances, and terrain involved and weather conditions. In essence, Typhoon was a flawed plan, executed poorly and only initially successful due to gross ineptitude of the Red Army. Althought the Soviets like to claim that they stopped the German offensive, the performance of the Red Army against Typhoon was generally weak. Despite the fact that the Western Front had established a fortified line reserves, Army Group Centre penetrated the Soviet front line at multiple points and encircled the bulk of the Western and Biansk Fronts in a week. Other than a few examples of small units putting up stout resistance, most Soviet units ran away or collapsed in front of the blitzkrieg. General Boldin's defense of Tula was the only major Soviet defensive success during Typhoon." ( Robert Forczyk - "Moscow 1941" p 92)

    Here is an interesting comment from one of our vistors, Ben W.,
    "I like your article on the battle of Moscow, but I would like to offer a few opinions on the operation and
    why it went wrong that are slightly different than what is written in your article. I would like to address
    them in order of the bullet points you made.
    - the German doctrine has a huge emphasis on weighting the main effort, and while it may not have been weighted as much as would have been favorable, I think a seasoned historian could point out Army Group Center as the schwerpunkt of the operation. It had 3 panzer armies in it. I agree that it could have been weighted a little more though.
    - Guderian did in part did fail to seal up the pocket at Bryansk, but he also had only 1 panzer army tired from all the maneuvering it did to encircle Kiev and then come back north. Even so it probably did a lot of damage to the Soviets even if the pocket was not complete. I do not think his performance could improve drastically.
    - I would say diluting the main effort further by making the operation eccentric instead of concentric was bad so I agree on your third point
    - dealing with Kluge's disobedience I would point out how much the German doctrine stressed independent commanders, and was very forgiving in terms of breaking orders so disobedience was not uncommon, Guderian if I recall did retreat before ordered and was sacked
    -Bock's removal of infantry divisions was bad because it dilutes the main effort
    -I think losing the Luftwaffe support was a substantial blow because air power really helped German operations in those early years of the war, but the main effort was still in the armored divisions
    - von Bock's plan may not have been good, but it was a typical German plan involving aggressive maneuvering to annihilate the enemy field army and it is hard to get an army rooted in such traditions to change, and it was executed quite well, Vyazma was a can of whoop- ass, it did ignore a lot of factors, but not executing it would contradict everything the German officers were taught about the will and genius of the commander being supreme, logistics were not emphasized in their doctrine
    - finally, while I agree weather is exaggerated in accounts of operation typhoon, I think the battle had a definite chance of being a German victory without its occurrence, I mean very shortly after the Bryansk and Vyazma encirclements happened, the rain started, which turned the already over-burdened roads to mud, and this crippled their mechanized movement important to the double envelopment of Moscow. I mean I don't see too many reasons except for logistics perhaps as to why they could not just do another massive envelopment without weather interfering The winter also certainly didn't help because the Germans had no winter supplies or clothing while the Soviets did. The cold wasn't the problem, the lack of mobility was."

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    Popular Russian "Shpagin Machine Pistol" PPSh 41
    nicknamed Pah-Pah-sha or Burp Gun.
    It was developed in mid-1941 and already produced in the last months of that year.
    The PPSh was an inexpensive weapon and very low-maintenance in combat settings.
    It was admired by Soviet soldiers for its low recoil and lethality at close range.
    The captured PPSh was in particular a favorite weapon of the Germans.

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    Miscallenous.
    "... the Germans evolved a certain pattern of war making from their culture and traditions,
    and especially their geographic position. Other nations, with radically different situations
    evolved different patterns.
    Need to land a huge amphibious foorce on foreign shores ? Call the Americans.
    Interested in deep strikes and consecutive operations on a vast scale of men and
    material ? Study the Red Army in its prime.
    War as means of colonial aggrandizement ? Look to the British."

    (- Robert Citino)

    .

    MG = machine guns

    Organization of German SS "Das Reich" Motorized Infantry Division
    May 1941 - October 1942

    .

    MG = machine guns

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    HQ (+ 4 heavy MG)
    - - - - - - Motorized Mapping Platoon

    Food Service
    - - - - - - Motorized Divisional Quartermaster Platoon (2 light MG)
    - - - Motorized Butcher Company (2 light MG)
    - - - Motorized Bakery Company (2 light MG)
    Supply Train
    - - - 12 Light Motorized Supply Columns (2 light MG each)
    - - - 3 Light POL Supply Columns (2 light MG each)
    - - - 3 Motorized Maintenance Companies (2 light MG each)
    - - - Light Motorized Supply Company (2 light MG)
    Medical Service
    - - - 2 Motorized Medical Companies (2 light MG each)
    - - - Motorized Field Hospital (2 light MG)
    - - - 3 Ambulance Companies (2 light MG each)
    Other
    - - - Motorized Military Police Company
    - - - Motorized Field Post
    - - - Motorized SS "KB" Platoon

    Signals Battalion
    - - - Motorized Radio Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MGs
    - - - Motorized Telephone Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MGs
    - - - Light Motor. Signals Supply Column
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MGs

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    Reconnaissance
    Battalion

    - - - Armored Car Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 24 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - Light Armored Car Platoon
    - - - Motorcycle Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - Motorized Company
    - - - - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 75mm guns

    Pioneer
    Battalion

    - - - Motorized Pioneer Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Motorized Pioneer Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Motorized Pioneer Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Light Motorized
    - - - "B" Bridging Train
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - Light Motorized
    - - - Supply Column

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    Panzerjager
    Battalion

    - - - Self-propelled
    - - - Anti-Tank Company
    - - - (Marders - tank destroyers)
    - - - - - - - 9 75mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    - - - Motorized Anti-Tank
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 9 75mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    - - - Motorized Anti-Tank
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 9 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    .

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    Tank
    Battalion

    - - - - - - Maintenance Platoon
    - - - Staff Company
    - - - Light Tank Company
    - - - Light Tank Company
    - - - Medium Tank Company

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    Motorized Infantry
    Regiment
    Motorized Infantry
    Regiment
    Motorcycle
    Regiment
    Artillery
    Regiment
    - - - Staff Company
    - - - - - - Signals Platoon
    - - - - - - Motorcycle Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG

    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 75mm guns

    .

    Motorized Infantry Battalion
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 75mm guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 28mm anti-tanks guns

    .

    Motorized Infantry Battalion
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 75mm guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 28mm anti-tanks guns

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    Motorized Infantry Battalion
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 75mm guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 28mm anti-tanks guns

    - - - Staff Company
    - - - - - - Signals Platoon
    - - - - - - Motorcycle Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG

    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 75mm guns

    .

    Motorized Infantry Battalion
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 75mm guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 28mm anti-tanks guns

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    Motorized Infantry Battalion
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 75mm guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 28mm anti-tanks guns

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    Motorized Infantry Battalion
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 flame throwers
    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 75mm guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 28mm anti-tanks guns

    Staff Company
    - - - Signals Platoon
    - - - Motorcycle Platoon
    - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - 2 light MG

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    Motorcycle Battalion
    - - - - - - Staff Platoon
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 50mm mortars
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 50mm mortars
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 50mm mortars
    - - - Motor. Heavy MG
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 12 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 6 80mm mortars
    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 75mm guns

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    Motorcycle Battalion
    - - - - - - Staff Platoon
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 50mm mortars
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 50mm mortars
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 50mm mortars
    - - - Motor. Heavy MG
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 12 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 6 80mm mortars
    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 75mm guns

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    - - - Staff Company
    - - - Motor. Observation Comp.

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    I Motorized Artillery Battalion
    - - - - - - Staff Company
    - - - - - - Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 105mm howitzers
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 105mm howitzers
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 105mm howitzers
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG

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    II Motorized Artillery Battalion
    - - - - - - Staff Company
    - - - - - - Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 105mm howitzers
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 105mm howitzers
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 105mm howitzers
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG

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    III Motorized Artillery Battalion
    - - - - - - Staff Company
    - - - - - - Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 105mm howitzers
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 105mm howitzers
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 105mm howitzers
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG

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    IV Motorized Artillery Battalion
    - - - Staff Company
    - - - - - - Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 150mm howitzers
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 150mm howitzers
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 100mm K18 guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG

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    Motorized FLAK Battalion
    - - - - - - Staff Company
    - - - - - - SP FLAK Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 8 20mm anti-aircraft guns
    - - - - - - - 2 quad 20mm anti-aircraft guns
    - - - - - - SP FLAK Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 9 37mm anti-aircraft guns
    - - - - - - Motor. FLAK Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 88mm anti-aircraft guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 20mm anti-aircraft guns

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    Organization of German Panzer Division
    May 1941 - October 1942

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    MG = machine guns

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    HQ (+ 2 light MG)
    - - - - - - Motorized Mapping Platoon

    Food Service
    - - - Motor. Quartermaster Platoon
    - - - Motor. Butcher Company
    - - - Motor. Bakery Company
    Supply Train
    - - - 12 Light Motor. Supply Columns (2 light MG each)
    - - - 3 Light POL Supply Columns (2 light MG each)
    - - - Light Motor. Supply Company (2 light MG)
    - - - 3 Motor. Maintenance Companies
    Medical Service
    - - - 3 Motor. Medical Companies (2 light MG each)
    - - - I, II and III Ambulance Column
    Other
    - - - Motor. Military Police Platoon (2 light MG)
    - - - Motor. Field Post Office

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    Self-Propelled Inf.
    Support Company
    - - - - - - - 6 self-propelled 150mm support guns
    - - - - - - - 3 light MG

    Signals
    Battalion

    - - - Armored Radio Company
    - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    - - - Armored Telephone Company
    - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    - - - Light Motor. Signals Supply Column

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    Pioneer
    Battalion

    Armored Pioneer Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 23 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    Motor. Pioneer Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    Motor. Pioneer Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    Motorized "K" Bridging
    Train
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    Light Motor.
    Engineering
    Supply Column
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG

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    Panzerjäger
    Battalion

    - - - Staff Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - Self-Propelled
    - - - Anti-Tank Company
    - - - (Marders - tank destroyers)
    - - - - - - - - - - 6 75mm self-propelled
    - - - - - - - - - anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    - - - Motorized
    - - - Anti-Tank
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 6 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 37mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    - - - Self Propelled
    - - - Anti-Aircraft
    - - - Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 12 20mm self-propelled
    - - - - - - - - - anti-aircraft guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG

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    Motorcycle
    Battalion

    - - - Heavy Armored
    - - - Car Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 37mm
    - - - - - - - - - - 24 light MG
    - - - I Motorcycle
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - II Motorcycle
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - III Motorcycle
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 light MG
    - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 28mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 light MG
    - - - Inf. Support
    - - - Gun Section
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 75mm guns

    Panzer
    Regiment
    Motorized Infantry
    Regiment
    Motorized Infantry
    Regiment
    Artillery
    Regiment
    Staff Company
    - - - Signals Section
    - - - Armored Reconnaissance Section

    Arm. Maintenance Company

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    I Tank Battalion
    - - - Staff Company
    - - - Tank
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 5 PzKpfw IV tanks
    - - - - - - - 10 PzKpfw I, II tanks
    - - - Tank
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 5 PzKpfw III tanks
    - - - - - - - 17 PzKpfw I, II tanks
    - - - Tank
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 5 PzKpfw III tanks
    - - - - - - - 17 PzKpfw I, II tanks

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    II Tank Battalion
    - - - Staff Company
    - - - Tank
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 5 PzKpfw IV tanks
    - - - - - - - 10 PzKpfw I, II tanks
    - - - Tank
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 5 PzKpfw III tanks
    - - - - - - - 17 PzKpfw I, II tanks
    - - - Tank
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 5 PzKpfw III tanks
    - - - - - - - 17 PzKpfw I, II tanks

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    III Tank Battalion
    - - - Staff Company
    - - - Tank
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 5 PzKpfw IV tanks
    - - - - - - - 10 PzKpfw I, II tanks
    - - - Tank
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 5 PzKpfw III tanks
    - - - - - - - 17 PzKpfw I, II tanks
    - - - Tank
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 5 PzKpfw III tanks
    - - - - - - - 17 PzKpfw I, II tanks

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    Staff Company
    - - - Signals Section
    - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - 3 light MG
    - - - Motorcycle Section
    - - - - - - - 6 light MG

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    Motor. Infantry
    Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - 4 150mm guns
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    I Motorized Infantry
    Battalion

    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 28mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    - - - - - - Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 75mm guns

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    II Motorized Infantry
    Battalion

    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 28mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    - - - - - - Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 75mm guns

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    III Motorized Infantry
    Battalion

    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 28mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    - - - - - - Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 75mm guns

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    Staff Company
    - - - Signals Section
    - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - 3 light MG
    - - - Motorcycle Section
    - - - - - - - 6 light MG

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    Motor. Infantry
    Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - 4 150mm guns
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    I Motorized Infantry
    Battalion

    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 28mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    - - - - - - Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 75mm guns

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    II Motorized Infantry
    Battalion

    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 28mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    - - - - - - Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 75mm guns

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    III Motorized Infantry
    Battalion

    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - - 4 heavy MG
    - - - - - - - 18 light MG
    - - - - - - - 2 80mm mortars
    - - - - - - - 3 anti-tank rifles
    - - - Motor. Inf.
    - - - Support
    - - - Company
    - - - - - - Engineer Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 light MG
    - - - - - - Anti-Tank Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 50mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 28mm anti-tank guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 6 light MG
    - - - - - - Support Gun Platoon
    - - - - - - - - - - 4 75mm guns

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    - - - Staff Company (2 light MG)
    - - - Motor. Observation Company

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    Light Motor. Artillery Battalion
    - - - Staff Company (2 light MG)
    - - - Light Munition Supply Column
    - - - - - - 1st Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 105mm light howitzer
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - 2nd Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 105mm light howitzer
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - 3rd Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 105mm light howitzer
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG

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    Light Motor. Artillery Battalion
    - - - Staff Company (2 light MG)
    - - - Light Munition Supply Column
    - - - - - - 1st Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 105mm light howitzer
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - 2nd Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 105mm light howitzer
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - 3rd Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 105mm light howitzer
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG

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    Motor. Artillery Battalion
    - - - Staff Company (2 light MG)
    - - - - - - 1st Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 150mm self-propelled howitzer
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - 2nd Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 150mm self-propelled howitzer
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
    - - - - - - Battery
    - - - - - - - - - - 3 100mm K18 guns
    - - - - - - - - - - 2 light MG
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    EXAMPLES :

    1st Panzer Division
    - - - Signals Battalion
    - - - Pioneer Battalion
    - - - Panzerjäger Battalion
    - - - Motorcycle Battalion
    - II Battalion/1st Panzer Regiment
    - I, II, III/1st Motor. Infantry Regiment
    - I, II, III/113th Motor. Infantry Regiment
    - 73rd Artillery Regiment
    3rd Panzer Division
    - - - Signals Battalion
    - - - Pioneer Battalion
    - - - Panzerjäger Battalion
    - - - Motorcycle Battalion
    - I, II, III/6th Panzer Regiment
    - I*, II, III/3rd Motor. Infantry Regiment
    - I, II, III/394th Motor. Infantry Regiment
    - 75th Artillery Regiment

    * - the I Battalion in half-tracks

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