Yes, Virginia, There Is Someone Who Updates the Website…

Contrary to the longstanding rumor of the untimely demise of the author of the website, several new items were recently added, which may be of interest to the follower(s) of this site:

Tropical-Cap---03Crusher---792

Several items of recently acquired headgear are featured, oddly enough, on the page entitled Headgear.

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I’ve also picked up several uniform items of interest. These include a heavily modified 2nd-pattern wrap for a reconnaissance non-commissioned officer, a pair of 1st-pattern reed-green HBT Panzer trousers and a custom M36 jacket for a reconnaissance officer. These can also be found on the Uniforms page.

Headgear Update

I added some new items to the headgear page…

Black-Enlisted-M43-857s  Enlisted black M43 with factory applied, machine-sewn insignia. Size 56, featuring an Erfurt depot stamp from 1943. I previously owned one of these by the same manufacturer, but it was missing the insignia. The former cap had been “liberated” from Czech film studios by an enterprising American dealer.

Black-Officer-M38-Goldgelb-933s A “salty” M38 black officer overseas cap with golden-yellow soutache. The cap has a name tag sewn into it, as well as featuring a few typical field modification for the officer: Sewing down the upturn along the sides (so it didn’t flop open) and sewing along the top seam (so it did not open up). In addition, it has a typical feature often found in enlisted caps but not seen as often in officer caps: A safety pin along the inside crown to make double sure the cap die not “open up” and present a less jaunty appearance. So far, I have not been able to lash “Ehrich” up with a unit.

Black-Officer-M38-Rosa-910s Another officer black M38, this time with pink soutache. The cap was tailor-made by the firm of Tiller in Vienna and was constructed out of a light cotton material. The cap features the relatively rare officer versions of the Panzer BeVo insignia. It also saw considerable service in the field, as evidenced by the sun bleached seen along the crown seam and along the upturn on the sides.

Black-Panzer-Enlisted-ex-NSKK-920s A late-pattern NSKK cap converted into a Panzer enlisted overseas cap by the addition of army insignia and a pink soutache. The portrait shot shows the cap in wear by the tanker. Originalkly accompanying the cap and image was a photo album that chronicled the membership of the future tanker in the NSKK and his close association with Panzer-Regiment 23 of the 23. Panzer-Division. The cap is unique, not only because of it having been converted, but also because of the addition of the traditions badge from the division. Although there are some discrepancies between the angle of the soutache seen in the postcard image and the actual cap, I believe this might have been due to the resewing of the soutache at some point in time, since there is evidence to suggest that the soutache was originally positioned at a more obtuse angle.

Enlisted-Visor-KavLehrVersuchsAbt-PzSpaeh-917s An enlisted visor belonging to a scout assigned to the 2. (Panzer-Späh)/Kavallerie-Lehr- und Versuchs-Abteilung. This was the armored car troop of the cavalry school house in Krampnitz. Note the unusual size!

Additional Errata

Page 118: Alert reader Paul from the UK has provided additional information for the section concerning “Higher Commands,” specifically the Fallschirm-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 12 and 11.

Both your narrative and the organizational diagram describes this unit as having 5 companies, one of Panzerspähwagen and three of SPW’s, plus a supply company.

This has always struck me as an odd organization for an airborne corps, in so much that Fallschirmjäger (excepting the HG Division of course) were fundamentally infantry, whereas the reconnaissance battalion as described is effectively an armored one and issued armored vehicles. It does not not add up, even though the diagram is German WWII and shows that situation.

As it happens, I have had some recent correspondence with a gentleman, who has researched this formation quite deeply and his research has yielded an entirely different unit structure and one that makes more sense, particularly with regard to the infantry versus armor comments above.

The data are compiled from US Army POW interrogations of personnel who had been assigned to Fallschirm-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 12 and had been captured in Normandy, they stated that the battalion had the following organization:

  • Headquarters: 1x 6×6 Italian Armored Car, 3x Italian B4 tanks
  • 1st Company (Rifle): 2x VW Kübelwagen, 8x trucks, 3x half-tracks (SPW?)
  • 2nd Company (Rifle):As in the 1st Company
  • 3rd Company (Rifle):As in the 1st Company
  • 4th Company (Light Antiaircraft): 4x 2cm Flak (not verified)
  • 5th Company (Heavy Weapons): 1x 12cm mortar, 2x Pak 40, 12x trucks
  • 6th Company (Maintenance and Supply)

All company commanders are named in these reports, and it is also possible that the half-tracks mentioned might well be something like Kettenkräder for gun towing or something similar.

So, as you can see, there is no commonality between the diagram and your narrative that goes with it and these POW statements. As the airborne corps was essentially infantry, the POW descriptions make much more sense. Their poor levels of equipment do very much reflect units put together in 1944.

Living History: Panzeraufklärungs-Abteilung “Großdeutschland”

Neil Barlow is a reenactor associated with Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung “Großdeutschland” living-history group in the UK. The lads recently had a meet and here are some images, including some taken with a book that is unfamiliar to me. 🙂

Click here to go to the posting on the Odds & Ends page

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It appears that “Scouts Out” meets with the group’s approval.

Errata Redux

An alert reader from the UK has found some additional errata in the book, all of which is annotated on the Errata page. The new additions are highlighted in maroon. For those who have already posted all of the other changes, here is what Paul has submitted:

Page 210: Alert reader Paul from the UK has provided additional information for several photographs. The Puma seen on this page is identified as belonging to the 1./Panzeraufklärungs-Abteilung 2 of the 2. Panzer-Division in Normandy.

Page 212: The Puma in the lower photo is identified as having been assigned to the Stabskompanie of SS-Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 1 of the 1. SS-Panzer-Division “Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler.”

Page 262: Paul from the UK found another incorrect identification on this page. The vehicle identified as a Horch prime mover is actually a Krupp Protze.

Page 285: Paul from the UK points out that the Puma seen on this page has the turret number 041, which would place it with Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 20 of the 20. Panzer-Division, a  battalion also seen on Page 215.

Page 477: Paul from the UK identifies the trucks seen on this page as “ex-British Bedford 15 cwt MWD trucks, all in good order suggesting a Wehrmacht refurbishment after capture in France 1940, so very unlikely to be SS-Verfügungs-Division France 1940, more likely later in Russia.”