Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Battle for Minsk, 28 June-3 July


So looking at the front of the Soviet 11th Guards Army, here are the orders of battles for the German side. Paul Adair's book, “Hitler's Greatest Defeat” has a good outline of the battle groups formed by 5th Panzer. Still a rough estimate for the Gottberg Gruppe.

German Order of Battle, 28 June 1944

Kampfgruppe von Saucken
--Kampfgruppe von Gottberg group of security and SS units, included: 
          ---Kampfgruppe Anhalt (ad-hoc group of police and security units) 
          ---Kampfgruppe Flörke (ad-hoc unit based on remnants of 14th Infantry Division and others)
          ----Engineer Training Battalion
          ----Eight security, police, and alarm battalions
--Kampfgruppe Mueller [elements, XII Army Corps Commander]
         ----elements of 31st and 267th Infantry Divisions. 11Th Infantry Regiment of 14th Infantry Division

--5th Panzer Division
----13th Panzergrenadier Regiment
----14th Panzergrenadier Regiment
----31st Panzer Regiment [available 1 July]
----505th Heavy Panzer Battalion [attached, 29 Tiger I]
----89th Panzer Pioneer Battalion
----5th Panzer Recon
----Field Replacement Battalion

During the fighting the 5th Panzer formed kampfgruppe of changing compositions but on 2 July, this was their organization:
Kampfgruppe 1 (Krasnoe-Molodechno on 2 July)
--II/14th Panzergrenadier Battalion (halftrack)
--Field Replacement Battalion
--elements of 31st Panzer Regiment
--elements 89th Panzer Pioneer Battalion
Kampfgruppe 2 (Radoshkovichi on 2 July)
--13th Panzergrenadier Regiment
--main body 89th Panzer Pioneer Battalion
--elements of 31st Panzer Regiment
Kampfgruppe 3 (Logoysk on 2 July)
--14th Panzergrenadier Regiment (minus II/14th)
--505th Tiger Tank Battalion
--elements of 31st Panzer Regiment

Infantry companies in 13th and 14th Panzergrenadier Regiments were down to an average of 35 riflemen per company.

The Kampfgruppen of 5th Panzer Division were somewhat fluid as the units were just arriving on the battlefield. The 89th Panzer Pioneer, 5th Panzer Recon, 13th Panzergrenadier Regiment and 505th Tiger Battalion were among the first to arrive and de-train in the Borisov area. Some Panthers of 31st Panzer Regiment also de-trained at Borisov.
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