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ISBN
978-83-61421-29-0

Editor in chief
Roger Wallsgrove

Editorial Team
Bartomiej Belcarz
Robert Pczkowski
Artur Juszczak

Scale plans &
Color profiles
Thierry Vallet

Maps
Radosaw Szewczyk
Robert Panek


Organisation Charts
Radosaw Szewczyk
Dariusz Karnas

DTP
Bartomiej Belcarz
Artur Juszczak

Translation:
Artur Przczek

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Table of contents

Table of contents
Picture Credits
Glossary of abbreviations used in the text:
German military ranks
Introduction
Western campaign
Organizational structure chart of the 9 Panzer Division in May 1940
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Operation Fall Marita


Operation Barbarossa
Operation Blau
Organizational structure chart of the 9 Panzer Division on June 22 1942
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Operation Wirbelwind
Organizational structure chart of the 9 Panzer Division on October 23 1942
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Organizational structure chart of the 9 Panzer Division on July 1943


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Appendices
Appendix No.1 Commanders of the 9 Panzer Division
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Appendix No.2 Operational Assignments of the 9 Panzer Division in the period of


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Bibliography

Picture Credits

Photographs: from the authors collection.
The authors would like to express their gratitude to Sylwester and Sawomir Grojca, as
well as Artur Majewski, for their extensive help in obtaining some of the photographs
used in this publication; and to Pawe Piotrowski for his most valuable consultation and
assistance during the research conducted in his vast library; and last but not least, to
Krzysztof for providing a valuable expertise in German translations.

GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THE TEXT:



Abt. / Abteilung - a military unit equivalent in strength to a battalion; a military
detachment.
AK / Armeekorps - army Corps.
AOK / Armee Oberkommando - army command.
Aufkl. Abt. / Aufklrungs Abteilung - reconnaissance battalion.
Art.Rgt. / Artillerie-Regiment - artillery regiment.
Aufkl.Rgt / Aufklrungs Regiment - reconnaissance regiment.
Ausf. / Ausfhrung - model designation.
BEF - British Expeditionary Force.
Beob.Bttr. / Beobachtungs Batterie - observation (spotting) battery.
Bttr. / Batterie - battery.
Fahr-Schw. - horse drawn squadron.
Fgst. / Fahrgestell - chassis or undercarriage.
gep. / gepanzerte - armoured.
gep. Pi.-Wagen - armoured pioneer (technical support) vehicle.
H.Flakart.Abt. / Heeres-Flakartillerie-Abteilung - army anti-aircraft detachment.
HG / Heeres Gruppe - army (commanding several armies) group.
Inf. Div. / Infanterie Division - infantry division.
Inf. Rgt. / Infanterie Regiment - infantry regiment.
Koluft / Kommandeur der Luftwaffe Armme-Oberkommando - Commander of
Luftwaffe units attached to an Army High Command (responsible for the air
reconnaissance squadrons assigned to the Army, and for coordination of
Luftwaffe-Army logistics arrangements; Koluft commanded Luftwaffe flak
units attached to the army for air defence at the battlefront).
Kp. / Kompanie - company.
Kradsch.Btl. / Kradschtzen-Bataillon - battalion of motorcycle rifles.
KStN / Kriegsstrkenachwelsungen - wartime organization table (military
organizational standard).
KTB des OKW / Kriegstagesbuch des Oberkommando der Wehrmacht - Combat
Journal of the High Command of the Armed Forces.
LSSAH - Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler - Adolf Hitler Guards (regiment).
le. / leichte - light.

Le.Div. / Leichte-Division - light (motorized) division.


leichte Flak-Abt. / leichte Flak-Abteilung - light anti-aircraft detachment.
lePz.Aufk.Kp. / leichte Panzer Aufklrungs Kompanie - light armoured
reconnaissance company.
Oberstlt. / Oberstleutnant - lieutenant colonel.
OKH / Oberkommando des Heeres - Army High Command.
OKW / Oberkommando der Wehrmacht - High Command of the Armed Forces.
mPak / mittlere Panzerabwehrkanone - medium anti-tank gun.
Pi.Btl. / Pionier-Bataillon - pioneer (engineering) battalion.
Pz AOK / Panzer Armee - tank (armoured) army.
Pz.Art.Rgt. / Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment - armoured artillery regiment.
Pz.Beob.Bttr. / Panzer-Beobachtungs-Batterie - armoured observation (spotting)
battery.
Pz.Div. / Panzer-Division tank / armoured division.
Pz.Div. Nachschubfhrer / Panzer-Division Nachschubfhrer armoured division
supply command.
Pz.Gr. / Panzergruppe armoured group command, higher than a corps but lower
than an army.
Pz.Gren.Rgt. / Panzergrenadier-Regiment armoured grenadier (motorized infantry)
regiment.
Pz.Jg.Abt. / Panzerjger-Abteilung - anti-tank battalion, self-propelled tank destroyer
battalion.
PzBfWg / Panzerbefehlswagen - armored command vehicle (command tank).
PzK / Panzerkorps - tank (armoured) Corps.
Pz.Kpfw. / Panzerkampfwagen - armoured fighting vehicle, usually in reference to a
tank.
Pz.Lehr.Abt. / Panzer Lehr Abteilung - training (instructional) tank battalion.
Pz.Nachr.Abt. / Panzer-Nachrichten-Abteilung - armoured signal battalion.
Pz.Pi.Btl. / Panzer-Pionier-Bataillon - armoured pioneer battalion.
Pz.Rgt. - Panzer-Regiment - tank (armoured) regiment.
Pz.Spah / Panzer-Sphwagen - armoured reconnaissance vehicle.
Pz.Spah.Kp. / Panzer-Sphwagen-Kompanie - armoured reconnaissance vehicle
company.
RAD / Reichs Arbeits Dienst - National Labour Service.
RTR Royal Tank Regiment.

Schtzen-Brig. / Schtzen-Brigade - infantry (rifle) brigade.


Schtzen-Rgt. / Schtzen-Regiment - infantry regiment.
SPW / Schtzenpanzerwagen - armoured half-track vehicle.
Sd.Kfz./ Sonder Kraftfahrzeuge - special-purpose motor vehicle, ordinance inventory
numbering.
s.I.G.Kp. (mot S) / schwere Infanterie Geschtz Kompanie (mot S) - heavy field
artillery company, motorized, self-propelled.
STAVKA Supreme High Command (Soviet Army).
StuG.Abt. / Sturmgeschtz Abteilung - assault gun battalion.
WK / Wehrkreis - military, mobilization district.

GERMAN MILITARY RANKS.



Schtze - private.
Oberfunkmeister - Senior Radio-communication Specialist.
Feldwebel - Sergeant.
Oberfeldwebel - Sergeant Major.
Fahnenjunker - an officer cadet.
Unteroffizier - non-commissioned officer
Leutnant - Lieutenant.
Oberleutnant - First Lieutenant.
Hauptmann - Captain.
Oberstleutnant - Lieutenant Colonel.
Oberst - Colonel.
Generalmajor - Brigadier or Major General.
Generalleutnant - Lieutenant General.
General von Infanterie - General of infantry.
General der Panzertruppe - General of armoured troops.
Generaloberst - Colonel General.
Generalfeldmarschall - Field Marshal.

Introduction

The purpose of this publication is to present a chronicle of the German Armys 9
Armoured Division (9. Panzer-division) in the years between 1940 and 1943. This
particular unit was never distinguished by a sobriquet or an alias. It did not have a coat of
arms, so no sophisticated emblems were displayed on its vehicles. Yet noteworthy are the
number of military decorations awarded to the personnel of this armoured division. During
the Second World War 56 soldiers were honoured with one of the highest military
decorations of the Third Reich, the Knights Cross rank of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des
Einsernen Kreuzes). This number is undoubtedly a testimonial to the high effectiveness of
this unit. Among all the recipients of the Knights Iron Cross , four received an even
higher recognition, the Oak Leaves (Eichenlaub zum Ritterkreuz des Eiserner Kreuzes),
and one trooper was awarded Oak Leaves and Swords with his Iron Cross (Eichenlaub mit
Schwertern zum des Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) . The number of awarded
decorations places the 9 Panzer Division in second place among the Wehrmachts
armoured divisions, right behind the 4 Panzer Division with 84 Iron Crosses .
Significantly, 56 also exceeds the number of equivalent medals received by the much
glorified 1 Panzer Division of the SS Adolf Hitler Guards (SS-Panzer-Division
Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler), which earned 54 Knights Iron Crosses.
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The 9 Panzer Division emerged from the transformation of the 4 Light Division, but
the history of the latter will not be covered in this publication.
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The 9 Panzer Division (9 Panzer-division - 9. Pz.Div.) was an Austrian unit. It was


created by means of reorganization and reinforcement of the 4 Light Division (4
Leichtedivision - 4. Le.Div.) formed in 1938, which in turn originated from the Fast
Division (Schnelle Division) of the Austrian armoured forces (Bundesheer). The latter unit
was established in 1935, but it was incorporated into the Wehrmacht, along with the rest of
the Austrian Army, after the annexation of Austria (Anschluss) into Nazi Germany. The 9.
Pz.Div. established on 3 of January 1940 become an heir to the XVII Mobilisation
District (XVII WK - Wehrkreis) with Vienna (Wien) as garrison town. Despite that, the unit
was initially formed in the town of Frankstadt unter dem Radhoscht (Frentt pod
Radhotm) in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, which was also a part of the
same district. Generalleutnant Dr. Alfred Ritter von Hubicki, former commander of the
Schnelle Division and subsequently the 4. Le.Div., remained at the head of the new unit.
The constituents of the 9 Division were mostly the sub-units already in existence;
however, their designations were changed. According to the order issued January 1 1940
the 50 Anti-tank Battalion (Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 50) and the 60 Infantry Division
Supply Command (Infanterie Division Nachschubfhrer 60) became the 50 Tank
Destroyer Battalion (Panzerjger-Abteilung 50 -Pz.Jg.Abt. 50) and the 60 Panzer Division
Supply Command (Panzer Division Nachschubfhrer 60 - Pz.Div. Nachschubfhrer 60).
On the same day, the 9 Reconnaissance Regiment (Aufklrungs Regiment 9 - Aufkl.Rgt. 9)
stationed in Krems, was ordered to join the 9 Division. This regiment, consisting of the I
Battalion (I. Abteilung - I. Abt.) and the II Battalion (II. Abteilung -II. Abt.), was also a
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part of the dissolved 4 Light Division. The same directive applied to the 102 Artillery
Regiment (Artillerie-Regiment 102 - Art.Rgt. 102).
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As the newly organized 9th Panzer Division underwent training, some accidents occurred. The photograph depicts
a damaged truck, Ford G 917 T. A symbol used by the Division at the time -xx, may be noticed on the door of
the vehicle.


A Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. C tank during early divisional exercises. Wooden sticks, reminiscent of a fascine bundle, used
under the tracks to assist the vehicle in negotiating muddy terrain, are visible in this picture.


On February 15, the 3 Company of the 38 Communications Battalion
(3/Nachrichten-Abteilung 38) was expanded into the 85 Armoured Communications
Battalion (Panzer-Nachrichten-Abteilung 85 - Pz.Nachr.Abt. 85). On 22 April, the 86
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Pioneer Battalion (Pionier-Bataillon 86) was reclassified as the 86 Armoured Pioneer


Battalion (Panzer-Pionier-Bataillon 86 - Pz.Pi.Btl. 86). In accordance with the order dated
February 2, the 33 Panzer Regiment (Panzer-Regiment 33 -Pz.Rgt. 33) was created to
form the core of the 9 Panzer Division. The headquarters came from the Panzer Regiment
Conze (Stab Panzer-Regiment Conze), the III Battalion of the 5 Panzer Regiment
(III./Pz.Rgt. 5) became the I Battalion, and the 33 Panzer Battalion (Panzer-Abteilung
33) was renamed as the II Battalion of the newly-created regiment. Each battalion
consisted of three companies, the I Battalion had numbers 1 3, the II Battalion had 4 6.
As of January 1 1940, the 33 Battalion had a total of 75 armoured vehicles: 25 tanks
Panzerkampfwagen I (Pz.Kpfw. I), 33 Pz.Kpfw. II, four Pz.Kpfw. III, four Pz.Kpfw. IV and
nine command tanks Panzerbefehlwagen (Pz. Bf.Wg). The III Battalion of the 5 Panzer
Regiment was formerly I Battalion of the Training Panzer Battalion (I./Pz.Lehr.Abt.); it
had 71 tanks, 24 Pz.Kpfw. II, 36 Pz.Kpfw. III and 11 Pz.Kpfw. IV. In all, the 9 Panzer
Division had 146 combat tanks available at that time.
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Most likely the same Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. C tank. Divisional symbol xx to the right of the drivers visor, as well as
the letter G are evident. It is not quite certain, but such a letter designation could have been used to warrant
the right of way in traffic, on the roads leading to the front. In the back, there is an ammunition tractor Pz.Kpfw. I
(A) Munitionsschlepper (SdKfz. 111).


On February 16, the 9 Rifle (Infantry) Brigade (9. Schtzen-Brigade - 9. SchtzenBrig.) was created to accommodate two infantry regiments joining the 9 Division. Both of
the regiments were previously part of the 4 Light Division. The 10 Mounted Rifles
Regiment (Kavallerie-Schtzen-Regiment 10) and the 11 Mounted Rifle Regiment
(Kavallerie-Schtzen-Regiment 11) were on March 18 renamed the 10 Rifle Regiment
(Schtzen-Regiment 10 - Schtzen-Rgt. 10) and the 11 Rifle Regiment (Schtzen-Regiment
11 - Schtzen-Rgt. 11) respectively. On May 6 1940 the 701 Company of self-propelled
heavy infantry guns (schwere Infanterie Geschtz Kompanie (mot S) 701 - sIG Kp. (mot S)
701) was incorporated into the 9 Rifle Brigade. The company was equipped with selfpropelled guns 15 cm sIG 33 Sfl. auf Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. B, referred to as Bison. The
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vehicles, consisting of 150 mm heavy infantry gun sIG 33 on the chassis of a Pz.Kpfw. I
Ausf. B tank were intended to increase the mobility and firepower of armoured divisions.
Prior to April 22, before the anticipated attack on Western Europe, six such companies
were created according to the KStN 179 (Kriegsstrkenachweisung) organizational
standard issued on March 30.
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A Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. E during exercises in Westphalia on April 2 1940. The xx symbol is painted at the unusual
location, frontal lower hull armour.


Pz.Kpfw. IV tank column during cooperation exercises at the Westphalia proving grounds on April 2 1940.
Location, frontal lower hull armour.


In the spring of 1940, the 9 Panzer Division consisted of:
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9.Schtzen-Brig. including:
Schtzen-Rgt. 10 - garrison St.Plten, including two battalions (I., II.);
Schtzen-Rgt. 11 - garrison Waidhofen an der Thaya, including two battalions (I., II.);
Pz.Rgt. 33 including two battalions (I. Abt. - garrison Wnsdorf, II Abt. - garrison St.
Plten);
Art.Rgt. 102 - garrison Wien, including two artillery detachments (I., II.);
Panzer-Div. Nachschubfhrer 60
Aufkl.Rgt. 9 - garrison Krems, including two battalions (I. Abt., II. Abt.);
Pz.Jg.Abt. 50 - garrison St.Plten;
Pz.Nachr.Abt. 85
Pz.Pi.Btl. 86
By the end of January 1940, the 9 Panzer Division, held as a reserve of the Armys
High Command (Oberkommando des Heeres - OKH) was transported to the region of
Limburg an der Lahn, in Hesse, where the integration process continued. In February, the
Division was relocated to Eifel district in Rhineland-Palatinate. As its organization
progressed, the Division received additional equipment. For instance, in April of 1940 the
33 Panzer Regiment obtained the Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. F tank, chassis number Fgst.Nr.
61023, manufactured at MAN works in Nrnberg. From the beginning of April the
Division was stationed in Westfalen, conducting exercises in cooperation with its units on
the local proofing grounds. In the first days of May, the Division was relocated to the
Dutch border near the township of Goch.
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1 In the time period covered by this publication Jan.1.1940 - Aug.25.1943, 27 soldiers from the 9th Panzer
Division were decorated in such a way.


2 Between Jan.3.1940 and Aug.25.1943, Walter Gorn was the 113th Wehrmacht soldier to receive the
Eichenlaub zum Ritterkreuz des Eiserner Kreuzes, and on Jun.8.1943 r. became the 30th Wehrmacht
recipient of the Eichenlaub mit Schwertern zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzess.


3 de Lannoy F., Charita J., Panzertruppen, Les troupes blindees allemandes 1935-1945, Baveux 2001, p. 154.


4 Tessin G., Verbnde und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 19391945, III Band: Die Landstreitkrfte 6-14, Frankfurt/Main, p.136.


5 During peacetime, it was a I/Panzer-Lehr-Regiment.


6 Panzer Abteilung 33 was also a component unit of the 4th Light Division.


7 Skotnicki M., Cikie dziao piechoty sIG 33, Nowa Technika Wojskowa 10/2002, s. 30-31.

8 Jentz T., Doyle H. L., Panzer Tracts No. 3-2 Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf. E, F, G und H, Boyds 2007, p. 18.

Western campaign

The first military engagement of the new Panzer Division took place during the
operation Fall Gelb, the attack on Belgium, Holland and northern France. Army Group
B (Heeres Gruppe B - HG B), under the command of Generaloberst Fedor von
Bock, was to launch an attack between the coast and the Maas River. The group consisted
of the 6 Army (6. Armee - AOK 6) and the 18 Army (18. Armee - AOK 18) with a total of
29 divisions, including three armoured and one motorised. The operations of Group B
were intended to divert Allied attention from the main assault, and to lure as many
defending forces as possible. The 9 Panzer Division was among the units of
Generaloberst von Bock, serving as part of the XXIV Army Corps (XXIV. Armeekorps
XXIV AK) assigned to the 18 Army. One of its tasks was to invade Dutch territory with
the assistance of paratroops.
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On May 10 1940, at the start of Fall Gelb, the 33 Panzer Regiment had 30 Pz.Kpfw.
I, 54 Pz.Kpfw. II, 41 Pz.Kpfw. III, 16 Pz.Kpfw. IV and 12 Pz.Bf.Wg. tanks, while the 9
Reconnaissance Battalion had 62 armoured cars. The invasion of Holland began with the
attack of German paratroopers from the 7 Airborne Division (7. Flieger-Division) on the
river Mass bridges near Moerdijk. After the surprise attack, their objective was to hold the
bridges until the arrival of the land forces. The 9 Panzer Division advanced from the
border region of Goch Kleve in order to join the airborne units as quickly as possible. In
the morning of May 11, the 9 Division and the supporting SS Combat Division (SSVerfugungsdivision) were able to cross Mass River in Gennep over the railroad bridge, the
only one captured intact. Both German units entered the region of North Brabant
experiencing sporadic opposition from Dutch troops. A bigger challenge was the terrain
configuration, numerous rivers and canals impeded movement of the armoured columns.
In the meantime, the Allies reacted to the German offensive. On the same day, a French
Motorised Division from the 7 Army under General Henri Giraud arrived at Breda. From
there, two groups were dispatched, one of them with the objective to block the German
advance in North Brabant. As a counter-measure to the French move, Generalleutnant von
Hubicki also divided his forces. Half of the 9 Division joined by the SS Division was
directed southwest to intercept the French. The rest of the Division continued an advance
towards Moerdijk in order to relieve the paratroopers. In the afternoon, the French column
reached Tilburg and engaged the enemy. German tanks and motorised infantry, supported
by the Luftwaffe, were able to force the French into a retreat. The success allowed the
German troops to rejoin the main force the following day, May 12. At around six in the
afternoon of the same day, the 9 Reconnaissance Regiment dispatched from the 9 Panzer
Division reached the airborne troops in Zevenbergschen Hoek near Moerdijk by the river
Maas. From that point the German units, grouped together, pressed forward towards
Rotterdam. On the morning of May 13, the 9 Panzer Division began an assault on
Dordrecht, a town along the path to Rotterdam. The exchange of fire with the Dutch
troops lasted until noon, when the defenders surrendered. On the same day, north of
Breda, the 9 Division was reinforced by the LSSAH Motorised SS Regiment (SSRegiment (mot) LSSAH - Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler). On the next morning both
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units reached the region northwest of Dordrecht. Late in the evening of May 13, the
commander of German paratroopers, General Kurt Student, established contact with the 9
Division in the vicinity of the Rotterdam bridgehead. In the afternoon of May 14, the 9
Divisions units were preparing for an attack on the city. The units of Group A
concentrated in the Feijenoord District on the left bank of the river, at the southern
bridgeheads. The Group consisted of the 33 Panzer Regiment tanks and III battalion of
the 16 Infantry Regiment (III./Infanterie Regiment 16 - III./Inf. Rgt. 16) led by
Oberstleutnant Dietrich von Cholitz. Support was provided by two artillery groups and
two pioneer companies. The assault was to commence after a Luftwaffe air strike.
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1 Solarz, Fall Gelb, Warszawa 1999, p. 10 and Jentz T. L, Die deutsche Panzertruppe1933-1942 Band I,
Wlfersheim-Berstadt 1998, p. 121.


2 Stoves R, Die gepanzerten und motorisierten deutsche Grossverbnde 1935-1945, Eggolsheim, p. 69.


3 Stein G. H., Hitlers Elite Guard at War The Waffen SS 1939-1945, p. 64.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE CHART OF THE 9 PANZER DIVISION IN


MAY 1940
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Meanwhile that afternoon, the surrender was being negotiated at Rotterdams port. The
Dutch authorities were almost willing to capitulate. Therefore, an effort was made to call
off the air strike planned for the afternoon. The attempt was not quite successful, as some
of the bombers from the 54 Bomber Regiment dropped their load over the city around 3
oclock in the afternoon. The bombardment caused a multitude of fires that had to be put
out throughout the night. It also influenced the stance of the defenders, so around 5pm the
Dutch units in the city surrendered. On May 15 1940, capitulation was offered by the
Dutch government. On the same day, as the first in the 9 Division, Major Fritz Iwand
from the I Battalion of the 10 Rifle Regiment received the Knights Cross.
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Beginning May 15, despite the Dutch surrender, the 9 Division along with the
LSSAH Regiment was involved in a show of force while marching through the
remaining parts of the country. The intent was to demonstrate German superiority to the
citizens of Holland. The route of the units led from Leiden to Haarlem and Amsterdam,
where a victory parade was held, and then through Utrecht, Arnhem, Nijmegen, Venlo and
Roermond across the Belgian border to Tongeren, where they arrived on May 18. From
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that point, the 9 Division was dispatched to join Army Group A (HG A) near the
Somme River. On May 24 the Division reached Doullens, a township in which Marshal
Ferdinand Foch, commander in chief of the Entente forces, established his headquarters
during the First World War. In the following days, the 9 Division, deployed with the XIV
Motorised Army Corps (XIV AK (mot)), remained in the area of Abbeville and Amiens by
the lower Somme River as a rearguard. The infantry troops were to hold positions in that
sector, while the 9 Panzer Division grouped north of the river, near Abbeville, was
intended as an operational reserve/emergency manoeuvre unit. Before long, a decision was
made to press the Division into front line action, in order to achieve a decisive
breakthrough on the shores of the English Channel.
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At the end of May, the Division was directed north, from Amiens towards Gravelines,
where it arrived on June 1, to join other German units in besieging Dunkirk. Allied units,
mostly remnants of the British Expeditionary Force, were evacuating from the port under
heavy aerial assault by the Luftwaffe. Before the operation at Dunkirk ended, the Division
was moved again to operate in the southern region of France. The concentration point was
once more the German foothold at Amiens.


A group of Allied prisoner taken by the 9th Panzer Division in the region of Dunkirk.


Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. B medium tank destroyed by French anti-tank mine on June 5 1940 near Amiens. The xx
divisional symbol is displayed to the left of the Balkenkreuz. Graves of the crew members are visible behind the
tank.


The new German offensive, code name Fall Rot, was planned for June 5. The 9
Panzer Division was, as before, part of the XIV Army Corps, now assigned to Kleist
Group (Gruppe Kleist) from Army Group B under Generaloberst von Bock. At the
time, 9. Pz.Div. was the only German armoured division to still have just a single, two
battalion armoured regiment. Generalleutnant Alfred Ritter von Hubicki, as early as the
end of the Dutch campaign, voiced a strong complaint about the lack of operational
equipment. Thus the Wehrmachts High Command was concerned that the Division might
not be ready for action in time for the Fall Rot offensive.
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On June 4, the 33 Panzer Regiment received as a replenishment one Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf.
F (Sd.Kfz. 141) tank, chassis number Fgst.Nr. 61401 manufactured at the Henschel factory
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in Kassel, and one tank of the same version with 3.7 cm Kwk cannon, from the MAN
factory, with chassis number Fgst. Nr. 61057. The latter is the highest, so far, identified
chassis number of the Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. F manufactured by that factory.
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The German attack on France commenced on 5 June 1940. As a part of the Kleist
Group, the 9 Panzer Division advanced from the west side of the Somme River
bridgehead near Amiens. The defending French 16 Infantry Division was the opponent.
The advance was preceded by a German artillery barrage which began at 4 oclock in the
morning. Ten minutes after it subsided, the infantry, supported by the tanks, pressed
forward. The first waves of the 9 Divisions troops were brought to a halt by land mines
and very well aimed machine gun and anti-tank gun fire coming mostly from French
positions around the village of Dury. The attack failed. The field guns of the 9 Division,
along with the artillery of the Army Corps, commenced bombardment of the village,
progressively setting homes and farm buildings on fire. The shelling lasted most of the day
with occasional 10 to 15 minute pauses. Ultimately, it destroyed the village. German
artillery also targeted other French strongholds at Rumigny and Hbcourt. The second
onslaught began at 13:00 hours, as the front line infantry attacked Dury and Cagny. Not
much was achieved, nevertheless the Divisional tanks managed to penetrate the flank and
destroy two French 155 mm howitzer batteries. Even so, the remaining French artillery
continued to provide support to the defending units. The effective use of French artillery
was one of the reasons why the German infantry were unable to infiltrate the breach made
by the tanks. The entire area was covered by French artillery and machinegun fire. It was
only on the next day that the Germans, after five attempts, broke through the French lines.
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In the following days, the 9 Division, after penetrating the Weygand defence line,
took part in intense battles near Sains-en-Aminois. The anti-tank artillery proved
particularly successful, while the light anti-aircraft guns from the 94 Regiment of Light
Anti-aircraft Artillery (leichte Flak-Abteilung 94 (mot) - leichte Flak-Abt. 94(mot))
attached to the Division, were also engaged against ground targets near Bosquel . During
the course of the action, Generalleutnant von Hubicki remained at the front line at all
times. On the fourth day of the invasion, June 8, the Division crossed the Seine and
Yonne Rivers and cleared the path to Paris, which in the meantime was declared an open
city. German units entered the French capital on June 14 1940. While in Paris, the
motorised SS Regiment LSSAH was attached to the 9 Panzer Division, still serving at
the time as part of the Kleist Group. Both units moved south, crossing the Oise, Aisne
and Marne Rivers. Many German military cemeteries, remnants of the First World War,
marked the sites along the way. Once the town of Coulommiers was reached, a few
detached combat groups were formed and dispatched south towards Sens and Auxerre to
capture the Loire River crossings.On the afternoon of June 16, the 9 Panzer Division
captured the town of La Charit -sur-Loire, where the French managed to detonate
explosives under one of the bridges. The second one however, was secured intact by the 9
Reconnaissance Regiment. This action allowed them to establish a bridgehead on the other
bank of the river. On the same day, the classified archives of the French General Staff fell
into German hands. The events, as described by Janusz Piekakiewicz, took the following
turn: On that same evening, during a routine patrol at the La Charit railway station
Oberfunkmeister Balzereit from the regimental communication platoon, makes an amazing
discovery in one the railcars of the military echelon; he finds classified documents of the
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French high command. About the same time, in yet another railcar coupled to one of
several freight trains forming a nearly 25 kilometre line up along the La Charite Masvessur-Loire track (trapped there due to Loire bridge destruction), Schtze Kenzer, a trooper
of an adjoining division, discovers another batch of files. The documentation belonged
to Grand Quartier General (French General Headquarters) and Section Interallie du
Gabinet du General Gamelin (Inter-allied section of general Gamelin staff), and contained
classified protocols of the Allied command briefings.
11


An abandoned French light tank Renault FT 17 examined by a group of German officers. French Army insignia
may be noted.


An overturned French armoured artillery tractor Renault UE encountered along the 9. Pz.Div. combat path.


It should also be mentioned that a number of prisoners were taken as the result of the
Loire operation.
On June 17, a detached combat group led by Oberleutnant Edwin-Oskar Dietz from the
I battalion of the 11 Rifle Regiment (I./Schtzen-Rgt 11) under Major Wilhelm Schmalz,
seized the Loire bridge at Nevers in a surprise attack. Both officers were awarded Knights
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Crosses for this performance. Capture of the bridge allowed the 10 Rifle Regiment to
continue its advance towards the south. Meanwhile, the 9 Panzer Division progressed
towards Lyon. The 50 Tank Destroyer Battalion was spearheading the advance and on
some occasions, particularly during battles at Moulins and Lapalisse, protected the flanks
as the Division launched an attack. When Burgundy was taken on June 19, so was the
town of Roanne. At that point, further advance of the Division was brought to an end. It
was transferred to southwest France near Bordeaux. The relocation required a 600
kilometre road march through Montargis and Orleans, the latter was reached on June 22,
then through Poitiers into the Perigord region. The last combat encounter with the
dispersed French Army took place south of Orleans, in the vicinity of Angoulme. On 25
of June the 9 Panzer Division reached the town of Branne in Aquitaine. The troops were
fatigued by combat and intensive marches. Any stops were used for recuperation,
preferably sleep. As the French defence efforts were overwhelmed by the German
onslaught, Marshal Petain proposed a cease fire. By that time, the 9 Division had forced
its way across the Dordogne River in Aquitaine.
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On June 26 1940, the military operations in the west came to an end. The Division
received an order directing it back to Germany. Travelling through Tours, Melun and
Reims, the unit reached the German border. From there, using an autobahn leading past
Munich, it reached its garrison in Vienna. The combat route of the 9 Panzer Division
between the initial engagement in Holland and its return to Vienna, extended some 7,000
kilometres. It is very probable that among all the Wehrmacht units participating it the
Western Campaign, the 9 Division was the one to cover the longest distance. Upon
arrival, the Division was enthusiastically greeted in the Third Reich, particularly in the
town of Ried, located on the old Austro-German border. Stationed in the area of Vienna
and St. Plten, the unit restored its combat readiness, while the new equipment was being
delivered.
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In July, the 9 Panzer Division was co-opted into the XXXX Motorised Army Corps
(XXXX AK (mot)) . On August 1 1940, the structure of the Division was altered. The 9
Reconnaissance Regiment was disbanded. In its place, independent new units were
created: the 59 Battalion of Motorcycle Rifles (Kradschtzen-Bataillon 59 - Kradsch.Btl.
59) was formed in place of the I Battalion of 9 Reconnaissance Regiment (I./Aufkl.Rgt.
9); and the 9 Reconnaissance Battalion (Aufklrungs Abteilung 9 - Aufkl.Abt. 9) replaced
the II Battalion of the 9 Reconnaissance Regiment (II./Aufkl. Rgt 9). The 6 Company of
the retired 9 Reconnaissance Regiment became the 1 Company of the 341
Reconnaissance Battalion (1./Aufkl.Abt. 341) assigned to the 16 Motorised Infantry
Division (16. Infanterie Division (mot) - 16. Inf.Div. (mot)).
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According to the same order, the 102 Artillery Regiment was reinforced with the
mixed heavy III Detachment (III Abteilung), which until this point was the II Battalion of
the 50 Artillery Regiment (II./Art.Rgt. 50) stationed in Lipsig. At the same time the 102
Artillery Regiment obtained the 321 Spotting/Observation Battery - Armoured
(Beobachtungs Batterie 321 (Pz.) -Beob.Bttr. 321 (Pz.)).
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As for the minor changes, the 3 Company of the 86 Armoured Pioneer Battalion
(3./Pz.Pi. Btl. 86) was once again given two light tank platoons of Pz.Kpfw. I and II tanks,
as well as two armoured pioneer vehicle platoons, most likely equipped with half-tracked
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Sd.Kfz. 251 transporters including six vehicles carrying the Do-Werfer 150 mm rocket
launchers (m. SPW mit Wurfrahmen). The support units of the 9 Division were also
strengthened, a third repair company (Werkstatt-Kp.) was added, alongside four light
supply columns (leichte Krafwagen Kolonne) and two motorised heavy supply columns
(Kw. Kolonne (mot)) . The Division remained at its garrisons in Vienna and St. Plten
until the end of August of 1940. In September and October, the entire XXXX Army Corps
along with the 9 Division was transferred to Poland, where it performed various
occupational tasks, probably until the end of January 1941.
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A group of Wehrmacht tank crew and soldiers, probably photographed after the end of the French campaign next
to a Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. F armed with 37 mm cannon. The tanks tactical number 422, as well as the divisional
xx symbols, are evident.


4 Hermann C. H. Die 9. Panzer-Division 1939-1945, Eggolsheim, p. 172.


5 P. P. Battistelli claims that none of the operational units were referred to as a Panzergruppe at the time; this
particular nomenclature was introduced in July of 1941. During the invasion on Western Europe, such
operational units were called Gruppe, even if their combat potential was equal that of an army.
(Battistelli P. P., Niemieckie dywizje pancerne Lata Blitzkriegu 1939-1940, Warszawa 2010, p.11)


6 Solarz J., Fall Rot, Warszawa 2000, p. 8.


7 Jentz T., Doyle H. L, Panzer Tracts No. 3-2 Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf. E, F, G und H, p. 18


8 English J. A., Gudmundsson B. I., On Infantry, Westport 1994.


9 http://www.ww2.dk/ground/flak/abt/le94.html

10 Hermann C. H, op. cit., p. 39.


11 Piekakiewicz J., Cel Pary Kampania 1939-1940, Janki k. Warszawy 2008, p. 213.


12 XXXX AK may be recorded as XXXX or XL. This publication will follow the manner used by G. Tessin XXXX.


13 Tessin G, op. cit. p. 140.


14 Stoves R, op. cit, p. 69.


15 Ibidem.

Operation Fall Marita



In January 1941, the 9 Reconnaissance Battalion transferred its 1 Company of
armoured cars (Pz.Spah) to the 231 Reconnaissance Battalion, where the unit became the
1 Company of the 231 Reconnaissance Battalion (1/Aufkl.Abt. (mot.) 231). At the end of
the month, the troops of the 9 Panzer Division were progressively transferred to Romania
via rail. Amongst other units, the 9 Reconnaissance Battalion began its journey on
February 3 1941. For nearly a month, until February 27, the Division was guarding the
oil fields near Ploesti. The Division was still a sub-unit of the XXXX Army Corps under
General Georg Stumme. The corps was a part of Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Lists 12
Army (Armee-Ober-Kommando 12 - AOK 12). As a result of the political tensions in the
Balkan region, and the anticipated execution of Fall Marita, the invasion on Yugoslavia
and Greece, the 12 Army was ordered to take positions in Bulgaria. As the 9 Division,
moving south through Romania, took a rest in the vicinity of Bucharest in the morning on
February 28, the German engineering units begun construction of bridges spanning the
Danube River near Giurgiu-Ruse, in accordance with the German - Bulgarian agreement.
The work was finished on March 1. On the next day, the 9 Division, along with the other
XXXX Army Corps units, crossed the Danube River and moved down the Shipka valley
to reach the region south of Plovdiv. By March 17, the first and the second wave of the
12 Army, eleven and a half divisions strong, concentrated in Bulgaria. Until March 27,
the 9 Division remained in central Bulgaria. On the 28, it was moved towards the
Turkish-Greek border. From there, it marched towards its designated location to take up
initial positions in readiness for the attack on Yugoslavia, soon to be launched from the
western Bulgarian frontier. The XXXX Army Corps, including the SS LSSAH unit, by
that time enlarged to a brigade, and the 73 Infantry Division (73. Infanterie Division -73.
Inf.Div.) scattered itself in the region of Kyustendil and Upper Dzhumaya (later
Blagoevgrad). It was a primary position for an attack in the direction of Kumanovo,
towards Kriva Palanka -Skopje and Carevo Selo - Veles. The first aim was to cut the
railroad connection between Yugoslavia and Greece. The subsequent objective was an
assault headed for Prizren and Tetovo towards the Albanian border, conducted in order to
connect with Italian forces and isolate Yugoslavian units. At the end of the operation, the
Corps was to turn its main forces south and march towards Greek border through
Monastyr. According to the German air force roster dated April 5 1941, the 1 (H)23
Reconnaissance Squadron equipped with Henschel Hs 126 airplanes was to cooperate with
the 9 Division.
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Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. G tank in Romania, early spring of 1941. The tank unit travels towards its assigned positions.
Tarp covers are placed over the armament to protect it from the dust and dirt of the road march. Their presence
indicates that the unit did not expect any threats during this particular part of the journey.


German vehicles entering a temporary wooden bridge over Danube River in the area of Giurgiu -Ruse at the
Rumanian - Bulgarian border. The structure, constructed by German combat engineer troops, was laid over
barges.


Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. F during the march through Romania. Additional fuel canisters are stored on the turret. Some
spare track links are affixed in front of the turret only for the duration of the journey, in a combat situation they
would prevent the turret from rotating. Next to the drivers visor, a new 9th Panzer Division symbol YII may be
seen. The letter G underneath probably indicates that this vehicle had priority passage rights in traffic en route
to the front, but it is not quite certain, as indicated above. Below to the right, number 4 is painted. On the lower
front panel the Fgst. Nr. 61414 serial number may be seen. It indicates that this vehicle was manufactured at
the Henschel factory in Kassel.


An information sign specifying the capacity of the bridge. This structure, able to withstand the pressure exerted by
up to a 24 ton vehicle, was built specifically for the armoured troops crossing. To the right, there is a wooden
antiaircraft tower.


The 9th Panzer Division units photographed during the crossing of a nearly 1100 meters long Danube River
bridge. An all terrain, crosscountry car, presumably Wanderer W 23 S, is seen in this image.


The crossing continues, as more units follow.


The 9th Panzer Division, Austrian in origin, retained some of the Bundesheer (Austrian Army) vehicles. A crosscountry Steyr 640 with a portable twin anti-aircraft emplacement - Zwillingssockel 36, utilizing the MG 34
machine guns is portrayed in this photograph.


One of the 9th Panzer Divisions Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. F medium tanks after the crossing of the provisional Danube
River bridge.


The same tank on the Bulgarian side, driving over a ramp constructed of tree trunks. An unusual arrangement of
the spare road wheels, and track sections attached to the lower front armour plate is noticeable.


A commemorative photograph taken along with the Bulgarian soldiers.


A roll call of one of the 9th Panzer Divisions units on Bulgarian territory.


A group of the 9th Divisions vehicles in a Bulgarian village. In a forefront there is a cross-country Adler Typ 3
Gd. The line up behind this vehicle consists of: an Opel Super 6 convertible, a cross-country Steyr Typ 250 and a
mittlerer Einheist-Pkw. Kfz. 15, also known as Horch 901. Among the trucks seen in the rear, there are: Ford G
917 T, probably a MAN Typ ML 4500 S, two Opel Blitz 3 ton trucks and one Opel Blitz in the 1 ton version. On
the left, in the background, a captured Czechoslovakian Praga RV and another Opel Blitz may be seen.


This photograph taken March 21 1941, shows the 9th Panzer Divisions column passing through the Roi mountain
pass at 1707 m above the sea level. Austrian Steyr 640 vehicles may be noticed.


Troopers of the same column, during a break in the march through Bulgaria, having a meal at a roadside.


An amateur photograph of a 9th Division tanker riding a donkey, taken against a minaret in the far background.
The snap shot was probably taken in Bulgaria. The Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. E, with spare road wheels and track links
mounted to the lower hull front plate, is of some significance. So is the Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. C visible on the right.
This tank was modified by the addition of external armour at the front of the tank, as well as to the forward
section of the turret. The commanders cupola with eight periscopes was also added. Two petrol cans were
fastened to the turret. The divisional symbol YII is evident on both tanks.


A Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. F with additional armour during a road march in 1941.


9th Panzer Division vehicles before crossing the Yugoslav border. In the forefront from the left, two Pz.Kpfw. III
Ausf. Fs armed with 5 cm KwK (L/42) cannon. Next to them an Ausf. E. The latter is armed with a 37 mm cannon
mounted in the interior gun mantlet.


A campsite established during the transfer. Two HWA 526 D Einhe-istdiesel are alongside a Praga RV truck of
Czechoslovak origin. A symbol reminiscent of a letter M on the right side fender may indicate an ammunition
supply truck of the 102nd Artillery Regiment.


German armoured scout car Sd.Kfz. 222 from the 9th Reconnaissance Battalion on a concrete bridge in Bulgaria.


The relocation of such a mass of people and equipment led to some problems. German military police from the 9th
Division investigates an accident involving a Bulgarian horse team.


Some cross-country vehicles, trucks and tractors of the 9th Panzer Division before the attack on Yugoslavia. The
III Reich flags used for aerial identification are evident in this photograph. From the left: Adler Typ 3 Gd,
Mercedes-Benz Typ 170 VK and a Steyr Typ 250 with an Einheist-Diesel behind it. On the right: rear of a cross
country Mercedes-Benz Typ 170 VK and a m. Zgkw. 8t (Sd. Kfz. 7) semi tracked prime mover.


Spring of 1941 in the Balkans. German tank company at rest. Pz. Kpfw. II and Pz.Kpfw. III tanks are visible in
this photograph.


Operation Marita had begun. Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. F medium tank armed with 37 mm cannon crosses the
Bulgarian Yugoslav border near Kjustendil. At the front of the tank, near the drivers visor, the 9th Panzer
Division symbol is displayed. Spare traction wheels and track links are mounted to the front armour plate.
Gasoline canisters are mounted to the turret.


At the same time, the 86 Light Anti-aircraft Artillery Detachment (leichte Flak-Abt.
86) from the 12 Army (Kommandeur der Luftwaffe Armme-Oberkommando 12 - Koluft
12) was incorporated into the 9 Panzer Division. The Detachment consisted of three
batteries.
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On 6 April 1941, as Fall Marita commenced, the 9 Panzer Division had nine
Pz.Kpfw. I tanks, 36 Pz.Kpfw. II, 22 Pz.Kpfw. III with 37 mm cannon, 29 Pz.Kpfw. III with
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50 mm guns, 20 Pz.Kpfw. IV tanks and ten Pz.Bf.Wg. command tanks.

At daybreak, simultaneously from three directions, the attack on Macedonia began. In


the Kumanovo sector, the 9 Panzer Division crossed the border and overwhelmed the
solitary Yugoslav 22 Regiment form the 20 Bregalnic Infantry Division (20. Bregalnika
Peadijska Divizija) , taking Kriva Palanka as early as 8 oclock in the morning. Soon the
strategically important Stracin mountain pass (1,000 m above sea level) leading to
Kumanovo was crossed. The gorge was defended by units of the 46 Morava Infantry
Division (46. Moravska Peadijska Divizija), among them, the 46 Artillery Regiment (46.
artiljerijski puk) alongside the anti-tank artillery squadron (protivoklopni artiljerijski
divizion) equipped with Czechoslovakian-made 47 mm anti-tank guns. Around 10 oclock,
the 9 Divisions spearhead reached the Yugoslav positions. During the initial exchange of
fire, four German tanks were said to have been lost, and the advance came to a stop.
Before long, Luftwaffe and German artillery were involved. Casualties and a shortage of
ammunition forced the Yugoslav units to abandon their positions and withdraw. The gorge
was secured by the evening and the Division sent off a reconnaissance unit towards
Kumanovo. Chief of Staff (Generalstabschef OKH), Generaloberst Franz Halder noted in
his journal: At 14:00 hours the 9 Panzer Division engaged retreating enemy units in the
region west of Vetunica. . Later on the same evening, both German Army Corps reach the
Strumica, Carevo Selo, Stracin perimeter, effectively securing the entire border region.
On the morning on April 7, in the vicinity of Mlado Nagoriane, the 9 Division supported
by aircraft overwhelmed the Yugoslavian 21 and 93 Infantry Regiments, which lacked
anti-tank weapons, and at about 5 oclock in the afternoon took the town of Skopje. While
there, the Division dispatched at least two combat groups (Kampfgruppen). Units of the 9
Division captured the township of Veles on the same day. On April 7, commander of the
12 Army Generalfeldmarschall List declared the enemy forces in Macedonia to be
defeated. The XXXX Corps was reported to have crushed three to four Yugoslavian
divisions, capturing over 100 guns, and taking approximately 20,000 prisoners, including
seven generals.
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First in a series of photographs illustrating the types of tanks used by the 9th Panzer Division at the onset of
operation Marita. Shown here, one of the nine Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. B light tanks.


Light tank Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. C. There were 36 such tanks in the Balkan campaign.


One of the 29 medium tanks Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. G, armed with a 50 mm cannon.


In view of the above, Generalfeldmarschall List ordered the XXXX Corps to switch its
aim from the western to the southern region. The XXXX Corps, still expected to make
connection with Italian units at the eastern border of Albania, was also supposed to secure
the municipality of Bitola and conduct a reconnaissance at the Greek border. To fulfil this
goal, on April 8, the main forces of the 9 Division concentrated around Skopje in order to
continue their advance south. Meanwhile Combat Group Gorn (Kampfgruppe Gorn),
named after its commander Oberst Walter Gorn, in charge of the I Battalion of the 10
Rifle Regiment, advanced west taking Tetovo and then, on the following day, Gostivar. In
the north, the rear of the Division was guarded by combat groups which operated in the
region between Presevo and Kaanik. As a result, Stari Kaanik was taken. This move not
only separated Yugoslav units defending Kosovo from the ones in Macedonia, but also
threatened the rear of the Yugoslav 3 Army conducting an offensive against Italian forces
in Albania from the region of Prizren. By April 9, the Yugoslavian defences in Macedonia
were broken. German XXXX Corps approached the Greek border. Combat Group Gorn
detached from the 9 Panzer Division, marching from Tetovo, seized Gostivar and
advanced towards Debar and Kicevo. At the same time, the main forces of the 9 Division
concentrated in the vicinity of Prilep to prepare for further actions. One of the detached
combat groups overwhelmed the defenders in the Kaanik region and captured Uroevac.
From there, it moved to timlje and managed to break through to Prizren around 6 oclock
in the afternoon. Another group reached the vicinity of Lipljan. On April 10, the XXXX
Army Corps was in the final stages of securing Macedonia, while the vanguard of the 9
Panzer Division neared Bitola.
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Medium tank Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. D. The Division had 20 tanks of this type at the beginning of operation Marita.


Another Pz.Kpfw. IV in the newer version - Ausf. E.


The reconnaissance units of the 9 Division went through Kosovo marching north. On
the way to Kosovska Mitrovica by way of Vucitrn, they reached Pristina on April 11.
Regardless of the combat situation in Macedonia, the resistance of the 25 Vadar Infantry
Division (25. Vardarska Peadijska Divizija) was nearing an end. In order to block the
retreat of Yugoslav forces, combat group Gorn, assaulting from Gostivar, negotiated
some treacherous terrain to reach the Debar mountain pass situated 1,500 meters above
sea level. Consequently, the remnants of the 25 Vadar Division, including two generals,
150 officers and 2,500 soldiers, alongside a few artillery batteries and 12 anti-tank guns,
had fallen prisoner to Gorn group. For this achievement Major Walter Gorn was
awarded the Ritterkreuz a few days later. His group, Kampfgruppe Gorn, after a
successful blockage of the Debar pass, established contact with the Italian 14 Army Corps
(XIV Corpo dArmata) advancing from the west. At that point, the Yugoslav and Greek
forces became separated. Meanwhile, the German 12 Army Group under
Generalfeldmarschall List regrouped both Army Corps, General Stummes XXXX AK
and General B. Bhmes VIII Mountain Corps (VIII Gebirgs) in order to proceed south.
The first corps was to concentrate in the Florina - Bitola region. At that moment the only
units present in the area were parts of the SS-Brigade LSSAH, with the forefront of the
9 Panzer Division approaching. The main German forces were en route, passing through
Veles. The 12 Army headquarters assumed that the Greek and British units had taken
defensive positions along the Aliakmon-Vermion perimeter, facing north-east. The plan of
attack, had the XXXX Army Corps assault the flank and the rear of the enemy, while
exposing its own flank from the Albanian side. The purpose of the manoeuvre was to cut
off and destroy the Greek-British formation, and to prevent the retreat of the remaining
Greek units from Albania. To fulfil the objective, General Stumme intended to deploy
armoured and motorised troops towards Bitola - Kozani. At the forefront was the SSBrigade LSSAH followed by the 9 Panzer Division, moving ahead of the 5 Panzer
Division. On April 11, the German units made contact with the British and Greek armies
at Florina. The SS-Brigade LSSAHs scouts, through a series of skirmishes, surveyed
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the defences in the area of Kerli - Derven mountain pass, and encountered a Greek cavalry
division at the Pisoderi pass. The cavalry was preparing for a counterattack on Florina
planned for the following day, to stop the 9 Divisions advance from Veles. Once the
Klidi pass was secured by the SS-Brigade LSSAH, the first waves of 9 Division tanks
were sent through. On April 12 German ground units, supported by the Luftwaffe,
conducted a strong assault on the next mountain pass at Florina. The attack broke down
under fire from the British 1 Armoured Brigade led by General Charrington. During the
clash, the British lost only one A-10 tank. Even though the enemy advance was halted, the
British left their stronghold at Florina under cover of the night of April 12 - 13, and
retreated in fear of being outflanked.
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Command tank Klein Panzerbefehlswagen (Sd Kfz. 265) constructed on the chassis of the Pz.Kpfw. I. The 9th
Division had 10 command tanks prior to the Balkan campaign.)


Abandoned Yugoslavian bomber plane of German production Dornier Do 17 Ka-1, at Stubol airport near
Pristina. It is probably plane number 3313 from the 64th Bomber Group of the Yugoslav Royal Air Force (JKRV Jugoslovensko Kraljevsko Ratno Vazduhoplovstvo).


A group of Yugoslav Army prisoners of war.


German Pz.Kpfw. III on the narrow street of a Macedonian township. The flags displaying swastika suggest that
the Germans were warmly welcomed by the residents.


German fighter planes Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7 probably belonging to II.(Sch)/LG 2 unit. The planes had yellow
friend foe identification markings painted on the engine cowling, rudder, wing tips, and fuselage.


Early in morning of April 13, the forward units of the 9 Panzer Division, moving
towards the area of Bitola-Servia, approached British position at Amyntaio-Sotiras. The
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defences were held again by the 1 Armoured Brigade, therefore a tank battle ensued. The
first move was made by the British, who launched their A-10 tanks from A squadron of
the 3 Royal Tank Regiment (3. RTR) alongside two squadrons of light Mk VI tanks from
4 Hussars Regiment, against advancing German infantry. According to British historian
and scholar Mr. Lidell Hart, the enemy infantry equipped with anti-tank guns could hit
British tanks from 1,200 yards, while the Besa machine guns of the tankers had an
effective range of only 600 yards. Some time later, German 33 Panzer Regiment tanks
joined the encounter. The hussars withdrew their light tanks, so the burden of the fight fell
on the A-10 tanks. In this brief, but intense encounter, the British, out-manoeuvred by
their opponents, lost eight tanks. As the result, they withdrew to the next defensive
position established at Ptolemaida, some 19 kilometres away.
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German equipment and weapons abandoned at the roadside as a result of recent fighting. Helmets and Stielhandgranate 24 hand grenades may be recognized. The photograph was taken from the passing 9. Pz.Div. vehicle,
almost certainly in the area of Florina mountain pass, where a particularly fierce combat took place involving the
SS-Brigade Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler among other units.


Alikamon River crossing constructed by combat engineers of the Panzer-Pionier-Bataillon 86.


After the battle, the 9 Panzer Division was divided into two groups. The first group,
commanded by Oberst graf Teodor von Sponeck, was deployed as a first wave. According
to Mr. W. G. McClymont the group consisted of the 11 Rifle Regiment without the 7
Company; two companies from the 59 Motorcycle Rifles Battalion; headquarters of the
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102 Artillery Regiment (Stab Art.Rgt. 102) alongside some detachments of the spotting
battery; III Squadron of the 102 Artillery Regiment (III./Art.Rgt. 102) without the 7
Battery; one light artillery battery from the III Squadron of the 102 Artillery Regiment;
headquarters (Stab) and the 2 Company of the 86 Anti-aircraft Artillery Detachment
(2/leichte Flak-Abt. 86) not including the 1 Battery; the 3 Company of the 50 Tank
Destroyer Squadron (3/Pz.Jg.Abt. 50); one platoon of the 33 Panzer Regiment;
headquarters (Stab) and the 1 Company of the 86 Armoured Pioneer Battalion
(1/Pz.Pi.Btl. 86), one additional anti-aircraft battery and one transportation column.
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British equipment captured by the 9th Panzer Division in Greece. In the middle, three Bedford OYD trucks
accompanied by an A-10.


9th Panzer Division troops at rest in Greece. Divisional symbol on a prime mover tractor m. Zgkw. 8t (Sd.Kfz. 7)
is evident.


The 9 Panzer Division progressing towards Bitola and Servia, taking the town of
Kozani on April 14. In effect, the retreat route of most units from the Greek 12 Infantry
Division (XII M/K MII), led by General Karabatos, was blocked. One combat group from
the 9 Division, advancing from Kozani, reached Alikamon River near Servia, where a
small bridgehead was established. However, the German attempt to press forward utilizing
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this advantage was successfully stopped by the New Zealand 4 Brigade. Another 9
Division detachment turned back from Kozani, marching west to Siatista. Consequently,
only a part of the 9 Panzer Division with the 73 Infantry Division and the SS-Brigade
LSSAH were deployed against the new Greek defence boundary forming along the
Vourinos - Klisura mountain pass - Votochorion line. At 14:00 hours, the right wing of the
9 Division attacked the Metamorphis mountain pass. The Greek 12 Infantry Division
units, supported by a squadron from the British 102 Anti-tank Regiment, defeated the
attackers.
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On April 15 Generaloberst Halder noted: In Greece, the 9 Division established a


bridgehead on the right bank of Aliakmon River, south of Kocani; south of the river lays a
difficult terrain. In the evening of the same day, the Allied forces withdrew to the
province of Thessaly, and established a defensive line approximately 100 kilometres long,
but the forces necessary to properly defend such extended positions were insufficient.
Meanwhile in the vicinity of Servia, the New Zealand 4 Brigade was trying to restrain the
advance of the 9 Panzer Division. Two Australian brigades were positioned to the south,
the 16 Brigade defended the north bank of the Alikamon River, while the 19 Brigade
shielded the Klidi - Kozani area. General Charringtons armoured brigade, weakened by
the encounters with the 9 Panzer Division, could field only a small number of tanks. The
ones that remained operational were defending west flank. (.) British tactics were
simple, all the units of the British Expeditionary Corps were to conduct detaining
skirmishes and slowly retreat towards Thermopile.
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9th Panzer Divisions vehicles at the Servia mountain pass. On the left Opel Blitz, in the forefront Einheist-Diesel
truck. This photograph is dated April 16 or 17 1941.


German dive bomber Junkers Ju 87R-2 Stuka during fuelling at a provisional airfield located somewhere in the
area of Prilep or Bitoli, near the Yugoslav - Greek border. The plane is most likely from the StG 77 unit.
Additional fuel tanks mounted under the wing are worth noting.


This same day, April 15, the right wing of the 9 Panzer Division passing through
Siatista, crossed the Aliakmon River and broke through the defences of the Greek 12
Infantry Division established on the hills surrounding the town of Kivotos in the east.
Thus, the 12 Infantry Division had to pull back southwest, and regroup west of Grevena,
allowing the town to be taken by the aggressors. Meanwhile, the rear guard units of the 9
Division, marching from Siatista, reached Neapoli, taking positions already behind an
intended defence line of the Greek 20 Infantry Division. Another significant episode of
this eventful day was the failed attack on Servia carried out by Oberst von Sponecks
group. The town was defended by the New Zealand 4 Brigade. During the course of
action, the 11 Rifle Regiment lost 21 dead, 37 wounded and 168 missing in action. In
addition, three officers and 150 soldiers became Allied prisoners of war. By the evening
of April 15, some of the 9 Panzer Division units were still engaged at Servia, while the
rest, marching through Grevena and Deskati towards Elassona, attempted to encircle the
Allied strongholds from the west. . During the night hours, General Stumme issued an
order for the 9 Panzer Division to prepare a decisive attack for April 17, to which
Generalleutnant von Hubicki replied that it would not be possible without very extensive
artillery support. April 16 brought about a continuation of artillery exchanges at Servia,
while the other German forces continued in their efforts to surround British entrenchments
by marching towards Elassona. The 9 Panzer Division encountered strong opposition
from the Greek 12 Infantry Division at Grevena, which allowed the British 1 Armoured
Brigade to withdraw south. As of April 17, the German out-flanking manoeuvre
continued, but it was hindered by the damage inflicted to roads by the retreating Allied
troops, as well as recurring traffic jams unavoidable in this mountainous terrain, given the
number of vehicles. The western group of the 9 Panzer Division took Grevena and
approached Veneticos River; at that juncture, it had to combat the defending Greek 12
Infantry Division units again. As their resistance was overwhelmed, the 9 Division begun
a slow advance to the south towards Karperon and Elassona, at which point it changed
direction westwards, aiming for Deskati to provide a passage for the 5 Panzer Division
headed for Kalabaka as soon as it was able to cross the Aliakmon River. The road south
was almost impossible to drive on. It was not just deteriorated by the passage of the
retreating British 1 Armoured Brigade. In addition, Allied engineering units did their best
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to cause as much damage as possible. In view of that, the efficient flow of vehicles was
out of the question. Any forward movement was made possible only by the intense efforts
of the pioneer troops. Nevertheless, their restoration attempts allowed only for a slow
trickle of traffic.
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Damaged Dornier Do 17P-1 6M+GK from 2.(F.)/11 near Larissa in Greece, photographed in April 1941.
According to the researchers, the location and the condition of the machine suggest a crash during landing or
take off. It is probably W.Nr. 3586 that fell victim to a mechanical failure on April 17.


Another Junkers Ju 87, with a bomb about to be mounted in the rack.


On April 18, the advance of the 9 Panzer Division was additionally obstructed by the
trailing vehicles of the 2 Panzer Division. On April 19 the German outposts reached
Larissa, however any further enemy pursuit was made impossible by a shortage of fuel,
among other reasons. The 9 Division, proceeding through Servia and repairing the road as
it went along, was blocked by the German columns marching through Olympus. Later, the
right of way had to be yielded again to ground units of the Luftwaffe. As the German units
under Generalfeldmarschall List reached the plains of Thessaly, he changed the objective,
the earlier goal of enemy pursuit suddenly became the march on Athens. The XXXX
Army Corps was to advance first. The 5 and 9 Panzer Divisions with the 6 Mountain
Division (6. Gebirg-Division) were to operate west of the Larisa Lamia road. On April
20, two officers of the 9 Division were awarded the Ritterkreuz, the commanding officer
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Generalleutnant Dr. Alfred Ritter von Hubicki and Major Walter Gorn, commander of the
I battalion of the 10 Rifle Regiment, for his achievement at Debar . On the same day
Oberst von Apell, commander of the 9 Rifles Brigade, was promoted to the rank of
Generalmajor.
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Soldiers of the 9. Pz.Div. at the recently captured town of Larrisa. Two Steyr 640 trucks are visible in this
photograph taken on April 19. 1941.


Meanwhile, Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm List, without any consideration for the
results, sent masses of his troops to the Fourka mountain pass and Lamia. He did not
provide for the appropriate traffic regulation, nor took into consideration the destruction
done by the withdrawing British troops. By the afternoon, the vehicles of the 5 Panzer
Division were intermixed with the ones from the 9 Panzer Division approaching from the
north. As a result, by the evening the 50 kilometre stretch of the road leading from Fourka
pass contained: a huge column of tanks, self-propelled guns, field guns, ammunition
transporters, pontoon and engineering trucks, which all came to a complete stop. In such
a simple way the Germans stopped their own advance for a few days to come.
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9th Divisions vehicle column in a ruined segment of Larrisa. One of the Einheist-Diesel trucks is visible.


Heavy armoured car Sd.Kfz. 232 from the 9th Reconnaissance Battalion with a characteristic frame antenna.


Divisional vehicles passing by a crash-landed Dornier Do 17 bomber. During Operation Marita 17 planes of
this type were lost by the Luftwaffe.


A cross country mittlerer Einheits-Pkw Kfz. 15 (Horch 901) from the 9th Panzer Division, during intermission in
combat against Greek forces.


On April 22, the German forces were still frozen in the traffic jam. The 9 Panzer
Division grouped near Elasson to arrange its units. From Elasson it moved to Larissa, and
on April 26 to Volos, a fishing town on the Aegean Sea. As the campaign ended, the
armour equipment losses were reported. A total of 13 tanks were lost: three Pz.Kpfw. I,
five Pz.Kpfw. II, three Pz.Kpfw. III and two Pz.Kpfw. IV. The Division also reported
rather extensive mechanical wear of vehicles, as well as of their much deteriorated brake
systems due to the travel on winding, narrow mountain roads.
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On April 29, new orders were announced by General Adolf Heusinger, chief of the
Operational Department (Operationsabteilung OKH), to Generaloberst Halder in charge
of the AOK 12:


A motorcyclist from the Kradschtzen-Bataillon 59 driving by an overturned anti-aircraft searchlight, abandoned
at the side of the road.


9th Panzer Division soldiers photographed with a Mk. VI light tank left by the British at Valos township in Greece.


As of May 5 commence the dispatch of the 9 Panzer Division units equipped with
tracked vehicles via rail to Thessalonica, from loading point in Florina . The wheeled
units are to conduct a road march via Belgrade. On May 27, arrival at the XVII Military
District, where the 9 Division will be incorporated into Kleist Group, replacing the 5
Panzer Division.
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From May 2, the wheeled columns, in conformance with the order of


Generalfeldmarschall List, began their route through Nis Belgrade Budapest to
Vienna. As mentioned before, the tanks were transported by rail. On May 12, the columns
passed through the streets of Vienna greeted by ovations from the residents. Generalmajor
Wilhelm von Apell, commander of the 9 Rifles Brigade, was on May 14 presented the
Ritterkreuz in recognition for his action against Yugoslav units at Stracin and British units
at Klidi pass.
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During the month of June, the 9 Panzer Division was at the disposal of the commander
of the Army Reserve at the VIII Military District (VIII WK) at Breslau.
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Prior to Operation Barbarossa, the 9 Panzer Divisions concentration point located


in eastern Poland was reached via train between May 4 and 26 by some of the units, while
the others arrived June 16 through 20. In the meantime, on June 12, the Operational
Department reported to Generaloberst Halder: Difficulties in preparation of the 9
Panzer Division. Temporary assistance extended by the 2 Panzer Division will cause
delay in the readiness of the latter.
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Two Yugoslavian bomber planes Dornier Do Y captured by German forces at Kraljevo airfield. Yugoslav Royal
Air Force had four of these German made planes; all of them fell in German hands in 1941. This photograph was
taken by one of the troopers in Yugoslavia, as the 9th Division was returning home from the Balkans.


A mittlerer Einheits-Pkw Kfz. 15 (Horch 901) in front of a monastery, presumably in the vicinity of Belgrade.


9th Panzer Division s vehicles en route to Austria, photographed in the region of Belgrade or Zagreb. From the
left: a cross-country Steyr Typ 250, behind it, a half tracked m. Zgkw. 8 (Sd. Kfz. 7) prime mover. In the middle
there is a Praga RV truck, with a cross-country Adler Typ 3 GD to the right.


A snapshot of civilians offering wine to German soldiers. In the background, a half track m. Zgkw. 8 (Sd.Kfz. 8)
prime mover artillery tractor may be seen.


At that time, the 9 Division was reinforced by the 3 Company of the 47 Anti-aircraft
Artillery Detachment (3. Kompanie 47. Flak Abteilung) equipped with two platoons of the
self-propelled Sd.Kfz. 10/4 guns and one platoon of Sd.Kfz. 7/1 guns.
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The reports dating to June 1941 indicate that the 9 Division was provided with six half
tracked medium armoured reconnaissance vehicles Saurer RR7 Sd.Kfz. 254. Most likely
they were among the vehicles of the 102 Artillery Regiment. During preparations for the
invasion of the Soviet Union, the 33 Armoured Regiment of the 9 Division had two
armoured battalions, each comprised of two light and one medium tank companies.
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Main square of one of the Yugoslav towns, with the Divisional vehicles photographed against a baroque church.
An array of vehicles including a Praga RV truck, Einheist-Diesel and a Mercedes-Benz Typ 170 VK are depicted
in this photograph.


Motorcycle Rifle troops of the Kradschtzen-Bataillon 59 during a return trip to Austria.


The Grenz-dienststelle Kittsee (Customs Office Kittsee) at the approach to the Kittsee town at the Austro
Hungarian border.


Divisional vehicles on a street of Vienna.


9th Panzer Division troops applauded by Viennese residents after another victorious campaign.


9th Division tanks left the Balkan region via rail. Depicted here, are Pz.Kpfw. III tanks on railroad cars.


A Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. E tank during preparations for Operation Barbarossa. The photograph was taken in
occupied Poland.


1 Ibidem.


2 Messenger Ch., Gladiator Hitlera, Warszawa 2001, p. 123.


3 Janowicz K, Bakany 1941, p. 18-19.


4 Jentz T. L., Die deutsche Panzertruppe 1933-1942 Band I, Wlfersheim-Berstadt 1998, p. 154.


5 Solarz J., Bakany 1940-1941, Warszawa 2001, p. 48-49.


6 Halder F., Dziennik wojenny v. II , p. 422.


7 Rawski T., Wojna na Bakanach 1941 Agresja hitlerowska na Jugosawi i Grecj, Warszawa 1981, p. 232.


8 Rawski, op. cit., p. 233.


9 Kurowski F., Infantry Aces. Mechanicsburg 2005, p. 309.


10 Besarabowicz T., Czog Lekki Mk. VI, Militaria i Fakty Nr 1/2000 , p.10.


11 Solarz J., Bakany, op. cit. p. 63


12 Solarz J., Bakany, op. cit., s. 63-64. States that the encounter took place on April 14.


13 http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-WH2Gree-c12-6.html


14 Rawski T., op. cit., p. 309-310.


15 Halder F. op cit., v. II, p. 439.


16 Solarz J., Bakany, op. cit., p. 66.


17 Rawski T, op. cit., p. 311 - 312.


18 Rawski T, op. cit., p. 313.


19 Rawski T, op. cit., p. 314.


20 Rawski T, op. cit, p. 317.


21 Rawski T., op. cit., p. 319.


22 Hermann C. H., op. cit., p. 172.


23 Rawski T., op. cit., p. 322-323.


24 Rawski T., op. cit, p. 378-379.


25 Jentz T. L., Die deutsche . Band I, op. cit. p. 157.


26 Township near Bitola.


27 Halder F., op. cit., v. II, p. 461.


28 Halder F., op. cit., v. II, p. 463.


29 Halder F., op. cit., v. II, p. 540.


30 Ledwoch J., Sawicki R, Sd Kfz 10/4, Warszawa 2003, p. 25.

31 Jentz T. L, Doyle H. L, Panzer Tracts No. 11-1, Panzerbeobachtungswagen, Boyds 2003, p. 10.


32 Majewski A., Barwy i znaki Panzerwaffe Panzerregiment, Gdynia 2001, p. 36.

Operation Barbarossa

As the operation commenced, the 9 Panzer Division alongside the 16 Panzer Division
was included in the XIV Motorised Army Corps (XIV AK (mot)) of the 1 Armoured
Group (Panzergruppe 1 - Pz.Gr. 1), which in turn was a part of the Army Group South
(Heeresgruppe - HG Sd). As of June 22 1941, the following tanks comprised the 9
Divisions assault force:
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eight Pz.Kpfw. I, 32 Pz.Kpfw. II, 11 Pz.Kpfw. III with 37 mm cannon, 60 Pz.Kpfw. III
armed with 50 mm gun, 20 Pz.Kpfw. IV and 12 Pz.Bef.
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On June 28, the Division departed from Tomaszow and marched through Sokal, trailing
the German front moving eastwards. On the next day, the Germans deployed the XIV
Motorised Army Corps against the Soviet 17 Army. The 9 Panzer Division was the first
to see action, as it was ordered to advance towards Kamionka Strumilowa north of Lviv.
The appearance of the German Corps in the rear of the Soviet 15 Mechanized Corps
resulted in a Soviet retreat towards the positions held by the reserve units of the Soviet
Southwest Front. The withdrawal was covered from the north by the 212 Mechanized
Division, the outermost unit of the 15 Mechanized Corps east flank. The 15 Corps was
already out-flanked by German infantry divisions from the north, while the south was
threatened by the 9 Panzer Division, so outright retreat was the only manoeuvre that
would prevent the Soviets from being surrounded. As it turned out, the Soviet 8 Tank
Division saved the day by engaging the 9 Panzer Division.
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On July 1, the 9 Division took Zolochiv and moved towards Ternopil. The 9
Reconnaissance Battalion was able to make a surprise break into Ternopil on July 2, but
then proceeded further east, so the city as a whole was secured by German forces as late as
July 8.
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Halfway between Zolochiv and Ternopil, enemy tanks were observed on July 4. The 9
Division immediately turned towards the adversary, so the SS-Division Viking (SSDivision Wiking) gained an unobstructed path towards Ternopil.

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Arrival of a motorcycle liaison. The crosscountry personnel car Einheist-Pkw Kfz. 15 (Horch 901) with the
generals pennant most likely belongs to General von Hubicki, commander of the 9. Pz.Div. The Divisional
mascot, a Doberman is also noticeable.


A cross-country Wanderer W 23 S at the onset of the Operation Barbarossa. The vehicle is missing its spare
road wheels.


A group of soldiers next to a Wanderer W 23 S car.


An Austrian made, crosscountry Steyr Typ 250 from 9th Panzer Division vehicle park. A gasoline canister rack
mounted to the front fender is of some interest.


From the beginning of the Barbarossa Operation until July 6, the losses sustained by
the 9 Division amounted to 175 dead, 232 wounded, 36 missing and eight sick, a total of
451 troopers.
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On July 7, the Division forced its way through to the river Buh. Generalstabschef Franz
Halder wrote in his Kriegstagebuch (Combat Stage Journal): (.) 9 Pz. Div. is now
involved in large scale armour clash near Proskurov. The 197 Assault Artillery
Detachment (Sturmgeschtz Abteilung 197 - StuG.Abt. 197) operating in the vicinity of
Lahodyntsi near Starokostyantyniv on July 8, received a warning of: a large tank force
attack, which turned out to be the 9 Panzer Division. Unfortunately one tank was
destroyed by friendly fire from German anti-tank guns, Leutnant Werner Preusser from
the I Company of the 197 Assault Artillery Battalion (I./StuG.Abt. 197) recorded in his
journal. A photograph presented in this book portrays a victim of this mistake, a Pz.Kpfw.
III Ausf. G tank. A hole made by the shell that pierced through the 30 millimetre thick
frontal plate may be seen in the photograph.
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In the days to follow, the Division moved eastward towards Zhitomir. Generaloberst
Halder noted on July 11: Around noon Generalfeldmarschall Keitel calls, voicing
Fuhrers concerns () slow advance of the 9 Pz. Div. and the SS-Division Wiking.
Generalmajor Felix Steiner, the commandant of the SS-Division Wiking explains this in
his recollections: The movement is retarded because of constant scuffles with the
retreating enemy rearguard, in which the 9 Pz. Div.is wasting precious time.
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Up until 11 July the 9 Panzer Division combat losses amounted to: two Pz.Kpfw. I, two
Pz.Kpfw. II, ten Pz.Kpfw. III, three Pz.Kpfw. IV and three Pz.Bf.Wg., in all 20 tanks.
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On July 14, Generaloberst Halder wrote: Besides, the SS-Division Wiking is


moving behind the 9 Pz. Div. which carries the burden of the onslaught from Zhitomir
towards Belaya Tserkov. By the evening of the same day, the 9 Division attacking from
Zhitomir was able to capture the town of Skvyra.
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A Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. J tank in a cloud of Ukrainian road dust. Spare track links mounted in the front provided
additional protection. Unusual mounting of a spare road wheel is noteworthy.


A burned out Soviet BT-5 light tank equipped with two searchlights, right above its 45 mm cannon. These lights
were intended to illuminate, as well as blind the enemy during night-time encounters. The rubber rims of the road
wheels have been destroyed by fire. An interesting feature of this tank is a horizontal stripe painted on the turret,
its white colour indicated a 2nd battalion vehicle. This marking system was introduced in 1932 according to the
Mechanized and Motorized Red Army Unit standards. Some Soviet vehicles still had such markings in 1941, even
though by the end of the 1930s the scheme was discontinued.


Another BT-5 destroyed while negotiating a ditch. A direct hit penetrated the turret. The engine cover was
probably blown out by an internal explosion.


An abandoned Soviet 76,2 mm field gun M1936 F-22. The angle of barrel elevation is noteworthy. Captured guns
of this type were modified by the Germans and used a anti-tank cannons Pak 36 (r).


Soviet 122 mm M-30 field howitzer abandoned by the Red Army.


Group of soldiers next to a cross country Wanderer W 23 S with Divisional symbol painted on the side.


An entry made in the Kriegstagebuch on July 15 states: The 6 Army (AOK 6) and
the 1 Armoured Group rearranged their forces west of Berdychiv. From Berdychiv and
Zhitomir the troops proceeded towards Belaya Tserkov and came a few kilometres away
from their target 9 Pz.Div. was followed by the two thirds of SS-Division Wiking. On
the same day, the city was taken. The day of July 15 brought an order from the
commander of the XIV Motorised Corps General von Infanterie von Wietersheim moving
the SS-Division Wiking to the front of the troops advancing east through Belaya Tserkov
and Tarashcha towards Luka. The Wiking Division along with halted 9 Panzer Division
was to change direction towards the southeast, in order to join the battle at Uman. At that
time, the German high command noticed an opportunity to encircle and sack a number of
Russian divisions, remainders of the 6 , 12 and 18 Armies fighting near Uman.
Generaloberst Halder noted on July 17: The 11 and 16 Pz. Div.from the 1 Panzer
Group aligned their units with the 9 Division, so the surrounding operation may
commence. .
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By July 20, the German forces managed to cut off 25 Russian divisions, forcing them
towards a front formed by infantry units from German 6 , 17 and 11 Armies (AOK 6.,
17., 11.). The destruction of the Uman pocket begun. On July 22, the Russians initiated a
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break-out attempt southeast of Belaya Tserkov near Tarashcha, in the area guarded by two
combat groups from SS-Division Wiking. As the German positions came under heavy
attack from Soviet infantry supported by artillery fire, the SS troops suffered heavy losses.
The difficult situation was resolved by arrival of the 9 Divisions 33 Panzer Regiment.
The tanks proved invaluable in the fighting conducted over the course of the next two
days. Their cannons and machine guns allowed repelling numerous attacks conducted by
Russian infantry supported by armour. A Knights Cross was awarded to Oberstleutnant
Willibald Borowietz from the 10 Rifles Regiment on July 24. By July 26, the XIV
Motorised Corps with its 9 Panzer Division and SS-Division Wiking reached the
Ryzyne - Vynohrad - Bosivka perimeter. On July 28, Generaloberst Halder wrote:
Major Mueller-Hillebrand reports of his inspection at the 9 Pz.Div. - Combat conditions.
- Operations. - Road conditions. - Traffic logistics / regulation On August 6, the
Division, still involved in rounding up Russian units sacked at Uman, took the township of
Arbuzynka. A Knights Iron Cross was received by Oberfeldwebel Alfred Tykiel from the
6 Company of the 10 Rifles Regiment. Between August 4 and 6, the German 6 and
12 Army command announced that the Russians had lost 300 tanks and 130,000 soldiers,
taken prisoner in the Uman area. The remainder were able to escape east. This victory
opened the way toward Krivoy Rog, and consequently to the Black Sea ports of Nikolayev
and Odessa. The 9 Panzer Division advanced in the direction of Kriovohrad on August
8, captured the town on the following day, and moved on to take Pervomaisk on August
11. The entry in Generalstabschef Halders journal, dated that day states: Keitel from
Oberkommando Wehrmacht (OKW) complains to the commander in chief of the land
forces, that we did not advance towards Nikolayev, while Hitler considered this of
uttermost importance. As to the situation and intentions on the outermost south flank,
General von Sodenstern gave Generalmajor Heusinger the following explanation () the
25 Motorised Infantry Division (25. Inf.Div. (mot)), as well as the 9 and 14 Panzer
Divisions need to march on Krivoy Rog.
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A Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. G tanks from 9th Panzer Division. Spare track links provide additional protection to the front
of the hull. A horseshoe good luck charm is mounted on top of them.


9th Panzer Division troopers inspecting the battlefield in an Ukrainian village. Destroyed Soviet KV-1 tank
number 304 with additional turret armour (appliqu armour) and a T-34 are visible.


Captured SchTZ-15/30 agricultural wheeled tractor. These vehicles were often used by Wehrmacht artillery units
despite their low speed.

Deserted Soviet field howitzer 122 mm M-30 and its ammunition caisson.


Soviet equipment photographed after the liquidation of Uman pocket. In front of a ZiS-5 truck, three heavy
machine guns Maxim M1910, a Mosin rifle with its bayonet stuck into the ground and RGD-33 hand grenades are
among other weapons and military gear.


An abandoned Russian Maxim M1910 machine gun. The wire wrapped around the shield was used for securing
small branches in order to conceal the weapon.


Group of Soviet prisoners taken in the Uman pocket.


In the middle of August, a war correspondent named Otto accompanied the 9 Division
for some time. The photographs he took during a visit show a command tank Pz.Bf.Wg.
numbered R01, assigned to the commander of the 33 Panzer Regiment, and another
Pz.Bf.Wg. with wicker chairs set up on the engine cover panels. An aerial antenna frame
mounted above and around the engine compartment prevented the chairs from sliding
away during motion. The images imply that the officers of the 9 Division valued comfort
while resting from their planning and command duties.
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On August 16, the Division captured Krivoy Rog. Between August 17 and 25 it
advanced along the Dnieper River en route to Nikopol, Zaporozhye and Dnepropetrovsk,
clearing the west bank of Red Army units. During August 16 to 18, the Division attacked
in the region of Nikopol, taking Zaporozhye on the 18 day of the month. Next day,
Generaloberst Halder wrote: in the Dnieper bend strong air attacks against front line 9
Pz.Div. units, one kilometre west from Zaporozhye dam. By August 21, the Division
reached the Dnieper south of Zaporozhye at Nikopol. On August 25 the 9 Pz.Div.
captured Dnepropetrovsk or, as may be presumed from archival photographs, just the
southern part of the city. Afterwards, it participated in securing the Dnieper bend, then
turned back southwest returning to Krivoy Rog on August 31. It stayed at that location for
a few days to rest the troops and replenish ammunition, fuel and equipment. Subsequently,
most likely on September 4, the units of the Division were directed to the concentration
point of the 1 Armoured Group near Oleksandrya. The Ritterkreuz was received by
Hauptmann Heinz Unger chief of the 1 Company from the 10 Rifles Regiment. As a
result of fighting conducted between the start of Operation Barbarossa and September
5, the 9 Panzer Division lost six Pz.Kpfw. I, two Pz.Kpfw. II, 14 Pz.Kpfw. III, three
Pz.Kpfw. IV tanks and three Pz.Bf.Wg. command tanks.
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In a meanwhile, between the months of August and September German forces managed

to establish bridgeheads on the Dnieper River at Kremenchug and Dereivka. The region of
Kremenchug was defended by the 300 Rifle Division, three cavalry divisions from the 5
Cavalry Corps - equivalent in strength to one and a half rifle division - and the 47 Tank
Division with 34 tanks. Against them, the Germans mustered parts of four infantry
divisions, the 125 Infantry Division (125 Inf. Div.), the 101 , 100 , and 97 Jger (German
elite infantry troops) Divisions. On September 2, they were joined by 76 Infantry
Division. By that time, as mentioned earlier, the concentration of the 1 Armoured Group
including the 13 , 14 , 16 and 9 Panzer Divisions along with the 16 and 25 Motorised
Infantry Divisions was well under way, some 40 kilometres southwest form Kremenchug.
The German high commands intention was to move their units across the Dnieper River,
advance by the way of Khorol towards Lubny and secure bridges in this town. The next
objective was to reach the region between Lubny and Lokhvitsa and link with the 2
Armoured Group (Pz.Gr. 2) advancing from the north. In this way, another pocket would
be created trapping within it four Soviet armies.
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September 9 was the starting point of the preparations. The commanding officer of the
pioneer units from the XI Army Corps (XI AK) received a directive to construct a bridge
of 16 ton capacity near Kremenchug. To achieve that efficiently, the command of the XVII
Army Corps (XVII AK) decided that the old bridge near Voroskova could be dismantled.
Thus, on September 10, the XI Army Corps ordered Oberstleutnant Hans von Ahlfen,
leader of the 617 Pioneer Regiment (Pi.Rgt. 617) to begin work on the old bridge, starting
at 15:30 hours. The pioneers were to take the bridge apart, reinforce its segments to carry
a 16 ton load and transport them to Kremenchug. The work was performed in the pouring
rain by, among others, the 73 and 74 Pioneer Battalion (Pi. Btl. 73 and 74) and the 107
Group of the National Labour Service (Reichs Arbeits Dienst - Gruppe RAD 107) and was
completed on September 11 at 12:00 hours. At this point, the German forces had a new
bridge spanning some 200 meters, with 16 ton capacity allowing for passage of all types
of equipment. In addition, a provisional ferry crossing was put in place. During the
preparations, the area was attacked by Russian aircraft, but without any success. In the
meantime, the divisions of the 1 Armoured Group were successively transferred towards
the new crossing.
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A wreck of a Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. J. The tank received a direct hit in the front of the hull, between the driver and
gunner / radio-operator stations. An armour piercing shell shattered the middle section of the plate.


Industrial factory in Krivi Rog destroyed during combat operations.


The Dneproges river dam in Zaporozhe district. The 60 meter high and 760 meter long dam was built between
1927 and 1932.


Retreating Soviet units tried to evacuate whatever was possible. An unusual assembly of a 76.2 mm field gun
M1902/30 hooked up to a 122 mm field howitzer M1910/30 towed by a STZ-3 tractor, encountered by troops of
the 9th Panzer Division.


Soviet 152 mm Schneider M1910 howitzer and limber towed by STZ-5 tractor deserted somewhere in the steppe.
The howitzers of this type were obtained from France during the First World War.


A self propelled anti-aircraft cannon Sd.Kfz. 10/4 with a 20 mm Flak 38 gun from the 3rd Company of the 47th Flak
Battalion assigned to the 9th Panzer Division.


A rest interval under combat conditions. On the right, a snipers ditch with a riflle. In the background there is
camouflaged mittlerer Einheist-Pkw Kfz. 15 ( Horch 901).


Soldiers of the Schtzen-Regiment 10 are scrutinizing an abandoned command version of a T-37 A amphibious
tank. The tank was equipped with radio communication equipment including an frame aerial mounted in a
handrail manner around the hull. Only the supports are what remains of the antenna assembly. At the front of
each fender there are two angular deflectors meant to protect the antenna frame.


The 9th Panzer Division crossing Dnieper River over a pontoon bridge set up next to the destroyed permanent
structure at Kremen-chug.


As of September 10, the 9 Panzer Division had 13 Pz.Kpfw. I, 30 Pz.Kpfw. II, 59
Pz.Kpfw III, 18 Pz.Kpfw IV and nine Pz.Bef.Wg., in all 129 tanks. The same night, under
the cover of constant rain, the XXXXVII Motorised Corps (XXXXVII AK (mot)) moved its
9 , 13 , and 16 Panzer Divisions along with the 16 and 25 Motorised Infantry Divisions
across the Dnieper. The 9 and the 16 Panzer Divisions, now concentrated at the
bridgehead, were to press north in order to block the main road between Lubny - Poltava Kharkov, as it was predicted that the sacked Soviet forces would attempt a breakthrough
along this line.
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The German offensive began on September 12. On that day, the 9 Panzer Division,
through a surprise attack, captured a bridge over the river Psel securing a bridgehead on
the opposing bank. On the following days, the Division continued its assault towards the
towns of Khorol and Lubny. On September 15, the 9 Division took Mirgorod. The very
same day, Generaloberst Halder noted: The forces of the 1 and 2 Armoured Groups
met, sealing the sack, however the situation at the Sencha bridge, south of Lokhvitsa, is
still unclear.
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This episode was described by Paul Carell in his book Operation Barbarossa : The
very next day the 9th Panzer Division with units of 33rd Panzer Regiment, having moved
north on the road east of the Sula river after the capture of Mirgorod, linked up with the
most forward parts of 3 Panzer Division by the bridge of Sencha. Now the ring was
properly closed and the trap shut behind fifty enemy divisions.
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The crossing photographed from the other side. Above, a Junkers Ju 52 transport plane. The planes were
frequently employed to drop fuel, ammunition and food rations in order to rapidly supply the spearheading
armoured columns with necessary provisions.


Some other destroyed Red Army vehicles. In the forefront a GAZ-AA cargo truck and a T-26 model 1939 light
tank. To the left an artillery tractor STZ-5.


In the evening of September 15, Generaloberst Halder wrote: The loop locking the
enemy east of Kiev is now closed. From the outside of it, there is only a negligible
counteraction. Now the pocket can be constricted towards the west.
30

The initial contact between both German panzer groups was reinforced in the following
days. Units of the 2 Armoured Group (Pz.Gr. 2), namely 3 , 4 Panzer Division and the
SS-Division Das Reich were turning east. The 1 Armoured Group units, including the
9 and 16 Panzer Divisions, the 25 Motorised Infantry Division and the 3 Infantry
Division (3. Inf.Div) from the XVII Army Corps, were redirected in the same manner.
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Until September 16, the 9 Panzer Division continued in its efforts to capture
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bridgeheads over the Sula River. The same day, Oberst graf Theo von Sponeck, the
commanding officer of the 11 Rifle Regiment, was distinguished as a recipient of the
Knights Cross.
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On September 17, the Division begun an assault on Piryatin, followed by the clashes
with Soviet units attempting to break out from the area of the Sula River and its eastern
tributary the Uday. By September 18, the Germans managed to completely close the
pocket trapping five Soviet armies, the 5 , 21 , 26 , 37 and 38 Armies of the
Southwestern Front. In response, the Russian command ordered its forces to break out, but
their attempts failed for the most part. It was only south of Piryatin, in the section secured
by the German 25 Motorised Infantry Division, that solitary units of the 38 Army were
able to accomplish the task. Some small groups were also able to penetrate through the
German lines along other sections of the front, but most of the Southwestern Front forces
remained sacked and were systematically eradicated. The Wehrmacht command had
announced that 290,000 Soviet troops were taken prisoner by September 22. The same
day, two more officers of the 9 Panzer Division became recipients of the Ritterkreuz,
Oberleutnant Hans-Joachim Knzel from the 3 Company of the 10 Rifle Regiment and
Oberleutnant Kurt Speidel from the 2 Company of the 86 Pioneer Battalion.
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The 9th Panzer Division also sustained combat losses. A damaged Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. E, hauled back to the repair
facilities by a semi tracked Sd.Kfz. 8 prime mover.


A wreck of a STZ-5 with 122 mm field howitzer M-30 in tow.


On September 24, an attempt to penetrate the enemy lines, undertaken by the Soviet 5
Cavalry Division, was stopped by units of the 9 Panzer Division near Lokhvitsa. On the
same day, the Division took the town of Romny. Most of the Soviet troops remaining in
the pocket eventually surrendered by September 26, while some small groups continued
with the fight, pressing east in anticipation of a breakthrough.
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The outcome of the operation was a German success, the high command proclaimed
that between August 21 and September 28 some 665,000 Red Army soldiers were taken
prisoner. However, the above number also included other sectors of the front. According
to Russian estimates, the losses sustained on the Southwestern Front from August 7 to
September 26 of 1941 amounted to 585,598 soldiers. Beginning September 25, the
Russian forces conducted strong counterattacks in the region of Novhorod-Siversky,
Yampol and Glukhov in hope of allowing the escape of the remaining Southwestern Front
troops. The 9 Panzer Division was deployed in the region east of Romny from
September 26. The plans devised for the offensive towards Moscow, code named
Taifun (Typhoon), changed the assignment of the 9 Panzer Division. It became a part
of the XXXXVIII Armoured Corps (XXXXVIII PzK) in the 2 Panzer Army (Pz AOK 2)
of the Army Group Centre (HG Mitte).
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On September 27, the Division was visited by the Generaloberst Guderian, who wrote
in his memoires: (.) I visited the XXXXVIII Armoured Corps to verify its condition.

After a brief conversation with staff officers at Romny, I proceeded to the township of
Krasna (10 kilometres east of Nedryhailiv), where the 9 Panzer Division under
Generalleutnant von Hubicki was stationed () .
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The XXXXVIII Armoured Corps advanced on September 30 from the region of


Hadyach and Shtepivka through Nedryhailiv towards Putivl. The 9 Division was among
the units heading the attack. As recalled by Generaloberst Guderian: General Kempf
informs me that during the fight around Shtepivka the Russians unexpectedly attacked two
battalions of the 119 Infantry Regiment (Inf.Rgt. 119) and captured their vehicles. The
attack was conducted by heavy tanks. It was an unpleasant loss. Some units from the 9
Division had to turn back to resolve the situation.
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Hauptmann Heinz Unger, chief of staff of the 1 Company of the Schtzen-Regiment 10
decorated with the Rit-terkreuz.
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Autumn rains changed the Russian roads into impassable quagmires. Somewhere in the steppes, a motorcyclist
from the Kradschtzen-Batail-lon 59 negotiates a road that has disappeared into mud.


A group of soldiers soldiers just managed to push a truck out of the mud.


The vehicles could not handle the sloughy conditions without assistance of human muscles. Soldiers pushing a
captured French made Renault truck.


On October 1, Generaloberst Halder wrote: The 2 Armoured Group is experiencing
difficulties in aborting the defence of its flank (). The 9 Panzer Division also had to
engage the enemy one more time, thus its transfer north was delayed.
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In October, the 9 Division had four Pz.Kpfw. I, 14 Pz.Kpfw. II, 31 Pz.Kpfw. III, six
Pz.Kpfw. IV and seven Pz.Bf.Wg. tanks at its disposal.
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On October 5, the Division advanced north of Rylsk. According to the Soviet


account, at 1 oclock at night, a Soviet tank regiment from 150 Tank Brigade broke
through the lines and reached the headquarters of the 9 Panzer Division. A T-34 tank
commanded by Lieutenant Korinienko supposedly destroyed 15 staff vehicles. In the later
hours of the day, the Division took the town of Krupets.
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The night of 6 and 7 of October brought a first snowfall. The snow melted quickly but it
turned the roads into impassable quagmires. Generaloberst Guderian wrote The
XXXXVIII Armoured Corps on its way to Dmitriyev marched on foot through the mud.
On October 7, the 9 Division captured Dmitrovsk while continuing the advance towards
Orel.
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In the first half of October, the 9 Panzer Division was involved in the encircling
operation against the Soviet 13 Army between Sevsk and Dmitrovsk. On October 9 the
Russians attempted a breakout from the pocked, thus the XXXXVIII Armoured Corps
already dispatched by the Army Group Centre towards Kursk and Livny at the time, was
ordered to return with all its forces to the Sevsk region.
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The snow kept on falling through October 12. The XXXXVIII Corps could barely
move on its way to Fatezh due to muddy roads. Two day later, the Corps, aided by the 18
Panzer Divisions units, readied its troops for the assault on Fatezh. After that objective
was achieved, the Corps was to attack Kursk from the northwest. On October 25, the units
of the 9 Panzer Division captured Fatezh. On the same day the Division, along with most
of the XXXXVIII Armoured Corps troops, was assigned to the 2 Army (AOK 2).
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9th Panzer Division quartermaster vehicles passing by a destroyed Soviet column. An artillery tractor ChTZ-S65
Stalinec with damaged drivers cabin is visible.

The assault towards Kursk commenced on October 26, as a result, the city itself was
taken on November 3. After a few days of rest and troop rearrangement, beginning on
November 8, the 9 Panzer Division begun an attack on Tim, Yelec and Efremov.
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On November 16, probably somewhere near Tim, one of the Pz.Kpfw. II light tanks led
by Fahnenjunker Ludwig Bauer received a direct 152 millimetre hit from a Russian KV-2
heavy tank. The driver and the radio operator were killed. The commander survived,
although he was wounded.
November 20 1941 marked the 152 day of the Russian Campaign, at which time
Generaloberst Halder wrote: The 2 Army is successfully moving ahead The 9 Pz. Div.
took Tim. Enemy defences are weak in some places, nonexistent in others.
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From November 22, the Division established a defensive perimeter east of Shchigry
town. A Soviet counterattack had to be repelled on November 23. Oberleutnant Georg
Grner, chief of the 1 Company of the 33 Panzer Regiment received the Ritterkreuz.
The same medal was awarded to Hauptmann Franz Kohout, commander of the II
Battalion of the 33 Panzer Regiment on December 4. The defence perimeter taken by
the 9 Division at that time was facing the Soviet 2 Guards Rifle Division from the 40
Army. On December 5 the Soviet counter offensive at Moscow begun, and although the
main thrust of the Soviet forces was directed towards the Moscow region, the supporting
assaults of Red Army (RKKA) units were conducted in the area guarded by the 9 Panzer
Division.
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Divisional vehicles, amongst them a horse drawn Panje-wagen, passing by obliterated Soviet artillery column
in autumn of 1941. In the centre, Soviet 152 mm howitzer M1939 type M-10. On the right, a partial view of
German Steyr Typ 250.


The Panje-wagen, often just ordinary four wheel farm carts, were under certain weather conditions the only
reliable form of transport. Even tracked vehicles were often helpless during the mud season.


Wounded soldiers from Schtzen-Regiment 10 ready for evacuation in autumn of 1941.


Divisional vehicles in a village near Kursk during the winter of 1941. A cross country Mercedes - Benz Typ 170
VK may be seen.


On December 12, according to Generaloberst Halders commentary: The 2 Army
was integrated into the 2 Panzer Army. The situation of the 2 Army is very tense. The 9
Pz. Div. will be facing an initial Soviet assault and its subsequent reinforcements.
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The order issued on the same day reclassified the 102 Artillery Regiment as the 102
Panzer Artillery Regiment (Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 102 - Pz.Art.Rgt. 102). A day later,
on December 13, Generalstabschef Halder wrote in his Kriegstagebuch: The attack
against the 9 Pz. Div. along the railroad line so far repelled.
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During the following two days, the 9 Division managed to fend off subsequent attacks.
Nevertheless, the situation was serious. A continuous front line did not exist, thus the
German defence clustered in villages and townships, while the Soviet units were able to
permeate between, often enclosing the defenders in isolated pockets. In Summary of
events of December 12 1941 prepared by Generaloberst Guderian, it may be read: For
example, in the event of penetration of the 9 Pz. Div.s defences, or infiltration through a
serrated resistance perimeter of the 95 Infantry Division (95 Inf.Div.), the present contour
of the front, which may not be even considered a continuous line, will be impossible to
hold; furthermore, even considering the extreme valour of those units the encirclement will
be unavoidable. It seems that Generaloberst Guderian was suggesting to ignore Hitlers
direct order not a step back.
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A group of soldiers, apparently freezing, by a field kitchen. The outer wardrobe, consisting of greatcoats and
woven toques, derivative of balaclava headgear, were the only protection from bitter temperatures.


On January 1 1942, the 95 Infantry Division came under attack by Soviet ski troops.
The attack was driven back by the 9 Division with the aid of tanks. Noteworthy is some
of the tanks were used as a stationary gun emplacements due to lack of fuel. Following
that period, the 9 Division cooperated with the 3 Panzer Division. Between December
and January, the 9 Division was most likely divided into independent combat groups, due
to the nature of operations, comprising of the defence of isolated strongholds established
in inhabited areas. One of the groups was named Kampfgruppe Schmalz after the
commanding officer of the 11 Rifle Regiment, Oberstleutnant Wilhelm Schmalz.
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In February 1942, the 9 Panzer Division was still holding positions between Shchigry
and Kursk. The Division, along with the rest of the XXXXVIII Armoured Corps was
reassigned to the Army Group South (HG Sd) without any actual redeployment.
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During the same month, the 701 Company of self-propelled heavy infantry guns
received two s.I.G. 33 vehicles with steel wheels as reinforcements, as well as five
Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. B transporters as replacements. This weapon system proved itself to be
quite versatile, as the Pz.Kpfw. I undercarriage failed or wore out, the s.I.G. 33 gun was
dismantled and towed by the Sd.Kfz. 10 - 1t Zgkw. tractor until a new transporter chassis
was obtained.
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A MG-34 machine gun emplacement in the Kursk region village. Until more suitable attire could be supplied, the
German soldiers utilized Soviet ushanka hats obtained as war booty in the occupied territories.


During the Russian winters, horse drawn sleds became an essential means of transport.


In the course of winter fighting, which began in December 1941, the 9 Division
managed to hold its defence line. By March, the spring thaw hindered Soviet attacks. The
ground turned into impassable flowing mud, walking through it was so difficult that in
many German occupied townships wooden planks were laid down to ensure relatively
unobstructed pedestrian passage. In March and April, the divisional headquarters was
stationed in the village of Okhokchevka.
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The orders issued on March 14 dissolved the 9 Reconnaissance Battalion, and its
remnants were assigned to the 59 Battalion of Motorcycle Rifles. The 1 Company of
reconnaissance armoured cars became the 1 Company of the 59 Battalion of Motorcycle
Rifles (1./Kradsch. Btl. 59). One of the other orders received on that day nominated
Oberleutnant Hans-Henning Eichert from the 6 Company of the 11 Rifle Regiment as a
recipient of the Knights Cross rank of the Iron Cross.
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On April 15, Generalleutnant von Hubicki was recalled from his post of 9 Division
commander and transferred to the Wehrmachts cadre reserve. His farewell celebration
was held at the divisional headquarters. The anti-aircraft artillery of the 9 Division fired
an honorary salvo. The salute alarmed the XXXXVIII Armoured Corps headquarters to
such an extent that urgent telephone calls, inquiring about an ongoing Soviet attack, were
made. Generalmajor Johannes Baessler took over command. During April and May 1942,
the 9 Division, still stationed near the front, went through a refurbishment stage. The
equipment lost or deteriorated during the earlier operations was also replaced.
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The month of May brought spring to the Don River region. The intermission in combat
activities, caused by thawing snow and the inevitable subsequent muddy road conditions,
allowed for some rest of the troops. The recreational activities included concerts
performed at the divisional encampments. Noteworthy, even jazz music, officially banned
by the Nazi bureaucrats, was publically performed. Coincidentally, it turned out that
Oberleutnant Schmalz and Oberstleutnant Gutmann, both from the 11 Rifle Regiment,
were very talented percussion players. One of them excelled in playing bass drum, the
other one a snare drum.
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An order received on May 4 brought further adjustments to the 9 Division structure,


the 321 Observation Battery - Armoured was renumbered as 102 Armoured Observation
Battery (Panzer-Beobachtungs-Batterie 102 - Pz.Beob.Bttr. 102).
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As the troops enjoyed their recreation, a bowling tournament was conducted on May 11
at the 1 echelon (I Staffel) of the Kampfgruppe Schmalz stationed at the township of
Schtschigortschik. Meanwhile, the defensive positions taken up by the 9 Panzer Division
in December of 1941 were held until June 28 1942, until operation Blau commenced.
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An artillery lieutenant in front of troop quarters. An Allge-meinesturmabzeichen (General Assault Badge)
distinguishes the officer.


1 Tessin, op. cit., p. 290.


2 Jentz T. L., Die deutscheBand I, op. cit., p. 191.


3 Domaski J., Barbarossa 1941 vol. II, Bitwa pancerna na Zachodniej Ukrainie, Warszawa 2006 , p. 65.


4 Isaiev A., Dubno 1941, Moskva 2009, p. 172.


5 Proskurov became the town of Khmelnytskyij in modern times.


6 Halder F., Dziennik wojenny, v. III, p. 82.


7 Mnch K, StuG Abt. 197, Katowice - Speyer 2007, p. 84.


8 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 98.


9 Steiner F, Ochotnicy Waffen SS Idea i powicenie, Gdask 2010, p.65.


10 Isaiev A., op. cit. p. 171.


11 Halder F, op. cit., v. III, p. 111.


12 Bieszanow W, Pogrom pancerny 1941, Warszawa 2009, p. 263.


13 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 115.


14 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 126.


15 Solarz J., Wiking 1941-1945, Militaria 186, Warszawa 2003, p. 22.


16 Hermann C. H, op. cit., p. 172


17 Bernage G, de Lannoy F., Operation Barbarossa, Bayeaux 1996. p. 241.


18 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 172.


19 Hermann C. H, op. cit., p. 172.


20 Bernage G, de Lannoy F., op. cit., p. 241.


21 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 222.


22 Bernage G, de Lannoy F., op. cit., p. 270.


23 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 241.


24 Hermann C. H., op. cit., p. 172.

25 Jentz T. L., Die deutsche. Band I, op. cit. p. 206.


26 Bitva za Maskvu, Frontovaya Ilustracya nr 1, Moskva 2002, p. 4.


27 Lucas J., Ostheer Niemiecka Armia Wschodnia 1941-1945, Krakw 2008, p. 244.


28 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p.293.


29 Carell P., Operacja Barbarossa, p. 123.


30 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p.294.


31 Hermann C. H, op. cit., p. 172.


32 Hermann C. H., op. cit., p. 172.


33 The authors of the website: http://www.feldgrau.com/xxxxviii.html, state that the XXXXVIII AK (mot) was
on Jun.22.1941 re-designated as the XXXXVIII PzK, but both designations were used interchangeably
until 1942. Tessin states that the (mot.) XXXXVIII AK was re-designated according to the order issued
on Jun.21.942 as the XXXXVIII PzK (Tessin G, Verbnde und Truppen. V Band, Frankfurt/Main 1971,
p. 148). For the purpose of this publication, XXXXVIII PzK will be used


34 Guderian H, Wspomnienia onierza, Warszawa 1991, p. 182.


35 General de Panzertruppen Werner Kempf was the commander of the XXXXVIII PzK


36 Unit of the 25. Inf.Div.


37 Ibidem.


38 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 327.


39 Safronov A., Kurnosov W, Srasheniye za Tulu, Moskva 2008, p 6.


40 Bitva za Moskvu, op. cit., p. 29


41 Guderian H., op. cit., p. 187.

42 Halder F., op. cit., p. 371.


43 Hermann C. H, op. cit., p. 172.


44 Hermann C. H, op. cit, p. 172.


45 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 418.


46 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 419.


47 Piekakiewicz J., Bitwa o Moskw, Zamarznita ofensywa, Janki k. Warszawy 2004, p. 249.


48 Kurowski F., Infantry , p. 281.


49 Rosado J., Bishop Ch., Dywizje pancerne Wehrmachtu 1939-1945, Warszawa 2008, p. 91.


50 Jentz T. L, Doyle H. L, Panzer Tracts No. 10, Artillerie Selbstfahrlafette, Boyds 2002, p. 2.


51 Hermann C. H., op. cit., p. 172.

Operation Blau

As the Germans regained control of the situation at the front after the winter of
1941/1942, Hitler planned a new offensive in the east. The objective was Stalingrad and
the oil fields in the Caucasus region. According to the Generalstab des Heeres /
Organisation Abteilung (Army General Staff / Organization Department) directive,
issued on February 18 in preparation for the summer offensive, all two battalion tank
regiments were strengthened by addition of a third tank battalion. From that moment, each
of the three battalions was to consist of two light and one medium tank company. The
specific order concerning the 9 Division came on May 10, the I battalion from the 3
Panzer Regiment (I./Pz.Rgt. 3) of the 2 Panzer Division was transferred, and became the
third battalion of the 33 Panzer Regiment (III./Pz.Rgt. 33).
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By the end of June, as part of the reinforcements, the I Armoured Battalion of the 10
Rifle Regiment received about 85 medium SPW Schtzenpanzerwagen (armoured
personnel carrier) vehicles, which were halftrack armoured transporters Sd.Kfz. 251, as
well as a number of heavy self-propelled anti-tank guns - sPak. (Sfl.), which were most
likely the 7.62 cm Pak 36 (r) Fgst. auf Pz.Kpfw. II Sd.Kfz. 132 Marder II type.
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At the time of the of the summer offensive, on June 1942, the Army Group South
had nine armoured divisions at its disposal, the 3 , 9 , 11 , 13 , 14 , 16 , 22 , 23 and 24 .
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On June 2 the 9 Divisions 102 Armoured Artillery Regiment was reinforced by an


addition of the IV Detachment, which previously was the 287 Land Forces Anti-aircraft
Detachment (Heeres-Flakartillerie-Abt. 287 - H.Flakart.Abt. 287). This new sub-unit had
four batteries numbered 9 - 12.
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On June 22, during the final stages of preparation for the summer offensive, the 9
Panzer Division was equipped with the following tanks: 22 Pz.Kpfw. II, 38 Pz.Kpfw. III
armed with a short barrel 50 mm gun (Ausf. E-J), 61 Pz.Kpfw. III armed with a long barrel
50 mm gun (Ausf. J-L), nine Pz.Kpfw. IV armed with a short barrel 75 mm gun (Ausf. BF1), 12 Pz.Kpfw. IV armed with a long barrel 75 mm gun (Ausf. F2-G). In all it had 142
tanks, supplemented by two command tanks Pz.Bef.Wg.
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Troops of the Hungarian 2nd Army during a march to their initial positions before operation Blau .


For the duration of the Operation Blau the Division was part of the XXIV Armoured
Corps (XXIV PzK) incorporated into the 4 Panzer Army (PzAOK 4) assigned to the Army
Group South.
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The German offensive begun on June 28, 1942. At 10 oclock in the morning, the
Wehrmacht units moved forward. The main thrust was undertaken by the units of the 4
Panzer Army under General Herman Hoth. The assault was directed towards the river
Don, south of the Kursk-Voronezh railway line. The attack, conducted along a 45
kilometre stretch, was aimed at the junction of the Soviet 13 and 40 Army defensive
boundaries. The first wave of the German assault consisted of the three Panzer Divisions 9 , 11 and 24 , three infantry divisions and a motorised division. Armoured grenadiers
crossed the river Tim in pontoon boats and secured an area large enough to establish a
bridgehead. It took only one hour for the 86 Armoured Pioneer Battalion to put together a
provisional bridge allowing for the passage of tanks. During the crossing, a Pz.Kpfw. III
Ausf. N tank carrying Fahnenjunker Ludwig Bauer, mentioned before, was hit by an antitank shell. The commanders position was destroyed, causing the death of Leutnant Sirse.

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By the end of the day, the Bryansk Front ramparts were penetrated. German tanks
advanced 8 to 12 kilometres behind Soviet defensive lines towards Kastornoye, breaking
the communications links and disrupting the command structures of the Red Army. The
German advance continued for a few days. An entry made in the Combat Journal of the
Supreme Command of the Armed Forces (Kriegstagesbuch des Oberkommando der
Wehrmacht - KTB des OKW) on July 2 states: Panzer units of the Army Group von
Weichs (HG von Weichs) made rapid advances east and southeast, allowing the 24
Panzer Division to reach the western outskirts of Gorshechnoye; the township was heavily
defended by the enemy. The 16 Motorised Infantry Division turned south and is marching
towards Staryy Oskol; north of Gorshechnoye units of the Grossdeutschland Division
crossed the Olym River - the railroad bridge fell into our hands intact - and pushed the
enemy out of Kulevka. The 9 Pz. Div. is conducting an attack on Kastornoye. South of
Livny an eastward advance reached Kschen River. Strong enemy resistance noted
southwest of Livny. On the following day, July 3, the situation became even more
complicated for the Soviet side. The Germans deployed their reserve units and were
progressing towards Voronezh. The Soviet Army units concentrated on the determined
defence of the crucial junction, at the town of Kastornoye. The town was defended by the
284 Rifle Division, which absorbed the retreating units of the 111 and 119 Independent
Rifle Brigades. Soviet accounts state that the attempts to take the town from the initial
direction of German advance failed. Thus the 11 Panzer Division and the 377 Infantry
Division (377. Inf. Div.) bypassed Kastornoye from the north, while the 9 Panzer Division
was to take the southern route. Meanwhile, an order dated July 3 transformed the 11
Rifle Regiment into the 11 Panzer Grenadiers Regiment (Panzergrenadier-Regiment 11 Pz.Gren.Rgt. 11).
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1 Jentz T. L., Die deutsche. Band I, op. cit., p. 215.


2 Jentz T. L, Die deutsche.,Band I, op. cit., p. 219.


3 Stoves R, op. cit., p. 70.


4 Ibidem.


5 Jentz T. L, Die deutscheBand I, op. cit., p. 236.


6 http://www.stengerhistorica.com/History/WarArchive/Ritterkreuztraeger/Bauer.htm


7 Percy E. Schramm Kriegstagesbuch des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht 1942, Teilband 1, Eine
Dokumentation, p. 468.


8 Koomyjec M., Smirnow A., Fall Blau 1942, Warszawa 2004, p. 36.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE CHART OF THE 9 PANZER DIVISION ON


JUNE 22 1942
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As stated in the Kriegstagesbuch des OKW, on July 4 the 9 Pz. Div. crossed Olym
River, turned north and begun an assault on Kastornoye, which is under attack of the 377
Infantry Division from the north. Soviet sources claim that the German manoeuvre was
foreseen, so in order to avoid encirclement, the 284 Rifle Division withdrew all its units
and supporting artillery during the night of July 4, and took positions in the vicinity of
Terbuny.
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10

Following the pattern established two days prior, on July 5 the 9 Rifle Brigade was
converted into the 9 Panzer Grenadiers Brigade (9. Panzergrenadier-Brigade).
Subsequent orders of the same day renamed the 10 Rifle Regiment into the 10 Panzer
Grenadiers Regiment (Panzergrenadier-Regiment 10 - Pz.Gren.Rgt. 10).
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As the railroad lines in the Kursk area were destroyed by partisans, Hungarian units had to disembark in
Ukraine, and travel to the front by road, marching some 400 to 500 kilometres.

In the meantime, the Red Army attempted to hold off the German offensive. The Soviet
5 Tank Army launched a counterattack towards Zemlyansk on July 5, to cut the supply
lines of the German armoured group, which managed to break through the Don River in
the direction of Voronezh. In its next move, the 5 Tank Army was to positioned itself in
the rear of the enemy forces, liquidate the Don River crossing and assist the 40 Army in a
break out from the pocket around Kastornoye. General M.I. Kazakov, the Bryansk Fronts
chief of staff recalls the events as: Instead of arranging for a concentrated tank attack,
carried out simultaneously with even just four or five tank brigades advancing on a 12 to
15 kilometres stretch, the tank corps commanders deployed their armour straight from the
road columns, launching more or less two spearheading battalions per corps. This kind of
tactics, usually applied in a situation where a breach through the enemy lines already
existed, resulted in a combat introduction of just a few battalions, while the main forces
stood still, taking unnecessary losses from ongoing German aerial assault. But, even this
weak attack forced the enemy to redirect two armoured divisions from the XXIV Armoured
Corps: the 11 Panzer Division was diverted north in the direction Terbuny, while the 9
Panzer Division was rerouted towards Ozerki via Zemlyansk.
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11

The morning of July 6 brought an attack of the armoured brigades from the 7 Tank
Corps under Colonel Pavel Rotmistrov. In the vicinity of Krasnaya Polyana, an encounter
with 11 Panzer Division took place. As a result, the German troops were halted, and then
driven back to 15 kilometres beyond Kobylia Snova River. It is most likely, that on this
day the 9 Panzer Division, in one battle, destroyed two Soviet tank brigades from the 5
Tank Army. The entry in the Kriegstagesbuch des OKW regarding the situation of the 4
Panzer Army between the rivers Don and Olym, made on July 7 seems to support this
statement: ..just the 9 Pz. Div. alone, until 2 oclock in the afternoon yesterday (July 6),
destroyed 61 enemy tanks. The 9 Panzer Division captured Zemlyansk on the same day
of July 6. On that date, Generaloberst Halder noted a directive given during a briefing at
the Fhrers headquarters: Orders issued to stop the 9 and 11 Panzer Divisions, and
make all the motorised units immediately available be led by Tich Sosna following behind
the XXXX Army Corps. There is another note regarding a conversation between Halder
and Keitel in which a decision was made not to engage the armoured and motorised units
in fighting at Voronezh: All efforts must be made as quickly as possible to dispatch the
Grossdeutschland and the 24 Panzer Division, right behind the XXXX Army Corps, to
be followed by the 9 and 11 Panzer Division.
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Hungarian infantry were not motorized, thus the units, accompanied by horse drawn wagons, had to walk.


An artillery lieutenant inspecting the front before the Fall Blau operation. On the left, there is a mittlerer
Einheits Pkw. Kfz. 17 communication vehicle.


The Soviet 11 Tank Corps under Major General A.F. Popov, supported by the 19
Independent Tank Brigade, arrived on July 7 and immediately engaged the enemy straight
from the road march formation. On that day Fahnenjunker Bauer, mentioned before,
managed to survive another direct hit from a Russian KV- 1 heavy tank on his Pz.Kpfw.
III.
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Generalstabschef Halder commented in his journal on the condition of the 6 Army on


July 8: Enemy tank attacks continue at the northern front. The 9 Pz. Div.was again able
to destroy numerous tanks. That same day the 9 Division took Kastornoye. A report
dated July 9 states that the 33 Panzer Regiment had 106 tanks at its disposal.
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July 10 Generaloberst Halder wrote: Northern sector of von Weichs front is under
heavy attack. The intended pull out of the 9 and 11 Panzer Division is complicated.
During the fierce four-day combat that erupted on July 7, the formations of two Soviet
army corps pushed the Germans some 4 to 5 kilometres back, reaching the Sukhaya
Vereyka River on July 10. The 2 Tank Corps under General Major I.G. Lazariev finally
entered into combat on that same day. As Generaloberst Halder noted: Northern combat
perimeter of the von Weichs units is still under heavy attack of a large tank force.
Despite some local break through accomplishments, the attack was stopped. At that
point, the Soviet forces were not able to attain any significant success. Lack of
coordination during the introduction of the 5 Tank Army units into combat allowed their
adversary to deploy reserves and set up reinforced positions along the river, which in itself
formed a natural and convenient defence line. As a result, General Liziukovs forces were
halted. The German units, including the 9 Panzer Division, organized powerful resistance
supported by anti-tank artillery and minefields in the vicinity of Zemlyansk. These
defences could not be penetrated. Furthermore, Russian tank unit thrusts were not aligned
with the path of the main offensive, their armour carried out classic wide frontal attacks
reminiscent of ordinary infantry formations, with pre-assigned sectors and divisional
zones. Instead of a fist, a hand with outstretched fingers was shoved towards the
enemy. Nevertheless, in order to fend off the attack, the Germans had to recall the 9 , the
11 Panzer Division and three infantry divisions from the north, and provide them with
sizeable airborne support. In all, the Soviet counter-attack not only delayed the German
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offensive towards Voronezh, but it also allowed the Bryansk Front units a few days to
prepare defences at the new positions.
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An encampment at the operation Blau preliminary positions. Behind the tents made of combined Zeltbahn camouflage tarpaulin, there is a Pz.Kpfw. II light tank.


An artilleryman in Panzerwaffe (Armoured Force) uniform; an Allgemeines-turmabzeichen and a Eisernes Kreuz
II klasse (Iron Cross 2nd class) ribbon may be noted


The same artillery officer in tankers uniform next to a Pz.Kpfw. II light tank. A fragment of a tactical identifier,
AR0 painted on the turret, most likely indicates the Artillerie Regiment. If the above assumption is correct,
the tank was used as an artillery observation tank, and was assigned to a fire coordination/observer specialist.
Between July 23 and 28 1942, the Pz.Kpfw. II tanks obtained more powerful radio transmitters, which allowed
them to communicate with artillery units.


A Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf.F light tank from 9th Panzer Division. The A907 tactical number is displayed. Letter A
probably indicates either a Headquarters Company or Command Platoon of a Panzer battalion.


Officers of the 33rd Panzer Regiments staff in a crosscountry staff car Horch Kfz. 15. First from the right, Oberstleutnant Gerhard Willing commander of the III Battalion of the 33rd Panzer Regiment of a Panzer battalion.


The last moments of peace before the attack. Captured in this photograph is an artilleryman wearing a shirt. His
Erkennungsmarke (identity disc, also referred to as a dog tag), is worn on the suspenders. Many soldiers of this
formation adhered to this particular custom.


9th Panzer Division tanks are seen here assuming positions in grasslands before an attack. In the background a
rear view of Pz.Kpfw. II light tank. The photograph was taken from the turret of another Pz.Kpfw. II - the tip of the
20 mm gun barrel is visible in the foreground.


A meal consumed next to a concealed Pz.Kpfw. II light tank. An improvised sun or rain cover made of the
Zeltbahn tarp is noteworthy.


The Panzerbefehlswagen III command tanks had a characteristic frame antenna mounted at the rear . As the
enemy became more experienced, this feature allowed for quick identification and successful targeting of the
commanders tanks from long distances. In order to prevent that, the command tanks had to become
indistinguishable. Thus, an order was issued to dismantle the antennae. The photograph shows one of the two
Pz.Bf.Wg. III Ausf.H tanks in service with the 9th Panzer Division at the time, with the antenna removed. A mock
up of the 50 mm (5 cm KwK (L/42)) cannon (dummy gun) may also be noted. This particular tank has the R01

tactical marking. The letter R stands for Regiment, and the number indicates the vehicle of Oberst Ewald
Kraeber, leader of the Pz.Rgt. 33.


The 9th Panzer Divisions tanks unfold to assume an attack formation.


Divisional vehicles on the Russian steppe. In the foreground a semi tracked armoured Sd.Kfz. 250 transporter.


Three Pz.Kpfw., probably Ausf. J or Ausf. L, dispersed in the steppes during Divisional operations.


Combat in the steppe. Well aimed shots set the Soviet tanks on fire.


As the German armoured units were expected to advance, the Soviets tried to position their tanks behind natural
obstacles or in manmade trenches, in such a way that only the turrets were exposed towards the approaching
enemy. When the German tanks neared, they were subjected to a close range fire. The photograph portrays an
entrenched Soviet T-34 tank overwhelmed by the German onslaught.


Another Soviet T-34 tank destroyed in its concealed position.


A group of Soviet prisoners of war. In the background, two German Pz.Kpfw. III tanks.


Capsized wreck of Soviet BA-20 armoured car. German tanks are visible in the background.


Staff briefing somewhere in the vast Russian grasslands. In front of the Pz.Bf.Wg.III Ausf.H, there is a motorcycle
messenger. Pictured in the rear, a Pz.Kpfw. II light tank used by an artillery coordination officer.


Two 9th Panzer Division troopers. One on the left is distinguished by the Panzerkampfabzeichen (Panzer Assault
Badge), one on the right has the same decoration as well as the Eisernes Kreuz I klasse (Iron Cross 1st class).


Three soldiers photographed in a conversation during a combat interval. Two of them were awarded the Eisernes
Kreuz I klasse.


Two recipients of the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (German Cross in Gold) - a tanker and a lieutenant from the
Panzer Grenadier Regiment posed in front of a Pz.Kpfw. II artillery observation tank. The lettering painted on the
turret - AR05 - leads to a belief that this tank was assigned to an Artillerie Regiment.


Another trio of the 9th Panzer Division soldiers looking at a burning Russian truck with an 76 mm anti-tank ZIS-3
cannon.


A burned out shell of an American made Studebaker US-6 truck delivered to the Red Army under the Lend-Lease.
Manufacturers mark is visible.


A destroyed Red Army Valentine MK III tank produced in Great Britain or Canada. The vehicle had tactical
number 028.


As Operation Fall Blau was finished, the 9 Division prepared a report regarding the
German and Soviet armoured units tactics. It stated that in the first phase of the campaign
lasting from June 28 to July 13, the cooperation between armoured troops and artillery
hardly existed due to the lack of radio communications. The report indicated: Following
installation of a suitable radio in the Pz.Kpfw. II, cooperation with the artillery
significantly improved during the period from 23 to 28 July. Supplying the artillery with
Pz.Kpfw. II for observation should still be viewed as a makeshift solution.
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Generalstabschef Halder wrote on July 14 : Between Voronezh and our previous


positions a weak enemy attacks were carried out, they were defeated by a 9 and 11 Pz.
Div. strike between Don and Olym Rivers. While the fighting on July 14 may have
subsided, the overall intensity of the fighting may be illustrated by the fact that the same
afternoon a report was sent alerting that the 33 Panzer Regiment had only 55 operational
tanks left.
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On July 15, Generaloberst Halder wrote: The front northwest of Voronezh was
attacked only by enemy units the size of a regiment or a battalion, but they were
repelled.
26

The 9 Divisions tanks declared as a total loss by that date were: two Pz.Kpfw. II, nine
Pz.Kpfw. III (short barrel), 19 Pz.Kpfw. III (long barrel), five Pz.Kpfw. IV (short barrel)
and four Pz.Kpfw. IV (long barrel) , a total of 39 combat vehicles. On July 18, it was
reported that the number of tanks in the 33 Panzer Regiment rose to 94, which was most
likely an accomplishment by service technicians who managed to repair some damaged
vehicles.
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Generaloberst Halder noted on July 21 : Northwest of Voronezh stronger enemy


action, with breakthroughs reported as wide as 10 kilometres, and as deep a 3 kilometres

beyond our lines.

29

The next day Generalstabschef OKH continued: Northwest of Voronezh at the place of
yesterdays breakthrough, renewed strong attacks continue. Until July 23, the 9 Panzer
Division continued defensive efforts on the flank of the Army Group von Weichs
against Red Army troops attacking from the north, in the region of Bolshaya Vereyka.
That days entry in Generaloberst Halders notebook states: Northwest of Voronezh
heavy fighting against massive enemy attack. Wide enemy breakthrough. The 9 Pz. Div.
counterattacks.
30

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An entry in the Kriegstagesbuch des Oberkommando der Wehrmachtdated July 24


informs of the Army Group B situation: Counter attack eliminated the breakthrough.
The units of the 9 Pz. Div. are engaging the enemy Generaloberst Halders account of
the day states: Voronezh and the dry front : heavy fighting, with many enemy tanks
destroyed and very successful defence. The number of tanks at the disposal of the 9
Panzer Division on that day was 96.
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Motorcyclists from the Kradschtzen-Bataillon 59 riding through the grasslands.


In the journal of Generalstabschef Halder under July 25 it is noted: Near Cymlansk (
should read Zemlyansk ) fierce attacks against a seemingly even more determined
enemy. The next days entry follows: Near Cymlansk (should read Zemlyansk)
successful counter attack of the 9 Panzer Division restores the previous positions. Heavy
losses sustained! Further enemy attacks should be anticipated. During the fighting
Generalleutnant J. Baessler, commander of the 9 Panzer Division, was wounded on July
27, his post was temporarily taken over by Oberst Heinrich-Hermann von Hlsen. On
July 30, Generalleutnant Walter Scheller reported for duty as the 9 Panzer Divisions
commanding officer at the new headquarters of the Army High Command at Vinnytsia. A
report dated July 31 stated that the 33 Panzer Regiment had 113 operational tanks.
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This was the day that the previously mentioned report on the German and Soviet
armoured units tactics, based on the combat experiences of the 33 Panzer Regiment, was
published. It indicated that: In contrast to the tactics used in the previous campaign, in
this campaign the regiment was usually employed as a single unit and thereby could
achieve larger successes than when individual companies were employed, each having its
own assignment. At least one battalion has to be sent on detached assignments.
Detachment of a single company must remain an exception. Concentrated employment of
all Panzers should always be strived for.
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The safety of the command tanks also received some attention: Removing the frame
antenna from the Pz.Bef.Wg. was beneficial. From a distance the Pz.Bef.Wg. is hardly
discernible from a gun-armed Panzer. The Soviet defensive tank tactics were also
analysed in the report. It was said that the Russians place their tanks in man-made ditches
or behind natural obstacles, in such a way that only the turrets are exposed. When they
identified the main body of German Panzers attacking or advancing, they took up hulldown positions and let the German Panzers come on.
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43

On August 3, the sixteenth 9 Panzer Division trooper was awarded the Knights Iron
Cross. It was Feldwebel Alois Eckert from the 9 Company of the 33 Panzer Regiment.
The 9 Division was guarding the flank of the Army Group B (von Weichs) up until
August 4.
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A Hungarian unit, probably the 150thBattalion of pioneers advancing towards Don River. Bridge pontoons or
assault boats are transported by means of horse traction, the 150th Battalion had two companies equipped in such a
way.


9 Percy E. Schramm, op. cit., Teilband 1, p. 474.


10 Koomyjec M., Smirnow A., op. cit., p. 36.


11 Koomyjec M., Smirnow A., op. cit., p. 41.


12 Glantz D. M., House J. M., When Titans clashed, Kansas 1995, p. 119.


13 Schramm P. E., op. cit., Teilband 1, p. 482.


14 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 574.


15 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 575.


16 http://www.stengerhistorica.com/History/WarArchive/Ritterkreuztraeger/Bauer.htm clash, http://www.ritterkreuztraeger-1939-45.de/Infanterie/B/Bauer-Ludwig.htm


17 Percy E. Schramm, op. cit., Teilband 1, p. 484-485.


18 Jentz T L, Die deutsche Band I, op. cit., p. 241.


19 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 578.


20 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 579.


21 Bieszanow W, Poligon czerwonych generaw, Gdask-Warszawa 2009, p. 212-213.


22 Ibidem.


23 Jentz T. L, Die deutscheBand I, op. cit, p. 243.


24 Halder F., op. cit, v. III, p. 582.


25 Jentz T. L, Die deutsche.Band I, op. cit., p. 241.


26 Halder F., op. cit, v. III, p. 583.


27 Jentz T. L, Die deutscheBand I, op. cit., p. 241.


28 Ibidem.


29 Halder F., op. cit, v. III, p. 589.


30 Halder F., op. cit, v. III, p. 590.


31 Ibidem.


32 Schramm P. E., op. cit, Teilband 1, p. 523.


33 A stretch of front on the left flank of HGB, bowed away from Don River, without any water obstacles.
Halder F, op. cit., v. III, p. 586.


34 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 592.


35 Jentz T. L., Die deutscheBand I, op. cit., p. 241.


36 It is most likely that gen. Halder is mistaken as to the townships name transliteration. Cymlansk lays few
hundred kilometres southeast near Volgodonsk in the Rostov - on -Don region, but it is unlikely that the
9.Pz. Div. was transferred to that area.


37 Halder F, op. cit., v. III, p. 593.


38 Ibidem.


39 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 597.


40 Jentz T. L., Die deutsche.Band I, op. cit., p. 241.


41 Ibidem.


42 Jentz T. L., Die deutscheBand I, op. cit., p. 243.


43 Ibidem.


44 Hermann C. H., op. cit., p. 172.

Operation Wirbelwind

Unexpectedly, on August 4 1942 just as Generalleutnant Scheller took over the 9
Division command post, the unit was withdrawn from the front lines. Passing through
Shchigry, Fatezh and Orel, it reached the operational region of the Army Group Mitte
north of Orel. On August 11, the Division reached Bolkhov, where it was incorporated
into the XXXXI Armoured Corps (XXXXI PzK) of the 2 Panzer Army under General
Schmidt. In the middle of August, the Germans launched an attack on Kaluga from the
region north of Bolkhov. Their advance towards Sukhinichi, was meant to counteract the
Russian offensive headed for Rzhev. The intent of the operation, code named
Wirbelwind (Whirlwind), was to break through the defences of the Soviet 16 and 61
Armies, and conduct an assault in the direction of Sukhinichi. The next stage of the
operation was to position the forces in the region west of Yukhnov. Such a move would
threaten an entire left flank of the Soviet Western Front. A total of eleven divisions,
including the 9 and the 11 Panzer Divisions and the 25 Motorised Infantry Division
participated in the operation. The units listed above had some 400 combat vehicles. The
Luftwaffe was to provide an extensive air support throughout the operation. As mentioned
before, Generalleutnant Walter Scheller was at the time the commanding officer of the 9
Panzer Division, the 33 Panzer Regiment was led by Oberst Wilhelm Hochbaum, while
the 9 Armoured Grenadier Brigade was commanded by Oberst Heinrich-Herman von
Hlsen. The 10 and the 11 Armoured Grenadier Regiments were under command of
Oberst Willibald Borowietz and Oberstleutnant Joachim Gutmann respectively. Oberst
Walter Gorn was in charge of the 59 Motorcycle Rifles Battalion at the time.
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An August 11 the units of the 2 Panzer Army conducted a surprise attack at the
junction of the sectors occupied by Soviet 16 and 61 Armies. The German units swiftly
overcame the defences and drove a narrow wedge some 35 to 40 kilometres deep. The
attackers reached the Zhizdra River near Usty and Belyy Kamen.
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The report dated August 12 indicates that the 33 Panzer Regiment had 110 tanks.
rd


Town of Bolkhov; the 9th Panzer Division passed through the area on August 11, on the way to join the 2nd Panzer
Army.


On the same day Generaloberst Halder noted in his journal: The Army Group Mitte
is experiencing its first difficulties, the way for the 11 and 9 Panzer Divisions has to be
fought for. The 9 Panzer Division was proceeding on the right wing of the 2 Panzer
Army right behind the 11 Division. As a result of the German advance, three rifle
divisions of General Bielov were cut off from the main forces. At the same time, another
grouping of German units attacked the 322 Rifle Division positioned on the left wing of
General Ivan Bagramians 16 Army, defending the Rossieta River perimeter. With that
series of moves, the Germans hoped to reach the Zhizdra River and join their main assault
forces fighting against General Bielovs units. Despite the fact that General Bagramian
deployed his reserves, the Germans managed to reach Zhizdra between Gretnia and Usty.
The 322 Rifle Division sustained very heavy losses, nonetheless it avoided being sacked
and withdrew to the other side of the river. As the German objectives and the magnitude of
the operation became evident to the Soviet command, General Bagramian issued two
orders:
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the 10 Tank Corps under General Burkov was to move out of Sukhinichi region and by
morning of August 12 position its forces at the north bank of Zhizdra behind the left wing
of the army. The Corps was to prepare for a southward counterattack against the German
units, which broke through the defences of the 61 Army.
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the defence perimeter of the 5 Guard Rifle Corps led by Major General G. P. Korotkov,
was to be taken over by the neighbouring units and the 31 Guard Rifle Division deployed
from the army reserves. Meanwhile General Korotkovs Corps was to march through the
night to be able to concentrate its forces near Aleshinka on the north bank of Zhizdra by
the morning of August 12.
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In an additional move, the Soviet 1 Guard Cavalry Corps was positioned behind the left
wing of the Soviet armies. On August 14, Generaloberst Halder recorded that: The
st

Wirbelwind attack is progressing, but a strong and determined defence, as well as


fortified terrain allow for only a slow advance. Usty township was eventually taken by
the 10 Armoured Grenadier Regiment. The entry in the Combat Journal of the Supreme
Command of the Armed Forces (KTB des OKW) dated August 16 states: Operation
Wirbelwind conducted by the Army Group Mitte achieved very little with
exceptionally heavy losses. Generalfeldmarschall von Kluge, reports via telephone that the
attack cannot penetrate the enemy lines through the forests near Sukhinichi, because there
is one stronghold after another, and the passages between the woodlands are protected by
mine fields.
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Staff consultation with Generalmajor Walter Scheller, commander of the 9th Panzer Division, before operation
Wirbelwind.

A frontal command post in the forest near Shizdra, during operation Wirbel-wind . Generalmajor Scheller is
seen near the command version of the halftrack armoured transporters Sd.Kfz. 251/3.


On August 17, the 9 Panzer Division along with the 439 Infantry Regiment (Inf.Rgt.
439) from the 134 Infantry Division (134. Inf.Div.) fought in the area of Svetlyi Verch and
Tscherebet. The units were able to make contact with the 446 Infantry Regiment (Inf.Rgt.
446) of the same 134 Infantry Division, so the encirclement of the Soviet units defending
the area, so called little pocket could be completed. The same day of August 17,
Oberstleutnant Gorn, commander of the 59 Motorcycle Rifles Battalion received the
Knights Iron Cross with Oak Leaves as the 113 Wehrmacht trooper awarded this
decoration. The little pocket was cleared of enemy troops by August 18 1942.
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As a coincidence, that day, the 394 day of the Russian Campaign, marks the destruction
of the 1000 Soviet tank by the 9 Panzer Division. By that time, the Division reached the
intended bridgehead at Gretina. As the Germans arrived at Zhizdra River, for a few days
they attempted the crossing in order to press towards Sukhinichi. With extensive support
of the tanks, but suffering heavy losses, the river was finally crossed near Glinnaia,
allowing a narrow entry point into the forests south of Aleshinka. At that juncture, the
German motorised infantry came under a massive heavy artillery barrage from the Soviet
artillery brigade. In the meantime, the counter-attacks conducted by 146 Tank Brigade
and the units of the 11 Guard Rifle Division pushed the German forces back into the
woods. Soviet accounts claim that the enemy units were obliterated by Major General A.
W. Kurkins 9 Tank Corps, but this statement is over exaggerated. Nevertheless, the
German advance came to a standstill. The 11 Panzer Grenadier Regiment was involved in
a fierce fighting near the township of Bogdanovo - Kolodezi. The casualties were so
intense that in some companies the number of soldiers was reduced from the full strength
to only about 10 or 15. Meanwhile, other German units attempted to move northwest from
the Gretnia region towards Sukhinichi, but concentrated artillery fire and the Soviet
counterattack forced them back to their starting positions. The battle was at its
culmination. The Soviet 16 Army managed to hold its ground, forcing the enemy into the
defensive. The determined resistance and the counter-attacks conducted by the rifle units
supported by the 3 , 9 and 10 Tank Corps brought the German attack to a halt. Thus,
after the initial accomplishments of Wehrmacht between August 11 and 15, the units were
stuck in the forests on the north bank of Zhizdra River. German sources state that the
particularly bloody battles were fought between August 20 and 25. Some interesting
information about the affairs on August 20 1942 may be found in a letter from
Oberstleutnant Gustav-Adolf Bruns, commander of the 74 Panzer Grenadier Regiment
(Pz.Gr.Rgt. 74) to the town mayor of Hamlen, Brief des Kommandanten an den
Oberbrgmeister der Stadt Hameln. The letter contained a report on the breakthrough
assault conducted by the 74 Panzer Grenadiers against the Soviet positions in the forest
northeast of Gretnia, Gefechtsbericht ber den Durchbruch des verstrkten PanzerGrenadier-Regiment 74 durch den Wald nordstlich Gretnja am 20.08.1942. According
to this account, the reinforced 74 Panzer Grenadier Regiment was temporarily assigned to
the 17 Panzer Division on August 19. The assignment resulted in a transfer from
Kolmkschtschi vicinity to the area east of Gretnia. The regiment was ordered to breach the
Soviet defences and join forces with the 63 Panzer Grenadier Regiment (Pz.Gr.Rgt. 63)
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under Oberstleutnant Hermann Seitz. At the time, this unit was operating as the Seitz
Combat Group (Gruppe Seitz); it had reached the southern outskirts of Aleshinka
village but was cut off from the rest of the forces. According to the plan, the 74 Panzer
Grenadier Regiment was to aid the Group in capturing Aleshinka. The regimental
command was also aware that south of Seitz Group there is another German unit
positioned in a nearby forest clearing. It was the III Battalion of the 15 Panzer Regiment
(III/Pz.Rgt. 15) commanded by Oberst Hochbaum , which was not able reach the Seitz
Group due to strong enemy resistance. During the night of August 19 and 20, the
Battalion, referred to as Hochbaum Group (Gruppe Hochbaum), assumed an allround, deep defensive formation. On August 20 at 3:30 in the afternoon, the 74 Pz.Gr.
Regiment entered the woods. At first, the march was uninterrupted, but before reaching
the Hochbaum Groups positions, the I Battalion of the 74 Regiment (I./Pz.Gren.Rgt.
74) was drawn into a series of forest skirmishes with Soviet units. After some fierce
fighting, the Soviet troops were pushed away from the path of the Regiment. At about
4:55 in the afternoon a link with the Hochbaum Group was established. During the
subsequent fighting, the 74 Regiment was able to clear the area northwest of the
Hochbaum Groups stronghold, pushing back the Soviet units. However, the advance
aimed at joining the Seitz Group, which was conducted along the road, failed even
though all the reserves were utilized. The frontal attack undertaken afterwards, was also
ineffective in the heavily wooded area. On top of that, two German tanks moving down
the road were destroyed by a Soviet anti-tank gun firing from a concealed position. The
losses had an effect on morale, causing an understandable caution of Oberst Hochbaums
armoured unit. The attack subsided under a horrid infantry, mortar, anti-tank gun and
artillery fire, while the casualties accumulated. To reinforce the struggling units,
Generalleutnant Scheller of the 9 Panzer Division dispatched the 17 Motorcycle Rifle
Battalion (Kradsch.Btl. 17), the 59 Motorcycle Rifle Battalion, the II Battalion of the 11
Panzer Grenadier Regiment and the remains of the III Battalion of the 446 Infantry
Regiment (III./Inf.Rgt. 446). The above units became the Combat Group Burns
(Kampfgruppe Bruns), and were assigned to the 74 Panzer Grenadier Regiment. The
unit closest to the surrounded Seitz Group was the II Battalion of the 11 Panzer
Grenadier Regiment. The battalion received an order via radio to move north towards the
concentration point of the Combat Group Burns. However, the unit encountered such a
strong enemy opposition that it could not proceed. The 17 Motorcycle Rifle Battalion and
the 59 Motorcycle Rifle Battalion, led by Hauptmann Tescher and Oberstleutnant Gorn
respectively, were deployed in accordance with the earlier reconnaissance conducted to
the right of the 74 Panzer Grenadier Regiment. Their objective was to slip by the
unguarded flank of the enemy, while the I Battalion of the 74 Panzer Grenadier Regiment
conducted a frontal attack, in order to secure a supply corridor leading to the Seitz
Group. As the above aim was achieved, the motorcycle units joined by the II Battalion
from the 74 Panzer Grenadier Regiment were to continue in the effort to encircle the
enemy. In front of the attackers, there lay three sectors of enemy defences hidden in the
forest. The letter mentioned above, contains a description of the fighting: the determined
enemy had to be challenged for each square meter of ground, the opponents used medium
artillery barrages and constant mortar fire to repel our troops. At around 15:00 hours
the Germans managed to break the defences, and one hour later a surrounded Seitz
Group could be greeted with a hand shake. As it turned out, the forest was defended
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by the reinforced regiment from the 326 Rifle Division.


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A sign commemorating the 1000th tank destroyed by the 9thPanzer Division on August 18 1942. The photograph
was taken by Kriegsberichter (war reporter) Kraayvnger from Pz.P.K. 693 ( Panzer Propagandakompanie ). It
was later distributed in a form of a postcard for propaganda purposes.


The enemy regiment was, according to its commander who was taken prisoner,
completely wiped out. The prisoners were only sporadically taken. The battlefield showed
the wrath of nearly 10 hour long intense fighting. By the evening hours, most of the
forest west of the road was secured, including the crucial sector where the enemy received
reinforcements coming from the village of Bogdanovo - Kolodezi. The village was
captured by the Germans around noon, but was recaptured by Red Army units soon after.
12

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As the battle evolved, the German headquarters made new decisions. On August 22
during a conference between the Fhrer and Generalfeldmarschall von Kluge it was
decided that: The Wirbelwind operation will be aborted because the terrain
difficulties and the presence of strong enemy forces does not allow for achievement of any
notable success. However, the enemy units in the area should still be tied by spurious
attacks so they could not be used at the other, weaker sectors of the front. To execute this
order the 2 Panzer Army will not obtain any reinforcements; in fact, the 9 and the 11
Panzer Divisions should be withdrawn and transferred to the region north of Kirov. From
that point, they should, in cooperation with the Grossdeutschland Motorised Infantry
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Division ( Infanterie-Division Grossdeutschland (mot)), operate in the general direction


of southwest, trying to achieve a little solution to the Wirbelwind Operation.
During the next few days, the departure of the 9 and the 11 Panzer Divisions was
reconsidered. The dialogue between the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht and the Army
Group Centre continued, with the latter opting in favour of the withdrawal. Meanwhile,
on August 22, the units of the Soviet Western Front launched an offensive towards
Kozelsk. On August 24 Fahnenjunker Ludwig Bauer in a Pz.Kpfw. III tank armed with
long barrel KwK 39 L/60 50 mm gun, survived another hit from a 152 mm artillery shell.
Leutnant Rocholl, a crew member named Grosshammer, and the driver were seriously
wounded in the incident.
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On August 25, the Wirbelwind Operation was completely abandoned. The entry in
the Kriegstagebuch of OKW states: The overall situation unchanged. At Sukhinichi, as
previously decided, the withdrawal of the 9 and the 11 Panzer Divisions from the 2nd
Panzer Army should be conducted. But the question if they should be deployed north of
Kirov remains open. By August 25, the German units pulled back behind the Zhizdra
River where a new defence line was constructed. According to Soviet sources, the
Germans lost some 10,000 soldiers and over 200 tanks during operation Wirbelwind.
The 33 Panzer Regiment had 95 tanks on August 31. The total losses included four
Pz.Kpfw. II, nine Pz.Kpfw. III (short barrel), 21 Pz.Kpfw. III (long barrel), five Pz.Kpfw. IV
(short barrel) and five Pz.Kpfw. IV (long barrel) tanks, 44 vehicles in all. In the meantime,
the 9 Division received four Pz.Kpfw. III (short barrel) and five Pz.Kpfw. IV (short barrel)
replacement tanks.
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Army Group Mitte: During a conference held at noon it was decided, in


accordance with the Fhrers wish often repeated during his briefings, that the 9 and the
11 Panzer Divisions, south of Sukhinichi, will be withdrawn, and the 95 Infantry
Division stationed northwest of Voronezh will be incorporated into the 9 Army. mentions an entry made on September 1 in the Kriegstagebuch of OKW.
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The details of von Kluges discussion with Hitler are revealed by Generaloberst Halder:
In a few days withdraw the 9 Panzer Division; then the 11 Panzer Division, but only if
the winter defensive perimeter will be pushed back 2 to 3 kilometres into the hills. The
Fhrer agrees on the condition that the forest areas will be adequately prepared.
Furthermore Halder states: The Fhrer wishes to resolve the Kirov situation with the aid
of the 9 and the 11 Panzer Divisions.
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Indeed, on September 1 the 9 Division was pulled out of action at Sukhinichi. The
fighting had weakened its units considerably. For example, on September 3 it was
reported that the 59 Motorcycle Rifles Battalion had a strength of only 55 troopers.
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As mentioned above, the Russians began another offensive in the area of Kozelsk. The
fiercest fighting took place in the area of the main assault directed at Ozhigovo. As the
rifle units of the 61 Army were not able to reinforce the 264 Rifle Division before the
operation commenced, only a single regiment participated in the attack. Obviously, it
could not break the enemy defences, cross the river, capture Ozhigovo and prepare the
ground for the 15 Tank Corps breakthrough. Thus, the Russian Corps commander decided
at midday to dispatch the 17 Motorised Rifle Brigade supported by two motorised fusilier
battalions. After a brief artillery bombardment the river was crossed and Ozygovo taken
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before the end of the day.


On September 3, the 195 Tank Brigade advanced to the opposing bank of the Vytiebiet
River and moved towards Perestryazh. The attempt to capture the township straight from
the road march formation failed. The Soviet forces encountered a gorge protected by
German anti-tank artillery. Soon thereafter, German tanks emerged from the left flank.
Despite success in driving back the German tank attack, the Soviet units were temporarily
stopped. The Soviet 3 Tank Army and the assault group of the 16 Army deployed from
the north did not achieve any considerable success in their westward attack either. In the
evening of that day, the 3 Tank Corps was almost depleted of its tanks, so it had to be put
in reserve of the Stavka - Soviet Army High Command. Hence, on September 4 when the
main forces of the 254 Rifle Division reached Ozhigovo, the 113 Tank Brigade under
Colonel A. S. Swiridov and the 17 Motorised Rifle Brigade from the 15 Tank Corps had
to regroup and transfer to Volosovo, where they joined the 342 Rifle Division in an
assault at Trostianka.
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An entry in the Kriegstagebuch of OKW dated September 4 cites: The command of


Army Group Mitte plans to use the withdrawn 9 and 11 Panzer Divisions not north of
Kirov as previously intended, but due to better efficiency of railroad transport and the
unloading options, transfer both divisions to the 4 Army region. In the interim, the 9
Panzer Division was directed to assist in counteracting the Soviet offensive. From
September 4, the Red Army forces continued with their attacks, but a resolute German
defence as well as lack of fresh troops, supplies and ammunition prevented any Soviet
breakthrough. It may be argued that during that time Soviet units, rather than advancing,
fended off German counter-attacks conducted by the 9 and the 17 Panzer Divisions.
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On September 9 amidst the fighting northwest of Belev, the 9 Division was pulled out
of action and ordered to a new destination at Gzatsk, to be reached by a road march
through Roslavl, Smolensk and Viazma. The Germans could afford such a move since the
strength of the attacking Soviet units was so depleted that beginning on September 10 the
Red Army found itself on the defensive, with the 3 Tank Army almost entirely withdrawn
except for the 1 Motorised Rifle Division and some support units assigned to Generals
Bielov and Bagramian. In all, after a loss of nearly 60,000 dead and wounded and nearly
all the tanks, the Soviet troops gained only 8 to 10 kilometres of ground. The number of
tanks available for action in the 33 Panzer Regiment amounted to 74 on this particular
day.
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In the Gzatsk region, the 9 Division had a chance to rest, recuperate and resupply after
an eight week long combat action. On September 18, Oberstleutnant Gutmann,
commander of the 11 Panzer Grenadier Regiment, received the Ritterkreuz as the
seventeenth trooper of the Division awarded this decoration. By September 20, the
number of operational tanks in the 9 Panzer Division rose to 93.
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A Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. L. A fuel drum is carried on the rear armour panel.


1 Bieszanow W, Poligon op. cit., p. 268-269.


2 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 608.


3 Halder F., op. cit., v. III, p. 609.


4 Greiner H., Za kulisami OKW, Warszawa 1959 , p. 359.


5 http://www.lexikon-der-Wehrmacht.de/Gliderungen/Infanterieregimenter/IR446-Rhtm


6 http://www.hamelner-geschichte.de/index.php?id=52.


7 Quoted as in original. However, the Pz.Rgt. 15 was a unit of the 11th Panzer Division Most likely it was the
Pz.Rgt. 33, led by Oberst Wilhelm Hochbaum at that time.


8 http://www.hamelner-geschichte.de/index.php?id=52.


9 Ibidem.


10 Ibidem.


11 The 326 Rifle Division consisted of 1097, 1099 and 1101 Rifle Regiments.


12 http://www.hamelner-geschichte.de/index.php?id=52


13 Greiner H., op. cit, p. 361.


14 http://www.strengerhistocia.com/History/WarArchive/Ritterkreuztraeger/Bauer.htm, http://wwwritterkreuztraeger-1939-45.de/Infanterie/B/Bauer-Ludwig.htm - both sources contain inaccuracies as to the
calibre of the guns. The KwK 39 L/60 used by Pz.Kpfw. III had a calibre of 50 mm, not 75 mm (7, 5
cm) as stated in the sources, while the Russian gun had a calibre of 152 mm, not 172 mm (17,2 cm).


15 Bieszanow W, Poligon op. cit., p. 268-269.


16 Schramm P. E., op. cit., Teilband 1, p. 665.


17 Halder F., v III, op. cit., p. 622.


18 Halder F, v.III, op. cit., p. 623.


19 Schramm P. E., op. cit, Teilband 1, p. 677.


20 Hermann C. H., op. cit., p. 113.


21 Bieszanow W., Poligon op. cit., p. 275.


22 Hermann C. H, op. cit., p. 114 and 172.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE CHART OF THE 9 PANZER DIVISION ON


OCTOBER 23 1942
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On September 22 Generaloberst Halder wrote: Ongoing urgent phone conversations
with Generalfeldmarschall von Kluge, who now does not believe again in the effectiveness
of advance on Nielidovo, so he intends to use the 95 Infantry Division and the 9 Pz. Div.
against Vasiuga.
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On September 29, the 9 Division, assigned as a reserve of the Army Group Mitte
and the 9 Army (AOK 9), was directed by way of Smolensk to the region of Sychevka.
After arrival, Generalleutnant Scheller ordered construction of roads, barracks and an allround fortified defensive zone. A lot of time and attention was devoted to training and
local reconnaissance. During this pause in action, the combat potential of the unit was
restored.
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On September 30, the 33 Panzer Regiment could field 91 tanks.


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The region of Sychevka. lies in the so-called Rzhev salient. The area was particularly
convenient as a base for the next potential attack on Moscow. This factor, as well as
prestige reasons, motivated the Germans to keep a stronghold there, despite the significant
extension of the front lines. A note in the Kriegstagebuch of OKW dated October 5
reveals: Army Group Mitte has in the 9 Army operational area the
Grossdeutschland Motorised Infantry Division (Infanterie-Division Grossdeutschland
(mot)), the 9 Panzer Division and other local reserves.
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On October 23, the 60 Panzer Division Supply Command was reorganized into 60
Command of the Panzer Divisions Supply Troops (Kommandeur der PanzerdivisionNachschubtruppen 60 - Kdr. der Panzer-Div.Nachschubtruppen 60). Between October and
November, the German high command reassessed the exact location of the 9 Division
units within the Rzhev salient.
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On November 16, the entry in the Kriegstagebuch of OKW lists one possible
location: The 1 and the 9 Panzer Divisions should first be positioned in the area west of
Zubtsov.
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According to a report from November 18, the 9 Panzer Division from the 9 Army of
the Army Group Mitte was equipped with 26 Pz.Kpfw. II tanks, 30 Pz.Kpfw. III armed
with 50 mm short barrel guns, 32 Pz.Kpfw. III armed with 50 mm long barrel guns, seven
Pz.Kpfw. IV armed with 75 mm short barrel guns, five Pz.Kpfw. IV armed with 75 mm
long barrel guns and two Pz.Bef.Wg. .
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25 November 1942 marked the beginning of operation Mars, the offensive on the
Soviet Western Front and the Kalinin Front on the Rzhev salient. Marshal Zhukov hoped
that just like in the Stalingrad battle, the German defenders will become trapped and will
eventually be destroyed. The most vulnerable sector located in the east of the Rzhev
salient, along the rivers Vazuza and Osuga, was manned by three German infantry
divisions, 102 , 337 and 78 (102., 337. and 78. Inf. Div.) supported by the 5 Panzer
Division. At that time, the above units and the 9 Panzer Division were part of the XXXIX
Armoured Corps (XXXIX PzK). The 9 Division was placed as an operational reserve west
of Sychevka. The I Battalion of the 33 Panzer Regiment, was an exception, as it was
stationed on the other side of the Rzhev salient near the town of Belyy.
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The region where the main divisional forces were stationed was attacked by two armies
of the Western Front. The 20 and the 31 Army were deployed at the eastern end of the
Rzhev salient, north of Zubtsov, at the 40 kilometres stretch along the rivers Vazuza and
Osuga. The 20 Army consisted of the 247 Rifle Division, 80 and 140 Tank Brigades,
and the 331 Rifle Division as a reserve. The 31 Army included the 88 , 336 and 239
Rifle Divisions, along with the 145 and 332 Tank Brigades. The Russians were able to
penetrate through the German defences and gain ground, reaching the Viazma-Rzhev
railroad line. On the evening of November 25, the 9 Panzer Division was dispatched
toward Russian bridgehead on the Vazuza River. On November 26, German
reinforcements, parts of the XXVII Corps (XXVII AK) from Rzhev and the 9 Panzer
Division from Sychevka, reached the area of the Soviet breakthrough. The 9 Division was
then divided into two combat groups identified as Kampfgruppe Remont and
Kampfgruppe von Zettwitz, according to the names of their commanders. M. D. Glantz
quotes imprecise spelling of the names. Kampfgruppe Reumont, most likely consisted
of 11 Panzer Grenadier Regiment led by Oberstleutnant Dr. Alfred von Reumont, while
the core of the Kampfgruppe Czettritz was the 10 Panzer Grenadier Regiment under
Hauptmann Gotthard von Czettritz und Neuhaus. According to M. D. Glantz, each combat
group had 40 tanks, supply columns and panzer grenadier troops. The presence of tanks
suggest that sub-units of the I and II Battalions of the 33 Panzer Regiment were
incorporated into the groups. Both groups were to advance up the Rzhev-Sychevka road
towards the attacking Soviet vanguards. Unfortunately, both newly created groups
reported that, at the earliest, their combat readiness could only be attained on the morning
of November 27. However, Soviet advances made throughout the day forced the Germans
to hastily create, and immediately deploy, a new group referred to as Kampfgruppe
Hochbaum. This combat group, named after Oberst Wilhelm Hochbaum, commander of
the 33 Panzer Regiment, was ordered to attack the advancing Soviet Tank Corps under
Colonel Arman. The first German counter-attacks hit the forefront as well as the flanks of
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the progressing Soviet tank formation. At 17:30, in diminishing daylight, a chaotic


encounter took place south-west of Aristovo and along the sides of the Rzhev- Sychevka
road. During this clash, the Kampfgruppe Hochbaum overwhelmed Soviet infantry
grouped in the village of Bolshoye Kropotovo. The German assault crushed the 147 Rifle
Division, thus Wehrmacht troops were able to proceed to the open fields east of the
village. After Bolshoye Kropotovo was secured, Oberst Hochbaum spent the night at that
location awaiting reports from the units deployed in the south. The 78 Infantry Division
under General Vlker, operating in that area, attempted to restore the defences in their
sector of the front. The situation was tense due to the constant Soviet Army onslaught.
With help from the 9 Panzer Division, efforts were made to liquidate the breaches made
by the enemy. In the afternoon, one of the battalions from the 9 Division, along with
some sub-units of the 13 and 14 Panzer Grenadier Regiments (Pz.Gr.Rgt. 13 and 14)
from the 5 Panzer Division, was able to re-establish a continuous defensive front between
the villages of Zherebtsovo and Khlepen. It was made possible by countering the attacks
conducted by the 8 Guards Rifle Corps. Meanwhile, Kampfgruppe Reumont was
preparing for an attack north along the Rzhev- Sychyeka road against Soviet tank units
active in the area. In the late afternoon, adjusting to the dramatically changing situation,
General von Arnim, commander of the XXXIX Armoured Corps, made another change to
the command structure. Generalleutnant Scheller, commander of the 9 Panzer Division,
was made responsible for the counter-attacks carried out against the main Soviet armoured
forces operating along, and east of, the Rzhev- Sychevka road. As it turned out, all the
German counter actions undertaken that evening were unsuccessful, partially due to the
snow fall. Generally, on November 26 the Germans only narrowly avoided a catastrophic
defeat. It was the chaotic actions of the attacking Soviet Army units that allowed the
Wehrmacht to block enemy breaches.
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Early in the morning of November 27, General von Arnim directed the 102 Infantry
Division located in the northern sector to abide by the orders from the 9 Panzer Division.
The infantry was to protect the regions north of the Osuga River and between the Osuga
and Vazuza rivers. The heaviest Soviet assaults of that day were directed against the
German defensive positions in the vicinity of Nikonovo. At 9:15, Kampfgruppe
Hochbaum reported that the Soviet offensive had forced the group to abandon the
defence of Novaya Grinevka village, and withdraw to Nikonovo. Furthermore, Oberst
Hochbaum warned that the testimony of Russian prisoners and deserters indicate
preparations for a massive offensive to commence in the area that very morning. The
attack was to be conducted by the 2 Guards Cavalry Corps. In an effort to thwart that
threat and weaken Soviet pressure on Khlepen township, the newly created Combat Group
Scheller (Kampfgruppe Scheller), named after Generalleutnant Scheller, was to
launch an attack towards Aristovo. It was expected that the south flank of the Soviet
offensive forces could be found in that general area. As the day went by, the German
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situation worsened. At 13:00 hours the Soviet forces began another attack, most likely the
20 Cavalry Division that sent its units in a two-pronged formation from Novaya Grinevka
and Aristovo towards Nikonovo. As the telephone lines were not functioning, Oberst von
Bodenhausen from the 31 Panzer Regiment of the 5 Panzer Division sent a radio
message: Heavy tank attacks from the east and south have made the situation very
serious. Soon after, the 9 Panzer Division reported via radio: Group Hochbaums tank
attacks on Aristovo are a failure. Eighteen enemy tanks are destroyed and eight of ours are
lost. Many other of our tanks are damaged, but they can be brought home. The
reminder of Gruppe Hochbaum fought its way through Russian lines and joined Oberst
von Bodenhausens forces. The German units, under heavy artillery fire, had to fend off
successive Soviet attacks. The first one was carried out by the 247 Rifle Division, the
subsequent one by the newly-arrived 1 Guards Motorised Rifle Division. Despite a very
difficult situation, the combat groups dispatched from the 9 Panzer Division were able to
stop the reserve units of the 20 Army deployed into action. The 22 and the 200 Tank
Brigades, supported by units of the 6 Motorised Rifle Brigade, came to a standstill at the
outskirts of Soustovo, Azarovo and Nikishyno, northeast of Sychevka.
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On November 28, the Russians began operations as early as 4 oclock in the morning.
At Nikonovo, Combat Group von Bodenhausen (Kampfgruppe von Bodenhausen)
came under heavy attack. At 5:50, the I Battalion of the 430 Grenadier Regiment
(I/Gr.Rgt. 430) reached the village of Podosinovka. General von Arnim ordered the
battalion to support the 9 Panzer Division tanks in a northward attack launched at dawn
against the south flank of advancing Soviet troops. Before the attack commenced, units of
the Red Army began their own assault on Podosinovka. Russian tanks, infantry and
cavalry forced the Germans to assume defensive positions. The clash lasted throughout the
day without resolution. Combat Journal of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces
reflects the events of the day: The 9 Armys front is under continuous enemy attacks ()
Northeast of Sychevka the 9 Panzer Division joins the encounter. A tank battle ensues,
during which 56 enemy tanks are destroyed. In the evening, General von Arnim
ordered the 9 Panzer Division to muster men from the quartermaster and support units as
well as convalescents, to create reserve troops. By November 30, these soldiers, as the 5
Panzer Division reserve units, were to be positioned at the defence lines. By the end of the
day, the possibility of encircling Soviet troops, which managed to break through the
German lines, became apparent.
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During the night of November 29, the Germans attacked the flank and the rear of the
Soviet group, which breached the defences. The units of the XXVII Corps attacked from
the north, while the XXXXIV Armoured Corps with the 9 Panzer Division at the
forefront moved in from the south. This manoeuvre allowed the Wehrmacht to close the
gaps made by the Soviets in the German defence front at the vicinity of Lozkhi and
Nikonovo. The combat groups dispatched from the 9 Panzer Division were involved in
series of encounters, but did manage to advance through Bolshoe and Maloe Kropotovo,
Nikonovo, Aristovo and Podosinovka. Additionally, in the same area, located east of the
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Rzhev-Sychevka railway line, the German forces managed to sack a group of 20 Army
units. Among these units were parts of the 2 Cavalry Corps, 22 and 200 Tank Brigades,
some 6 Motorised Rifle Brigades battalions and the remnants of the 1 Bicycle Motorcycle Brigade. The 9 Panzer Divisions combat groups continued with their
advance towards Nikonovo and Belokhvostovo south of Lozkhi, under constant counterattacks by Soviet troops from the inside as well as the outside of the sack.
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On November 30 1942 the crisis at Nikonovo, Bolshoe and Maloe Kropotovo


continued. The 1 Guards Motorised Rifle Division and the 29 Guards Rifle Division
persisted with their tank and infantry attacks until the Soviet riflemen managed to break
into Nikonovo. The German units were forced to abandon their positions. During the
onslaught, Oberst Hochbaum was seriously wounded. In the late afternoon, the II
Battalion of the 430 Grenadier Regiment (II/Gr.Rgt. 430) managed to recapture Nikonovo
in a successful attack. The entry made in the Kriegstagebuch of OKW on that day
states: Army Group Mitte: between Sychevka and Rzhev enemy breakthrough
successful in the area of 9 Pz. Div. Counterattack in progress. On the same day, the 9
Panzer Division was able to recapture and secure the Rzhev-Sychevka railroad line, by
some German accounts referred to as a lifeline of the 9 Army. Indeed, this line,
extending to Viazma, allowed for efficient transport of all supplies for Generaloberst
Models army. The combat was very intense; the Red Army sustained heavy losses and
lost many tanks.
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During the night of November 30, a breakout attempt by surrounded 20 Army units
took place. Near Maloe Kropotovo, the 6 Tank Corps launched an attack from the east to
support this action. On December 1, as a result of a very fierce fighting, during which the
commander of the 200 Tank Brigade Colonel Vinakurov and political commissar Rybalko
(who took over the helm of the 6 Motorised Rifle Brigade after the demise of its
commander), both died, parts of the Soviet units manage to burst out of the pocket. The 6
Tank Corps attacking from the outside, had to be afterwards transferred to the reserve due
to heavy losses.
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The Kriegstagebuch of OKW under the date of December 1 communicates: Army


Group Mitte: as of yesterday no unusual combat activities in the Rzhev region. The
railroad line between Rzhev and Sychevka is being cleared of enemy troops form the south
by the 9. Pz.Div and from the north by the 129 Infantry Division (129. Inf.Div.).
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The 9th Panzer Division was transported by train to the Orel region. An NCO along with an Oberleutnant in a
passenger compartment. Medal ribbons are noteworthy.


As the rail line was secured, the 9 Panzer Division continued to fight northeast of the
divisional supply base located in Sychevka. The major combat activities in the area of
Vazuza subsided by December 4. On December 10, General Robert Martinek, the newly
appointed commander of the XXXIX Armoured Corps, assigned the task of defending
Vazuza to the 9 Panzer Division and the 78 Infantry Division. He also ordered
strengthening of the defence positions. The 9 Panzer Division created a strong and deep
defensive zone between the south bank of the Osuga River and Maloe Kropotovo,
anchored around the fortified villages of Bolshoe Kropotovo and Maloe Kropotovo.
Local skirmishes in that area lasted until December 18.
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As mentioned before, on November 25 the 22 and the 41 Armies of the Kalinin Front
began an offensive on the western segment of the Rzhev salient. The 41 Armys attack
targeted the town of Belyy, while the 22 Army marched from the north along the Luchesa
River. The Belyy area was defended by the Kampfgruppe von Wietersheim created on
November 25. The group consisted of the II Battalion of the 113 Panzer Grenadiers
Regiment (II./Pz.Gr.Rgt. 113) supported by the II Detachment of the 73 Armoured
Artillery Regiment (II./Pz.Art.Rgt. 73) and the I Battalion of the 33 Panzer Regiment.
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On the opening day of the offensive, the counter attack carried out by the II Battalion of
the 1 Panzer Grenadiers Regiment (II./Pz.Gr.Rgt. 1) from the 1 Panzer Division under
Oberst von der Meden, managed to free a tank company of the 33 Panzer Regiment,
which fought throughout the day surrounded by the enemy in the village of Shamilovo,
west of Shtepanovo. The unit, with the aid of eight damaged tanks, managed to repel all
Soviet attacks. On November 30, the area breached by the Kalinin Front forces was
reached by all available forces of the 9 and the 12 Panzer Divisions. Thus, on December
1 the Soviet 1 Motorised Corps led by General Solomatin, was forced into the defensive.
It was evident that during the defence of Rzhev salient the units of the 9 Panzer Division
for most part operated independently of each other, just like the I Battalion of the 33
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Panzer Regiment mentioned above. On December 14, during a joint action of the 33
Panzer Regiment and the 12 Panzer Division units, a Pz.Kpfw. III tank armed with Kwk.
39 L/60 50 millimetre gun sustained a hit. An anti-tank shell burst at the front observation
view ports of the driver and machine gunner. Trooper Enke was killed, Schmidt, Ewald
and Betz were wounded, whereas Fahnenjunker Ludwig Bauer managed to survive
unharmed.
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An order dated December 15 dissolved the 9 Panzer Grenadier Brigade. On December


18, 1942, Generaloberst Model transferred the 9 Panzer Division to the north of the
Rzhev salient. It was assigned to the Burdach Group of the XXVI Corps (Gruppe
Burdach XXVI AK) led by Generalmajor Karl Burdach, commander of the 251 Infantry
Division (251. Inf.Div.). Besides the 9 Panzer Division, the group consisted of 87
Infantry Division (87. Inf.Div.), 251 Infantry Division and solitary units of the 6 and 206
Infantry Divisions (6. and 206. Inf.Div).
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At the beginning of 1943 combat groups of the 9 Panzer Division held positions in the
Zaitsevo and Panovo townships, where under different weather conditions, humid, cold
wind or sunny skies, they resisted enemy attacks or conducted counter-attacks. At that
time, the 33 Panzer Regiment was weakened by a withdrawal of the II Battalion,
transferred to Grafenwhr in Germany. Once there, the unit was equipped with new
Pz.Kpfw. V Panther tanks and re-designated as the Panzerabteilung 51 (Pz.Abt. 51) Army Troop (Heerestruppe) in accordance to an order issued on January 13 1943.
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Until February 7, the 9 Panzer Division participated in the defence of Rzhev. It


remained within the Burdach group until February 12. In the meantime, the newly
created Corps Scheele (Korps Scheele) led by General der Infanterie Hans-Karl von
Scheele, deployed north of Zhizdra, was in need of immediate assistance due to
concentrated Soviet attacks. The 9 Panzer Division was assigned that task, so it had to be
withdrawn from the front lines and directed west of Belyy. After reaching the town on
February 25, the Division had to perform a 650 kilometre road march through Viazma,
Smolensk, Roslavl and Briansk. It was a challenging stretch even though some of the
distance was travelled by rail. By the end of February, the Division managed to reach the
area threatened by Soviet forces. Upon arrival north of Zhizdra, the 9 Panzer Division
was immediately drawn into a four week long battle lasting throughout March 1943.
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Wooden anti-aircraft tower near the railway crossing, probably at Poltava. The photograph taken during the
transfer of the 9. Pz.Div. away from the front, so it could recuperate before the Citadel operation.


Due to a Soviet breakthrough, the entire Division, in a state of emergency equivalent to
that of a fire-fighter squad, was deployed to the general vicinity of Volkovo, in the region
between the townships of Jesenok-Dubishtche-Askovo, as early as March 1. In the
following few days, the Division fought heavy defensive battles, launching frequent
counter-attacks carried out mostly by the 33 Panzer Regiment and the I battalion of the
10 Panzer Grenadier Regiment. A large number of Soviet prisoners were taken during
these encounters.
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On March 7, Major Gerard Willing, commander of the III Battalion of the 33 Panzer
Regiment, was decorated with the Knights Cross.
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The remainder of the 9 Panzer Division units, including the 11 Panzer Grenadier
Regiment, the 59 Motorcycle Rifle Battalion, the 86 Armoured Pioneer Battalion and the
50 Tank Destroyer Battalion fought as regular infantry units. Whenever possible, the units
attempted to stay in close proximity to the tanks of the 33 Panzer Regiment, particularly
during the heavy fighting in the so called Gorn forest (Gornwald) on the northern
bank of the Jasenok River. This wooded area, named after Oberst Gorn, commander of
the 10 Panzer Grenadier Regiment, for half a month became a scene of extremely fierce
battles with frequent occurrences of hand to hand combat - recalls C. H. Hermann in his
book Die 9. Panzer-Division 1939-1945.
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The photographs taken during that time indicate that the 9 Panzer Division was using
an emblem, most likely a temporary one. On one of the photographs, it is displayed on a
panel next to the Schmahl inscription, referring to Oberst Ludwig Schmahl, the leader
of the 33 Panzer Regiment. It is possible that the use of the emblem was restricted to
either the 33 Regiment, or one of the temporary combat groups. On the other hand, it is
not unlikely that it was adopted for the entire division, to mislead the enemy into believing
that a new unit had arrived to reinforce the front. On the panel mentioned above, a firefighter equipped with a fire hose may be noticed. It probably referred to the role of the 9
Panzer Division, used in the critical areas of the front as a fire brigade would be used in
extinguishing fires.
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An order to withdraw another battalion from the 33 Panzer Regiment was issued on
March 15, this time it was the III Battalion. On April 3, the troops boarded a train in the
town Orel and travelled to St. Plten, Austria. The battalion was transformed into the 506
Heavy Tank Battalion (schwere Pz.Abt. 506) armed with Pz.Kpfw. VI Tiger tanks on May
8. .
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Meanwhile, an order dated March 16 initiated formation of a new armoured


reconnaissance battalion for the 9 Panzer Division. The battalion, most likely stationed in
Bruck an der Leitha, Austria, was to achieve combat readiness by April 20 1943.
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Beginning on March 18, the number of Red Army attacks north of Zhizdra
diminished. On March 26, Unteroffizier Heinrich Hendricks from the 9 Company of the
33 Panzer Regiment became another recipient of the Ritterkreuz, a few day later, on
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March 31, Unteroffizier Leopold Liehl from the 7 Company of the 10 Panzer Grenadiers
Regiment received the same honour.
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The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht was quite willing to show due recognition to the 9
Panzer Division for its efforts in March 1943. On April 3 Generalleutnant Walter
Scheller, the commander, became the 21st divisional recipient of the Ritterkreuz. On the
same occasion, Oberleutnant Fritz Jacoby from the 7 Company of the 11 Panzer
Grenadier Regiment was also decorated. Overall, for the actions at Zhizdra the soldiers of
the 9 Panzer Division received five Knights Crosses, 13 German Crosses in Gold
(Deutsche Kreuz in Gold), 213 Iron Crosses I class (Eisernen Kreuz I Klasse) and 1,545
Iron Crosses II class (Eisernen Kreuz II Klasse). Two more soldiers were listed in the
Honour Roll of the German Army (Ehrenblattnennung). On the other side of the bloody
battles were the hundreds of soldiers buried at Zhizdra cemetery.
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An officer of the 102nd Panzer Artillery Regiment, most likely in a rank of Leutnant , decorated with Allgemeinesturmabzeichen .An Iron Cross as well as the Winterschlacht im Osten (Eastern Front Medal) ribbons are
also visible.


On April 20, the entire 9 Division was withdrawn from active duties and, as a reserve
of Army Group Mitte, was concentrated in the region of Briansk and Karatschev to
allow for reorganization, training, replenishing of equipment and well-deserved rest. On
that day, Feldwebel Wilhelm Steger from the 6 Company of the 10 Panzer Grenadier
Regiment received the Ritterkreuz.
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In the meantime, the high command assigned the Division to the 2 Panzer Army for
the purpose of the new offensive, code-named operation Zitadelle (Citadel), planned
for the summer. Therefore, on April 25, the Division was ordered to relocate to the
vicinity of Orel. The first rail transports to the new concentration point departed the very
same day. Once the destination was reached, intensive training commenced.
Generalleutnant Schellers goal was to increase the coordination level between sub-units
fulfilling the same objective. As one of the exercises, with a practical purpose of
improving the supply route, the 1 Company of the 86 Armoured Pioneer Battalion
constructed a 24 ton capacity wooden bridge. The weeks of relatively warm spring
weather were spent not just on exercises. Week long rest periods were allowed in a
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specially established divisional recreation centre, named General-Scheller-Heim


(House of General Scheller) at the township of Dobromo. Amateur theatre spectacles
with Russian folk music concerts were regularly given at Smiyevo.


The 9th Panzer Division transported by train to the Orel region.


Three officers from different 9th Divisions units. The Major , first from the left, was decorated with the Deutsches
Kreuz in Gold, the Leutnant , most likely from the Panzer Grenadier Regiment has the Eisernes Kreuz I klasse and
the Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen (Infantry Assault Badge) and the Oberleutnant , probably an artillery officer, E
isernes Kreuz I klasse as well as Allgemeinesturmabzeichen .Two latter officers were also decorated with the
Winterschlacht im Osten medals.


During that time, some new organizational changes took place. According to the order

issued on April 20, the IV Detachment of the 102 Armoured Artillery Regiment was
restored to its original designation of the 287 Land Forces Anti-aircraft Artillery
Detachment. On May 5, the 3 Anti-aircraft company of the 50 Armoured Tank
Destroyer Battalion (3(Flak)/Pz.Jg.Abt. 50) was re-designated as the 4 Company of the
287 Land Forces Anti-aircraft Artillery Detachment (4/H.Flakart.Abt. 287). The order
dated May 7 converted the II Detachment of the 102 Armoured Artillery Regiment into a
self-propelled artillery detachment. Additional changes took place on June 13. The 9
Company of the 10 Panzer Grenadier Regiment and the 9 Company of the 11 Panzer
Grenadier Regiment were transformed into self-propelled units. At the same time, the 701
Company of Heavy Infantry Guns, integrated into the 9 Division in the spring of 1940,
was dissolved and absorbed by the self-propelled companies listed above. As the day of
the summer offensive at the Kursk bend approached, the new 9 Armoured
Reconnaissance Battalion (Pz.Aufk.Abt. 9) joined the Division on May 27. As stated
before, this unit was drafted on March 16, with the expected readiness for April 20. It
comprised the headquarters, two light armoured reconnaissance companies (lePz.Aufk.Kp.
(gep)) and one heavy, partially armoured, reconnaissance company (sPz.Aufk.Kp. (tgep)).
It was planned that the remnants of the 59 Battalion of Motorcycle Rifles were to be
incorporated into the 9 Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion as well. However, as an
interim measure, an order issued on April 19 added a company of Armoured
Reconnaissance Vehicles b (Panzer-Sphwagen-Kompanie b (Pz.Spah.Kp. b)) to
the 9 Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion. The company was equipped with the
reconnaissance tanks designated as Panzersphwagen II Ausf. L (Sd.Kfz. 123) Luchs
(Lynx).
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An artillery Leutnant awarded the Eisernes Kreuz I klasse. In the background an artillery observation tank
Artillerie Panzerbeobachtungswagen III Ausf. G (Sd.Kfz. 143) assigned to the II Squadron of the 102nd Armoured
Artillery Regiment.


The same officer in front of an Artillerie Panzerbeobachtungswagen III. The vehicle has a modified gun mantlet.
The dummy gun barrel is on the right hand side, while a MG 34 machine gun mount is visible in the centre. The
tank was equipped with the FuG 4 and FuG 8 radio communication transmitters. A retractable TUF 2 periscope
may be seen on the turret.


The same Artillerie Panzerbeobachtungswagen III Ausf. G in factory paint scheme, soon after the arrival to the
Division. Only standard Wehrmacht markings, the Balkenkreuz, are painted on the tank. The vehicle does not
have a machine gun in the turret. The frontal armour has a 30 mm reinforcing layer, and the machine gun ball
mount in the hull was eliminated.


According to the original plan, the company was to become the 5 Company of the 9
Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion, but later this designation was changed to the 2
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Company. The Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicles Company b was established


according to the order issued on February 23 1943. It was the first Wehrmacht unit to be
equipped with the Luchs tanks. The company had 18 tanks of this type. Formation of
the unit took place in France; its combat readiness was attained on March 25 1943. At
first, it was intended to join the 10 Panzer Division, or according to other sources the 9
SS Panzer Grenadiers Division (9. SS-Pz. Gren.Div.). At the beginning of April 1943, it
was decided that the Luchs company would be assigned to the 9 Panzer Division. The
official identifier of this sub-unit from April 30 was the 2 Panzer Reconnaissance
Company of the 9 Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion (2. Panzer-SphKompanie/Pz.Aufkl.Abt. 9). On April 26, the company was dispatched from France to
Germany so it could join the rest of the recently formed reconnaissance battalion. An
order dated May 4 requested the transfer of the 9 Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion,
including the newly formed Pz.Spah.Kp. b, from Bruck an der Leitha to Army Group
South to commence on May 11. As the battalion reached Orel, it was most likely
reinforced with the remainder of the 59 Motorcycle Rifle Battalion.
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Apart from the Luchs company, the 9 Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion had two
reconnaissance companies equipped with half-tracked armoured transporters Sd.Kfz. 250,
a reconnaissance platoon with Schwimmwagen amphibious all-terrain cars, and some
heavy self-propelled anti-tank guns, most likely of sPak. (Sfl) Marder type. As of June
1943, the 2 Company of the 9 Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion had at its disposal 29
Luchs tanks and four armoured transporters Sd.Kfz. 251/1. Beginning in May 1943 the
9 Panzer Division, apart from the reconnaissance tanks mentioned above and typical
equipment replacements, received some new types of combat ordnance. According to R.
Stoves, the I Battalion of the 10 Panzer Grenadier Regiment and the 3 Company of the 8
Armoured Pioneer Battalion received some half-tracked armoured transporters Sd.Kfz.
251, while the 287 Land Forces Anti-aircraft Artillery Detachment obtained three new
batteries armed with a total of twelve 88 mm anti-aircraft guns. In the same month, the
Division acquired four heavy armoured reconnaissance vehicles, most likely the eightwheel version, and six medium half-tracked armoured transporters Sd.Kfz. 251/16 armed
with flamethrowers. As this equipment arrived, a flame thrower platoon (Flamm-Zug
(gep)), was created on May 13. The platoon was assigned to the headquarters company of
the 10 Panzer Grenadier Regiment. In June, the 9 Division acquired an additional 26
Pz.Kpfw. IV tanks and one half-tracked transporter. At the same time, the II Detachment
of the 102 Armoured Artillery Regiment was equipped with the new self-propelled 15 cm
heavy howitzers - schwere Panzerhaubitze sFH 18/1 auf Geschtzwagen III/IV Sd.Kfz.
165 Hummel (Bumble bee), and self-propelled light howitzers - leichte Feldhaubitze
18/2 (sf) auf Geschtzwagen II Wespe (Wasp). In July there were twelve Wespe
howitzers on the divisional roster.
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As for other new equipment, a few artillery observation vehicles - Artillerie


Panzerbeobachtungswagen III Ausf. G, Sd.Kfz. 143 - were assigned to either the II
Detachment of the 102 Armoured Artillery Regiment, or the 102 Armoured Observation
Battery.
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The presentation of the new equipment took place on June 12, as the 9 Panzer
Reconnaissance Battalion paraded in front of the XXXXVIII Armoured Corps
commander, General der Panzertruppe Joachim Lemelsen.
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Photographs published in Mr. Hermanns book indicate that the 9 Panzer Division
obtained half-tracked armoured transporters Sd.Kfz. 250, and some eight wheeled
armoured reconnaissance vehicles Sd.Kfz. 231 as well as their derivative, the Sd.Kfz. 233
armed with a short barrel 75 mm gun. In the meantime, on July 8, Oberst Gorn,
commander of the 10 Panzer Grenadier Regiment, received the Oak Leaves and Swords
with his Knights Iron Cross. This decoration was awarded for his stance during the
March combat at Zhizdra, he was just the 30 Wehrmacht soldier recognized in such a
way. As mentioned before, two tank battalions were withdrawn from the 33 Panzer
Regiment, so by that time the 9 Panzer Division had only a single tank battalion.
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As of July 1 1943, the divisional order of battle was as follows:


Stab/9. Panzer-Division - 9 Panzer Division Headquarters, consisting of:
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Div.Kdo. [Divisionskommando] - Divisional Command


Div.Kart.St. (mot) 60. [Divisionskartenstelle] - Divisional Mapping Detachment,
motorised

Pz.Rgt. 33 - 33 Panzer Regiment, consisting of:
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Stab - Headquarters
I. Abt. [Abteilung]- I Battalion
Stab included:
Pz.Na-Zug, [Panzer-Nachrichten-Zug] - Armoured Signal Platoon
Pz.Aufk-Zug [Panzer Aufklrungs-Zug]- Armoured Reconnaissance Platoon
Pz.Werk.Kp. (0./2. Zug) [Panzerwerkstatt-Kompanie (ohne 2. Zug)] - Repair
(maintenance)
Company without Second Platoon
I. Abteilung had:
Stab - Headquarters
Stab.Kp. [Kompanie] - Headquarters / Staff Company
three (1., 2., 3.) lePz.Kp. [leicht Panzer Kompanie] - Light Tank / Armoured Company
one (4.) mPz.Kp. [mittlere Panzer Kompanie] - Medium Tank / Armoured Company

Panzergrenadier-Regiment 10 (gep) [gepanzerte] - 10 Panzer Grenadier Regiment
(armoured) included:
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Stab - Headquarters
I. Bataillon (gep) - I Battalion (armoured)
II. Bataillon (mot) - II Battalion (motorised)
Stab had:
Stab.Kp (tgep) [teil-gepanzerte] - Headquarters / Staff Company (partially armoured)
(9.)sIG. Kp (Sf) [schwer Infanterie-Geschtz (selbstfahr)] - Heavy Infantry Gun Company
(self-propelled)
(10.) Flak Kp. (Sf) [Flugabwehrkanone] - Anti-Aircraft Company (self-propelled)
Flamm-Zug (gep) - Flame Thrower Platoon (armoured)
I. Bataillon consisted of:

Stab - Headquarters
three (1., 2., 3.) Pz.Gren.Kp. [Panzergrenadier-Kompanie] - Panzer Grenadier Company
one 4. sPz.Gren.Kp. (gep) - Heavy Panzer Grenadier Company (armoured)
II. Bataillon consisted of:
Stab - Headquarters
three (5., 6., 7.) Pz.Gren.Kp.(mot) - Panzer Grenadier Company (motorised)
one 8. sPz.Gren.Kp. - Heavy Panzer Grenadier Company

Panzergrenadier-Regiment 11 - 11 Panzer Grenadier Regiment consisted of:
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Stab - Headquarters
I. Bataillon (mot) - I Battalion (motorised)
II. Bataillon (mot) - II Battalion (motorised)
Stab included:
Stab.Kp.(mot) - Headquarters / Staff Company (motorised)
(9.) sIG.Kp (Sf) - Heavy Infantry Gun Company (self-propelled)
(10.) Flak Kp. (Sf). - Anti-Aircraft Company (self-propelled)
I. Bataillon had:
Stab - Headquarters
three (1., 2., 3.) Pz.Gren.Kp. (mot) - Panzer Grenadier Company (motorised)
one (4.) sPz.Gren.Kp. (gep) - Heavy Panzer Grenadier Company (armoured)
II. Bataillon had:
Stab - Headquarters
three (5., 6., 7.) Pz.Gren.Kp .(mot) - Panzer Grenadier Company (motorised)
one (8.) sPz.Gren.Kp. (mot) - Heavy Panzer Grenadier Company (motorised)
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Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 102 consisted of:
Stab - Headquarters
I.Abt. [Abteilung] - I Artillery Detachment (battalion)
II.Abt. (Sf) - II Artillery Detachment (battalion) (self-propelled)
III Abt.(s) - III Artillery Detachment (battalion) (heavy)
Stab had:
Stab.Bttr. (mot) [Batterie] - Headquarters/Staff Battery (motorised)
Pz.Beob.Bttr. (mot) 102 [Beobachtung Batterie] - Armoured Observation Battery
(motorised)
I. Abteilung included:
Stab - Headquarters
Stab.Bttr (mot) - Headquarters / Staff Battery (motorised)
three (1., 2., 3.) Bttr. leFH. (mot Z) [leicht Feldhaubitze (motorisiert mit Zugmachine)] Light
Field Howitzer Battery (motorised tow traction)
II. Abteilung included:
Stab - Headquarters
Stab.Bttr. (gep) - Headquarters / Staff Battery (armoured)
two (4., 5.) Bttr. leFH. (Sfl)[Selbstfahrlafette] - Light Field Howitzer Battery (self-

propelled tracked carriage) equipped with Wespe vehicles


one (6.) Bttr. sFH (Sfl) - Heavy Field Howitzer Battery (self-propelled tracked carriage)
equipped with Hummel vehicles
III. Abteilung included:
Stab - Headquarters
Stab.Bttr. (mot) - Headquarters/Staff Battery (motorised)
one (7.) Bttr. 10,5-cm sK (mot Z [schwer Kanone (motorisiert mit Zugmachine)] - Heavy
Field Gun Battery (motorised tow traction)
two (8., 9.) Bttr. sFH. (mot Z) - Heavy Field Howitzer Battery (motorised tow traction)

Heeres-Flakartillerie-Abt. 287 - Battalion of Anti-aircraft Artillery of the Ground
Forces consisted of:
Stab - Headquarters
Stab.Bttr. (mot) - Headquarters/Staff Battery (motorised)
two (1., 2.) sFlak-Bttr. (mot Z) - Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery (motorised tow traction)
one (3.) leFlak-Bttr. - 2 cm Flak (mot Z) - Light Anti-aircraft Battery (motorised tow
traction)
one (4.) leFlak-Bttr. - 2 cm Flak (Sfl) - Light Anti-aircraft Battery (self-propelled tracked
carriage)
one 2 cm Flak-Vierl (Sfl) [Flakvierling] - Quad anti-aircraft gun (self-propelled tracked
carriage)
leArt.Kol. (20 t) [Artillerie Kolonne] - Light Artillery Column (20 ton)
one Scheinw. Stf (mot) [Scheinwerfer-Staffel] - Searchlight Section, motorised as part of
the 3.
Bttr.

Panzerjger-Abteilung 50 - Tank Destroyer (anti-tank) Battalion consisted of:
Stab - Headquarters
two (1., 2.) Pz.Jg.Kp. (Sf) - Tank Destroyer Company (self-propelled)
one (3.) Pz.Jg.Kp. (mot Z) - Tank Destroyer Company (motorised tow traction)

Panzer-Aufklrungs-Abteilung 9 - Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion included:
Stab - Headquarters
one (1.) Pz.Spah.Kp. [Panzersph-Kompanie] - Armoured Scout Vehicle Company
including sPz.Spah-Zug [schwerer Panzersph-Zug] - Heavy Armoured Scout Vehicle
Platoon equipped with Sd.Kfz. 233
one (2.) Pz.Spah.Kp. b - Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle Company b equipped
with PzKpfw. II Ausf. L
one (4.) lePz.Aufk.Kp. (gep) - Light Armoured Reconnaissance Company (armoured)
one (5.) sPz.Aufk.Kp. (gep) - Heavy Armoured Reconnaissance Company (armoured)
one lePz.Aufk.Kol. (mot) - Light Reconnaissance Column (motorised)

Panzer-Pionier-Bataillon 86 - Armoured Pioneer Battalion included:


Stab - Headquarters
two 1., 2. Pi.Kp. (mot)[ Pionier] - Pioneer Company (motorised)
one (3.) Pi.Kp. (gep) - Pioneer Company (armoured)
Brcke-Kol. K 86 - Bridge Column
one lePi.Kol. (mot) - Light Pioneer Column (motorised)

Panzer-Nachrichten Abteilung 85 - Armoured Communications Battalion included:
Stab - Headquarters
one (1.) Pz.Fsp.Kp.[Panzer Fernsprechkompanie] - Armoured Telephonecommunications Company
one (2.) Pz.Fu.Kp.[Panzer Funkkompanie]- Armoured Radio-communications Company
one lePz.Na.Kol. (mot). [leichte Panzer-Nachrichten-Kolonne] - Light Armoured Signal
Transportation Column

Feldersatz-Bataillon 60 - Field replacement Battalion consisted of:
Stab - Headquarters
four 1., 2., 3., 4. FE.KP (fsbw) [Feldersatz-Kompanie] - Field Replacement Company
one Div.K-Schule [Divisions-Kampfschule] - Divisional Combat School

Komandeur-Divisions-Nachschub Truppen 60 - Command of the Panzer Divisions
Supply Troops included:
Stab - Headquarters
three 1./60, 2./60, 3./60 Kf.Kp. (120 t) [Kraftfahr] - Motor Transport Company (120 tons)
two 4./60, 5/60 Kf.Kp. (90 t) - Motor Transport Company (90 tons)
one 60 Fahr-Schw. (60 t) [Fahr-Schwadron] - Horse-drawn squadron (60 tons)
one 60. Nach.Kp. (mot) [Nachschub] - Supply Company (motorised)

Kraftfahrpark Truppen 60 - Vehicle Park Troops had three companies:
1./60, 2./60, 3./60 Werk.Kp. (mot) [Werkstatt-Kompanie] - Workshop / Maintenance
Company (motorised)
one (60.) bew. Nach.Stf.ETle. (75 t) [Staffel fur Ersatzteile] - Spare Parts Supply Column

Verwaltungs Truppen 60 - Administration Troops included three companies:
B.Kp. (mot) 60 [Bkerei-Kompanie] - Bakery Company (motorised)
Schl.Kp. (mot) 60 [ Schlachterei-Kompanie] - Butcher Company (motorised)
Va. (mot) 60 [Verpfegungsamt] - Rations Administration Detachment

Sanitts Truppen 60 - Medical Troops had:

1./60, 2./60 San.Kp. (mot)[ Sanittskompanie] - Medical Company (motorised)


three 1./60, 2./60, 3./60 Kr.Kw-Zug (mot)[Krankenkraftwagenzug] - Ambulance Platoon
(motorised)
one Tr Eg-Zug (mot) [Truppen-Entgiftungs-Zug] - Decontamination Platoon (motorised)

Feldgendarmerie Trupp 60 - Field Military Police Troops
Feldpostamt 60 - Field Post Office.

66


The report dated July 1 lists the 9 Panzer Division troop shortfall as 238, and its losses
as 501 soldiers. Out of the latter number, there were 16 dead, 9 wounded, 218 ill and 258
lost for other reasons. Troop replacements totalled 709, out of which there were 375
draftees and 334 convalescents.
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The number of divisional tanks available on that day amounted to: 25 Pz.Kpfw. III
operational, and three under repair; 34 Pz.Kpfw. IV plus two under repair. In addition, the
9 Division had 275 half-tracked armoured transporters, armoured vehicles and armoured
observation vehicles, plus 13 under repair. In all, there were 288 armoured combat
vehicles. There were also 17, including one undergoing repairs, heavy self-propelled antitank guns, most likely Marder; 46 heavy motor traction anti-tank guns (sPak. (mot.
Z)), plus four under repair, and 46 guns (Art-Gesch), out of which one was undergoing
maintenance. .
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According to T. Jentz, the ordinance of the 9 Panzer Division on July 1 1943 included:
one Pz.Kpfw. II tank, eight Pz.Kpfw. III tanks armed with short barrel (L/42) 50 mm gun,
30 Pz.Kpfw. III armed with long barrel (L/60) 50 mm gun, eight Pz.Kpfw. IV armed with a
short barrel 75 mm gun and 30 Pz.Kpfw IV tanks with a long barrel 75 mm gun,
supplemented by six Pz.Bef. III. Thus, the main combat force included 38 Pz.Kpfw. III
tanks and an equal number of the Pz.Kpfw. IV. Accordingly, it may be stated that a few
days prior to operation Zitadelle the 9 Panzer Division was fully prepared for action,
being almost at 100% of troop and equipment potential. The report filed on July 1
indicated the percentage of equipment in existence, versus the required allowance:
Pz.Kpfw. III- 53%, Pz.Kpfw. IV - 257%, SPW and Pz.Spah.Wg. - 89 %, sPak. (Sfl) - 89%,
mPak. (mot. Z) and sPak. (mot. Z) - 100 %, artillery - 92 %.
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Noteworthy is the surplus of Pz.Kpfw. IV tanks. According to the quota, the number
should be 22, while in reality there were 38 tanks. At the onset of operation Zitadelle, a
concentric attack on Kursk was to be launched both from the north and from the south.
Army Group Mitte led by Generalfeldmarschall von Kluge, was to advance from its
line of departure established east of Maloarkhangelsk. The group consisted of 15 infantry
divisions, six panzer divisions and one motorised division. The 9 Army, led by
Generaloberst Model, was supposed to break through the Soviet defences on a 40 km
stretch of land between Orel and Kursk, more precisely between the villages of Gnilets
and Butryki, at the junction of the Soviet 13 and 70 Army defence sectors. The
XXXXVII Armoured Corps under General der Panzertruppe Lemelsen, positioned in the
centre of the 9 Army, was composed of the 6 Infantry Division and the 2 , 9 , and 20
Panzer Divisions. As the breakthrough was achieved, the attack was to unfold between the
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road and the railroad tracks leading to the town of Kursk, aiming towards the hills north of
the town in order to make contact with the Army Group South. According to the details
of the plan, the XXXXVII Armoured Corps would dispatch the 6 Infantry Division and
the 20 Panzer Division, keeping the stronger 2 and 9 Panzer Divisions in reserve until
the Soviet defences were breached. .
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Operation Zitadelle was initiated on July 5 1943. On that day, one day prior to the
deployment of the 9 Panzer Division, divisional chaplain Baumgrtner visited the
encampments to perform religious services. One of the masses was held at Smiyevo,
where the 86 Armoured Pioneer Battalion was stationed. Even though the fighting lasted
throughout the night, the 6 Infantry Division and the 20 Panzer Division did not manage
to penetrate the Soviet lines. Despite that, on the evening of July 5 Generaloberst Model:
Simply informed General Lemelsen of his decision (), on the following day the 2 and
9 Panzer Divisions were to join the combat, regardless of the earlier plan to deploy them
only after a breakthrough was achieved.
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23 Halder F., v. III, op. cit, p. 634.


24 Hermann C H, op. cit, p. 115.


25 Schramm P. E, op. cit, p. 793.


26 Schramm P. E, Kriegstagesbuch des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht 1942, Teilband 2, Eine
Dokumentation, p. 967.


27 Jentz T. L, Die deutsche Panzertruppen 1943-1945, Band II, Wlfersheim-Berstadt, 1999, p. 24.


28 Glantz D. M., Zhukovs greatest defeat. The Red Armys epic disaster in Operation Mars, 1942, Lawrence,
Kansas 1999


29 Glantz cites General Hochbaums. Hochbaum had a rank of Oberst at the time.


30 Glantz D. M., op. cit., p. 100.


31 Ibidem.


32 Schramm P. E., op. cit., Teilband 2, p. 1043.


33 Schramm P. E., op. cit., Teilband 2, p. 1057.


34 Hermann C. H., op. cit., p. 117-119.

35 Glantz D. M., op.cit., p. 185.


36 Schramm P. E, op. cit., Teilband 2, p. 1064.


37 Glantz D. M., op.cit., p. 259.


38 Battistelli P. P., Panzer Division: The Eastern Front 1941-43, Botley, Oxford, p. 51, and Galntz D. M., op.
cit. p. 116.


39 http://www.stengerhistorica.com/History/WarArchive/Ritterkreuztraeger/Bauer.htm, http://www.ritterkreuztraeger-1939-45.de/Infanterie/B/Bauer-Ludwig.htm According to the information in the above sources,
until the end of the war four more tanks in which Bauer fought were hit.


40 Hermann C. H, op. cit., p. 121.


41 Hermann C. H, op. cit, p. 120.


42 Hermann C. H, op. cit., p. 122.


43 Hermann C. H, op. cit., p. 111.


44 Hermann C. H, op. cit., p. 123.


45 Hermann C. H, op. cit, p. 172.


46 Hermann C. H, op. cit, p. 124.


47 Nevenkin K, Fire Brigades: The Panzer Divisions 1943-1945, Winnipeg 2008, p. 266.


48 Hermann C. H, op. cit, p. 125.


49 Hermann C. H, op. cit, p. 172.


50 Ibidem.


51 Ibidem.


52 Hermann C H, op. cit., p. 130.


53 Hermann C H, op. cit., p. 127.


54 Tessin states that the order was issued May 1 1943. Tessin G., Verbnde und TruppenVI Band, Osnabrck
1972, p. 181.


55 Michalski H., Zapomniane wersje Panzera II, cz. II, Militaria XX wieku, Nr 3/2009, p. 78.


56 Nevenkin K, op. cit., p. 266.


57 Michalski H., op. cit., p. 75.


58 Michalski H., op. cit, p. 75.


59 Nevenkin K, op. cit., p. 266.


60 Michalski H., op. cit, p. 75


61 Stoves R, op. cit., p. 70.


62 According to Stoves, Pz.Rgt. 33 (Stab and I. Abteilung) received about 85 medium Pz.Kpfw. IV with a long
barrel gun during that period; in comparison with the data cited by Jentz and Nevenkin, it seems to be a
rather incredible number. Stoves, op. cit, p. 70.


63 Nevenkin K, op. cit., p. 281.


64 Hermann C. H., op. cit, p. 171.


65 At the time, heavy infantry cannons towed by means of motor traction were unofficially included in the unit.


66 Nevenkin K, op. cit., p. 278-281.


67 Including 50 mm anti-tank guns Pak 38, described by Neverkin, probably just like in the official German
documents as mPak - mittlerePak - medium anti-tank cannon.


68 Nevenkin K, op. cit., p. 283-285.


69 Jentz T. L, Die deutsche, op. cit., Band II , p. 79.


70 Nevenkin K, op. cit., p. 267.


71 Piekakiewicz J., Operacja Cytadela, Janki k. Warszawy 2004, p. 107.


72 Newton S. H., Ulubiony dowdca Hitlera, Warszawa 2007 , p. 155-156.


73 Hermann C. H., op. cit, p. 130.


74 Newton S. H., op. cit., p. 162.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE CHART OF THE 9 PANZER DIVISION ON


JULY 1943
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Thus, the 9 Panzer Division was deployed on July 6. At 3:30, reinforced units of the
XXXXVII Armoured Corps, over 600 combat vehicles strong, repeated the attack. On the
left flank, the 6 Infantry Division led by General Grossmann, supported by the panzer
grenadiers of the 18 Panzer Division and tanks from the 9 Panzer Division, was
supposed to bypass Soborovka village, advancing toward hill 274 and Olkhovatka. At
5:40, Generaloberst Model placed a telephone call to Generalfeldmarschall von Kluge,
commander of Army Group Mitte, revealing his plan of action. Generaloberst Model
was convinced that the hills surrounding the townships of Ponyri, Olkhovatka, Kashary
and Teploye would be captured before the end of the day. This achievement would allow
the 9 Army to destroy the main lines of General Rokossovskys defences and continue an
attack on Kursk. The problem with the plan was that during the breakthrough, the 2 and
9 Panzer Division sustained such heavy losses that they would be unable to carry on the
advance to surround the Soviet forces. Thus, the burden of the attack on Kursk would fall
on the 4 Panzer Division. Generaloberst Model informed von Kluge that the assigned
forces were too weak, so he asked if the 10 Panzer Grenadier Division (10. Pz.Gr.Div.)
and the 12 Panzer Division could be deployed from the reserves of Army Group Mitte.
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As the day progressed, the forces of the XXXXVII Armoured Corps, that is the 6
Infantry Division along with the 2 and 9 Panzer Divisions, did not achieve any
considerable success in penetrating the deeply arranged Soviet defence positions. In
addition, the tactics of the attack had changed. Instead of infantry attacks supported by
armour, the tanks and armoured guns spearheaded the advance. While the German tanks
were able to gain ground in such a way, without infantry they could not hold the captured
positions. It explains the fact that the efforts aimed at breaking deeper into the Soviet
lines made by the 2 , 9 and the 20 Panzer Divisions were futile. At about 15:30 hours,

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the army command received information that the 20 Panzer Division had captured Bobrik
and was advancing towards Podolian. If the 2 and the 9 Panzer Divisions were to
immediately switch the aim of the attack from south to west, the manoeuvre would tie the
forces of the 16 Tank Corps at a critical moment, so Generalleutnant von Kessels attack
could accelerate. Unfortunately, the tactical objectives of the attack could not be altered
at the level of 9 Army headquarters. By the time the information reached Generaloberst
Model, at around 4 in the afternoon, it was too late to divert any armoured forces towards
the west. At 16:30 hours, Model ordered a change in the 9 Armys artillery support
arrangement, to concentrate the barrage in the area of von Kessels attack. It turned out to
be an unfortunate decision that led to a short lived chaos, as the 6 Infantry Division and
the 9 Panzer Division lost their artillery support for some time.
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A group of 9th Panzer Division officers. The third from the left, an Oberst, was decorated with the Deutsches
Kreuz in Gold. The second from the right has a rank of Hauptmann.


Meanwhile, the 9 Panzer Division conducted an attack on Ponyri township defended
by the 307 Rifle Division under General Major Jenshin. The 9 Division encountered
determined resistance from General Lieutenant Pukhovs 13 Army, reinforced with
mortar and anti-tank units. At about 18:30 hours, Model, most likely present at the front
lines at the time, decided that the 4 Panzer Division led by General von Saucken, would
not reinforce the attack conducted by the 9 Division. Instead, on July 7 it was to follow
the 2 Panzer Division.
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An Oberst from the 9th Panzer Division. The Deutsches Kreuz in Gold and the Winterschlacht im Osten ribbon are
partially visible.


By the end of the day, the 9 Panzer Division launched an attack on the left wing of the
Soviet 81 Rifle Division, which resulted in pushing the Russians back towards railroad
station in Ponyri.
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As Model returned to his headquarters at about 21:30 hours, he received a detailed


report of the combat actions performed throughout the day. He again rejected his staff
proposal to dispatch the 4 Panzer Division behind the 9 in the direction of Olkhovatka.
He came up with the idea of consolidating the dispersed units of the 18 Panzer Division,
so it could, along with the 9 Panzer Division, secure the key position at Snova, where the
Soviet 16 Tank Corps concentrated its forces according to the aerial reconnaissance.
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As proposed in this plan, the 9 Panzer Division would assume defensive positions,
while the attack on Teploye would be conducted by the 2 and the 4 Panzer Divisions. At
the same time, the 86 and the 296 Infantry Divisions (86. and 296. Inf.Div.) were to
capture Ponyri. The last order of the day - July 6, was issued by General Model at 22:45,
it reiterated the instructions for the 9 Army chief of staff von Elvefeldt to direct the 9 and
the 18 Panzer Divisions to take defensive positions at Snova.
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An artillery Oberleut-nant decorated with the Eisernes Kreuz I klasse, the Verwundetena-bzeichen (Wound Badge)
and Panzerkamp-fabzeichen (Tank Combat Badge). A self propelled Sd. Kfz. 165 Hummel gun is seen in the
background


On July 7, the 9 along with the 2 and the 20 Panzer Divisions from the XXXXVII
Armoured Corps of Army Group Mitte, were to attack from the Snova vicinity
towards Ponyri II. At 8:30 that morning, a combat group consisting of 9 Panzer Division
tanks and sub-units of the 6 Infantry Division, began the attack. They tried to force
through the second defensive line of the 17 Guard Rifle Corps. At noon, two 6 Infantry
Divisions regiments supported by 50 tanks faced the 6 Guards Rifle Division entrenched
in Bitiug. As a result, the northern outskirts of Bitiug were taken. At 17:00 hours, 30
tanks and the grenadiers from the 9 Panzer Division achieved some success at Ponyri II.
The region was defended by the 75 Guard Rifle Division supported by the 3 Tank
Destroyer Brigade form the 70 Army. At some point during the day, the 9 Panzer
Division came under assault by ground attack Il-2m3 planes from the 1 Aerial Ground
Attack Corps commanded by General Riazanov. Robert Cross writes about these planes:
They were decimating the 9 and the 18 Panzer Divisions with their new 37 mm cannon.
The planes would follow the tank columns, then circle and dive discharging their guns into
the rear of the tanks, where the armour was at its thinnest. An aerial attack could last as
long as 20 minutes with devastating results. Soviet sources claim the destruction of 70 9
Division tanks in one attack ( which, according to the author would mean that the 33
Panzer Regiment was completely obliterated,). Regardless of the interpretation of the
accounts, they clearly show that the Soviet air force begun to achieve superiority over the
north sector of the Kursk bend.
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The above data, although in a somewhat more cautious matter, is repeated in Mr. M.
Healys book Kursk 1943. Tide turns in the East , citing 60 destroyed tanks. Mr. G.
Swinneys statement in an article Kursk: The great Soviet-German armoured clash,
published in the Military History Journal vol. 9 no. 6, 1994, seems to be the most credible,
citing the destruction of 70 vehicles, not just tanks but also armoured transporters,
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tractors and trucks.


On the day of July 8 the fighting erupted again, all four divisions of the XXXXVII
Armoured Corps supported by the 18 Panzer Division from the XXXXI Armoured Corps
renewed their attacks. Taking advantage of air support, the Germans attempted to burst
through the defensive positions of the 17 Guards Rifle Corps to reach the line some 8 km
away, between Ossinovyy to the south and Leninsky village east of the Snova River.
Despite the fact that the 6 Guards Rifle Division was forced out of its initial positions, the
attack failed. The Germans were unable to cross the road leading from Ponyri II to
Olkhovatka, so their advance came to a halt a few kilometres from the starting point. The
Soviet anti-tank guns and counter-attacking tanks from the 16 and 19 Tank Corps could
not be overwhelmed. The Russian defence between Ponyri II and Olkhovatka was
particularly strong. The 9 and the 18 Panzer Division did not succeed - their tanks were
deterred at the outskirts of Olkhovatka.
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Generalleutnant Walter Scheller. In the foreground, an artillery observation post with typical scissor binoculars.


Some time later, the 9 and the 18 Panzer Divisions did manage to enter the township
of Ponyri, where the heaviest fighting took place at the tractor base, railroad station,
school building and the water tower. Mr. Robert Cross describes the events: Panzer
grenadiers were able to take the hillsides but failed to capture the top of hill 253.5, fiercely
defended by the Soviet 1032 Rifle Regiment. The troops were fighting their way back and
forth through Ponyri, where the Soviets secured the positions at the cross roads, while the
Germans clinched to the school building.
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The extreme intensity of fighting caused Mr. Paul Carell to describe the township of
Ponyri as the Stalingrad of the Kursk Bend, That very day the 2 , 4 and 9 Panzer
Divisions lost nearly 50% of their infantry troops, and while the combined tank losses
were still fairly low, a lot of tanks had to be withdrawn for repairs.
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On July 9, the 2 and 9 Panzer Divisions, along with the 6 Infantry Division, were
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still involved in a combat with the Red Army troops along the Ponyri-Olkhovatka road.
The stubbornness of Soviet resistance hampered the German attacks. At 22:00 hours, the
Soviet 6 Guard Rifle Division initiated a counter-attack against the 9 Panzer Division in
the area east of Olkhovatka. As the ground combat continued, the Soviet air force slowly
gained air superiority, so with every passing day the threat of an aerial assault increased.
On July 9 Hauptmann Hans-Henning Eickert, adjutant of the 9 Panzer Division, recipient
of the Ritterkreuz, fell victim to an air attack.
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At that juncture, Generaloberst Model realized that operation Zitadelle was a fiasco,
for lack of infantry troops among other reasons. At the same time he anticipated a Soviet
counter-offensive at the north and east sector of the Orel region, which by that time had
become a salient. In consideration of the above, Model begun a slow transfer of the troops
to the potentially threatened area. The relocation was kept a secret from Hitler, as well as
from the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht). In
order to keep up appearances, troops of the XXXXI and the XXXXVII Armoured Corps
were ordered to conduct pointless, as well as fruitless, attacks on July 10 and 11. At
midnight on July 11, the total loses of the 9 Army amounted to 22,273 soldiers, while the
five panzer divisions of both Armoured Corps, the 2 , 4 , 9 , 18 and 20 sustained losses
in excess of 6,500 troops, mostly panzer grenadiers.
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On July 12, the Red Army did indeed launch an offensive north and northwest of Orel,
its code name was operation Kutuzov. General Rokossovskys Central Front, General
Colonel Markian Popovs Briansk Front, and the units of the 11 Guard Army under
Lieutenant General Ivan Bagramin from the Western Front, joined in the attack. At this
particular moment, the Soviet Army had a crushing supremacy over the German forces in
the area. Soviet high command predicted that both flanks of the General Clssners LIII
Army Corps (LIII AK) will fold, and Soviet units will break through the lines of the
XXXV Army Corps (XXXV AK) under General der Infanterie Lothar Rendulic, reaching
Orel in 48 hours, thus dividing German forces into three groups. The Soviet intent was to
obliterate two German army groups. In such a way, the three week long battle for the Orel
salient began. On July 13, the 9 Panzer Divisions advance at the Kursk bend was aborted
because of heavy losses. Afterwards, the Division was immediately deployed by the
XXXXI Armoured Corps to stop the Soviet advance at the rear of the 9 Army north of
Orel. On the same day, the 9 Division was transferred to the area of a Soviet
breakthrough at Bolkhov where it formed a defence line. At first, the Division was able to
slow down the enemy advance. In the following days however, the Soviet pressure forced
it to begin a deliberate retreat to the west.
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On July 17, the 9 Panzer Division joined the Esebeck Group (Gruppe Esebeck)
created within the 2 Panzer Army from the Army Group Mitte. On July 18,
Kahler Group (Gruppe Kahler) was organized utilizing some of the 4 Panzer
Divisions units. It included the 4 Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion (Pz.Aufk.Abt. 4),
3 Company of the 35 Panzer Regiment (3/Pz.Rgt. 35), the 4 Battery of the 103
Armoured Artillery Regiment (4/Pz.Art.Rgt. 103) and the 1 Company of the 79
Armoured Pioneer Battalion (1/Pz.Pi.Btl. 79). In the late afternoon of July 18 the
Kahler Group was relocated southwest of Bolkhov, where it was to join with the 9
Panzer Division. On July 19, the Gruppe Kahler was incorporated into the 9 Panzer
Division. Together with the 9 Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion, it formed Combat
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Group Schmall (Kampfgruppe Schmall) and fought in this arrangement until July
25.
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In the HG Mitte headquarters intelligence report brief from July 20, the following
entry may be found regarding the situation of Harpe Group (Gruppe Harpe): The
9 Pz.Div. in its advance had reached the Karentyevo - Koptevo - Portachky - Shimovskyy
line, 1 kilometre south from peak 227,1.
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The night of June 20 become a moment of truth for Generalleutnant Scheller, the
commander of the Austrian in origin, combat proven, 9 Panzer Division fighting in Orel
region. Scheller, awarded the Ritterkreuz for his excellent leadership, shows extraordinary
courage on that night, but this time in front of his superiors rather than the enemy. The
General joined the army at the age of 19, he knows exactly under what circumstances his
obedience should stop. writes Janusz Piekakiewicz in his book. On this crucial night, at
00:00 hours Generalleutnant Scheller received the order from General Harpe, senior
officer of the XXXXI Armoured Corps, commanding him to deploy the 11 Panzer
Grenadier Battalion and the I Battalion of the 33 Panzer Regiment against the Soviet
troops entrenched in the hills west of Krasnikovo. At the same time, the I Battalion of the
10 Panzer Grenadier Regiment was to follow behind the tanks, and utilizing its weak
infantry cover, trail behind the II Battalion of the same unit, advancing in the direction of
Koptevo and hill number 213,0. It was quite clear to Generalleutnant Scheller and his
chief of operations, Oberstleutnant von Rcker, that an attack conducted in such a manner
would lead to enormous losses. Scheller was particularly concerned with the fate of the
11 Panzer Grenadier Regiment, which just recently was taken over by a new officer. Up
until 2:30, Scheller ordered all the preparations he deemed necessary to take place. Then
he reported back to General Harpe that the orders are impossible to fulfil. Schellers
stance was: My duties as a commander of the troops entrusted to me have to take
precedence over any other circumstances. At 3:45 in the morning, the chief of
operations forwarded a written response from Generalleutnant Scheller to the Corps
commander, in which the Generalleutnant upheld his position. At 4:20, the 9 Panzer
Division submitted its own plan of attack and asked for Corps acceptance. According to
this alternative proposal, the I Battalion of the 33 Panzer Regiment supported by the I
Battalion of the 10 Panzer Grenadier Regiment were to form a spearhead of the attack
acting as a ram. The 11 Panzer Grenadier Regiment would join the attack covering both
flaks of this wedge formation. At 4:35, the 9 Panzer Division received a radio
communication from General Harpe, inquiring if Oberst Jollasse would be willing to
commandeer the attack as originally ordered by Harpe. In response, Oberst Jollasse stated
that he would lead an attack, but only if it was carried out according to Generalleutnant
Schellers proposal. Ten minutes later Harpe dismissed Generalleutnant Scheller from his
post as the 9 Panzer Divisions commanding officer. In the morning of July 21, Soviet
troops launched a heavy attack north of Orel, in the sector guarded by the 10 Panzer
Grenadier Division and the 9 Panzer Division. As the German defences were breached,
Soviet infantry and tanks neared the headquarters of the 20 Panzer Grenadier Regiment
(20. Pz.Gr.Rgt.). The breakthrough was eventually deflected by the action of the tank
battalion from the 9 Division.
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As faith would have it, a few hours after the conflict with Generalleutnant Scheller,
General Harpe had to call on the 9 Panzer Division units to provide tactical support.
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As the situation evolved, before noon Soviet planes bombed and shelled the I Battalion of
the 10 Panzer Grenadier Regiment grouped in its attack formation. At 10:30 on the same
morning, the Russians breached the defences of the II Battalion of the 11 Panzer
Grenadier Regiment. At the same time, the II Battalion of the 10 Panzer Grenadier
Regiment, which was supposed to launch an immediate counter-attack to regain hill 222,4
south of Krasnikovo, came under a surprise attack. Meanwhile, the I Battalion of the 10
Panzer Grenadier Regiment and the I battalion of the 33 Panzer Regiment, which
according to General Harpes personally enforced orders had to attack west of
Krasnikovo, set out to perform this task at noon. As early as 14:25, Harpe was forced to
abandon the attack and order his troops to assume defensive positions along the
Karentievo - Koptevo line, reached as a result of their earlier advance.
th

th

th

th

rd

110

An entry in the HG Mitte headquarters operational report brief dated July 22


regarding the situation of the XXXXI Armoured Corps said that: Around lunch time ( in
the original dinner, given to the troops in early afternoon) the enemy tanks breached the
defences and reached the core positions of the 10 Panzer Grenadier Division and the 9
Panzer Division south of Krasnikovo. A violent engagement still continues.
th

th

111

On July 23, at the peak of its strength, the Harpe Group consisted of three Corps,
including the XXXXI Armoured Corps with its 9 Panzer Division. A note in the HG
Mitte headquarters operational report brief dated the same day, concerning the situation
of the XXXXI Armoured Corps, states: The 253 Infantry Division (253. Inf.Div.)
continues its attack, and after taking the peak 223,6 it established the tactical connection
with the left flank of the 9 Pz.Div. The Division had reached the line Strykovo - point
223,6 - point 223,6 - Ilinskoye.
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112

rd

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113

An entry in the same source regarding that days situation at the Corps level states: An
attack by enemy divisions with massive tank support, conducted after strong artillery
preparation against the left flank of the 9 Panzer Division forced it to move its main
defence line back. The fighting with the enemy constantly receiving reinforcements
continues.
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114

The July 5 to August 18 1943 Kursk bend combat report of the 2 Panzer Army and the
9 Army headquarters indicates that: The units of the 9 Panzer Division were able to
block the southeast advance of armoured enemy troops after their breakthrough at
Ulyanovo. On July 24, a note about the situation of Harpe Group was entered in the
HG Mitte headquarters operational report brief: Enemy attacks against the left wing of
the 9 Panzer Division and the right wing of the 253 Infantry Division, carried out after
heavy artillery barrage with strong tank support, were repelled with the exception of
minor breaches of only local significance.
nd

th

th

115

th

rd

116

On July 25, the 9 Panzer Division was assigned to the XXIII Army Corps (XXIII AK)
along with the 18 and 20 Panzer Divisions, 10 Panzer Grenadier Division and the 253
Infantry Division. As of July 26 the Combat Group Schmall was detached from the
9 Panzer Division and assigned to Panzer Grenadier Division Grossdeutschland,
where it fought in the Karatschev region, northwest of Orel until August 1.
th

th

117

th

th

rd

118

th

119

An alternative version is presented by the author of Kursk. The German View. It


states that the group was named Schaal and it consisted of the 4 Armoured
th

Reconnaissance Battalion (Pz.Aufk.Abt. 4) and the 9 Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion.


On July 26, the group was part of the Gruppe Harpe, but from July 27 to August 5, it
was included in the Grossdeutschland division. By the end of July, Oberkommando
der Wehrmacht permitted Generaloberst Model to abandon the Orel salient and assume
positions along the Hagen line. During the three-week long battle, the Germans, despite
heavy losses totalling 62,305 soldiers, managed to prevent the Red Army from achieving
its objective of annihilating both German armies. The fighting ended in a German
defensive victory, one of the biggest strategic accomplishments of Generaloberst Model.
Army Group Mitte, comprising two armies, was able to gradually slip out of the trap set
by the Soviets, inflicting some heavy casualties to all three Red Army Fronts in the
process. Part of the success could be attributed to the fact that Model ignored the order
issued before Operation Zitadelle by the Oberkommando des Heeres, forbidding
German forces from building fortified positions in the Orel salient area. By July 5 at least
four defence lines were constructed, and became crucial in holding the enemy back long
enough for reinforcements to arrive. On July 31 1943, the battle at the Orel salient came
to an end. On the same day Hauptmann Jakob Zimmermann, commander of the I
Battalion from the 10 Panzer Grenadier Regiment, received the Ritterkreuz. The 9
Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion dispatched from the 9 Panzer Division, rejoined its
parent unit in the first days of August. According to a report dated August 1, the 9
Panzer Division had a shortfall of 2,008 men and losses of 3,642. The losses were
subdivided as follows: 601 dead, 2,408 wounded, 253 ill and 137 missing for other
reasons. 1,368 soldiers arrived as replacements, including 1,126 draftees and 242
convalescents. The available vehicles were: 22 Pz.Kpfw. III, 15 operational and seven
under repair; 32 Pz.Kpfw. IV, 21 operational and 11 under repair; 241 half tracked
armoured carriers, armoured reconnaissance vehicles and armoured artillery observation
vehicles (SPW, Pz.Sp.Wg. and Art.Beob.Wg.), 218 combat ready and 23 under repair; 13
heavy self-propelled tank destroyers sPak. (Sfl); 32 heavy anti-tank guns with motor
traction sPak. (mot Z) , 27 operational and five under repair; 47 guns Art-Gesch, 45 in
readiness and two under repair. A comparison to the similar report issued July 1, reveals
that the Division sustained the following equipment losses: six Pz.Kpfw. III; four Pz.Kpfw.
IV; 47 half tracked armoured carriers, armoured reconnaissance vehicles and armoured
artillery observation vehicles (SPW, Pz.Sp.Wg. and Art.Beob.Wg.); three heavy selfpropelled tank destroyers sPak. (Sfl); 18 heavy anti-tank guns with motor traction sPak.
(mot Z). The divisional artillery did not have any losses, to the contrary, it obtained one
additional gun. On August 7, Soviet forces launched a massive attack in the region of
Spas - Demensk. As the situation became critical, the 9 Panzer Division was transferred
to the area.From August 10 to 17, the Division operated north and west of Kirov, which
lies south of Spas - Demensk, and became instrumental in repelling the enemy attack. An
entry recorded on August 13 in the HG Mitte headquarters intelligence report brief:
The last sub-units of the 9. Pz.Div. and the first road march group of the 5. Pz.Div. had
arrived in the sector of the XXXXVI Armoured Corps (XXXXVI PzK). New types of
weapons were tested in combat around that time. The Panzersphwagen II Ausf. L
Luchs earned a favourable rating. In a report from August 1943 Feldwebel Weber, one
of the Luchs drivers, wrote about his experiences while serving with the 2
Reconnaissance Tank Company of the 9 Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion: During my
exposure to the Luchs, I did not notice any sign of technical difficulties, with the exception
th

120

th

121

th

th

122

th

123

124

th

125

126

nd

th

of minor issues with the steering mechanism. The tank has superb manoeuvrability and
mobility. High speed and small dimensions make this vehicle a very hard target for the
enemy.
127

By August 17, the company had only five operational Luchs tanks. As for other new
ordnance, on July 31 the 9 Division had 12 light self-propelled guns Leichte Feldhaubitze
18/2 (sf) auf Geschtzwagen II Wespe. During the second half of August 1943, the 9
Panzer Division was assigned to the 2 Panzer Army Some time later, it was
incorporated into the LVI Armoured Corps (LVI PzK) north of Kirov. It participated in two
significant fighting retreats to the Hagen Line east of Briansk. In the second half of
August, the Division still had 12 Wespe guns, thus not a single one of them was lost
during combat. On August 22, the 9 Division was relocated by rail to the defence region
of the 6 Army, to join the XXIX Army Corps (XXIX AK) at the river Mius, where another
Soviet offensive began on August 18 . By August 25, the entire 9 Division was grouped
in the region of the so-called Mius Front, between Voroshilovgrad and Taganrog. The
state of the Division report dated September 1 cites the following: a shortfall of 2,851
troops, losses 1,063. The losses included: 157 dead, 505 wounded, 90 missing, 86 ill and
225 missing for other reasons. 507 soldiers arrived as replacements, including 378 draftees
and 192 convalescents. The number of vehicles was: 13 Pz.Kpfw. III, three operational and
ten under repair; 23 Pz.Kpfw. IV, five operational and 18 under repair; 175 half tracked
armoured carriers, armoured reconnaissance vehicles and armoured artillery observation
vehicles (SPW, Pz.Sp.Wg. and Art.Beob.Wg.), 114 action ready and 61 under repair; seven
heavy self-propelled tank destroyers sPak. (Sfl), three operational and four under repair;
three heavy anti-tank guns with motor traction sPak. (mot Z); 47 guns Art-Gesch, 45
operational and two under repair. Comparing the reports from August and September, it
is evident that during the month of August the 9 Division had lost nine Pz.Kpfw. III, nine
Pz.Kpfw. IV, 66 half tracked armoured carriers, armoured reconnaissance vehicles and
armoured artillery observation vehicles (SPW, Pz.Sp.Wg. and Art.Beob.Wg.), six heavy
self-propelled tank destroyers sPak. (Sfl) and 29 heavy anti-tank guns with motor traction
sPak. (mot Z). The 102 Armoured Artillery Regiment still did not sustain any losses.
Noteworthy are the very heavy losses of the towed anti-tank guns. Most likely, the
intensity of the encounters, as well as rapid Soviet advances, did not permit many antitank guns to be withdrawn in time.
th

128

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nd

129

th

th

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130

th

nd


An Artillerie Panzerbeo-bachtungswagen III Ausf . G, an armoured observation vehicle equipped with Schurzen.
A frame for a telephone cable reel is welded to the hatch. A04 marking is clearly visible. Letter A probably
denotes Artillerie .


During the fourth year of war, outside of the eight day long offensive during Operation
Citadel, the 9 Panzer Division was mostly utilized as an emergency rescue unit in the
sectors threatened by overwhelming Soviet forces. The Division fulfilled its duties in an
admirable manner and gained well deserved recognition. The resolution of the critical
situation of the 9 Army and the 2 Panzer Army can be largely credited to the
interventions of the 9 Division. The outcome of the bloody encounter at Zhizdra in March
of 1943, as well as the later battle at Kursk bend against a so much more powerful enemy
was, considering the circumstances, a considerable success for the 9 Panzer Division.
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9 Panzer Division was sent to France to rebuild in 1944. On 1st May 1944 it absorbed
men and tanks of the 155 Reserve Panzer Division to return to its full strength. Then the
division was rushed to counter Operation Overlord, the D-Day offensive. It was
destroyed several successive times by British and American forces as the German Army
was pushed back across Europe. The division suffered massive casualties in armour and
personnel until it finally collapsed in March 1945. The divisions few survivors were
pushed into the Ruhr Pocket where they surrendered to the Allies on 26 April 1945.
th

th

75 Newton S. H., op. cit., p. 164-165.


76 Newton S. H., op. cit, p. 166.


77 Newton S. H., op. cit., p. 168.


78 Newton S. H., op. cit., p. 169.


79 Solarz J. in his book Kursk 1943, Warszawa 1996, on p. 16 writes, the speed of advance made by the 6.
Inf.Div. and the 505. schwere Panzer Abteilung, surprised the commander of the AOK 9 to such an
extent, that he could not dispatch the reserve units of the 2nd, 9th and 18th Panzer Division in the
breakthrough zone right away.


80 Newton S. H., op. cit., p. 170.


81 Piekakiewicz J., Operacja Cytadela op. cit., p. 149.


82 Newton S. H, op. cit., p. 170.


83 Glantz D. M., Soviet defensive tactics at Kursk, July 1943, CSI Report No. 11, 1986, p. 53.


84 Newton S. H, op. cit., p. 171.


85 Ibidem.


86 Jentz T. L., Die deutsche, op. cit. Band II, p. 76.


87 Dunn W. S, Kursk Hitlers Gamble 1943, Westport 1997, p. 176.


88 Ibidem.


89 The battle for Kursk. The Soviet General Staff Study, London, Portland 1999.


90 Cross R, Operacja Cytadela, Warszawa 2001, p. 143.


91 Healy M., Kursk 1943 Tide turns in the East, London 1992.


92 http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol096gs.html


93 Solarz J., Kursk 1943, op. cit., p. 27


94 Cross R, op. cit., p. 142.


95 Carell P., Spalona ziemia, Warszawa 2003, p. 39.

96 Newton S. H., op. cit, p. 174.


97 Barbier M. K, Kursk 1943: The Greates Tank Battle Ever Fought, Surrey 2002, p. 85.


98 Hermann C. H, op. cit., p. 133.


99 Newton S. H, op. cit., p.176.


100 Hermann C. H, op. cit. p. 111.


101 Nevenkin K, op. cit., p. 288.


102 Nevenkin K, op. cit. p. 267, does not mention the 3/Pz.Rgt. 35 as part of the Kampfgruppe.


103 Kiski A., Nowakowski T, Skotnicki M., Sawicki R, 4. Dywizja Pancerna Kursk 1943, Warszawa 1999 , p.
12.


104 Nevenkin K, op. cit, p. 267.


105 Kurskaya bitva, v. I, Moskva 2003, p. 343.


106 It was probably Max Sperling.


107 Piekakiewicz J., Operacja op. cit., p. 252-253.


108 Ibidem.


109 Ibidem.


110 Piekakiewicz J., Operacja op. cit., p. 256.


111 Kurskaya bitva, op. cit., v. I, p. 377.


112 Newton S. H., op. cit, p. 179.


113 Kurskaya bitva, op. cit., v. I, p. 394.

114 Kurskaya bitva, op. cit., v. I, p. 412.


115 Kurskaya bitva, v. II, Moskva 2003, p. 374-375.


116 Kurskaya bitva, op. cit., v. I, p. 409.


117 Kurskaya bitva, op. cit., v. I, p. 424.


118 Most likely a different transliteration of Schmahl.


119 Nevenkin K, op. cit., p. 267.


120 Newton S. H., Kursk. The German view, Cambridge 2002, p. 138.


121 Hermann C. H, op. cit., p. 172.


122 Nevenkin K, op. cit., p. 267.


123 Including the 50 mm Pak 38 cannons.


124 Nevenkin K, op. cit., p. 283-285.


125 Nevenkin K, op. cit, p. 267.


126 Kurskaya bitva, v. II, Moskva 2003, p. 201.


127 Michalski H, op. cit., p. 78.


128 Jentz T. L, Wespe leichte Feldhaubitze 18/2 (Sf) auf Geschtzwagen II, Darlington 1996


129 Hermann C. H, op. cit., p. 111.


130 Nevenkin K., op. cit. p. 283-285.

Appendices

APPENDIX NO.1 COMMANDERS OF THE 9 PANZER DIVISION
th

Commanders of the 9 Panzer Division in the years 1940 -1943


th

Generalleutnant Dr. Alfred Ritter von Hubicki (January 3 1940 - April 15 1942)
Generalmajor Johannes Baessler - (April 15 1942 - July 27 1942)
Oberst Heinrich-Hermann von Hlsen - (July 27 1942 - August 4 1942)
Generalmajor Walter Scheller - (August 4 1942 - July 22 1943)
Oberst promoted Generalmajor Erwin Jolasse - (July 22 1943 - October 1 1943)
(Based on: Rosado J., Bishop Ch., Dywizje pancerne Wehrmachtu 1939-1945, Warszawa
2008, p. 88 and de Lannoy F., Bernage G., Les divisions de lArmee de Terre allemande
Heer 1939-1945, Bayeux 1997, p. 322.
Commanders of the 9 Panzer Divisions component units in the years 1940 -1943 9.
Schtzen-Brigade
th

Oberst Wilhelm Apell - (February 16 1940 - August 27 or 28 1941)


Oberst Walther Brehmer - (September 9 1941 - May 24 1942)
Oberst Heinrich-Hermann von Hlsen - (May 25 1942 - July 27 1942 and August 4 1942 December 15 1942)
Schtzen-Regiment 10 - Pz.Gren.Rgt 10
Oberstleutnant Willibald Borowietz - (June 10 or 24 1941 - October 05 1942)
Oberst Walter Gorn - (October 15 1942 - August 15 1943; with an intermission for
officers training in 1943)
Oberst Dr. Johannes Schulz - (March 12 1943 - October 21 1943)
I./Sch.Rgt 10 - I/Pz.Gren.Rgt. 10
Oberstleutnant Fritz Iwand - May 1940
Oberst Walter Gorn - (October 12 1940 - January 26 1942)
Hauptmann Otto Ernst Remer - (February 1 1942 - April 1 1942)
Oberstleutnant Kurt Brassert - (July 05 1942 - October 30 1942)
Hauptmann Gotthard von Czettritz und Neuhaus - (deceased December 25 1942)
Oberst Walter Gorn - (June 1943 - July 1943)
Hauptmann Jakob Zimmermann - July 1943
II./Sch.Rgt. 10

Major Kurt Brassert - (June 20 1941 - July 05 1942)


Schtzen-Regiment 11 - Pz.Gren.Rgt. 11
Oberst graf Theodor von Sponeck - (February 15 1940 - November 1 1941)
Oberstleutnant Ernst Freiherr von Lttwitz - (November 11 1941 - January 26 1942)
Oberstleutnant Wilhelm Schmalz - (January 26 1942 - August 1942)
Oberstleutnant Joachim Gutmann - (August 1942 - November 25 1942 ?)
Oberstleutnant Dr. Alfred von Reumont - (November 26 1942 - May 1943)
Oberst Max Sperling - (July 1943 - ?)
I./Sch.Rgt. 11
Major Wilhelm Schmalz - (May 1940 - October 31 1940)
Oberstleutnant Ernst Freiherr von Lttwitz - (September 04 1940 - November 11 1941)
Hauptmann Ernst Metelmann - August 1943
Panzer-Regiment 33
Oberstleutnant Hans-Joachim von Kppen - (August1940 - May 31 1941)
Oberstleutnant Ewald Kraeber - (May 31 1941 - September 26 1941)
Oberstleutnant Hans-Joachim von Kppen - (September 26 1941 - October 03 1941)
Oberst Ewald Kraeber - (May 01 1942 - January 1943)
Oberst Wilhelm Hochbaum - November 30 1942
Oberst Ludwig Schmahl - (March 1943 - March 19 1943 and April 04 1943 - April 10
1944)
I/Pz.Rgt. 33
Major Horst Richter-Rethwisch - (? - September 1942)
Hauptmann Friedrich Bauer - (October 1942 - July 06 1943)
II/Pz.Rgt. 33
Hauptmann Franz-Josef Kohout - December 1941
III/Pz.Rgt 33
Oberstleutnant Gerhard Willing - October 1942
Art.Rgt. 102 - Pz.Art.Rgt. 102
Oberst Werner Kampfhenkel - (December 01 1938 - October 08 1941)
Oberst Walther Bmerz
I./Art.Rgt. 102 - Pz.Art.Rgt. 102
Hauptmann Schwickert - 1939 Hauptamnn der Reserve Franz Huber - (1941 - 1942)
Hauptmann Dieter Schendel - (1942-1943)

Hauptmann der Reserve Karl Gassner - ? 1944


II/Art.Rgt. 102 - Pz.Art.Rgt. 102
Oberstleutnant Hubert Strohmaier - (April 01 1938 - September 11 1940)
Hauptmann Horst Franke - (1942 - 1943)
III./Pz.Art.Rgt. 102
Major Ewald Kraus
Kradschtzen-Bataillons 59
Manfred Freiherr von Lttwitz - August 1940
Oberstleutnant Wilhelm Schmalz - (November 1 1940 - January 26 1942)
Oberstleutnant Walter Gorn - (January 26 1942 - October 1 1942)
Hauptmann Adolf Bulla - (October 1942 - January 1943)
Major Friedrich Heraucourt - (January 1943 - ?)
Aufklrungs-Regiment 9
Oberstleutnant Josef Vichytil - (October 15 1939 - July 31 1940)
Aufklrungs-Abteilung 9
Oberstleutnant Dr. Freiherr von Ohlen und Adlerscron - August 1940
Panzer-Aufklrungs-Abteilung 9
Hauptmann Rudolf von Bnau - (April 13 1943 - August 15 1943)
Hauptmann Engelbert Bockhoff - (August 15 1943 - October 29 1944)
Heeres-Flakartillerie-Abteilung 287
Hauptmann Rolf Schmidt - 1943
(Based
on:
www.ritterkreuztraeger-1939-45.de,
wehrmacht.de/Personenregister/R/ReumontAv.htm.)

and

www.lexikon-der-

APPENDIX NO.2 OPERATIONAL ASSIGNMENTS OF THE 9 PANZER


DIVISION IN THE PERIOD OF
JANUARY 1940 - AUGUST 1943
th

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http://www/lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gliderungen/Infanterieregimenter/IR446R.htm
http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-WH2Gree-c12-6.html
http://www.ritterkreuztraeger-1939-45.de/Infanterie/B/Bauer-Ludwig.htm
http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol1096gs.html
http://stengerhistorica.com/History/WarArchive/Ritterkreuztraeger/Bauer.htm
http://www.ww2.dk/ground/flak/abt/le94.html

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