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Panzer-lehr' sdkfz 251 markings

September 15 2007 at 11:36 PM

Patrick Bernier  (Login Pat-bernier)
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from IP address 66.131.165.98

Hi Gents,

I'm looking for clear pics of some sdkfz 251 of the Panzer-lehr in Normandy. More precisely, I'm looking for pics clearly showing their markings.

Also, do their number were red & white or black & white ?

Thanks,
Pat Bernier


    
This message has been edited by Pat-bernier from IP address 66.131.165.98 on Sep 15, 2007 11:37 PM


 
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sam Wren
(Login SamWren)
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74.221.96.12

Re: Panzer-lehr' sdkfz 251 markings

September 17 2007, 2:12 AM 

There are not many photos of Panzer Lehr 251s that show markings. There is one of a 251/16 in Hungary prior to Normandy which only shows a Balkankreuz on the side. There are many 251s shown in the Budapest parade but the majority are head-on and, apart from the license plate, no markings are visible. all German-taken photos I have seen, such as the ones of the 251/9 just after they arrived in Normandy, the 251s are totally covered by foliage.

These are the only two that I have seen that have much in the way of markings. The first is a 251/7 of the Pioniere Kompanie of one of the Panzergrenadier regiments. According to the gliederungs that I have seen, the Pioniere kompanie should have been the 10th. This obviouly belongs to the 11th. One thing that I have learned is that the actual gliederung of parts of most divisions differed from the official (theoretical) gliederung. This was taken in late July during Cobra:



This second one was taken in Cristot near the beginning of June. There is a larger version of these photos somewhere but I could not find them. I think they are on the Britishpathe.com site somewhere but I could not find them. They are IWM photos but have not been scanned into their website yet. This one is taken from Editions Heimdal's "La Panzer Lehr-Division" by Perrigault. The second, larger version was posted to the list so I don't know where it was printed:




In "US Tank Battles In France, 1944-45" by Steve Zaloga (Concord) there is a painting of the first vehicle. He represents it with red letters, white outlines. This next one is the boxcover for a Dragon 251 done by ex-poster Barry Crook (and posted to the list by him):



I hope this is of some help.

Sam Wren
Abilene, Rep├║blica de Texas
"Don't play cards with Satan" Daniel Johnston


    
This message has been edited by SamWren from IP address 74.221.96.12 on Sep 17, 2007 2:24 AM


 
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leonard paul
(Login spannermann)
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62.56.54.38

SPW tactical numbers

September 17 2007, 10:36 AM 

Why make up situations that do not exist, the vehicle 1134 is clearly numbered the 11th kp so it is not the 10th kp, its numbering style is typical of the Das Reich and not Pz Lehr (which also as you say does not have an 11th kp )and therefore its a vehicle in the 11th Kp of the III(gp)Abt/SS Pz Gren Rgt 4.

Also carrying a set of bridges does not indicate a Pioneer vehicle at all, this vehicle is a regular 252/1 troop carrier that also happens to be carrying a set of bridges, such bridges are needed at all times to allow for unit manoeuverability, its no good waiting for the Pioneer Abt to arrive from where ever they may be when you want to cross an obsticle.

A 251/1 infantry squad vehicle carrying bridges is a perfectly normal situation, and the 11th Kp of SSPzG Rgt 4 is a regular armoured infantry kp not a Pioneer kp.

leonard

 
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leonard paul
(Login spannermann)
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62.56.54.38

SPW markings

September 17 2007, 10:59 AM 

Several of the Budapest 251 SPW do carry Pz Lehr tactical insignia, its not easy to see as it is tiny in size, for the Audf D 251 SPW it is usually painted on the front edge of the front mudguard, which are themselves only approximately 70mm deep ??? and the tactical sign is apinted within that dimension, its a panzer lozange with something like "3/L" for 3rd Kp/ Pz Lehr alongside.

The rear of another 251 show the Lozange and the numbers 333, which again are only approximately 50mm high.

leonard

 
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Markus Tost
(Login Spike_67)
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217.184.103.38

Harsh tone - not proven/wrong facts

September 18 2007, 5:10 PM 

Hello Sir;

I can't understand why you answered Sam Wrens post in such a harsh and agressive tone.
Moreover you came along in both of your posting with guessed and wrong facts.

First:
All sources say that this might be a Panzer Lehr vehicle. I quote the text of Steve Zaloga in "D Day Tank Warfare" Concord Volume 7002 on page 52 below:
"GIs examine knocked out German armor on 26 July during Operation Cobra on the road to Periers. The nearest vehicle is a Sd.Kfz. 251/7 engineer vehicle with a small gap-filling bridge mounted on the superstructure. ... Both vehicles are probably from Panzer Lehr Division."
So from which source do you know that its from an SS unit for sure?
Please let us know.

Second:
Its correct, the tactical signs on the 251s of PzLehr in the Budapest photos are difficult to see. But not as you stated because they are painted on the mudguards! This practice was mainly abandonded since 1943 because these were damaged or got lost easily. So tactical signs were mainly applied to the front bow plate of every vehicle. Back to the Budapest photos. In these the rhomboid with an L ( Panzer Lehrs Sign at that time) can be barely discerned on a 251/1 C's front plate with a dense squiggle camoflage. This camo is the raeson why these are easily overlooked.

Third:
Your statement that "normal" 251/1 troop carriers had these bridges is absolute nonsense. There are enough photos who proof this.The halftracks got their equipment in the factory and these bridges were fitted only to engineer vehicles.
Again : if you have other info, say us from where.

And a last word: Remember the community guidelines when posting.

Markus

 
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leonard paul
(Login spannermann)
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62.56.120.4

SPW

September 21 2007, 3:57 PM 

Hi Markus,

Regarding your second point, Pz Lehr in Budapest;-

The Editions Heimdal book "La Pz Lehr Div" has the following photos of the Budapest parade;-

251 ausf D, WH- 238164, on front mudguard is a Pz rhomboid with 3/L
251 ausf D, WH-1618452, on front mudgyard is a Pz rhomboid with 3/L
251 ausf D, WH-1580539, on front mudgyard is a Pz rhomboid with 3/L
251 ausf D, WH- 307829, on rear body is 333, on rear mudguard is a Pz
rhomboid with 3/L
Zundapp KS 750 Krad with Pz rhomboid and 3/L on its side car.

regards leonard paul

 
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leonard paul
(Login spannermann)
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SPW

September 21 2007, 4:27 PM 

Hi Markus,

Re your First point;-
Regarding the 251 SPW nr 1134 and proof of ownership, your own reply says "..it might be PzL.." and your quoted source Steve Zagola also says "....probably from PzL...", so neither quote is a definite for the vehicles being PzL.

On this basis it is quite possible that the Panther is PzL and the SPW 2nd SS or both are 2nd SS.

To quote Steve's photo caption further he says ".....26 July during Op Cobra on the Periers road.......", this is good, because the Periers road was also the defensive front line of the 2nd SS Pz Div which included the III (gp)/SS Pz G Rgt 4 DF, with its 9,10,11 and 12 251 SPW equipped companies.

When III/SSPzG 4 was pushed back from the Periers road front line along with the PzLehr Div it suffered heavy losses and both divisions got very mixed up, other US Army photos from this area show 251 SPW's numbered 1225, 1231 and a unreadable 9th Kp SPW which carries the Das Reich Div sign and SS registration number SS-155532. (Later near the R Seine a photo shows SPW 1144, a 251/9, abandonned), the point is that all these SPW carry identically written tactical numbers regarding style, size location on these SPW like 1134, and I have never seen a positively identified PzLehr 251 SPW with this style of number nor do PzLehr have a 12th Company in their PzG Rgts.

So to your Third point;-
The standard light bridge section was not specially designed for 251 SPW but was a general issue item throughout the Wehrmacht, consequently anybody could use it and did, so as I am saying that SPW 1134 is in the 11th Company of SS PzG Rgt 4, it is by definition a normal infanty carrier 251/1, that just happens to be carrying a set of bridges for use as required.
Remember that the PzPi Abt unit of any division could be miles away from the grenadiers at the time when a bridge is needed, so what happens then ? In effect you are saying that as this must be a Pi vehicle because it has bridges, then it logically follows that any 251 with a 20cm flak must be from the divisional Flak Abt or any 251 towing a Pak 40 must be from the divisional PzJager Abt, where clearly none of that is true.

Anyway knowing Sam I am sure that he can handle the comments ok,

regards leonard paul


 
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Tony Ormandy
(Login Tony_M_Ormandy)
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203.97.112.69

Very Harsh, Is Lehr

September 19 2007, 5:33 AM 

Hi all
Panzer Grenadier Lehr Regiment 901(PGLR) only had 11 companies,and the 11 company was the Panzer engineer company.In PGLR 902 the PE company was the 10th.

Tony


    
This message has been edited by Tony_M_Ormandy from IP address 203.97.112.69 on Sep 19, 2007 5:34 AM


 
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leonard paul
(Login spannermann)
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Pi Kp

September 21 2007, 4:37 PM 

Hi Tony,

In the original PzLehr Gleiderung for 9th May 1955 both 901 and 902 Pz Gren Rgts are shown as having Pi Kps but none of the companies are numbered.

In the Editions Heimdal "La Pz Lehr Div" book, both 901 and 902 Pz Gren Rgt's Pioneer companies are given as the 10th kp, this is backed up by the "Pz lehr History" book written by Helmet Ritgen a PzL veteran, who says the same.

As mentioned in other notes in this thread, there are several other 251 SPW with an identically written number style on their sides, but that also includes two 12th kp vehicles, a company which PzL did not have, plus a 9th kp SPW (in the same photo as a 12th Kp SPW) carring the Das Reich div sign and SS registration.

As there are several SPW with the identical numbering style of 1134 from SS DR, but no other SPW from PzL with that style of numbering, my conclusion is as said.

regards leonard paul

 
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Sam Wren
(Login SamWren)
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i'm too dumb to be offended... (Das Reich 1144 and Panzer Lehr's love for Micromarkings)

September 22 2007, 1:56 AM 

Leonard,

Is this one of the Das Reich 251's to which you refer? (Public Archives of Canada, for discussion purposes only)



You, are right, the styles do match. Other than this one and one from the 1./SS-Pz.Art.Abt 2 with "Clausewitz" and one or two of the Roncey 251s of the Pz.Pio.Bn (but these are at an extreme angle and can't be viewed very clearly) I have not seen many Das Reich examples. Can you give me some sources as I am always eager for new photographs.

I understand what you are saying about 251/7s in one of the other replies (the theoretical distribution of them included 3 for each Panzer Battalion HQ, 7 or 6 (type 43 SS or type 44 SS Pz Div respectively) in the Engineer Company (usually the 16. Kompanie, but in SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 1 and 2 of LAH it was the 15. Kompanie) of each SS Pz.Gren. Rgt. 251/7s were also found in the Hvy Company of the Reconnaissance Battalion (7 vehicles) and then, obviously, 24 were authorized for type 43 SS-Pionier Bns and 18 for type 44 SS-Pionier Bns.

So, assuming this vehicle above (the one that started the fracas) is a Das Reich vehicle, a 251/7 can appear in either of the Panzergrenadierregiments, but shouldn't be in the 11. Kompanie. But if I understand you correctly, you are saying that this is not a 251/7 (the official bridge-carrying version), but a 251/1 that has been modified to carry the bridges (a field mod?). Or are you saying that a 251/7 has been attached to the 11. Kompanie contrary to official allocations? Feel free to correct any errors I have made in this query as I am a relative newbie to German unit organizations (and I thought the British regimental system was difficult to grasp).

I vaguely remember some discussion several years ago about a/some 251/1(s) which was/were modified to carry the bridging sections, but have been unable to find more on this. The brackets that would support these sections are not clearly visible in this photo, but it appears to me that the front one is just visible underneath the foliage. Can you shed more light on this?

Regarding your comments on the Budapest 251s of Panzer Lehr:
251 ausf D, WH- 238164, on front mudguard is a Pz rhomboid with 3/L - I could not find this one but...
251 ausf D, WH-1618452, on front mudgyard is a Pz rhomboid with 3/L - yes, apparently, you have great eyes or a magnifying glass
251 ausf D, WH-1580539, on front mudgyard is a Pz rhomboid with 3/L - ditto
251 ausf D, WH- 307829, on rear body is 333, on rear mudguard is a Pz - this one I had seen before but it is anomalous, at least based on the scant references I have
compare it with, but then again, Pz Lehr does seem to have a predilection for tiny markings
Zundapp KS 750 Krad with Pz rhomboid and 3/L on its side car. - after some searching I found this one also.

thanks

Sam Wren
Abilene, Rep├║blica de Texas
"Don't play cards with Satan" Daniel Johnston

 
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Steven Piper
(Login seabee1526)
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144.160.5.25

Other Lehr Equipment Marking

October 6 2007, 4:57 PM 

I understand that Lehr Panthers used large thick red numbers w/very small white outlines. Turreted vehicles did not carry the script "L". I do not know if 251's had the "L".

 
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leonard paul
(Login spannermann)
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62.56.104.238

PzL markings

October 8 2007, 2:32 PM 

Hi Steven,

As this thread is now so far down the listing maybe this reply will never be seen by you, however what you say is not quite correct. As all the Panthers used by PzL were on loan from I Abt/ PzRgt 6 of the 3rd Pz Div, it follows that none will of course carry the "L", for it is not their insignia. Lehr Panther Abteilung was still ine Germany being fitted out, and did not see action until late in 1944 in the Alsace/Lorraine regions of N France, it was the panzer element of one of the newly raised Panzer Brigades.

However for the II Abt /PzRgt 130, the PzIV's were indeed all Pz Lehr vehicles and as such do carry the Romboid with x/L alongside. PzIV 721 has for instance Romboid 7/L, also seen a 5th kp PzIV with Romboid 5/L and so on.

regards leonard paul

 
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