Panzer Aufklärungs Abteilung 11.

(11. Panzer Division)

and

Feld-Ersatz Kompanie

Living History Unit

1. Kompanie

Panzer Aufklärungs Abteilung 11.

11. Panzer Division

11. Panzer Division

History and Organization

The 11th Panzer Division was formed on 1 August 1940 from the 11th Schützen-Brigade and the Panzer Regiment 15 removed from the 5th Panzer Division and elements of the 231st Infantry Division, 311th Infantry Division and 209th Infantry Division. Most of its members were from Silesia.

The 11th Panzer Division saw action for the first time in the invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941. Passing through Bulgaria, it arrived in Belgrade and assisted in the capture of that city.

The division was then sent to the Eastern Front where it was part of the Army Group South.  It participated in the Battle of Kiev and later took part in the Battle of Moscow.  At the Battle of Moscow Soviet propaganda made a fictional claim about the 11th Panzer Division in the fabricated encounter with Panfilov's Twenty-Eight Guardsmen.  The division was engaged in retreat and defensive operations after the Soviet counter offensive in December 1941.  The 11th Panzer Division's advance finally came to a halt due to the strong resistance of the 8th Guards Motor Rifle Division and the 78th Rifle Division. Harsh weather conditions were also a factor.

The 11th Panzer Division was part of Case Blue from June 1942 onward, participating in the capture of Voronezh and the drive towards Stalingrad.  It avoided being entrapped with the 6th Army in the city but suffered substantial losses during the winter of 1942-43.  It was engaged in the failed relief attempt on Stalingrad and then participated in the defense of Rostov, which allowed the German troops retreating from the Caucasus to escape.

During operations on the Eastern Front around the Chir River.  The 11th Panzer Division acted as a fire brigade going wherever there was a breakthrough by Soviet Forces.  During December the 11th Panzer conducted a series of counter attacks against Soviet forces around the Chir River.  On 9 December 1942 the 11th Panzer Division destroyed 53 tanks of the 1st Soviet Tank Corps in a counter attack to relieve the German 336th Infantry Division.  On 19 December 1942 the 11th Panzer Division destroyed 42 Russian tanks without losing any of its own tanks just south of Oblivskaya.  The division engaged a second Soviet attack destroying 65 more Soviet tanks without suffering any losses.  By the end of the day the 11th Panzer Division had destroyed an entire Soviet Mechanized Corps.  On 21 December 1942 the 11th Panzer Division destroyed much of the Soviet 5th Tank Army during a counter attack along the Chir.  The division suffered heavy losses in the process.

In July 1943, it participated in the Battle of Kursk and the defensive operations and retreat that followed the German failure.  It was entrapped in the Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket in February 1944 and almost completely destroyed in the break-out from the pocket.  The division was withdrawn from the front and sent to Bordeaux, France after receiving personnel drawn from the 273rd Reserve Panzer Division.

After being stationed in the Toulouse area, the division was moved to a section of the Rhône in July 1944.  When the Allies invaded southern France in August 1944 it retreated via the Rhône corridor, reaching Besançon.  Later entering combat in Alsace, it helped in the defense of the Belfort Gap and was defeated in the Battle of Arracourt before going back to the Saar.  In December 1944, the division fought as part of the Army Group G.

At the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, which it participated in, the division had 3,500 personnel, including 800 infantry.  Following the failure of the German offensive, the 11th Panzer Division entered combat in Saarland and Moselle and fought at Remagen with 4,000 soldiers, 25 tanks and 18 guns that still remained, but was expelled from the region by the advancing US forces.

It was then shifted to the southern sector of the front, with its forces stationed in and encircled in the Ruhr.  The 11th Panzer Division retreated south east, eventually surrendering to US forces in the area around Passau on 2 May 1945.

 

Area of operations

Germany (Aug 1940 - Apr 1941)
Balkans (Apr 1941 - June 1941)
Eastern front, southern sector (June 1941 - Oct 1941)
Eastern front, central sector (Oct 1941 - June 1942)
Eastern front, southern sector (June 1942 - June 1944)
France (June 1944 - Sep 1944)
Alsace (Sep 1944 - Dec 1944)
Ardennes (Dec 1944 - Jan 1945)
Germany (Jan 1945 - May 1945)

Commanders

Generalleutnant Ludwig Crüwell (01 Aug 1940 - 15 Aug 1941)
Oberst Günther Angern (15 Aug 1941 - 24 Aug 1941) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Hans-Karl Freiherr von Esebeck (24 Aug 1941 - 20 Oct 1941)
Generalmajor Walter Scheller (20 Oct 1941 - 16 May 1942)
Oberst Hermann Balck (16 May 1942 - 31 Jul 1942) m.d.F.b.
Generalleutnant Hermann Balck (01 Aug 1942 - 04 Mar 1943)
Generalleutnant Dietrich von Choltitz (05 Mar 1943 - 15 May 1943)
Generalmajor Johann Mickl (15 May 1943 - 11 Aug 1943) m.d.F.b.
Oberst Wend von Wietersheim (12 Aug 1943 - 31 Oct 1948) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Wend von Wietersheim (01 Nov 1943 - 24 Feb 1944)
Oberst Friedrich von Hake (25 Feb 1944 - 30 Apr 1944) m.d.st.F.b.
Generalleutnant Wend von Wietersheim (01 May 1944 -14 Apr 1945)
Generalmajor Horst Freiherr Treusch von Buttlar-Brandenfels (15 Apr 1945 - 03 May 1945)
Generalleutnant Wend von Wietersheim (03 May 1945 -08 May 1945)

Order of battle (April 1941)

HQ
- Divisional Staff
- Motorcycle Platoon
- Mapping Detachment (mot)
33. Panzer Regiment
- Panzer Signals Platoon
- Light PanzerPlatoon
- 2 x Battalion
- Panzer Maintenace Company
11. Schützen Brigade
- 2 x Schützen Regiment
61. Motorcycle Battalion
- 3 x Motorcycle Company
- Heavy Machine Gun Company (mot)
- Reconnaissance Company
61. Panzerjäger Battalion
- Signals Platoon (mot)
- 3 x Panzerjäger Company (mot)
- Battery / 608. Heavy Machine Gun Battalion (self-propelled)
231. Reconnaissance Battalion
- Signals Platoon (mot)
- Armored Car Company
- Motorcycle Company
- Heavy Reconnaissance Company (mot)
- Reconnaissance Supply Column (mot)
119. Artillery Regiment
- Support Detachment (mot)
- 3 x Battalion (mot)
85. Signals Battalion
- Panzer Telephone Company
- Panzer Radio Company
- Light Signals Supply Column (mot)
86. Pioneer Battalion
- 3 x Pioneer Company (mot)
- Brüko B (mot)
- Brüko K (mot)
- Light Pioneer Supply Column (mot)
71. Flak Battalion (attached)
2 / 21. Pz. Luftwaffe Observation Staffel (attached)
Supply & Support Units

 

Order of battle (Summer 1943)

HQ
- Divisional Staff
- Mapping Detachment (mot)
15. Panzer Regiment
- Regimental Staff & Band
- Signals Platoon
- 2 x Battalion
110. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- Regimental Band
- Regimental Staff Company (mot)
- Battalion (half-track)
- Battalion (mot)
- Infantry Gun Company (self-propelled)
- Flak Company (self-propelled)
4. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- Regimental Band
- Regimental Staff Company (mot)
- 2 x Battalion (mot)
- Infantry Gun Company (self-propelled)
- Flak Company (self-propelled)
61. Panzerjäger Battalion
- Panzerjäger Company (mot)
- Panzerjäger Company (self-propelled)
11. Reconnaissance Battalion
- Armored Car Company
- Armored Car Company (half-track)
- Motorcycle Company
- Heavy Reconnaissance Company (half-track)
- Light Reconnaissance Supply Column (mot)
76. Panzer Artillery Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- Staff Battery
- 2 x Battalion
- Battalion (mot)
- Battalion (half-track)
- Observation Battery (mot)
277. Army Flak Battalion
- Staff & Staff Battery (mot)
- 2 x Heavy Flak Battery (mot)
- Light Flak Battery (mot)
- Flak Battery (self-propelled)
- Light Flak Supply Column (mot)
209. Panzer Pioneer Battalion
- Staff
- Pioneer Company (half-track)
- 2 x Pioneer Company (mot)
- Brüko K Bridging Column
- Light Pioneer Supply Column (mot)
89. Panzer Signals Battalion
- Panzer Telephone Company
- Panzer Radio Company
- Light Signals Supply Column (mot)
61. Feldersatz Battalion
- 6 x Company
Supply & Support Units

 

Reference Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/11th_Panzer_Division

https://www.axishistory.com/books/150-germany-heer/heer-divisionen/4089-11-panzer-division

 

Additional Information Links:

https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/2019/01/09/the-german-11th-panzer-division-giving-up-the-ghost/

The Battle of Singling - 4th Armored Division Vs. 11. Panzer Division - Video

11th Panzer Division Surrender, Neumark, Czechoslovakia, 05/05/1945 (full) - Video

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