|<< PREVIOUS||BACK UP||HOME||NEXT >>|
HEER & S.S. s.PANZER ABTEILUNG
by Mike Reese
Heavy Tank Battalion 1942-1943 and Heavy Tank Companies 1942-1943
HEAVY TANK BATTALIONS
note: Actual strength had 11 Tigers (2 BN HQ, 1 Company HQ, 2 Plt 4 each in Company) and 1 Pz III in BN HQ with 2 Pz III in each Company HQ for a total of 5 Pz III in HQ. Above organization gives you the 5 HQ Pz III in BN HQ, and 10 Tigers vs. 11 in the actual BN to give the closest Spearhead OB to the actual one. Units only had two companies due to a shortage of Tigers.
Other assets such as supply and the Workshop units are left out of this article. Actual strength [on paper] is 10 APC (assumed split between the engineers and recon, AA Platoon of 6 Sdz 7/1, Recovery Platoon of 8 ZgKw 18t halftracks)
HEAVY TANK COMPANIES
4 of these were formed, units are given below.
Heavy Tank Battalions:
Heavy Tank Companies:
Heavy Tank Battalions 1943-44
5 May 1943
(Actual organization had 3 Tiger I in HQ (2 Command Tigers), and 3 Companies each 2 Tiger I Command tanks in Coy HQ, and three platoons each 4 Tiger I tanks. The older Tiger Battalions were either reorganized with this TO&E or equipped that way when reformed. Actual Tigers number 45 at full strength, which is exactly 9 models in Spearhead, but since the BN HQ tank can't be used as a combat vehicle this offsets the fact the Spearhead battalion depicted above actually shows 50 Tigers, with 10 models instead of with 9 models.)
Units formed were:
Tiger Battalions 501, 502, 503, 504 and 505 upgraded to this TO&E when reformed (for example, Tiger Battalion 504 is reformed in France by 1944 with 45 Tiger I)
GD 13th Tiger Company has 2 Companies added to it and becomes III Battalion Panzer Regiment Grossdeutschland.
Heavy Tiger Battalions formed using this organization:
Heavy Tank Battalion 1944-45
1st November 1943.
New and reformed/rebuilt Heavy Tank battalions changed to have the 3rd Tiger I in the Battalion HQ made a Command tank rather than a standard combat tank (added radios. Less main gun ammo).
Heavy Tank Battalion organization changed to allow for either Tiger I or Tiger II to be used as the Tiger tank.
In January, 1945 the battalion was decreased in personnel strength, and the battalion assets were changed.
1945 Battalion Assets:
NOTE: all the Tiger units did not have (especially in 1943 and 45) their full battalion assets. Notably, they appeared to be short recon units and recovery assets. Part of the problems were lack of vehicles when formed (especially Bergepanthers and halftracks), splitting of the battalion into separate companies and dispersing it preventing adequate use to be made of the recovery assets present, and losses en route to the front (N. Africa and Russia).
The following units were equipped with Tiger II tanks.
Heavy Tank Battalions with Tiger II tanks
Heavy Tank Battalions renamed were:
Tiger Radio Control Units.
These Tiger units, along with the StuG III units, were equipped with radio controls in the Tigers to operate the BIV Sprengstofftrager Sd. Kfz 301 radio controlled demolition vehicle.
Radio Control Tiger Units (use of and listing of Radio Controlled Demolition Units (Fkl) is given in detail in a separate article titled "The B IV Schwerer Ladungstrager (Sd Kfz 301) Ausf A & B").
Second. German operational doctrine was, "Do not split up a Tiger battalion - use it's three companies together as a decisive force in an antitank role." Actual operations apparently varied from this quite a bit, with most units the Tigers were attached to, especially the infantry units, both splitting up the Tiger Companies (and remember, after a week, they are splitting up units of 4-5 tanks) into separate units, and then splitting the companies again. Sometimes 1-2 Tigers would be assigned to cover a sector for an Infantry Regiment. This also prevented the Battalion workshop/maintenance section from working on the Tigers, and made recovery very difficult. So much for superior German tactical doctrine. Of course, part of the problem was by 1944 the Infantry divisions just didn't have any fighting power left.
German Heavy Tank Battalions 1942-45 - an Update
Original table from http://www.mcs.drexel.edu/~ujkimmel/tigers.html
These tables are suitable for use with the Spearhead rules.
|The SPEARHEAD Website is edited and maintained by John Moher. SPEARHEAD is © 1995-2000 Arty Conliffe. The contents of these pages are © 1997-2000 John Moher, Arty Conliffe, Hans Johannsen, John Kovalic, and/or the appropriate Authors and Contributors.|