UniformsNSDAP

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

A tale from Stalingrad, 24 Panzer Division

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    A tale from Stalingrad, 24 Panzer Division



    FRITZ HOYER
    Radfahr-Abteilung 1 (1.Kavallerie Division)
    Later
    3/Kradschützen-Abteilung 4 (24 Panzer Division)
    I got this really interesting document group recently, of a soldier named Fritz Hoyer who fought and (most likely) died in STALINGRAD. The groupd consists of the following documents: EK1, EK2, ISA and a note which states his EK1 and EK1 document has been sen home to the nearest relative.


    Fritz Hoyer served at the beginning of Operation Barbarossa in Radfahr-Abteilung 1 in the 1.Kavallerie Division. Von Edelsheim was at the time of Operation Barbarossa the commander of the Radfahr-Abteilung 1. Von Edelsheim’s recomendation for the Knight’s Cross (awarded 30th July 1941) states the following of the battles the unit took part of.
    ”At the start of Operation Barbarossa Oberstleutnant Edelsheim commanded the Vorausabteilung of the 1. Kavallerie-Division. Its initial orders were to march through Hwoznice, Maloriyta, Mekrany and Dywin. Along the way it was to capture any important bridges and break through any enemy forces encountered. Despite the tough enemy resistance that often outnumbered the Vorausabteilung itself, Edelsheim and his men were able to fight their way through the Soviet forces and clear the way for the rest of the Division. The Division was ultimately able to reach the area south of Sluck as ordered and fulfill its mission of providing flank protection for the XXIV. Armee-Korps. Oberstleutnant Edelsheim would subsequently be awarded the Knight’s Cross for the invaluable service he rendered in this capacity.”
    • Traces of War

    Fritz took at least part of the Battle of Kiew that started 25. August 1941. As Fritz’s award document for the Iron Cross 2.Class is dated 26. August 1941. Because he was a part of a recon troop, it’s very likely he was one of them who took an important brigde that crossed the Desna-river unharmed. After the smashing German victory at Kiew, 600-700 thousand Soviet soldier’s has fallen in to German captivity. Rest was short after Kiew, the same month in September, the Division fough the ”Doppelschlacht bei Wjasma und Brjansk” which ended 30. October 1941, with another 600-700 thousand Soviet prisoners taken. After the battle, the Division was withdrawn from the front to be reformed. The Division was renamed 24. Panzer Division in 28. November 1941. Along the reformation to a Panzer Division, the Radfahr-Abteilung 1, was renamed in December 1941 to Kradschützen-Abteilung 4. Fritz served in 3./Kradschützen-Abteilung 4. Due that the Division was withdrawn from the front and returned to the Eastern Front, after the terrible winter in May 1942, they didn’t receive the Ostfrontmedaille 1941/42 (explains the abscence of it). The men of the Division hadn’t a clue what laid ahead of them, when they begun to chase to retreating Red Army in the summer of 1942 across the steppe. Fall Blau had begun for their part, the lack of resistence truly was the calm before the storm. They were marching towards the Volga, in order to secure the flank, of the Army Group that was securing the oilfields of the Caucasus. Little did they know when they reached the outskirts of a small city on the Volga, that they had reached the Hell’s Gates and soon all hell would break lose; the had reached the outskirts of STALINGRAD, and they would be right in the middle of it!
    Below, pictures of his documents and a "special" map of Stalingrad where I've pointed out points of interest. ​
    Attached Files
    .



    Looking for a tunic removed SS-rune tab and tunic removed Odal-rune tab.




    #2
    SOUTHERN STALINGRAD
    The division had suffered high losses in the fighting by 11. September, 8714 Soldiers were left of the original strength of 15401 soldiers. The 24. Panzer Division had to be split into two Kampfgruppen 14. September, (Combat detatchments) Kampfgruppe ”Edelsheim” and Kampfgruppe ”Hellermann”. Fritz’s unit was placed in Kampfgruppe Edelsheim.
    The very same day, Kampfgruppe ”Edelsheim” received orders that they are urgently needed in the city centre. The 71. Infantry Division had just reached the central railwaystation and needed urgently their aid.
    The next night, when Kampfgruppe ”Edelsheim” returned to the 24. Panzer Division in the southern part of the city. Division Staff made orders for an attack, the goal for Kampfgruppe ”Edelsheim” was to capture the railwaystation south. ”Attack northwards along the railwayline and Komitskaya street (Ulitsa) and reach the railway crossing at the ”Canned Good’s factory”. Then regroup with Kampfgruppe ”Hellermann” which protects the northern and eastern flank. Regrouping happens at the edge of the southern railway station, after which you capture it. 15. September, Kampfgruppe ”Edelsheim” made good progress in the assault, and Kampfgruppe ”Hellermann” was clearing the flanks, here in the eastern flanks Kradschützen-Battailon 4 was involved in heavy and bitter fighting in the barracks on a hill nearby. The Kampfgruppen of the division proceded to advance northwards along the Komitetskaya street (Ulitsa) just two blocks west of the Southern railway station. The fighting around the surrounding streets of the southern railway station was fierce and extremley bitter according witnesses, close combat from house to house. At the afternoon, around 16 o’clock 15. September, the Kampfgruppen had captured the Southern Railway Station. A misunderstaning had occured in the communication and the German Stukas performed aerial bombardment on the Southern Railway Station when it was in German hands. However, even if the station had been captured, the surrounding buildings of the stations, still in Soviet hands offered resistence, the fighting wasn’t over. A part of the Division was sent to the north to make, and managed to make, contact with the neighbouring 71. Infantry Division at the Tsarista in the North. The losses the German Divisions sustained that day, made it impossible to conquer some tactically important buildings that were heavily defended including the legendary ”Grain silo” and the ”Canned food’s factory”. Reinforcements were sent to the Kradschützen-Battalion 4 who were still at the evening fighting at the barracks on the nearby hill. For the night, the 24. Panzer Division formed a ”hedgehog” defence ring at the station.
    The next day on 17. September the 24. Panzer Division was tasked with securing contact with the 71. I.D. by making a bridgehead over the Tsaritsa and thus secure contact. Simultaneously the Division was to clear the Elschanka Canyon of enemies. The Soviet resistance was extremley hard in the house to house battles, especially at the ”Canned food’s factory” and at the ”Grain silo”. None of the objectives were accomplished. The following day, reinforcements arrived and with great struggle, the bridgehead was made at the Tsritsa by clearing the trenches and ruins of Soviet soldiers. Many of the Soviets tried to retreat by swimming over the Volga river. For the following days, bitter and hard fighting continued at the ”Grain silo” and the ”Canned food’s factory”, both of which were heavily bombarded with all kinds of weapons. At the 19. September 1942, fighting in the southern part of the city was over for the 24. PD, orders from General Paulus, were to move to the northern part of the city, to the industrial area.


    Below pictured the Tsaritsa Ravine and the Grain silo/elevator.
    Attached Files
    .



    Looking for a tunic removed SS-rune tab and tunic removed Odal-rune tab.



    Comment


      #3
      MAMAYEV KURGAN
      Before being able to move in to the industrial complex of Stalingrad, an obstacle remained that had to be captured. The ancient cemetry Mamayev Kurgan on the top of a hill. The battle of Mamayev Kurgan had already been fought for several days and now it was the turn of the 24. PD to do its part, starting 22. September 1942. 24. PD mission was to attack from the west side of Mamayev Kurgan to northeast on Mamayev Kurgan towards the textile factory north of the hill. The area of responsibility that the 24. PD had, reached from the west of Mamayev Kurgan, where they were neighbouring with the 516. Infantry Regiment. The left side of the area was the Bannyi Ravine, neighbouring with Gruppe Salzer. The Kradschützen-Abteilung 4 was on the right flank of the division, on the Mamayev Kurgan with the 516. IR of the 295. ID. The Kradschützen-Abteilung 4, attacked the hill with 516 IR. on 22. September with a detatchment of Pioner’s equiped with flamethrowers. While fighting on the hill of Mamayev Kurgan, the Soviet infantry of the 95. Rifle Division stormed the Mamayev Kurgan in a furious counter attack. The Germans dominating the hill top, repulsed the Soviet counter-attack and caused high casualties upon them. The Germans on the hill suffered roughly 265 casualties, which of 516. IR suffered the majority of. The rest of the 24. PD was engaged in heavy fighting northwest of Mamayev Kurgan and had to do after the first day an exchange of ”first line” regiment. The fighting over the dominance of Mamayev Kurgan raged on for the next days. On 24. September, it was recorded that Kradeschützen-Abteilung 4 had to face the rage of all three regiments of the Soviet 95. Rifle Division and the Soviet 137. Tank Briagde. The Kradeschützen-Abtelung 4 was forced to retreat from the hill after brutal close comabt, but caused casualties so severe that the Soviet high command realised, that the German army couldn’t be thrown out from Stalingrad via this hill.
      The 24.PD hadn’t gone unscratched at all from the fighting, they had now lost half of their remaining manpower in the fighting over the last weeks. General Paulus decided that it was time to attack the industrial complexes, as besides small parts of Mamayev Kurgan and a few other bridgeheads the Soviets had, the south and central Stalingrad was clear of the enemy.

      THE INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX OF STALINGRAD
      26. September, the neighbouring 295. ID of the 24. PD was replaced on Mamayev Kurgan with the 100. Jäger Division. It was now at responsibility of the 24. PD west of Mamayev Kurgan and the 100. JD. on the Mamayev Kurgan to make the main thrust at the industrial complex in the north. The 24. PD had as objective: to capture Höhe 107.5 and the rural area north and northeast of the hill. Conquer the Bannyi Ravine, clear the area from of the railway (I assume it’s the railway in front of Mamayev Kurgan). The final objective was to reach 600m away from the Silicat factory at the workers settlements.
      A total of 17 artillery batteries bombarded the designated attack areaon the day of the attack on 27. September 1942. However the Soviet launched a counter attack on the same day, supported by massive aerial support which raised a large smoke cloud over the area, which greatly reduced the visibility and caused complete chaos for the attacking Germans. After the heavy resistance and multiple assaults by the Germans, the Germans under Kampfgruppe Edelsheim managed to capture hill 107,5. At the same time, parts of the Division reached the workers settlements at the edge of steelplant ”Red October”. At the end of the day the combined thrust of 389 ID and the 24 PD had succeeded to cause serious casualties for the enemy.
      At 28th September 1942, both Kampfgruppe Edelsheim and Kampfgruppe Hellermann were positioned at the edge of the ”Red October”. Kampfgruppe Edelsheim sent recon troops (most likely parts of Kradsch.Abt.4) in to the grey, deep to the worker’s settlements between ”Red October” and the ”Barricades”, in order to seek out weak spots in the Soviet defences. After the recon and exchange of information, the 24 PD attacked towards the Barricades, reaching the Stadion, Sculpture park and the ”Dreieckswald”. The attacking 24 PD came to notice that the area between ”Red October” and ”The barricade factory” was a labyrinth of trenches dug between burning houses and gravel. The buring houses filled the area of smoke, and it became increasingly difficult to distinguish hostile tanks and soldiers in the rubble. The fierce fighting cost the 24.PD almost 200 casualties. During the following days the advance of the 24 PD continued to advance between the ”Red October” and the ”Barricades”, but with great difficulty. The battles continued to rage on, the task of Kampfgruppe Edelsheim was to capture the area somewhere around the ”Schnellhefter“ (a building with six corners) and the Silicat factory. The rest of the attacking divisions advanced from the barricades, towards the ”Tractor factory”.
      .



      Looking for a tunic removed SS-rune tab and tunic removed Odal-rune tab.



      Comment


        #4
        The BARRICADES
        Kampfgruppe Edelsheim soon found itself engaged in bitter fighting, in the ”symmetric settlements” nearby the ”Silicat factory”, the day saw especially heavy fighting at the ”Schnellhefter”. By the 5. October 1942, the Armeekorps LI (that 24 PD was a part of) had reached the western areas of ”Barricades” and ”Red October”. Out of all the survivors, about half had been removed from the strength by now. The Kampfgruppe was engaded in short, but really violent fights at ”Schnellhefter” and the Stadion 7. October. Between 8. and 15. of October, the 24 PD had reached the western edge of the ”Tractor factory”, but the cumulative casualties, had left the Division with three (3) exhausted and heavily depleted infantry battalions and 30 tanks. All the Divisions stationed in the North, had suffered heavy casualties in the fighting and in the constant Katyusha-rocket fire. General Paulus had to quickly launch the offensive northwards, in order to take the ”Barricades” and the ”Tractor factory” before the culmination of the battle.
        The 24 PD’s part of the attack to capture the ”Barricades” and the ”Tractor factory”, was to capture Tramavainaia Street between the factories. They were to start the advance from the ”Sculpture park”, at the right flank of Group Jaenecke and move in between the the two factories.
        The attack had intitial success and the 24 PD fought, street by street and trench by trench, until they reached the ”Oil tanks” by the Volga, by the ”Barricade factory” 18. October 1942. However, the Soviet’s were determined to hold their defences and once again, the heroism of the Soviet defenders at Stalingrad was witnessed by the 24 PD in the form of bitter resistance. While the fighting was going on for the dominance of the ”Barricades”, the fighting had reruptured at the ”Sculpture park”. The fighting was described as ”a chaotic mess” where all aviable trenches, holes, bunkers, and buildings were occupied by a mix and match of foe and friend. Besides this, the trenches at the Wolga, were recaptured by the Soviet’s at the ”Barricades”. The fighting around the ”Barricades” was supported by reinforcements to the divisions, meanwhile parts of the 24 PD reinforced the 100. Jäger Division in the fighting at the ”Red October”.
        The next day, 19th October 1942, the 24 PD had been beaten… the Division had suffered once again a lot of casualties, and the men were as good as dead of exhaustion. Besides the exhaustion and the losses, most of the men were now also sick with various diseases. With the sickness came the lack of food, the quality of the food had dropped as had the size of the rations. Besides the ”disgusting” environment they had to live in, the soldier’s were day by day experiencing more and more dead due to active Sniper activity and constant rocket attacks. The Division had according to sources” Bled to death” and had to be reinforced with unexperienced soldier’s, that vanished, I quote ”Like water on hot rocks”.

        ”The battlefield east of the Barrikady blazed with the most violent and profligate clash the world would ever see. Stalingrad was without doubt the epitome of hand-to-hand fighting, and nowhere was it more brutal, more savage, more relentless, than in the Barrikady.” - Stalingrad tours


        The famous picture below is taken by the "Schnellhefter" and the coloured one is taken at "the Barricades"

        Attached Files
        .



        Looking for a tunic removed SS-rune tab and tunic removed Odal-rune tab.



        Comment


          #5
          Steelplant ”Red October” and the bitter end…
          At the end of October 1942, the 24 PD found itself once again at ”the Barricades”, fighting at the ”bread factory” tasked with capturing the trenches by the Volga. Fighting as they were, they were advancing towards the storage halls and the long industrial halls of the ”Barricade”, but couldn’t push through the fierce resistance of hall 4, of the barricade factory.
          30th October, 1942 the 79th ID was reinforced with the remnants of the 24 PD, tasked to reinforce the fighting forces at ”Red October”. The whole Division had after reinforcements, a total of ”960” Panzergrenadier’s left! In early November they fought at the ”Tennis racket”, the Chemical factory and the ”Red October”
          7th November 1942, Kampfgruppe Scheele was formed, which consisted of a heavily depleted infantry-battalion, all the pioneer’s and all of the ”Kradschützen” from Fritz Hoyer’s unit. They replaced a Kampfgruppe from the 79th ID at the ”Red October” and were positioned at ”Hall 10”. The 10th November 1042, the temperature had dropped to -15C, accompanied by hard wind made the conditions cold for the soldier’s. The Soviet’s attacked the Kampfgruppe Scheele in ”Hall 10”, but were repulsed after extremley hard fighting at the ”Red October”, it was just chaos in the factory. The German’s were at least as determined as the Soviet’s to hold ground that had been so hard fought for. The 24 PD Division suffered in the fighting that day a colossal 380 casualties which was a significant part of all the remaining men the Division had.
          November 18th, the day before Operation Uranus, the division were back at the ”Barricades”, fighting over the houses at the bank of Wolga.
          November 19th 1942, temperatures dropped to -25C and Operation Uranus was launched. Stalingrad was encircled 4 days later. Fritz Hoyer, was trapped in the city itself. Fritz Hoyer was listed missing 12 days later, most likely fallen. Fritz Hoyer was united with the hundred’s of thousands other soldier’s that had fallen in the name of Stalingrad.



          First picture is "Barricades" with "Hall 4" in the red.
          The second picture is from the "Red October".
          The third photo is "Red October, Hall 10" in the rectangle.
          The fourth picture is "the tennis racket" with the Chemicals factory in the triangle.
          Attached Files
          .



          Looking for a tunic removed SS-rune tab and tunic removed Odal-rune tab.



          Comment


            #6
            FATE OF FRITZ HOYER & DOCUMENTS

            The EK1 document was sent to the closest relative of Fritz, accompanied with the Iron Cross 1.Class and the award certificate of the EK1, that was signed by (then) Colonel Maximillian Freiherr von Edelsheim (Swords to the Knight’s Cross).
            The fact that it was awarded, by the reformed 24. Panzer Division, under the command of Colonel Von Edelsheim in April 1943, along the document, stating the Cross with and the certificate is being sent to the the nearest relative Fritz Hoyer’s posthomous award, gives really strong indication that Fritz met his fate at Stalingrad. The EK1 award document has a written sentence on the reverse that says simply ”family Hoyer”.
            What confirms, in my opinion Fritz’s fate; the Division was reformed in France, 1943 and Fritz wasn’t a part of it in any other way as an administrative duty for the Officers. What indicates this; Kradschützen-Abteilung 4 was renamed at the reforming in France 1943, to Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 4. Fritz wasn’t a part of the newly named unit, he was a part of the ”old unit” Kradschützen-Abteilung 4 which was annhiliated at Stalingrad!
            I checked the name Fritz Hoyer, I found two suiting matches for Stalingrad, the name that would indicate he either died of wounds 1. October 1942 or went missing 1. December 1942. I strongly believe he’s the one who went missing. Because the document that states the EK1 with the certificate was sent to the nearest relative, doesn’t mention anything of him being dead, it’s just a notification of an anomaly, that the Cross couldn’t be awarded directly to him. As an other point, the abscence of a Wound Badge which he would have received if he died of wounds at a field hospital.
            We might be uncertain which way it was, I’m leaning towards that he went missing in December 1942, either burried in ruble or never returned home from captivity. We can be sure of one thing: he met his fate at Stalingrad!


            Thanks for interest!


            Sources: Lexikon der Wehrmacht, Flames of War, Wikipedia, Anthony Beevor: Stalingrad, Death of the leaping Horseman, Stalingrad Feldpost and various Wikipedia articles.
            Attached Files
            .



            Looking for a tunic removed SS-rune tab and tunic removed Odal-rune tab.



            Comment


              #7
              Thank you for your generosity in posting such an informative and detailed thread. I appreciate the time it would have taken you in researching this. Excellent work.
              Cheers

              Ian

              Always looking to buy Gasplanen and Gasplane related photos & documentation

              https://www.allaboutgasplanes.com
              https://www.decisivehours.com/

              Comment


                #8
                Thank you Ian for the very kind comment I appreciate that the effort, and the fruit of a two weeks of interesting research can be enjoyed by other enthusiasts.

                I've decided to slip in a small high quality "extra" that I found recently on Youtube, made by the "Army University press".
                Which you can watch by clicking on the name: Stalingrad: The Grain Elevator

                I found it after this thread, it might be of help to clear up the early fighting the 24 PD had around the Southern railway station and the Grain elevator. Well worth the watch.

                Pictures below, the Grain Elevator where you can see slightly inside of this massive building. The second photo is of the Grain Elevator, taken from the Southern Railway station, which demonstartes the size of it.

                Best regards,
                Daniel


                Attached Files
                .



                Looking for a tunic removed SS-rune tab and tunic removed Odal-rune tab.



                Comment


                  #9
                  Blimey! Thank you again.The fighting around the Grain Elevator is the part of the battle that I am most interested in. Before Covid I was planning to visit Volgograd this year and the Grain Elevator was number one on my list of must see sights.
                  Cheers

                  Ian

                  Always looking to buy Gasplanen and Gasplane related photos & documentation

                  https://www.allaboutgasplanes.com
                  https://www.decisivehours.com/

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by IanC View Post
                    Blimey! Thank you again.The fighting around the Grain Elevator is the part of the battle that I am most interested in. Before Covid I was planning to visit Volgograd this year and the Grain Elevator was number one on my list of must see sights.
                    I'd love to visit Volgograd one day, and tour the the city. However I think I find the Barrikady or the Red October most interesting. Perhaps due that there's so much information of each industrial hall aviable of the factories
                    .



                    Looking for a tunic removed SS-rune tab and tunic removed Odal-rune tab.



                    Comment


                      #11
                      Very nice write-up! Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading it,

                      Mats

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thank you Mats for the nice comment glad you enjoyed it.
                        .



                        Looking for a tunic removed SS-rune tab and tunic removed Odal-rune tab.



                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thank you for the article. Well worth reading it.
                          Kind regards, Joseph

                          Comment


                            #14
                            That is an excellent set of doucments and a really interesting write-up to go with them, especially with the accompanying maps.

                            I too would like to visit Volgagrad at some point in time, and visit as many of the landmarks from the battle of Stalingrad as possible, and although collecting Heer items are not really my area of interest, I would like a Soldbuch to a soldier who was flown out of the kassel.

                            Regards Richard.
                            Always looking for Luftwaffe Kampfflieger related document groups. In particular anything to Kampfgeschwader 2.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thankyou for taking the time to research and post this very interesting account of a very traumatic event.

                              Comment

                              Users Viewing this Thread

                              Collapse

                              There is currently 1 user online. 0 members and 1 guests.

                              Most users ever online was 4,375 at 10:03 PM on 01-16-2020.

                              Working...
                              X