Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. This book was written from a March 1945 intelligence document that was published by the military intelligence division of the war department of the United States. If any changes were necessary, I drove out during the night and visited each regiment again. In the bright moonlit night the Russians had attacked at the boundary between the two Panzergrenadier regiments. https://military.wikia.org/wiki/List_of_German_divisions_in_World_War_II Well, that other thread was locked so here it is direct from Field Marshal Harold Alexander, Army Group commander in Italy. Most German snipers were armed with the Karabiner 98 and later Gewehr 43 rifles, but there were often not enough of these weapons available, and as such some were armed with captured scoped Mosin–Nagant 1891/30, SVT or Czech Mauser rifles. Balck’s units were in night defensive positions when Kienitz awakened him at 2:00 a.m. on December 21: There was the devil to pay. The 110th broken through, the 111th overrun. Spanning from 1939 to 1945, World War II was one of the most brutal conflicts in human history. by Jeff Leach » 24 Feb 2014, 19:38, Post The advantage was that all misgivings could be eliminated; misunderstandings and opinions could be resolved from the outset. Balck’s 15th Panzer Regiment was down to about twenty-five operational tanks when it came upon the rear of a march column of forty-two tanks from the Soviet Motor Mechanized Corps at Nizhna Kalinovski. 20. After securing the town with brief but heavy fighting on December 24, he moved on to Tatsinskaya, which put him in the Soviet rear. by Jeff Leach » 25 Feb 2014, 11:17, Post The XLVIII Panzer Corps was suddenly threatened with annihilation. This way one can see how they performed during different situations throughout the war, with contingencies, such as losses and replacements, taken into account. While I was out I decided on my course of action for the next day. His great-grandfather served under the Duke of Wellington in the King’s German Legion, and his grandfather was an officer in the British Army’s Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. I have to do a forum search, because someone once mentioned the German wartime assessment reports. This is mostly overlooked issue when discussing the Fallschirmjager and the Waffen-SS, and it may explain the less than stellar performance of German vanilla infantry, most glaring an issue in Barbarossa, but already showing signs during Fall Gelb. Describing this period, Balck wrote in his memoirs: Each day was like the next. In the late 1970s, however, he finally started talking when he and Mellenthin participated in a number of symposiums with senior American generals at the U.S. Army War College. But arriving with its lead elements was the division commander, Hermann Balck, who was about to execute one of the most brilliant performances of battlefield generalship in modern military history. But Balck champed at the bit to get back into combat. 8. Upon his arrival in Russia he found a dismal situation. Gen. Erich von Manstein, the commander of Army Group Don, planned to break the siege with a dagger thrust to the Volga River from the southwest by the Fourth Panzer Army, supported by the XLVIII Panzer Corps to its immediate north attacking across the Don River. As the division loaded on railcars, Balck and von Kienitz drove ahead to assess the situation firsthand. The Fifth Tank Army had been virtually destroyed. Categorized as a medium tank, M4 Sherman had an average 75mm main gun with 90 rounds and had a relatively thin armor (76mm) compared to other tanks in the era.Introduced in 1941, Sherman is named after … While in command of the 11th Panzer Division, Balck was promoted to Generalmajor (U.S. Army one-star equivalent) and then to Generalleutnant (two-star equivalent). Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations and related topics hosted by the Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Christian Ankerstjerne’s Panzerworld and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day. For this and other achievements Balck would be one of only twenty-seven officers in the entire war—Erwin Rommel was another—to receive the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds, the equivalent of an American receiving two, or even three, Medals of Honor. 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