logo-pzgr-gd


The Panzerkorps Großdeutschland was stationed in East Prussia as a reserve in December 1944, since several of its units were fighting on the western front, but in January - March 1945 it saw heavy fighting at Kohlholz and on the Order. It took part in the fighting in Pomerania and east of Berlin before being transferred to Austria.

It took part in the Battle of Bautzen in April 1945 where the German forces successfully recaptured Bautzen and its surroundings from the Polish 2nd Army that suffered very heavy losses, but the German forces failed to breakthrough to play a part in the Battle of Berlin.

It surrendered to the US forces but all soilders were handed over the the Soviets.

Commanders

General der Panzertruppen Dietrich von Saucken (? Dec 1944 - 11 Feb 1945)
Generalleutnant Georg Jauer (12 Feb 1945 - 14 Mar 1945) m.d.F.b.
General der Panzertruppen Georg Jauer (15 Mar 1945 - 08 May 1945)

Area of operations

East Prussia (Dec 1944 - Feb 1945)
Pomerania & Berlin (Feb 1945 - Apr 1945)
Austria (Apr 1945 - May 1945)

Holders of high awards (Korpstruppen)

Holders of the German Cross in Gold (1)
- Spies, Wilhelm, 15.04.1945, Oberfeldwebel, 2./Pz.Korps-Füs.Rgt. “GD”
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (3)
- Meinecke, Hartmut, 00.00.1945, Hauptmann, 2./s.Pz.Abt. “GD”
- Oertel, Fritz, 15.03.1945, Leutnant, 3./s.Pz.Abt. “GD”
- Schmidt, Gerhard, 25.03.1945, Oberfähnrich d.R., 2./Korps-Pz.Pi.Btl. 500 “GD”
Holders of the Knight's Cross (2, including one unofficial/unconfirmed)
- Bock, Hans 05.02.1945 Hauptmann Kdr schw.Pz.Abt „GD“ [= ex III./Pz.Rgt "GD"]
- Fabich, Maximilian 09.05.1945 Oberstleutnant Kdr Pz.Korps-Füs.Rgt „GD“
- [proposal arrived at HPA on 19.04.1945 ; there is no Karteikarte ; noted down in the book "Verliehene Ritterkreuze" by Major Domaschk : "RK ja" ; no further handling ; case was treated by the OdR Ordenskommission in 1973, it was decided "Yes" ; not known how this judgment was backed up with any proofs, insight to the files of the OdR wasn't allowed to author Veit Scherzer due to the Bundesarchivgesetz rules (that is : files closed 30 years after death -> open here : 2018) ; from the point of view of the OdR the award is correct according to the so-called "Döntitz-Erlass" ; award date determined by the OdR)

Order of battle

Staff
- Staff
- 500. Mapping Detachment (mot)
- 500. Military Police Detachment
- 500. Reconnaissance Company (half-track)
- 500. Sound Ranging Platoon (mot)
- 500. Escort Company
-- Motorcycle Platoon
-- Flak Platoon (self-propelled)
- 500. Artillery Brigade Staff
-- Observation Battery (mot)
- 500. Pioneer Regimental Staff (mot)
Corps Fusilier Regiment Großdeutschland (more details below this oob)
Heavy Panzer Battalion Großdeutschland (more details below this oob)
- Staff
- Staff Company
- Flak Platoon (self-propelled)
- 3 x Panzer Company
- Panzer Maintenance Company
- Supply Company (mot)
500. Artillery Regiment
- 2 x Battalion
-- Staff
-- Staff Battery
-- 3 x Heavy Battery (mot)
500. Panzer Pioneer Battalion
- Staff
- Staff Company
- 3 x Company
- 2 x Bridging Column
44. Panzer Signals Battalion
- Panzer Radio Company
- Signals Company (mot)
- 2 x Telephone Company (mot)
- Signals Supply Company (mot)
Panzer Feldersatz Regiment Großdeutschland
Supply & Support Units

Schwere Panzer-Abteilung "Großdeutschland"
Hauptmann Hans Bock ( 13 Dec 1944 - 5 Feb 1945 ) (WIA)
30 Jan / 1 Feb 1945 : combining of all remaining tanks of "GD", including the Tiger, to built a "Kampfgruppe" ; s.Pz.Abt. "GD" thereby practically dissolved. Crews without tanks engaged in infantry combat. Single tanks in action until April 1945.

Korps-Füsilier-Regiment Großdeutschland (1)
The full authorized OoB for the regiment looked like this

Korps-Füs.Rgt.Stab [regimental HQ section]
Korps-Füs.Rgt.Stabskp. [regimental HQ coy] (4 le.MG)

Stab I./Korps-Füs.Rgt. [battalion HQ section]
Versorgungs-Kp. [supply coy] (4 le.MG)
1. - 3.(Füs.) Kp. (fahrradbew.) [= bycicle mounted infantry] (12 le.MG)
4.(s.) Kp.(mot.) [= heavy machine gun coy, motorized] (12 s.MG, 6 - 2 cm Flak)
5.(Gr.Wf.) Kp.(mot.) [= mortar coy, motorized] (6 le.MG, 4 le.Gr.Wf., 8 m.Gr.Wf.)

Stab II./Korps-Füs.Rgt. [battalion HQ section]
Versorgungs-Kp. [supply coy] (4 le.MG)
6. - 8.(Füs.) Kp. (fahrradbew.) [= bycicle mounted infantry] (12 le.MG)
9.(s.) Kp.(mot.) [= heavy machine gun coy, motorized] (12 s.MG, 6 - 2 cm Flak)
10.(Gr.Wf.) Kp.(mot.) [= mortar coy, motorized] (6 le.MG, 4 le.Gr.Wf., 8 m.Gr.Wf.)

11.(s.I.G.) Kp. [regimental support coy, infantry guns, motorized] (2 le.MG, 4 15 cm s.I.G.(mot.Z.)]

According to the order OKH/Chef H Rüst u BdE/AHA Stab Ia(1) Nr. 10110/44 g.Kdos. v. 20.12.1944 regarding the formation of Pz.Korps GD the Korps-Füs.Rgt. GD was to be formed until 31.12.1944 by renaming the III./Gren.Rgt. GD to I./Korps-Füs.Rgt. GD and the III./1. Jäger-Rgt. BR to II./Korps-Füs.Rgt. GD. In addition to that the Rgt.Stab, Stabskp. and 11.(s.I.G.) Kp. Korps-Füs.Rgt. GD were to be supplied by Wehrkreiskdo. I. Can't tell if the actual organisation corresponded exactly with the authorized organisation because I have no further data about the unit.

Notable Members

Dietrich von Saucken (Holder of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds)

Insignia

shoulder-heer-gd-white-embroidered
The “GD” monogram was authorized for wear on the shoulder boards of all ranks of this unit: gold metal for officers, white metal for senior NCOs, and for ranks up to Unteroffizier the monogram was embroidered directly onto the strap in appropriate Waffenfarbe.

cuff-heer-gd
The “Großdeutschland” cuff title was authorized for this unit.

Tiger of Schwere Panzer-Abteilung Großdeutschland (III./PR.GD) under repair
spz-abt-gd-engine
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

A monument to the fallen Polish soldiers in the Battle of Bautzen, in Crostwitz
memorial-pl-crostwitz
(Courtesy of Derbeth)

Footnotes

1. Archive research by Martin Block

Sources used

Microfilm Publication A-3356, German Officer Personnel files, NARA
Antony Beevor - Berlin: The Downfall 1945
Roger James Bender & Warren W Odegard - Uniforms, Organization and History of the Panzertruppe
Dermot Bradley, Karl-Friedrich Hildebrand, Markus Rövekamp - Die Generale des Heeres 1921-1945
François de Lannoy & Josef Charita - Panzertruppen: German armored troops 1935-1945
Gregory Douglas - Special uniform & cuff titles from "Grossdeutschland" units (in The Military Advisor, Vol 6 No 2)
Wolf Keilig - Die Generale des Heeres
Andris Kursietis - Die Wehrmacht at War 1939-1945
French MacLean - The Unknown Generals, German Corps Commanders of WWII
Kurt Mehner - Die Deutsche Wehrmacht 1939-1945: Führung und Truppe
Friedrich Wilhelm Von Mellenthin - German Generals of WWII
Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr - The Panzer Legions: A Guide to the German Army Tank Divisions of World War II and Their Commanders
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945
Günter Wegmann & Christian Zweng - Formationsgeschichte u. Stellenbesetzung der deutschen Streitkräfte, 1815 - 1990, Teile IV, Abt. 1:- Die Dienststellen, Kommandobehörden u. Truppenteile des Heeres, Oct.35 - May.45

Reference material on this unit

Hans-Joachim Jung - Panzer Soldiers for God, Honor and Fatherland: The History of Panzerregiment Großdeutschland
James Lucas - Panzer Elite: The Story of Nazi Germany's Crack Grossdeutschland Corps
Tim Ripley - Grossdeutschland: Guderian's Eastern Front Elite
Horst Scheibert - Panzer Grenadier Division Grossdeutschland
Jacek Solarz - Grossdeutschland (2 vol)
Helmuth Spaeter - The History of the Panzerkorps Grossdeutschland Vol 1-3
Helmuth Spaeter - Panzerkorps Grossdeutschland: A Pictorial History

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