The schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 654 was formed in September 1943 from Panzerjäger-Abteilung 654 and was equipped with Ferdinand tank destroyers. In June it was transferred to the Eastern Front where it remained until the end of the year as II./Panzerjäger-Regiment 656.

In 1944 it became the first unit to be re-equipped with Jagdpanthers (it would be the only unit equipped only with that type of tank destroyer), the first two vehicles arrived at the Panzerjäger school in Mielau in late March but training had also to be done using Bergepanthers due to the lack of vehicles. In 15 June it had still only received eight Jagdpanthers but the usable elements of the unit was loaded onto trains and sent to Normandy with more elements arriving as the Jagdpanthers became available. It was attached to the Panzer-Lehr-Division 27-29 June and then to XXXXVII Panzer-Korps. On 1 July they had 25 Jagdpanthers ready for action and on 28 July they had 21 with 4 being repaired. Later in July it was attached to LXXIV Armeekorps. On 1 August they had only 8 Jagdpanthers ready for action with 16 under repair and 16 additional Jagdpanthers were sent to the unit to bring it up to strength. On 9 September 1944 it was ordered to withdraw to the Grafenwohr camp to be rebuilt up to the official strength of 45 Jagdpanthers.
In November it was back in action on the western front, this time with LXIII Armeekorps. On 1 December the unit reported 25 Jagdpanthers ready for action.


Major Noak

Sources used

Wolfgang Schneider - Elefant, Jagdtiger, Sturmtiger: Rarities of the Tiger family
Walter J Spielberger, Hilary L. Doyle & Thomas L. Jentz - Heavy Jagdpanzer: Development, Production, Operations
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945
Waldermar Trojca & Markus Jaugitz - Sturmtiger and sturmpanzer in combat

Reference material on this unit

Karlheinz Münch - Combat History of the 654th Schwere Panzerjager Abteilung