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Schwere SS-Panzer Abteilung 101

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SS-s.Pz.Abt. 501


s.SS Pz.-Abt.101 Номер изменен на s. SS Pz.-Abt.501 22.09. 1944


WOLFGANG SCHNEIDER

TIGERS IN COMBAT II

p 213-220



10-17 September 1944: Assembly in the area of Düren

18 September 1944: Movement into the area of Meschede.

22   September 1944: The company is relieved from attachment to the General der Panzertruppen West and then attached to the 6. Panzer-Armee. Consequently, it ends its habitual relationship with the l./SS-Panzer-Korps, thus resulting in its redesignation as schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501.

The battalion personnel are moved into the Bielefeld area. SS-Hauptsturmführer Möbius assumes acting command of the battalion (the commander requires convales­cence for an illness).

23  September 1944-30 November 1944: The battalion is reconstituted in a designated area southwest of Bielefeld. The Battalion Headquarters and the Headquarters Company are located at Schloß Holte; the 1./schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 101 at Oerlinghausen; the 2./schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501 at Eckardshaim; the 3./schwere SS-Panzer­Abteilung 501 at Verl; the Supply Company at Wilhelmsdorf; and the Maintenance Com­pany at Stukenbrock.

17 October 1944: Four Tiger lis delivered.

18 October 1944: Six Tiger II's delivered,

12 November 1944: Fourteen Tiger Us received at the Senne Training Area.

14 November 1944: The battalion surgeon, SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Dr. Rahe, is awarded the German Cross in Gold for exhibiting gallantry in battle.

17 November 1944: Temporary consolidated with SS-Panzer-Regiment I as its 2nd Bat­talion.

21 November 1944: SS-Obersturmbannführer von Westernhagen rejoins the battalion. SS-Hauptsturmführer Möbius commands the 2./schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501; SS- Hauptsturmführer Wessel the 1./schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 101; and SS-Hauptsturmführer Birnschein 3./schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501.

26 November 1944: Ten Tiger Iis delivered.

30 November 1944: Military District IX orders the creation of another armored Flak platoon for the battalion.

2 December 1944: Start of entrainment in Gütersloh, Arsemissen, Brackwede and Schloß Holte. Prior to the rail movement, schwere Panzer-Abteilung 509 had to hand over eleven Tiger lis to the battalion.

Start of movement into the region Münstreifel-Zingsheim-Tondorf for the Ardennes offensive.

5 December 1944: Beginning of detraining in Zülpich-Euskirchen; base camps estab­lished to the south.

9 December 1944: The last elements of the battalion detrain at Liblau and Euskirchen.

13 December 1944: During the night, movement into an assembly area on both sides of the road Zingsheim-Engelgau; the headquarters is located in Tondorf.

14   December 1944: Briefing at SS-Panzer-Regiment 1, to which the battalion is attached.

15 December 1944: Briefings in the regimental command post and afterwards at the battalion command post.

16  December 1944: The start time is delayed; the battalion follows to the rear of Kampfgruppe Peiper and experiences numerous stops.

17 December 1944: At about 0900 hours, the junction of the R 265 in the direction of Los heim ergraben is reached while moving on the R 421. Towards noon, Honsfeld is tran­sited. A short while later, so is Büllingen. After passing Bübingen, the column is attacked by eleven Thunderbolts from the IX Tactical Air Command. One immobilized Tiger is later abandoned (25 December 1944). Because of bad road conditions, several tanks suffer final-drive damage. The march is continued to Tliirimont via Schoppen, Faymonville- Ondenval into the evening. Some Tigers try to avoid the heavily damaged road and take the road to Engelsdorf (Ligneuville) via Heppenbach-Born-Kaiserbarracke.

18 December 1944: In the morning, the 2./schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501, which is the lead company, reaches the crossroads of Baugnez. After dawn, it transits Engelsdorf.

About noon, the 2. and 3./schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501 and the battalion com­mand group pass through Stavelot. The 2./schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501 participates in the attack at Chauveheid. In the afternoon, four Tigers of the l./schwere SS-Panzer­Abteilung 501 are attacked by fighter-bombers when crossing the bridge over the Ambleve River at Stavelot. The company commander's tank—Tiger 105—is forced to take evasive maneuvers in Stavelot, when it is fired on by two antitank guns from the US 526th Infantry. While rolling backward, it gets stuck in a building and has to be abandoned. SS-Haupt­sturmführer Wessel changes to the tank of SS-Oberscharführer Franzel and moves in the direction of Trois Ponts.

Total tanks: 44.

The other tanks remain at Stavelot; the spearhead reaches Trois Points and then heads north because of the blown-up bridge there. It transits Coo and La Gleize. As a result of mechanical damage, Tiger 332 has to be abandoned on the road Trois PoinLs-La Gleize at thejunction to Coo (See also the entry for 25 December 1944.)

Tiger 008 has to be abandoned near Trois Points at the St. Antoine farmhouse and is later rendered inoperable by the crew.

Total tanks: 43.

The march towards Cheneux is continued; due to the weather clearing up, a series of Thunderbolt air raids recommence.

The bridge across the Lienne River near Neucy is reached via Bahier. When the tanks approach, the bridge is blown up. The leading element has a short encounter with the US 199th Infantry at Oufni and is ordered to pull back to La Gleize after loss of several SPWs.

Due to the lack of fuel, several tanks have to have fuel siphoned off and are then taken in tow.

19   December 1944: Both tanks in Stavelot—Tigers i 32 and 133—move in the direc­tion of Trois Points and are attached to SS-Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 1 in Coreux. They take part in another unsuccessful assault at Stavelot; afterwards, they guard the bat­talion command post.

Kampfgruppe Peiper assembles for the assault at Stoumont and leaves the Tigers behind to screen at La Gleize. Tiger 104 is immobilized outside of La Gleize while engag­ing some US tanks; it knocks out one Sherman,

Tiger 222 of SS-Oberscharführer Sowa is knocked out in front of the approach to the bridge in Stavelot. The crew bails out.

Total tanks: 42.

Two Tigers of the 3./schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501 are positioned on the high ground outside of Stavelot; both are hit by tanks of the US 823rd Tank Destroyer Battal­ion. One of the Tigers receives a hit to the turret, but it knocks out a tank destroyer on the opposite bank. Both tanks are recovered some time later.

20  December 1944: Several enemy assaults at La Gleize are repulsed. Elements of Task Force Lovelady (US 2-33 Armor Battalion}, approaching from Roanne towards the junc­tion of the N 33, manage to pass the position of one Tiger (SS-Untersturmführer Hand­tusch), one Panzer IV (SS-Hauptsturmführer Klingelhöfer) and three Puma armored cars at Moulin Marechel, The German elements were supposed to block the Trois Ponts approach; this worsened the situation of Kampfgruppe Peiper decisively. SS-Untersturm­führer Handtusch was later accused of not having opened fire on the US task force, even though it passed within 600 meters of his position.

One Tiger supports the II./SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment I in its attempt to cross the Salm River near Trois Ponts, but it has to withdraw after being hit by a phosphorus mortar round from a 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment element.

Tiger 133 of SS-Oberscharführer Wendt again supports the ultimately unsuccessful assault of the 2,/SS-Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 1 outside of Stavelot. About noon, the second tank—Tiger 132 of SS-Oberscharführer Brandt—and some antitank guns beat back an enemy tank attack near Petit Spa; one enemy tank is destroyed.

21  December 1944: The defensive positions are pulled back to La Gleize. The bridge across the Ambleve River near Petit Spa—important as a supply route—collapses under the weight of a Sturmgeschütz IV,

22   December 1944: Towards noon, Tiger 334 and two Panzer IVs of the 6./SS-Panzer- Regiment 1 make contact with advancing enemy troops on the road to Borgoumont at Les Tcheus. Alter knocking out a Sherman, the Tiger is hit by a nine-centimeter antiaircraft gun, damaging the right drive sprocket. The crew bails out and escapes to La Gleize.

Total tanks: 41.

The tanks in La Gleize repel a series of enemy assaults, but they are fixed in place by superior enemy forces. Tigers 211 (Hantusch) and 213 (taken over by SS-Obersturm­führer Dollinger) are knocked out after numerous hits. (Tiger 213, whose muzzle brake was shot off, has remained at La Gleize ever since as an exhibit.

Total tanks: 39.

Tiger 133 advances toward the western edge of Stavelot in order to relieve encircled parts of SS-Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 1. During the second advance, this tank is acci­dentally hit in the turret ring. The driver's hatch is torn off, and the radio operator is killed. The driver, unable to communicate with the commander, turns the tank and backs up. The steering hydraulics lose pressure, and the tank is stuck in the road ditch. It is then abandoned.

Total tanks: 38.

23  December 1944: Since Kampfgruppe Peiper cannot be relieved and the tanks have neither fuel nor ammunition, the order to breakout that night is ordered.

24   December 1944: Beginning at 0200 hours, the members of Kampfgruppe Peiper move on foot to the German lines. In the village, two more tanks are abandoned—Tigers 204 and 231—on the road to Gue at Point K22. Tiger 104 is also lost.

Total tanks: 35.

25   December 1944: Tiger 332 is "knocked out" by a Sherman of the US 740th Tank Battalion, even though it had been abandoned by its crew some days earlier (see entry for 18 December). The tank was later recovered and shipped to the US Army's Aberdeen Proving Grounds. (It is now in the possession of the Patton Museum of Armor and Cavalry at Fort Knox KY.).

Total tanks: 34.

SS-Oberscharführer Wendt blows up his disabled tank and retreats across the Ambleve River near Petit Spa. SS-Oberscharführer Brandt, the commander of Tiger 132 is mortally wounded outside his tank by an artillery shell at Petit Spa. SS-Unterscharführer Otterbein takes command of the tank and fords the Ambleve River.

During the preceding days of the offensive, all the damaged vehicles had been col­lected at Fngelsdorf. Tigers 111 of SS-Untersturmführer Heuniges and Tiger 312 are aban­doned. One of these two tanks was hit by a bomb from a P-38 near the Antoine Farm at the Petit Spa bridge.

Total tanks: 32.

26   December 1944: The battalion assembles in the area Petit Their-Burtonville. All the damaged vehicles are collected at Engelsdorf.

28 December 1944: The operational tanks (approximately 14—16) are moved into the area of Arloncourt-Harzy-Schimpach-Longvilly and are pooled as Kampfgruppe Möbius.

30   December 1944: The l./schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501 hands over all the tanks it still has and is moved to Oerlinghausen.

Counterattack of the 1. SS-Panzer-Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler" with two Kampfgruppen (Kampfgruppe Möbius in the north) towards Bastogne. After reaching the road Bastogne-Martelange, the assault is stopped between Sainlez and Point 535.

3 January 1945: Repeated attacks against the Bastogne corridor. Elements of the 6th US Armored Division take flight. Due to lack of forces, this favorable situation cannot be exploited.

8 January 1945: The German front line is withdrawn. A Kampfgruppe that includes two Tigers remains behind to support the 340. Volks-Grenadier-Division.

Total tanks: 30.

10 January 1945: Withdrawal from the area Lutremange-Villers La Bonne Eau into the area east of St. Vith. Running engagements from Mahnedy to St. Vith.

13 January 1945: SS-Oberscharführer Brandt is posthumously awarded the German Cross in Gold for fifty-seven kills.

15 January 1945: Operational tanks: 10. March into an assembly area around Blanken­heim.

16-24 January 1945: The remaining tanks reach Brühl (mostly moving individually).

20 February 1945: The I. SS-Panzer-Korps is ordered to he immediately transported via Berlin to a yet unknown detrainment location.

24 January 1945: En trainmen t of the operational elements in Brüggen and Brühl.

31 January 1945: Operational tanks: 19.

1 February 1945: Operational tanks: 23. The battalion (minus the l./schwere SS- Panzer-Abteilung 501) is entrained at Brühl. As part of a deception campaign, it is trans­ported to the area of Cottbus before moving on to Vienna and then Hungary.

8 February 1945: Operational tanks: 15. Detrainment near Raab (Györ).

10 February 1945: Beginning of the assembly for the elimination of the Grart Bridge­head. 6 Tigers of the 1 ./schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501 and the trains rejoin the com­pany.

Total tanks: 36.

12 February 1945: Operational tanks: 19. Detrainment near Raab.

14  March 1945: SS-Untersturmfuhrer Amselgruber is awarded the German Cross in Gold.

 17  February 1945: Panzergruppe "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler" - including nineteen Tigers of schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501 - starts its attack at the Parisky Canal. Though the thaw causes the ground to be soft, the day's objective is taken towards evening after an antitank-gun belt is eliminated.

18 February 1945: A bridgehead is established on both sides of Gywa (Sarkan); after crossing the river, an attack is started via Sarkanyfal towards the high ground northwest of Muzsla.

19 February 1945: The southward attack is continued in the direction of Parkany, which is captured in the evening. Several enemy tanks are knocked out.

23  February 1945: The forces are reorganized for the elimination of the rest of the bridgehead.

24  February 1945: After a strong antitank-gun belt is pierced, Kemend can be cap­tured and the rest of the bridgehead is eliminated. Operational tanks: 4.

25 February 1945: Start of the movement into the area of Komorn (Kamarom); the tracked elements are moved by rail to Veszprem.

3  March 1945: The main body of the battalion arrives in the new assembly area. Oper­ational tanks: 4.

4  March 1945: During the night, road march into an assembly area southeast of Pol- gardi for the relief attack on Budapest.

6  March 1945: Operation Fruhlingserwachen starts slowly due to the soaked ground.

7  March 1945: Assembly northeast of Odon Puszta; advance past Kaloz towards the road Kaloz-Si moil lor nya; Kaloz is captured.

8  March 1945: Assault continued; in the evening, the high ground north of Nagyhorc- sok Psz is occupied.

9  March 1945: The advance gets stalled by an antitank-gun belt near janos Mjr. The attack is then shifted towards the high ground north of Simontornya. Two Tigers are sent back for depot-level maintenance.

10 March 1945: Four Tigers operational (in support of the 1. SS-Panzer-Division "Leib­standarte SS Adolf Hitler").

11 March 1945: Operational tanks: 8.

11—14 March 1945: Engagements at the bridgehead established on the far side of the Sio River near Simontornya. (The Tigers were not ferried over the river). During the evening of 14 March, assembly in the area of Deg.

15  March 1945: Operational tanks: 8.

16 March 1945: Soviet main offensive in the direction of the narrow passage between Lake Balaton and Lake Velencese.

17 March 1945: Nine Tigers operational (in support of the 1. SS-Panzer-Division "Leib­standarte SS Adolf Hitler").

18   March 1945: The I. SS-Panzer-Korps is ordered to move into the area north of Varpalota and join Arineegruppe Balck. During the night, the march into the area east of Inota is started. Nine Tigers are operational.

19 March 1945: The assembly area is reached in piecemeal fashion. Several tanks have to be blown up because recovery vehicles are not available.

20  March 1945: Defensive fighting along the road Stuhlweißen burg-Veszprem not far from Inota. On the road to Varpalota, one Tiger knocks out fifteen enemy tanks.

Tiie З./SS-Panzer-Regiment 1, supported by two Tigers of the 3./schwere SS-Panzer­Abteilung 501 (SS-Obersturmführer Wessel), is involved in skirmishes east of Inota. Before midnight, a dash is conducted through the enemy-occupied village of Inota in order to break out towards Varpalota. Other elements are committed near Peremontor-Berhida.

The battalion commander, who has been worn down by illness, is relieved from his command. During the procedure of transferring command, there is an enemy air raid. According to the official statement, SS-Obersturmbannführer von Westernhagen is killed by an aircraft bomb. In fact, he shoots himself with his own pistol. SS-Sturmbannführer Kling is appointed the new commander.

21  March 1945: One Tiger II (SS-Hauptsturmführer Birnschein) is in action on the road Osкii-Hajmasker (oriented towards Veszprem). With the support of two Panthers, sev­enteen enemy tanks are knocked out. Initiation of delaying actions.

22  March 1945: Heavy fighting near Veszprem; the town finally has to be abandoned.

24    March 1945: Two Tigers of the 1. and 2./schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501 (Staudegger and Stadler, respectively) are committed in the area around Marko; several enemy tanks are knocked out.

25  March 1945: In an air raid, Birnschein and Kling are wounded. Encounters with the enemy along the line Kislöd-Ajka-Urkut.

27  March 1945: Withdrawal into the area around Felsösog.

28 March 1945: N. Lozs is transited.

29  March 1945: March through Odenburg (Sopron)

30  March 1945: Assembly in the area Hainfeld-St. Veit. During the retreat, many tanks have to be blown up. The surplus crews of the tanks are then employed as infantry.

Two Tigers under SS-Unterscharführer Eser remain behind in Neudorfl without fuel and ammunition. Two days later, the crews are shot after the Russians march in. The corpses were not allowed to be buried.

31   March 1945: Three Tigers of the 3./schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501 reach the Reich border near Deutschkreuz.

1-3 April 1945: Defensive fighting in the bottleneck near Odenburg. South of Matters- burg, several T-34s are knocked out.

3-15 April 1945: Withdrawal via Wiener Neustadt through the Traisen Valley into the area of Lilienfeld. The remnants of the battalion are consolidated with SS-Panzer-Regi­ment 1 as the II./SS-Panzer-Regiment 1. Crews having lost their tanks are engaged as infantry in the area of Wilhelmsburg.

5 April 1945: Five tanks left behind are taken over by schwere Panzer-Abteilung 509.

11 April 1945: Kampfgruppe Peiper is formed out of the remnants of SS-Panzer-Regi­ment 1 and schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501. It is ordered to protect the Traisen Valley near Wilhelmsburg from Soviet assaults from the direction of St. Pölten and attacks into the flank of the corps in the Gölsen Valley along the line Hainfeld-Wilhelmsburg.

15  April 1945: Counterattack of Kampfgruppe Kling in the Traisen Valley. St. Georgen is taken back.

16  April 1945: Soviet assault originating from the recaptured St. Georgen at Wilhcims- burg is repelled; two Shermans are knocked out. A further assault from the direction of Ochsenburg is also repulsed; two more enemy tanks are knocked out.

17  April 1945: Kampfgruppe Kling wipes out enemy troops that had inhltrated Wil­helmsburg. Eleven enemy tanks are knocked out.

18   April 1945: Soviet forces outflank Wilhelmsburg on both sides. The encircled Kampfgruppe Kling breaks out and assembles near Rotheau. One Tiger (Staudegger) crashes through a bridge and has to be abandoned.

21 April 1945: Eschenau is recaptured.

19-23 April 1945: Engagement as infantry on Hill 621 near Plambach. 24-26 April 1945: Operations near Klein Zell.

27 April 1945: Infantry skirmishes near Klein Zell, Ka.lte Kuchl and Kirehberg.

29 April 1945: The remnants of the battalion assemble in the area of Scheibss, St. Anton and Neubruck.

2 May 1945: Approximately forty soldiers are sent to the Nibelungen works at St. Valentin with the mission of making six Jagdtigers operational.

5 May 1945: Two Jagd tigers march along the road Linz-St. Polten.

7  May 1945: Both Jagdtigers reach the divisional command post at Scheibss. They are ordered committed in an advance towards Enns with some Panzer IVs. During the night, Waidhofen an der Ybbs is reached.

8   May 1945: The tanks are called back to cover the retreat from the Soviet forces. When crossing a bridge, one of the Jagdtigers loses a track and its skews off the road. The other tanks take positions at the edge of Waidhofen. From there, they can overwatch Weyer Markt.

9   May 1945: The Jagd tiger is placed right in the middle of the narrow street; it is blown up to barricade the road to Soviet armor. Disengagement operations across the Enns River near Losenstein. Surrender to the US Army in the area of Steyr.

Operations of the elements of the 1./schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501 that stayed behind at Schloß Holte.

30   December 1944: The 1./schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501 is ordered out of the area of operations in the Ardennes.

31  December 1944: Oerlinghausen is reached.

6 January 1945: The company is ordered to pick up six Tigers at the Senne Training Area. The company commander, about half the crews, the field mess, the maintenance platoon and the trains head in this direction.

January 1945: The other half of the company moves to Schloß Holte. The palace has served as a base camp for the battalion since November. The rear-area commander is SS- Obersturmführer Schierke, who is no longer fit for frontline service due to the amputa­tion of a leg,

19 January 1945: A few days after the tanks are picked up, they are entrained at Senne Training Area, They then have to spend several days in the Brilon Forest because of air raids.

Several days later, rail movement east begins: Dresden-Cottbus-Breslau. The entrained tanks and crews spend several days there. At the beginning of February, the transport to Hungary is continued; detrainrnent in Raab, where these elements rejoin the battalion.

Half the contingent that stays behind at Schloß Holle (and the recruits) starts training on the Tiger II. (This is the only tank thai had made it back from France the previous Sep­tember.)

February 1945: The tank crews are sent to pick up new equipment at the Senne Training Area. The battalion surgeon, SS-Hauptsturmführer Dr. Rabe, functions as the company commander while the tanks are picked up.

February-3 March 1945: Delivery of 13 Tigers. Entrainment and rail transport to Dres­den - and then back! SS-Hauptsturmführer Dr. Rabe and some other officers join the bat­talion in Hungary.

12 March 1945: The tanks are handed over to schwere Panzer-Abteilung 506. The crews return to Oerlinghausen.

30  March 1945: US attacks reach the area as far as Beckum.

31  March 1945: The company is relocated back to Schloß Holte.

1 April 1945: A bicycle reconnaissance group with Panzerfäuste locates several enemy tanks and knocks out one of them. The Tiger 11 used for training purposes is made opera­tional anct moves under command of SS-Untersturmführer Henniges in the direction of Sende. At the railway station at Kraks, he is mistakenly fired at by an Army soldier with a Panzerfaust Henniges and three members of the crew are killed. The rifleman deserts, and he is shot by order of the local commander several days later when he is found.

The knocked out Tiger II is made operational again and SS-Untersturmführer Buch­ner takes command with a new crew. It moves toward US tanks on the Autobahn. Some 500 meters east of the Elbrechter Farmhouse, he is fired at by a US tank and set on fire.

With the Americans approaching, the base camp at Schloß Holte is evacuated. The soldiers fight their way through as far as Seesen in the Harz Mountains.

Some even manage to get back to the battalion and participate in the final fighting.

In the one and a half years of its existence, the battalion knocked out more than 500 tanks.

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