Schnee Eifel front
16 - 23 December 1944
16 - 23 December 1944
The Battle of The Bulge was not fought only solely at Bastogne.The actions of our army around St. Vith exerted a great influence on the result of the German intention [...] a whole Army Corps was delayed by your defense around St. Vith, in spite of the ill-fated elements of the 106 Division. These troops in this area held up the German Corps five days longer than our timetable allowed and so they forced to detour the attacking forces so much the more as my right neighbor - the 6th SS Panzer Army - have had no success.
The 5. Panzer Armee was formed in August 1944 from the remnants of the Panzer group West, the armored reserve of the Oberkommando West. In September 1944 command was given to General der Panzertruppen Hasso-Eccard Freiherr Von Manteuffel in preparation to the Ardennes Offensive and the Armee reverted to Heeresgruppe B. Von Manteuffel was an experienced combat commander of the African and Eastern front campaigns.
General Walter Lucht's LXVI Corps was the weakest group of Von Manteuffel's entire 5. Panzer Armee. It had been formed in France in 1942 as a reserve corps. In february of 1943 it had been deployed on the Russian front. Walter Lucht, the corps commander, had been the CO since October 1943, when he was appointed as General der Artillerie. Prior to this, he had commanded two artillery regiments in the battle for Charkow and the ill-fated attempt to relieve Stalingrad.
Kommandeur, 62. Volks Grenadier Division
°19 December 1896 +24 March 1973
Decorations: Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, German Cross in Gold, Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class 1939, Ehrenkreuz 14-18, Wound Badge, Iron Cross 1914
The 62. Volks Grenadier Division was organized in Neuhammer am Queis on November 1st, 1944 under the command of Oberst Friedrich Kittel. It was formed from the remnants of the 62. Infanterie Division and the 583. Volks Grenadier Division. Unit designations and Regimental numbers were inherited from the 62nd, originally formed in 1939 from Silesian reserve troops. The 62nd had seen heavy action on the Russian front and had been virtually wiped out during the fighting for Jassy, Romania. After reactivation as a Volks Grenadier Division, the 62nd was moved to Wittlich and then staged in the Prüm area in advance to the Battle of the Bulge.
The 62. Volks Grenadier Division mainly opposed the 424th Infantry Regiment of the 106th Division and suffered heavy losses during the first two days of the Offensive. After realizing a breakthrough at Winterspelt on 17 December 1944 it began advancing on St. Vith. After losing heavily in the Battle of the Bulge, the remnants of the Division fought at Bonn and at the Remagen bridgehead before being destroyed in the Ruhr Pocket in April 1945.
Nachschub Truppe 1162
Werkstatt Truppe 1162
Verwaltung Truppe 1162
Sanitäts Truppe 1162
Panzerjäger Abteilung 162
Feldersatz Batallion 162
Kommandeur, Führer Begleit Brigade
°18 August 1912 +4 October 1997
Decorations: Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class 1939, German Cross in Gold
The Führer Begleit Brigade was formed as a brigade sized combat unit in November 1944. It's personnel was drawn from the former Führer Begleit Abteilung, a unit attached to the Panzer Grenadier Division "Großdeutschland", which was considered one of the best-equipped units of the German Army. The FBB was commanded by Oberst Otto-Ernst Remer, former commander of the Berlin Wachtregiment, as a reward for his actions in foiling the coup against Hitler on 20 July 1944.
Remer's brigade was attached to Von Manteuffel's 5. Panzer Armee to provide additional fire support. It was one of his better armed units, equipped with fifty Pzkw IV's, forty assault guns and a self-propelled artillery battalion fitted with Wespe and Hummel SP's. It was assembled in Daun, Germany in preparation for the Ardennes Offensive.
Committed to the Schnee Eifel front on 18 December 1944, the unit was involved in mopping-up operations against the 422nd Infantry Regiment near Auw, before moving to St. Vith. It attacked the city from the north in a flanking attempt to cut off the escape route for American troops near Rodt and Nieder-Emmels. From 21 December onwards it attacked west towards Commanster, Salmchâteau and Regné. The FBB was further engaged west of Bastogne until being withdrawn from the front on 12 January 1945. It was expanded from a Brigade to a full division at the end of January, as the Führerbegleitdivision and placed under army reserve status. The unit was later sent to the Eastern Front and took part in several battles on the Vistula Front before being destroyed in the Spremberg pocket in April 1945.
Remer himself became a prisoner of the Americans and was released in 1947. Known for his extremist right-wing and pro-Nazi sympathies, he co-founded the Sozialistischen Reichspartei (SPD) political party in 1949, which was later banned in Germany. For the remainder of his life he retained the Nazi ideology and was convicted several times for crimes including holocaust denial and hate speech. He died as an exile in Spain.
Führer Sanitäts Kompanie
Führer Nachrichten Bataillon (Kompanie)
Panzer Bataillon "Großdeutschland"
Strumgeschütz Abteilung 200
Artillerie Regiment 120 (Bataillon)
Grenadier Bataillon 828
Führer Feldersatz Bataillon
The 560. Volks Grenadier Division was organized in Norway in September 1944. It moved to Denmark in November. It's personnel was mostly former Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine personnel. Originally intended to serve on the Eastern Front, it was sent to the Eifel just for the start of the Ardennes Offensive. By that time the division was only at one third strength. For that reason the Regiments were reorganized as battalion strength Kampfgruppen. Oberst Rudolf Bader, the Division commander, was in hospital at the beginning of the Offensive. He assumed command on the 1st of January 1945.
At the start of the Offensive the 560. Division opposed mainly forces of the 28th Infantry Divion, south of the 106th. It provided flank support for the 116. Panzer Division, which created a corridor through Lützkampen. The 560. Division attacked towards Houffalize and later towards Hotton. In early January 1945 it was moved to Echternach, Luxembourg before being totally destroyed in the Ruhr area.
Grenadier Regiment 1128 (Kampfgruppe Schmidt)
Grenadier regiment 1129 (Kampfgruppe Happich)
Grenadier Regiment 1130 (Kampfgruppe Schumann)
Artillerie Regiment 1560
Panzerjäger Abteilung 1560
Füs Grenadier Batallion 560
Pionier Batallion 1560
Füsilier Bataillon 1560
Feldersatz Batallion 1560