Grenadier Escort Platoon

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7 Responses

  1. John Winner says:

    Great work on the KStN, you have created another great resource.

  2. Gerry Walsh says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I wonder if you have an opinion on the following points.

    1. Would the unit be adjusted for a 14 gun company. If so, how do you think it would?

    2. Why do you think so many engineers (which were scarce) were included when the primary purpose was to keep infantry away? Not necessarily the role of engineers.

  3. Richard says:

    Hey Gerry, thanks for your comments.

    1) I would say yes. The break down is fairly specific in that there is one squad per gun. So, any additional gun would require one squad leader, one engineer and three riflemen. Based on the ratio of the Erkundunstrupps (recon.) groups, both for the escort platoon and the escort battery, I would also factor in one more motorcycle w/ sidecar with an engineer and driver.

    2) Of course, this is conjecture on my part. If we look at independent tank destroyer battalions most of these had an engineer platoon assigned at the Company HQ level. Some also had reconnaissance platoons assign at this level. Looking at the Sturmgeschütze battalions we don’t have either of these. It’s my thought that the escort batteries were not just assigned the task of defending the guns from infantry. Their role was more holistic in that it was all aspects of security for the guns. So, they also had the role of pathfinders and engineers. The role of the motorcycles is recon so that the guns could be deployed effectively and with full knowledge of what was about in the area. The engineers might be needed to remove obstacles/minefields or do other engineering duties. The thought comes to mind as to why they did they not just have an engineer unit but it seems the engineer were to do double duty. They would primarily provide the escort service but when needed would provide the engineering skillset as well.

    Hope that answers your questions.

    Cheers,
    Richard

  4. Ravi says:

    Richard, thank you for all your impressive work.

    My eyesight is not good, but I am fascinated by what I can read.

    A question, if you have time: what did a German road construction battalion look like in terms of manpower and heavy equipment. Just generally; I dont need a detailed TOE.

    Also, I understand rock (and therefore gravel) was hard to come by in the Eastern Soviet Union. So how did the Ostheer build its roads? Corduroy roads must have been heck to build and maintain – and that’s not much use if no forests are handy.

    With appreciation,

    Ravi

    • Richard says:

      Hey Ravi,
      This is not an area that I have any knowledge in so I won’t be able to help much on the materials used part. On the organization piece I was able to do a little digging around and figured out a bit on the organization.
      So, if we look at the Bautruppen organization for a Construction Battalion it might look something like this.
      • KStN2043 – Battalion HQ – 6|1|4|10
      • KStN2046 – Construction Company (x4) – 5|0|30|366 (x4)
      • KStN2048 – Equipment Column – 2|0|14|163
      (officers|Civilian|NCO|Enls)

      There were partially motorized units and have very few trucks and the KStN show no heavy equipment. When needed these must have been assigned from outside the battalion.
      I know you were not interested in the KStN but since I pulled them up to get them manpower numbers, I have posted them below in case anyone is interested.

      Cheers,
      Richard

      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-2uvz8GUjzXa6Bl8oyiIEnXPZThwVqv9/view?usp=sharing

  1. March 16, 2019

    […] a previous blog post, I wrote about the grenadier escort platoons used in the infantry division assault gun companies and the 1945 panzer division anti-tank […]

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