Sturmmörser Early Deployment & Organization
The first Sturmmörser to see action were tested in Warsaw during August of 1944. They belong to the 1000 Stu.Mrs.Kp and it had two vehicles.
On August 12, 1944 an entry in the 9th Army records indicates a battery of 3 vehicles of 38 cm Sturm-Mörser with the first arriving on August 13th. There is indication that one of the vehicles is an experimental unit which likely means this is a prototype.
August 14th notation indicates that 3 Tiger mit 38cm Werfer are expected with the first arriving on the 14tht or 15th. On August 15th one Tiger has arrived at Blonie at 11:09 hours and that a second Tiger is expected on the 16th. On August 17th the second Tiger arrives and there is never mention of a third Tiger with 38cm Werfer again. The daily panzer inventory report shows 2 Panzer VI with 38 cm.
The daily panzer inventory continues to show 2 vehicles until October 10th after which time they no longer show up. There is no documentation that I have found in the 9.AOK records that indicates if the units have been reassigned at this time however on October 15th there is a note that Stum-Mrs.Kp.1000 would be on transport to XXXXVI.Pz.K. in Budapest on October 16th 1944. The company with both Sturmtigers was loaded on a train and sent to Hungary on October 17th. The train is then immediately returned to Warsaw but apparently with only a single Sturmtiger. This Sturmtiger arrived in Warsaw-West on October 20th at 00:10 hours. The single Sturmtiger left in Hungary may have been captured by the Russians and could be the Sturmtiger currently in Kubinka.
Beginning on October 21st Sturm-Mörse Kp.1000 again shows up on the daily panzer inventory of the 9 Army but showing only a single vehicle. It remains on this report until November 19th. On November 18th, 1944 the unit appears on the 9th Army shipment report indicating it would be leaving Warsaw on November the 22nd on train number 231 295 with a destination of Tr.Üb.-Platz Sennelager. A notation on the report of November 23 indicated that the unit left on the scheduled train on November 22 at 18:22 hours.
Return and reforming
After returning from Poland the company was to be formed into a complete 4 vehicle company and would spend the moths of November and December refitting. During October 4 vehicles were shipped to the 1001st company and the 1000th company was shipped an additional 2 vehicles. The final company, the Sturm.Mrs.Kp.1002, would not receive their vehicles until December.
Sturmmörser companies were organized using KStN 1161. This organization authorized 4 Sturmmörser per company, 2 per platoon, and one Sd.Kfz.251/18 (Beobachtungswagen). According to the KStN the company should have 4 officers, 31 NCOs and 43 enlisted for a total of 78 men (later modification would increase this to 79). Documents from OB West dated December 7 1944 indicate that Sturm-Mrs-Kp. 1000 had arrived in Elsdorf with 2 officers, 17 NCOs, 66 enlisted and 4 Sturm-Mörser for a total of 85 men. It seems less officers and NCO where available than authorized which was typical for this stage of the war.
Move to the artillery branch
The Sturmmörser had originally fallen under the purview of the Panzertruppen but by Hilters orders were to be transferred to the Artillery branch. The first mention of this seems to be in November of 1944 but the orders were not issued until January of 1945. The orders placed them under the command of Gen.d.Art. [General of the Artillery] and they would now be referred to as Sturm-Mörser-Batterien (RW 61). It also seems that at this time the responsibility for training was shifted from Pz.Ers.u.Ausb.Abt.500 to Pz.Haub.Ers.u.Ausb.201.
The same document of November mentioned increasing the number of Sturmmörser to 6 per company but again the orders are dated much later. A document giving orders to increase the number of Sturmmörser for Sturm-Mörser-Battr. 1000 from 4 to 6 are dated 02.20.1945. Having 6 vehicles was more common for units that were organized as batteries but I don’t know if this change was initiated by Gen.d.Art. It does not appear that a new KStN was issued when the units authorized number of Sturmmörser were increased to 6. One might assume that an additional Sturmmörser platoon was added to the current KStN organization.
Some sources indicate a total of 18 Sturmmöresers were delivered but I have only been able to find indication of 13. If the other 5 were delivered then the additional platoon seems possible.
This post includes a companion PDF with the following original documents:
- 9.AOK Transportation Overview (various dates)
- Sturmmörser deliveries.
- Sturmmörser production and acceptance charts
- KStN 1161
as well as two US Intel Report on the Sturmmörser.
*The documents in the PDF vary in dimensions in order to maintain the highest possible resolution. It is recommended to download the PDF to view and not view it in the browser.
Feedback or comments are welcome.
US National Archives & Records Administration