Sunday, March 31, 2013

Kampfgruppe Hiltner, Southern Russia, Jun 1943

Here's Kampfgruppe Hiltner, shaking out from its nightly laager on the steppes of Southern Russia in the summer of 1943.

This KG has been formed around the division's panzer regiment and includes two full-strength panzer battalions, plus the divisional armored panzer grenadier regiment. A 105mm artillery battalion, a Marder battery, a halftrack-mounted engineer company and a heavy flak battery have been added in support:

 Bf-109s protect a Stuka as it flies out in front of the KG, seeking targets of opportunity:

 Above, we see the panzer regiment, forming into two battalion-sized panzer kiels, one on each side of the highway. The regiment has been newly re-equipped and has 3 large Pz II recon platoons, 5 PZ III 50L companies, 2 Pz III N companies (for infantry support work) and two Pz IV F companies.  A motorcycle recon platoon detached from the Panzer Grenadier regiment accompanies the advance along the highway.

(For those of you who may be confused about my organization, tank and infantry stands represent half-companies while weapons stands are usuaully batteries. Recon units are generally platoons.)

Finally, below we have a shot of the KG's half-track-mounted panzer grenadier battalion. This also includes substantial support from the parent PG regiment. To the battalion's right, a battery of 88mm canon have deployed, covering the open steppe to the nort. To the left, the artillery battalion has unlimbered and prepares to support the advance of the panzers:

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