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German armor on the Italian front
americanpanzer
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Posted: Monday, February 24, 2020 - 03:35 AM UTC
Been trying to find info this topic: were any SS units in Italy equipped with Wespe SPG's? Trying to think of ideas for diorama with the new Tamiya "Italian Front" Wespe;
TheGreatPumpkin
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Posted: Monday, February 24, 2020 - 01:31 PM UTC
Brian,
As far as I know, the only SS units were the 1st and 2nd SS Divisions rushed there after Kursk to keep Italy from surrendering. So you may be hard-pressed to find any other units. HTH.
Regards,
Georg
Hohenstaufen
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Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 01:14 AM UTC
An SS unit which spent a lot of time in Italy was 16th SS Panzergrenadier Division "Reichfuhrer SS". As a panzergrenadier rather than panzer division, it's unlikely they had Wespes but who knows? I've never seen any photos of a Wespe labelled as belonging to RFSS, but there are numerous photos of Stug IIIs which all seem to have SS runes on the front of the mantlet. LAH was in Italy for a very short time in 1943 after Kursk, but they handed most if not all of their armour over to the other two units in II SS Pz Kp, Das Reich and Totenkopf, which stayed in Russia, so you would be unlikely to see a LAH Wespe in Italy, although there are photos of SPWs.
Biggles2
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Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 03:14 AM UTC
Wouldn't any panzergrenadier division have included mobile artillery support (Wespe)?
Bravo1102
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Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 04:51 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Wouldn't any panzergrenadier division have included mobile artillery support (Wespe)?


Usually Pzgren divisions would more likely have Bisons rather than Wespes. But never know.
americanpanzer
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Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 05:22 AM UTC
Thanks guys; appreciate the info; I ran across a book in my personal library by Chris Bishop titled "Panzergrenadier Divisions 1939-1945;" lots of color drawings of vehicles used by different units; the ones mentioned on this thread are listed in the book; I think one of them had Wespes but I can't recall which one now; thank you again; really appreciate the help

It also goes to the question of missing records or conflicting evidence for where some units served. Bishop's book emphasized how many of these units were rebuilt after heavy losses or reconstituted from decimated units. Makes me think how many model kits often list "Unit Unknown" on various vehicles of German origin.
Hohenstaufen
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Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 10:17 AM UTC
Brian,
I know of this series of books, I've got the "Waffen SS Divisions" title by the same author, bought in a moment of weakness. It's got lots of pretty pictures of vehicles, but I don't really trust some of the provenance for including some of them! The reason I say that it's unlikely that RFSS had Wespes as a panzergrenadier division, is that they were in short supply and went to the panzer divisions first. Although it is frequently stated that SS formations got precedence in delivery of equipment this is not really true and RFSS as a late war second string division would not be a priority over, say a Waffen SS panzer division. Indeed the best equipped divisions of all were Grossdeutschland, which had its own Tiger battalion and Panzer Lehr, which was unique in having all its infantry in armoured halftracks. Both were Heer (Army) formations rather than SS. Many of the panzergrenadier divisions were equipped with a real rag-tag of vehicles and equipment and it was unusual for one to even have one of its panzergrenadier battalions to have SPWs as they did in a panzer division. It is likely its artillery was all towed.
Lada_Niva
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Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 03:21 AM UTC
Interesting information to read.
americanpanzer
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Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 03:56 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Brian,
I know of this series of books, I've got the "Waffen SS Divisions" title by the same author, bought in a moment of weakness. It's got lots of pretty pictures of vehicles, but I don't really trust some of the provenance for including some of them! The reason I say that it's unlikely that RFSS had Wespes as a panzergrenadier division, is that they were in short supply and went to the panzer divisions first. Although it is frequently stated that SS formations got precedence in delivery of equipment this is not really true and RFSS as a late war second string division would not be a priority over, say a Waffen SS panzer division. Indeed the best equipped divisions of all were Grossdeutschland, which had its own Tiger battalion and Panzer Lehr, which was unique in having all its infantry in armoured halftracks. Both were Heer (Army) formations rather than SS. Many of the panzergrenadier divisions were equipped with a real rag-tag of vehicles and equipment and it was unusual for one to even have one of its panzergrenadier battalions to have SPWs as they did in a panzer division. It is likely its artillery was all towed.



Thank you for further info on this; appreciate the clarifications;
Hohenstaufen
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Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 12:59 AM UTC
No probs. It's at about this stage that Frenchy posts a picture of a RFSS Wespe to prove me wrong!!!
americanpanzer
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Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 05:21 AM UTC

Quoted Text

No probs. It's at about this stage that Frenchy posts a picture of a RFSS Wespe to prove me wrong!!!



Yep