164 Light (Afrika) Division – Box 007

007 164 Lt Afrika

I originally built 164 Lt Afrika Division with German Trucks and attached 2cm Flak from 609 Abteilung

Coming across a snippet on one of the many WWII Forums (Fora?) that 164 Light (Afrika) Division arrived in theatre without any transport sent me back to my NQM division to re-evaluate it. The Division was shipped from Crete, where it had been building fortifications, less its 440 Infantry Regiment. It collected 125 Panzer Grenadier Regiment, which had been fighting in Africa since the start of the campaign. The division acquired transport by helping itself to captured British stocks.

As I had equipped the three regiments with Opel Blitz trucks, it made sense to just swap them with trucks from the British boxes, which now have some captured trucks of their own. I had to root about a bit to find enough open-backed trucks to do this, but here they are. I kept some Blitzs for 125 Regiment, reasoning that they were already in theatre, so probably already had German transport :

Box 025 164 Lt Afrika showing captured British trucks

The 125 Regiment was disbanded in January 1943. The other 2 regiments got the remaining men of 125. 382nd Panzergrenadier Regiment had just 2 battalions, the 433rd had the normal 3 battalions. Artillery Regiment 220, had just 2 Abteilungen and 1 (schw) battery.

Panzeraufklärungsabteilung 220 [Recce] (renamed 164 in spring 1943) had 5 companies:
1. Komp Panzerspäh (
Recce)
2. Komp : Aufklärungs,Kradschützen and SPW platoons
3. Komp : Heavy company
4. Komp : Stug-battery
5. Komp : Stab und versorgungs Kompanie

Flakbatterie mot 220 consisted of 4 8.8cm Flak*

Panzerjägerabteilung 220 : 3 Pzjg Komp ( of which one was added 1-43, consisting of pak auf Skoda-chassis) and 1 Flak Komp auf SFL

Pionierbatallion 220 : 3 Pio Komp, 1 Schwere Werfer Zug (mot)”

EricV on https://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3677 accessed 17/11/22 (corrected for German grammar, spelling and unit designation consistency). Unfortunately, Eric does not cite his source, but cites two battalions each for 125 and 382 Regiments, and three for 433. The orbat suggests that 220 Pioneer Battalion had a heavy (Nebel)werfer platoon. I have found nothing to suggest that this equipment was taken to North Africa, much less that it was ever used operationally.

*Interestingly, Bender and Law (1973) give the following orbat, which may be where the 8.8cm Flak comes from in 609 Flak Battalion:

“Divisional Staff 125th (mot) Panzer Grenadier Regiment

382nd (mot) Panzer Grenadier Regiment

433rd (mot) Panzer Grenadier Regiment

707th Heaviest Infantry Gun Company (150mm IG guns)

708th Heaviest Infantry Gun Company (150mm IG guns)

220nd (mot) Artillery Regiment

609th (mot) Flak Battalion

220th (mot) Panzer Pioneer Battalion

220th (mot) Reconnaissance Battalion

220th (mot) Signals Company

220th (mot) Medical Company

220th (mot) Ambulance Platoon

220th (mot) Maintenance Company

220th (mot) Divisional Supply Detachment

220th (mot) Bakery Company

220th (mot) Butcher Company

220th (mot) Administration Bureau

220th (mot) Military Police Detachment

220th (mot) Field Post Office”

Bender, R.J., & Law, R.D., Uniforms, Organization and History of the Afrikakorps, R.J.Bender, Publisher, USA, 1973.

This .pdf commenting on Rommel’s command style, offers a clue to the nebulous and shifting German orbats at the time : https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/36736361.pdf It is a long, but interesting read if you have an hour to spare.

Nierhorster shows 609 Flakbatallion at Army level armed with 2cm Flak on 23 Oct 1942, 220 Artillery Regiment: 12 x 10.5cm howitzer, 8 7.5cm Mountain Gun, with no mention of 8.8cm Flak

He gives 220 Panzerjager Abteilung as being wheeled with 5cm towed guns and all three regiments being wheeled (125, 382 and 433).

http://www.niehorster.org/011_germany/42-oob/42-10-23/div_afr_164.html accessed 17/11/22.

Nafziger (2000, pp. 176-177) gives the orbat for the invasion of Greece as 5cm Pak.

609 Flak Abteilung was attached to 164 Light (Afrika) Division in August 1942, and later in 1943 to 21st Panzer Division in Tunisia, (uncredited post on Feldgrau)

Feldgrau gives this helpful summary of designations (corrected for German grammar, spelling and unit designation consistency. Note that Batallion is correct for German spelling):

“LUFTWAFFE =
> le. (or leichte) Flak-Abt.
> gem. (or gemischte) Flak-Abt.
> s. (or schwere) Flak-Abt.

HEERES =

H (or Heeres) Flak (or Flakartillerie)-Abt.
Fla-Bataillon (or Btn.)

Krupp Kfz 70 with 2cm FlaK 30 and 3 crew BPM, PSC "Protze"

Elsewhere in Feldgrau, one post gives the 600 series battalions as Army (Heer) units. I have elected to show all 8.8cm Flak as present only at Army level for NQM CSO (Corps-scale) orbats. There were only a few of them, and Wehrmacht lower-level Flak aimed to be self-propelled. Of course, that does not necessarily mean that they always achieved their aim.

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15 Comments

Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames

15 responses to “164 Light (Afrika) Division – Box 007

  1. Handy that you could mix’n’match your German and British transport – makes everything look more interesting! I like the light Krupp truck with 20mm gun (I don’t care if the Germans measure all their gun calibres in centimetres, I’m committed to millimetres)! I could do with some light FlaK myself for late war!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chris, where do you get your models? I assume a variety of sources, but I wondered if you had any go-to places? I’m considering expanding the scope of my hobby…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great stuff. Always nice to see the rear echelon stuff modelled at this scale… only sensible way to get artillery and such like in.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. A really great an informative post.

    Liked by 1 person

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