Wehrmacht Panzer Division
Panzer Grenadier Regiment Headquarters
Note that the panzer grenadier regiment has one armoured battalion (the panzer grenadier battalion), and one motorised battalion (sometimes mounted in unarmoured halftracks) that, for convenience, I have listed with the two lorried battalions for the motor rifle regiment. Most panzer divisions only had the luxury of one battalion mounted in that iconic vehicle the Sd Kfz 251 (Sonder Kraftzeug). Don’t believe the propaganda photos, fully three quarters of the Wehrmacht’s panzer grenadiers went to war in trucks or unarmoured halftracks.
Early in the war, the division would have a motorcycle battalion. However they suffered heavy attrition, so I have shown the rump of the motorcycles absorbed into the divisional recce battalion.
I have not specified what sort of panzer should be used in the orbat as this changed as the war progressed. Early on the proportion was roughly ( 1 Pz II : 2 Pz III : 1 Pz IV) As the war progressed, the proportion of PzIVs increased to 50% of the TOE, and the PzII disappeared. Later still the PzV replaced the Pz III. In addition, large numbers of StuG IIIs and IVs were produced. The StuG (Sturm Geshutz) was a casemated gun on a tank chassis. The design benefit being that a more effective gun could be carried on the chassis than a turreted design would allow. In addition, production costs were lower, at a time when numbers were critical. The StuG was considered to be an infantry support gun manned by artillery crews. In this role, it would appear supporting motor rifle and infantry units, which is where I mostly show it.
The picture of the panzer division above dates from the early days of my 15mm collection. This division is using a British signals vehicle captured from Peter Rowe, presumably left behind at Dunkirk (he has recovered it back from the battlefield now). Don’t try to match up the models in this picture with the ones above, they predate the individual pictures by at least 8 years.
*The Sd Kfz 251/9 and 250/8 ‘Stummel’ was seen in the recce battalion and you would be justified in thinking that it has no place in an RHQ. If you have a spare one and don’t want it beefing up your Aufklärungs Abteilung in 1942 though … It doesn’t really matter which flavour of Sd Kfz is used unless you care deeply about it.