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 :
“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):
> le. (or leichte) Flak-Abt.
> gem. (or gemischte) Flak-Abt.
> s. (or schwere) Flak-Abt.
H (or Heeres) Flak (or Flakartillerie)-Abt.
Fla-Bataillon (or Btn.)
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.