Based on a request by the Headquarters ETOUSA, Ninth Army compiled a list of German combat vehicles destroyed by the army from the beginning of hostilities until the cessation of hostilities in the theater. The Ninth Army categorized the destroyed figures by the type of vehicle and the method of destruction (destroyed by air force action, destroyed by ground force action, or destroyed/abandoned by the enemy).
HEADQUARTERS NINTH UNITED STATES ARMY
Office of the Commanding General
4 June 1945
SUBJECT: Destruction of German Combat Vehicles by U.S. Forces
TO: Commanding General, Twelfth Army Group, APO 655, U.S. Army
1. Reference letter Headquarters European Theater of Operations, file AG 470.8 Op AFV, dated 17 April, 1945 and 1st Indorsement thereto by your headquarters dated 30 April, 1945. The information requested in paragraph 2 of 1st Indorsement is submitted herewith.
Type of Vehicle Destroyed by Air Force Action Destroyed by Ground Force Action Destroyed or Abandoned by Enemy TOTAL Tank 1,798 4,381 2,011 8,190 SP Gun 1,020 2,987 1,600 5,607 Armd Car 1,257 1,984 1,921 5,162 Armd Personnel Carrier 2,943 4,154 3,181 10,278 Arty Pieces — 1,948 — 1,948 Motor Transport 8,409 16,347 7,489 32,245 Prime Movers 451 253 133 837 HP Vehicles 950 1,225 1,975 4,150 Motorcycles 246 442 473 1,161 Miscellaneous 6,130 7,433 2,318 15,881 TOTALS 23,204 41,154 21,101 85,459
2. The figures above must be accepted with certain reservations. In the case of the XVIII Airborne Corps, the Corps was withdrawn from each of the combat zones in which it was engaged almost immediately after the conclusion of the tactical phase, and, therefore, a complete count is not available. Rapidity of movement, boundary chages, and an inability to determine definitely the cause of destruction of many vehicles precluded the keeping of accurate records. In the case of artillery units, a high percentage of the fire conducted by the Corps Artillery FDC was unobserved fire, and no report of the effect was received. As a consequence, figures for such units are estimates only.
3. It was particularly difficult to differentiate between “vehicles destroyed by Air Force action” and “destroyed or abandoned by the enemy”. There will also be a certain amount of duplication of figures especially by artillery components and infantry and armored components. In some cases records maintained by batteries were destroyed or lost in action. In other oases, particularly in an infantry regiment, the personnel changed completely, and there is no one now available who can recall all of a battalion’s record.
For the Commanding General
signed/ John T. Bailey
Asst. Adjutant General
The First Army compiled a similar list of inventoried destroyed vehicles, although the list was incomplete for a variety of reasons explained in the document.
HEADQUARTERS, First US Army, APO 230
TO: Commanding General
1. This headquarters is unable to state the total number of enemy vehicles overrun by First Army Units. A partial record only of captured and destroyed enemy vehicles has been maintained since 6 June. Theieason for the lack of this information is due to: (1) the rapid advance during certain period with the subsequent assumption of responsibility for the array area by Com Z before a complete inventory could be made, and, (2) changes in army boundaries shortly after the completion of an operation which thereby removed First army units from areas in which they had participated in fighting. Examples of the above were the breakthrough at ST LO on 25 July and the subsequent advance on AVRANCHES. The Third Army became operational 1 August 1944 and assumed responsibility for an area in which First Army units had destroyed countless enemy vehicles. Another example was the fighting in the ARGENTAN – FALAISE pocket. Although the destruction of enemy equipment was gigantic the entire area came immediately under British control after the completion of fighting, and all inventory and evacuation of enemy vehicles was done by British forces. Another example was the battle of MONS. Again the destruction of enemy equipment was exceptionally high but before any accurate oheok could be made First Army units had advanced to the German border and the area around MONS had passed to oontrol of Com Z. Again at CELLES, where the 2nd German Panzer Division, short of gasoline and heavily engagad by the 2nd Armored Division, suffered complete loss through a combination of self-destruction, ground action, and air action, the actual area of combat was turned over to British units who inventoried or evacuated all destroyed and captured enemy equipment.
2. As a general statement a very high percentage of the German administrative vehicles uncovered by First Army are believed to have been destroyed by air action deep in rear areas. Included also with these vehicles destroyed in rear areas was a substantial number of combat vehicles. On the other hand, the vehicles destroyed on main battle fields were essentially done by a combination of air and ground action with the percentage destroyed by air varying with the weather conditions.
3. Tabulated below is a partial list of captured or destroyed enemy vehicles as uncovered by First Army units from 6 June 1944 to 6 May 1945. As pointed out above, this is a partial list and represents only those vehicles inventoried by First Army Ordnance units. Information is not available on which to base an approximation as to the extent of destruction caused by either ground or air units.
TANK, Light French 10 10.5mm How on Half-track 1 TANK, Light (4 overlapping bogies w/2 cm gun) 1 MG 131, Multi-mount on half-track 4 TANK, Pz Kpfw I 2 Car, Half-track 326 TANK, Pz Kpfw II 31 Car, Armored 41 TANK, Pz Kpfw III 120 Rocket on half-track 1 TANK, Pz Kpfw IV 345 15 cm s.F.H. 18 2 TANK, Pz Kpfw V 348 HOWITZER, 30.5 cm 1 TANK, Pz Kpfw VI 77 HOWITZER, 15.5 cm 9 Pz Kpfw 38 (t) 3 HOWITZER, 15 cm 35 Flak Panzer (4-2 cm guns on Pz Kpfw IV Chas) Hvy 3 HOWITZER, 12.2 cm 5 Prime Mover (Hvy) 1 HOWITZER, 10.5 cm 11 Sd Kfz 6 2 HOWITZER, 9 cm 4 Sd Kfz 7 8 HOWITZER, 7.5 cm L.I.G. 18 2 Sd Kfz 8 7 GUN, Assault 21 cm 1 Sd Kfz 9 2 GUN, Assault 21 cm 6 Sd Kfz 10 (Lt Semi-track Prime Mover) 5 GUN, Assault 15 cm 11 Sd Kfz 11 (Lt Semi-Track Prime Mover) 9 GUN, Assault 6″ H 8 Sd Kfz 15 6 GUN, Assault 5″ H 1 Sd Kfz 131 1 GUN, Assault 10.5 cm 12 Sd Kfz 16 5 GUN, Assault 8.8 cm 58 Sd Kfz 23 2 GUN, Assault 8 cm 2 Sd Kfz 231 1 GUN, Assault 7.62 cm 22 Sd Kfz 250 (Lt Armd Pers Carrier) 39 GUN, Assault 7.5 cm 68 Sd Kfz 251 (Half-track) 38 GUN, Assault 6 cm 3 Sd Kfz 252 (Armd Ammo Carrier) 1 GUN, Assault 5.7 cm 8 Sd Kfz 253 3 GUN, Assault 5 cm 8 21 cm Mrs Laf 18 21 GUN, Assault 4.7 cm 2 38 cm on a Pz Kpfw VI chassis 5 GUN, 38 cm railroad 1 15 cm gun on Pz Kpfw IV chassis 2 GUN, 36 cm 1 15 cm Stu K43 on Pz Kpfw III 7 GUN, 24 cm 1 15 cm S.P. gun 5 GUN, 3″ H 1 12.8 cm on Pz Kpfw VI chassis 5 GUN, SP 4 inch 1 10.5 cm GUN-How on Pz Kpfw II chassis-Wasp 2 GUN, SP Hvy Inf 16 10.5 cm S.P. Gun on Pz Kpfw IV chassis 3 GUN, SP 17 cm 5 8.8 cm on Pz Kpfw IV 1 GUN, SP 10.5 cm 1 8.8 cm gun on Pz Kpfw V chassis 11 GUN, 12.8 cm 24 7.5 cm on Pz Kpfw IV chassis 62 GUN, 12.8 cm flak 27 7.5 cm on Pz Kpfw III chassis 113 GUN, Flak 5 7.5 cm on Pz Kpfw II chassis 10 GUN, Flak towed 3 7.5 cm on Pz Kpfw V chassis 3 GUN, Anti-Tank 4 7.5 cm Kwk (L/24) on half-track SdKfz 10 6 GUN, Field 69 7.5 cm Stu K 40 6 GUN, 10.5 cm IG 40 1 15 cm IG 33 1 GUN, Multi-purpose 6 GUN, 8.8 cm 131 GUN, 8.8 cm Pak 43 4 GUN, 8.8 cm Flak 122 GUN, 8.8 cm Field 49 GUN, 10.5 cm Field 34 GUN, 10.5 cm Flak 25 GUN, 7.5 cm Flak 3 GUN, 7.5 cm Field 49 GUN, 7.5 cm Anti-tank 6 GUN, 7.5 cm Pak 40 2 GUN, 7.5 cm Jagpanther 10 GUN, 5.7 cm 1 GUN, 5 cm Flak 2 GUN, 4 cm Flak 53 GUN, 3.7 cm 13 GUN, 3.7 cm Flak 33 GUN, 3.7 cm Anti-tank 14 GUN, 3 cm Flak 7 GUN, 2 cm 382 GUN, 3 cm 100 RSO/ol 39 GUN, 2 cm (quadruple mount) 2 GUN, 2 cm Flak 121 GUN, 2 cm (on half-track) 9 GUN, 2 cm (multi mount) 34 GUN, Rocket, Multi-type 8 Mortar 8 12 cm Mortar 7 8.1 cm. Mortar 7 Projector Rocket 1 Launcher Rocket 10.5 3 Tractor, half-track 13 Tractor, full track 1 Retreiver, half-track 5 8.8 cm, Bazooka 1
For the Commanding General
S. E. SENIOR
Asst Adjutant General