Destruction of German Vehicles

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

APO 339
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 In the case of the XVIII Airborne Corps, the Corps was withdrawn from each of the combat zones in which it was engaged almost immediately after the conclusion of the tactical phase, and, therefore, a complete count is not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
Capt. A.G.D.
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.

 Total
to Date
 Total
to Date
TANK, Light French1010.5mm How on Half-track 1
TANK, Light (4 overlapping bogies w/2 cm gun)1MG 131, Multi-mount on half-track 4
TANK, Pz Kpfw I2Car, Half-track 326
TANK, Pz Kpfw II31Car, Armored 41
TANK, Pz Kpfw III120Rocket on half-track 1
TANK, Pz Kpfw IV34515 cm s.F.H. 18 2
TANK, Pz Kpfw V348HOWITZER, 30.5 cm 1
TANK, Pz Kpfw VI77HOWITZER, 15.5 cm 9
Pz Kpfw 38 (t)3HOWITZER, 15 cm 35
Flak Panzer (4-2 cm guns on Pz Kpfw IV Chas) Hvy3HOWITZER, 12.2 cm 5
Prime Mover (Hvy)1HOWITZER, 10.5 cm 11
Sd Kfz 62HOWITZER, 9 cm 4
Sd Kfz 78HOWITZER, 7.5 cm L.I.G. 18 2
Sd Kfz 87GUN, Assault 21 cm 1
Sd Kfz 9 2GUN, Assault 21 cm6
Sd Kfz 10 (Lt Semi-track Prime Mover) 5GUN, Assault 15 cm11
Sd Kfz 11 (Lt Semi-Track Prime Mover) 9GUN, Assault 6″ H8
Sd Kfz 15 6GUN, Assault 5″ H1
Sd Kfz 131 1GUN, Assault 10.5 cm12
Sd Kfz 165GUN, Assault 8.8 cm58
Sd Kfz 23 2GUN, Assault 8 cm2
Sd Kfz 2311GUN, Assault 7.62 cm22
Sd Kfz 250 (Lt Armd Pers Carrier) 39GUN, Assault 7.5 cm68
Sd Kfz 251 (Half-track) 38GUN, Assault 6 cm3
Sd Kfz 252 (Armd Ammo Carrier) 1GUN, Assault 5.7 cm8
Sd Kfz 2533GUN, Assault 5 cm8
21 cm Mrs Laf 1821GUN, Assault 4.7 cm2
38 cm on a Pz Kpfw VI chassis 5GUN, 38 cm railroad1
15 cm gun on Pz Kpfw IV chassis 2GUN, 36 cm 1
15 cm Stu K43 on Pz Kpfw III 7GUN, 24 cm 1
15 cm S.P. gun5GUN, 3″ H 1
12.8 cm on Pz Kpfw VI chassis 5GUN, SP 4 inch 1
10.5 cm GUN-How on Pz Kpfw II chassis-Wasp 2GUN, SP Hvy Inf 16
10.5 cm S.P. Gun on Pz Kpfw IV chassis 3GUN, SP 17 cm 5
8.8 cm on Pz Kpfw IV 1GUN, SP 10.5 cm1
8.8 cm gun on Pz Kpfw V chassis 11GUN, 12.8 cm 24
7.5 cm on Pz Kpfw IV chassis 62GUN, 12.8 cm flak27
7.5 cm on Pz Kpfw III chassis 113GUN, Flak5
7.5 cm on Pz Kpfw II chassis 10GUN, Flak towed3
7.5 cm on Pz Kpfw V chassis 3GUN, Anti-Tank 4
7.5 cm Kwk (L/24) on half-track SdKfz 106GUN, Field 69
7.5 cm Stu K 40 6GUN, 10.5 cm IG 40 1
15 cm IG 33 1GUN, Multi-purpose 6
GUN, 8.8 cm 131GUN, 8.8 cm Pak 43 4
GUN, 8.8 cm Flak 122GUN, 8.8 cm Field 49
GUN, 10.5 cm Field 34GUN, 10.5 cm Flak 25
GUN, 7.5 cm Flak 3GUN, 7.5 cm Field 49
GUN, 7.5 cm Anti-tank 6GUN, 7.5 cm Pak 402
GUN, 7.5 cm Jagpanther 10GUN, 5.7 cm 1
GUN, 5 cm Flak 2GUN, 4 cm Flak53
GUN, 3.7 cm 13GUN, 3.7 cm Flak33
GUN, 3.7 cm Anti-tank 14GUN, 3 cm Flak 7
GUN, 2 cm 382GUN, 3 cm 100
RSO/ol39GUN, 2 cm (quadruple mount)2
GUN, 2 cm Flak121GUN, 2 cm (on half-track) 9
GUN, 2 cm (multi mount)34GUN, Rocket, Multi-type8
Mortar 812 cm Mortar7
8.1 cm. Mortar7  
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
Col. AGD
Asst Adjutant General

 

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1 comment to Destruction of German Vehicles

  • Pat Flannery

    The light tank with the four overlapping bogies and 2 cm gun sounds like the Luchs (Lynx) version of the Panzer II, although that had five road wheels:
    http://www.battletanks.com/luchs.htm
    It’s appalling to think that there were still some Panzer I’s in service at that late date. I’d hate to be a crewman on one of those.