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Panzer 1941


At the close of the French campaign, many ideas had been learned the hard way. The panzer arm lacked firepower and infantry support. Many loses were taken against the heavy french armor formations and many more were expected with the inevitable clash against the Soviet super heavy tank forces. Also the inability to hold ground and the visible need for more mobile air defense were seen as shortcomings of these units. Hitler's orders for doubling of the panzer forces in preparation for the invasion of the USSR was seen as a step towards rapid modernization of the tank arm. Loss of 1 tank per platoon as well as the replacement of one panzer company with a mechanized panzer grenadier unit gave commanders a close infantry arm as well as satisfying Fhurers demand for more panzer formations. Replacement of the slow towed Flak units with the cheap and common Flakpanzer I or Flakwagen greatly improved the ability to defend the units on the move. Even as these were mostly used against infantry and static targets, the precedent for mobile anti-aircraft defense gave the germans a welcome advantage especially in the face of increasing air power directed against them later in the war. And last the lack of firepower was improved by several means, all thanks to the hurried appointment of Albert Speer as the industrial minister. The rapid capture of France yielded in huge numbers of captured armor as well as the production capacity needed to produce it. Just as in Czechoslovakia, these were in turn used to produce modified french designs to serve the Nazi cause. This lead to the greatly sought after improvement in firepower and quality of the heavy panzer platoon, although it was still a rare, ad hoc unit with untested training and tactics compromising of a number of designs. Speer's organization of weapons research was a godsend to the lighter tank forces as 'relatively' inexpensive sonic and laser weapons were issued to these units in limited scale of one per platoon. This in turn caused much cross training of crews as well as mechanics, but the new specialized panzers proved such a successful addition to tank platoons that as the war progressed, more and more specialized vehicles were added to complement each other within the platoon. By the mid-late war years, the tank became an actual rarity within the panzer zug, as specialized Sturm and Jager vehicles were added to increase the fighting potential of the then depleted panzer forces.

The typical organization featured one strike company equipped with 1 heavy and 2 medium platoons and one mobile company with 1 medium and 2 light platoons. Rarely 2 additional light panzer zugs were attached to spearhead battalions to give them an additional maneuver element. This have a total of 1 heavy, 3 medium and between 2 and 4 light panzer platoons. The infantry element was represented by a Panzer Grenadier company mounted on Sdkfz 250/251 half-trucks. The heavier french produced tank infantry carriers were given to the independent Pz Grenadier battalions as they needed their firepower more than the panzer element. Lastly the kampfer company was represented by one light, medium and heavy platoon to provide the units with flexible use of force. The light platoon saw the slow replacement of the markedly effective Befehskampfer with the Loki walker as the principal unit of recon and light strike. Anti aircraft kampfers were added to the mix as well to improve the anti-infantry and shock value of walker platoons. Only later did they become used to improve the anti-aircraft defences as allied airpower became more and more menacing.

Average Skill: 2 (Qualified)

Default Morale: 2 (Veteran)


Panzer Abteilung Organization:

1 Panzer HQ

1 Flak Zug

2 Panzer Kompanie:

1 Panzer HQ

3 Panzer Zug

1 Lt Panzer Zug 1940 (Opt)

1 Pz Grenadier Kompanie:

1 PzGren HQ

2 PzGren Zug

1 PzGren Hw Weap Zug

1 Lt Panzer Zug 1940 (Opt)

1 Kampfer Kompanie:

1 Kampfer HQ

3 Kampfer Zug


Panzer HQ: PzIII Command x2

Lt Panzer Zug 1940: PzI x5 (3x mix of Panzerjager I or Sturmpanzer I)

Lt Panzer Zug: Pz38t x2 or Pzkpfw 35C 739(f), PzII x2 (2x mix of PzIIS or MarderII per Zug) or PzIII x4 (2x mix of StugIII or Pz III L or per Zug)

Md Panzer Zug: PzIV x4 (2x mix of Panzerjager 105 or Pz IV L per Zug)

Hv Panzer Zug: PzNbFzV or Pz B (f) x3, Pz AMX-42 (f) x1

Kampfer HQ: PzK V Command x2

Lt Kampfer Zug: PzK III x2, PzK IV x2

Md Kampfer Zug: PzK IV x4 (1 Sturmloki per Zug)

Hv Kampfer Zug: PzK V x4 (1 Sturmvalkurie per Zug)

Flak Zug: Flakpanzer I or Sdkfz 8 Flakwagen x4