Death of the Leaping Horseman: The 24th Panzer Division in Stalingrad, Jason D. Marks

Death of the Leaping Horseman: The 24th Panzer Division in Stalingrad, Jason D. Marks


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Death of the Leaping Horseman: The 24th Panzer Division in Stalingrad, Jason D. Marks

Death of the Leaping Horseman: The 24th Panzer Division in Stalingrad, Jason D. Marks

The 24th Panzer Division was one of the many German units that got caught up in the catastrophic battle of Stalingrad, effectively being destroyed in the ruins of the city. This detailed day-to-day history of the division traces its activities from 12 August to 20 November 1942, covering the period from the approach to the city to the start of the Soviet counterattack that trapped the Germans in Stalingrad.

For me this falls from the top level of unit histories because it almost entirely ignores the Soviet side of the picture. This begins in the introduction, where no Soviet sources or veterans are thanked, continues through the text, where the Soviets appear as the Russians, or more often as 'the enemy', and only on one or two rare occasions as actual named units. Most alarmingly this continues into the bibliography, where all of the archival material listed is German, as are all but three books (the exceptions are the 1943 Soviet General Staff study of the battle, General Chuikov's own account of the battle and Aleksandr Samsonov's book on the battle, both from the 1960s). One feels that the author has perhaps become too close to his subject. This shows up in his description of the various German officers killed or wounded during the fighting, who are praised to the skies, often in the author's voice rather than veteran's voices.

The Soviets are acknowledged to have been brave, determined, valiant, and there is hard fighting even before the city is reached.

With these limitations in mind, the book does provide a very detailed examination of one unit's experiences during the first half of the battle of Stalingrad. The day by day narrative is supported by excellent maps and aerial photos used to illustrate each day's action. These show that a surprising amount of the fighting took place in fairly open ground around the cities, although there is also plenty of the more familiar urban warfare. There are also daily casualty figures, complete with a selection of names of the killed and wounded (for some reason presented in no obvious order - not unit, rank or name order). There are also weekly totals of decorations awarded (I hadn't realised quite how often the Iron Cross 2nd Class was issued!), and regular tables of the division's strength. In the first section we get combat and ration strengths, which reveal just how big the 'tail' was for a Panzer Division, which of course needed a significant number of engineers to keep the tanks running). Later on this changes to 'trench' strength, combat strength without drivers. In all of these counts we follow the division as it dwindled from a powerful armoured unit into a unit unable to even defend a single factory building.

I found this book to be of mixed quality. The detailed account of 24th Panzer's activities is well researched and gives a good picture of the decline of the unit, but I would have liked to see more material from the Soviet side, and for the story to continue on into the period when the Germans were the ones under siege.

Chapters
1 - Approach to Stalingrad
2 - Struggle in the Hills
3 - Armoured Stampede!
4 - Piercing the Outskirts
5 - Prelude
6 - Conquest of Stalin's City
7 - Intermission
8 - Melee in the Suburbs
9 - Stalemate
10 - Fight for the Factories
11 - Attrition
12 - Retrospective View
13 - Krasny Oktyabr
14 - The Clouds Gather

Appendices
1 - Officer Biographies
2 - Knight's Cross
3 - German Cross in Gold
4 - Iron Cross
5 - Ehrenblattspange
6 - Panzer IV Long-Barrel '434'
7 - Panzerjäger-Abteilung 670
8 - Rank Comparison
9 - Orders of Battle
10 - Panzer, Vehicle and Equipment Losses

Author: Jason D. Marks
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 560
Publisher: Casemate
Year: 2014



Death of the Leaping Horseman: The 24th Panzer Division in Stalingrad, Jason D. Marks - History

The 24. Panzer-Division was formed in November 1941 from 1. Kavallerie-Division in East Prussia. It was transferred to France in April 1942 and to the southern sector of the Eastern front in June 1942 where it remained until most of it was destroyed in Stalingrad.

The remaining elements was sent to France and it was reformed there in March 1943. It was transferred to Italy in August following the Italian surrender. It was sent to the Eastern front in October and withdrew through the Ukraine suffering heavy losses. It fought in Hungary and Slovakia before being transferred to East Prussia and it surrendered to the Soviet Red Army at the end of the war.

Commanders

Generalleutnant Kurt Feldt (28 Nov 1941 - 21 Apr 1942)
Generalmajor Bruno Ritter von Hauenschild (21 Apr 1942 - 08 Sep 1942) (1)
Generalmajor Arno von Lenski (12 Sep 1942 - 14 Nov 1942) m.d.F.b.
Generalleutnant Arno von Lenski (15 Nov 1942 - 02 Feb 1943) (2)
[Reformed]
Oberst Maximilian Freiherr von Edelsheim (01 Mar 1943 - 31 May 1943) m.d.F.b.
Generalleutnant Maximilian Freiherr von Edelsheim (01 Jun 1943 - 1 Aug 1944)
Generalmajor Gustav-Adolf von Nostitz-Wallwitz (1 Aug 1944 - 25 Mar 1945) (3)
Major Rudolf von Knebel-Döberitz (26 Mar 1945 - 8 May 1945)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Major Otto-Wilhelm von Menges (28 Nov 1941-2 Feb 1943) (KIA)
[Reformed]
Oberstleutnant Friedrich Freiherr von Ohlen und Adlerscron (1 Mar 1943-1 Nov 1943)
Major Hans-Henning von Christen (1 Nov 1943-30 Aug 1944)
Major Hans-Georg Krebs (30 Aug 1944-15 Sep 1944)
Major Rudolf von Knebel-Doeberitz (15 Sep 1944-May 1945)

Area of operations

East Prussia (Nov 1941 - Apr 1942)
France (Apr 1942 - June 1942)
Eastern front, southern sector (June 1942 - Nov 1942)
Stalingrad (Nov 1942 - Nov 1942)
[Reformed]
France (Mar 1943 - Aug 1943)
Italy (Aug 1943 - Oct 1943)
Eastern front, southern sector (Oct 1943 - Aug 1944)
Poland & Hungary (Aug 1944 - Jan 1945)
East Prussia (Jan 1945 - Apr 1945)
North-western Germany (Apr 1945 - May 1945)

Nicknames

Der springende Reiter (The leaping horseman)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Close Combat Clasp in Gold (13)
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (14)
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (3)
- Hirschmann, Leopold, 31.05.1944 [Date of Action] (555), Obergefreiter, 8./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 26
- Huber, [first name not listed], 01.08.1944 (514), Obergefreiter, 2./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 26
- Platz, Hubert, 01.02.1944 (445), Major, III./Pz.Art.Rgt. 89
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (135)
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (2)
- Arrenbrecht, Ludwig, 04.04.1945, Techn.Insp. (K) d.R., Werkst.Kp. 3/40
- Riederich, Johannes, 30.08.1944, Heeres-Hauptwerkmeister (K) d.R., III./Pz.Art.Rgt. 89
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (39)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (47, including 6 unofficial/unconfirmed)
Holders of the Romanian Order of Michael the Brave, 3rd Class (1)
- Edelsheim Freiherr von, Maximilian, Königlichen Dekrets Nr. 1072 / 30.05.1944, Generalleutnant, Kdr. 24. Pz.Div.

Order of battle (February 1943)

Staff
- Staff
- 40. Mapping Detachment (mot)
24. Panzer Regiment
- Staff
- Signals Platoon
- Regimental Band
- 2 x Battalion
-- Staff
-- Staff Company
-- 4 x Panzer Company
- Panzer Maintenance Company
- Battalion
-- Staff
-- Staff Company
-- 3 x Panzer Company
-- Panzer Maintenance Company
21. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Staff
- Regimental Band
- Staff Company (mot)
-- Signals Platoon
-- Panzerjäger Platoon
-- Motorcycle Platoon
- Battalion (half-track)
-- 3 x Company
-- Heavy Company
--- Pioneer Platoon
--- Panzerjäger Platoon
--- Infantry Gun Platoon
--- Gun Platoon
- Battalion (mot)
-- 3 x Company
--- Pioneer Platoon
--- Panzerjäger Platoon
--- Infantry Gun Platoon
--- Mortar Platoon
- Flak Company (self-propelled)
- Infantry Gun Company (self-propelled)
26. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Staff
- Regimental Band
- Staff Company (mot)
-- Signals Platoon
-- Panzerjäger Platoon
-- Motorcycle Platoon
- 2 x Battalion (mot)
-- 3 x Company
--- Pioneer Platoon
--- Panzerjäger Platoon
--- Infantry Gun Platoon
--- Mortar Platoon
- Flak Company (self-propelled)
- Infantry Gun Company (self-propelled)
89. Panzer Artillery Regiment
- Staff
- Staff Battery
- Staff Flak Battery
- Observation Battery (mot)
- Battalion
-- Staff
-- Staff Battery
-- 3 x Battery (self-propelled)
- 2 x Battalion
-- Staff
-- Staff Battery
-- 3 x Battery (mot)
24. Reconnaissance Battalion
- Armored Car Company
-- 4 x Platoon
- Armored Car Platoon (half-track)
- 2 x Reconnaissance Company (half-track)
- Heavy Reconnaissance Company (mot)
-- Pioneer Platoon
-- Infantry Gun Section
-- Panzerjäger Platoon
-- Gun Platoon
- Light Reconnaissance Supply Column
283. Army Flak Battalion
- Staff
- Staff Battery (mot)
- 2 x Heavy Flak Battery
- Medium Flak Battery
- Light Flak Supply Column
Sturmgeschütz Battalion
- Staff
- Staff Battery
- 3 x Battery
40. Panzer Pioneer Batalion
- Staff
- Reconnaissance Platoon (mot)
- Pioneer Company (half-track)
- 2 x Pioneer Company (mot)
- Brüko K Bridging Column
- Light Pioneer Supply Column
86. Panzer Signals Battalion
- Telephone Company (mot)
- Panzer Radio Company
- Light Signals Supply Column (mot)
Supply & Support Units

Notable members

Arno von Lenski (German Cross in Gold holder and post-war a general in the Nationale Volksarmee of the German Democratic Republic)
Paul Markgraf (Knight's Cross holder, post-war an Oberst in the Nationale Volksarmee of the German Democratic Republic)
Horst Niemack (Post-war Brigadegeneral d.R. in the West German Bundeswehr, chairman of the German Olympic Committee, part of the German equestrian Olypmics team four times post-war)
Prince Heinrich IV of Reuß (Oberleutnant, 1./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 26)

Insignia

To commemorate the unit‘s lineal descent from the 1. Kavallerie-Division, Panzer personnel of the 24. Panzer-Division wore the cavalry’s golden-yellow Waffenfarbe, instead of the rose-pink of the Panzertruppe, on all uniform and insignia piping.

SdKfz 251 halftrack with Wurfrahmen 40 "Stuka zu Fuss" rocket launchers 1942

(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Panzer III near Stalingrad 1942

(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Motorcycle from 24. Panzer-Division near Stalingrad June 1942

(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Marder III from 24. Panzer-Division near Stalingrad June 1942

(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Footnotes

1. GM Bruno Ritter von Hauenschild wounded by artillery near Stalingrad.
2. Surrendered in Stalingrad.
3. GM Gustav-Adolf von Nostitz-Wallwitz wounded by artillery near Pillau.

Sources used

Microfilm Publication A-3356, German Officer Personnel files, NARA
RKT & DKiGT karteikarten, BA/MA
Dermot Bradley, Karl-Friedrich Hildebrand, Markus Rövekamp - Die Generale des Heeres 1921-1945
François de Lannoy & Josef Charita - Panzertruppen: German armored troops 1935-1945
Klaus Froh & Rüdiger Wenzke - Die Generale und Admirale der NVA: Ein biographisches handbuch
Wolf Keilig - Die Generale des Heeres
Andris Kursietis - Die Wehrmacht at War 1939-1945
Peter Joachim Lapp - Ulbrichts Helfer: Wehrmachtsoffiziere im Dienste der DDR
Kurt Mehner - Die Deutsche Wehrmacht 1939-1945: Führung und Truppe
Samuel W. Mitcham Jr - The Panzer Legions: A guide to the German Army Tank Divisions of WWII and Their Commanders
Peter Schmitz, Klaus-Jürgen Thies, Günter Wegmann & Christian Zweng - Die deutschen Divisionen 1939-1945 (4 Vol)
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945
Günther Wegmann - Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht, Teil VIII a: Panzertruppe, Band 1
Günter Wegmann & Christian Zweng - Formationsgeschichte u. Stellenbesetzung der deutschen Streitkräfte, 1815-1990, Teile IV, Abt. 1: Die Dienststellen, Kommandobehörden u. Truppenteile des Heeres, Oct.35-May.45
Gordon Williamson - German Army Elite Units, 1939-45


Death of the Leaping Horseman: The 24th Panzer Division in Stalingrad

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Death of the Leaping Horseman: The 24th Panzer Division in Stalingrad Tapa dura – 15 septiembre 2014

Another one for military historians and students - though people who enjoy real-life combat accounts will also lap it up. I can't comment on the historical accuracy, but I can say that this is a thrilling account of one of the main thrusts of the allies into the Russian heartland. Stirring stuff. ― Books Monthly 30/01/2015

This is an excellent read with an incredible amount of material included this is a 'one-stop-shop' for those wanting to know about the battle of Stalingrad. ― Scale Military Modelller Magazine 05/07/2015

The quality of this book as a reference and a history is simply outstanding . I highly recommend this book for anyone wishing to better appreciate the nature and conditions of the war in Russia and, more specifically, within Stalingrad. ― War History Online 25/03/2015


The 1st Cavalry Division was formed shortly after the outbreak of World War II, in November 1939, when the 1st Cavalry Brigade was expanded to division-size. [1]

The division was part of the German invasion of northern Netherlands where it encountered only weak defences as it was not a strategically important area. After the Dutch surrender the division took part in the final actions of the battle of France before serving as an occupation force there and, from September 1940, in Poland. It participated in the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa, where it was part of the Army Group Center before being send back to East Prussia for conversion to a tank division. [2]

After initially being stationed in northern France the division served under the Fourth Panzer Army in Army Group South of the Eastern Front from June 1942. The division participated in the capture of Voronezh and, in late December 1942, was encircled in the Battle of Stalingrad and destroyed. [2]

The 24th Panzer Division was reformed in March 1943 and served in Normandy, Italy, [2] and then went back to the Eastern Front where it suffered heavy casualties around Kiev and the Dniepr Bend. During spring-1944 it took part in the battle of Târgu Frumos, part of the First Jassy-Kishinev Offensive. Near the end of the war it saw action in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. Parts of the division were evacuated to Schleswig-Holstein and surrendered there to British forces at the end of the war while the remainder surrendered to Soviet forces in East Prussia in May 1945. [3] [4]

In keeping with the Division's mounted origins, the 24th Panzer's tank crewmen wore the golden-yellow Waffenfarbe of the cavalry rather than Panzer pink. [5]


Death of the Leaping Horseman: The 24th Panzer Division in Stalingrad, Jason D. Marks - History

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At last we can get the book! Now my Jason D Mark book collection is complete. I've read countless books on WW2 esp the East front and I can say with hand on heart Jason's books are the best out there. His research is fantastic and narrative immersive.

I recommend all his books. I paid £70 for island of Fire and for me it was worth every penny..thats how good his books are.

Two other authors come close and both of those are WW1 authors Jack Sheldon's German Army series and Ralph Whiteheads Otherside of the Wire.


German soldiers of the 24th Panzer Division fighting near the southern station in Stalingrad, 1942.

I wonder what Germany would be like today if they hadn’t lost all those men.

If wold war two never happened there would be around 160-220 million more people on earth. I always wondered how the lack of fathers hurt things in Russia and Germany.

As a German it's crazy to think that our culture was once so megalomaniac and militarized. I think the only way to change a culture like that is to lose so many people, but also to be so utterly and complete destroyed. Imagine all your major cities in rubble, your military gone completely and then coupled with the realization of the guilt of the Holocaust.

This complete humiliation, but coupled with a helping hand after to rebuild and tie Germany to the West with joining NATO and the Marshall plan laid the foundation.

I wonder what would have happened if, for example, Hitler had been assassinated in 44 and the high command had surrendered to the allies. I think this would have prevented that cultural change and weɽ be in a very different place right now.


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At last we can get the book! Now my Jason D Mark book collection is complete. I've read countless books on WW2 esp the East front and I can say with hand on heart Jason's books are the best out there. His research is fantastic and narrative immersive.

I recommend all his books. I paid £70 for island of Fire and for me it was worth every penny..thats how good his books are.

Two other authors come close and both of those are WW1 authors Jack Sheldon's German Army series and Ralph Whiteheads Otherside of the Wire.


Death Of The leaping Horseman Relié – 1 décembre 2003

At last a reprint is on the way at a very very good price indeed..being published by Stackpole I believe and hardback!

I already own Island of Fire, Cholm and Into Oblivion so when the reprint comes out I'll have nearly all of Jason's books.

Death of the Leaping Horseman: The 24th Panzer Division in Stalingrad

This book is heavy reading, and not one you'll blow through in a day or two. It is a serious history that provides a detailed blow by blow description of the actions of the 24th Panzer Division during the battle of Stalingrad. One reviewer was critical of this book saying something to the effect of it presenting data for data's sake, and contending that this was not history. I have to disagree. This book is a history in which you are presented with the facts and left to draw your own conclusions. Each day is covered in its own chapter with some chapters longer than others depending on how heavily engaged the division was on that day. Each chapter follows a similar organizational style. The reader is presented with the situation, the unit's mission and how it was task organized, and then with an account of how the day's action unfolded. The accounts are interspersed with first hand accounts and official entries from unit diaries or award citations. Each chapter closes with a summary of enemy killed or captured and the 24th Panzer's casualties. In many cases the German casualties are documented in the form of name, rank, and unit of the fallen soldier. As you read through the book you really get a sense of how the unit was relentlessly ground down as the fighting went on. I think what the other reviewer found lacking in this book was the absence of some kind of unifying thesis. He is right in that the author is not trying to prove some point or further some agenda. The author's sole purpose was to recount a series of events, and I think he does that admirably.

For people like me who also build model tanks this book is a treasure trove of pictures. There were several pictures that I had never seen before of not only German armor, but also Russian armor as well.

In summary, this book is a very detailed account of one unit's experiences during the battle of Stalingrad. It is serious history, and not a "coffee table" book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have plans to purchase this author's other books.

"Island of Fire" was so impressive, I had to get "Death of the Leaping Horseman". Where "Island" covered the infantry assault on the Barrikady Factory and surrounding area in northern Stalingrad, this book covers predominately the 24th PzD's assault northward toward southern Stalingrad. Both books have many things in common. Both are meticulously researched and skillfully presented with much detail and many maps and pictures. One thing that is different is that while "Island" begins its coverage on Nov 2nd when the five pioneer battalions reached Stalingrad and lasts until the surrender, "Leaping" begins on Aug 12th when Hitler transferred the division from Paulus to Hoth and lasts until Nov 20th when Operation Uranus had started and the division was sent west to defend against 5th Tank Army's penetration of the line. At that point the 24th PzD was no longer a viable fighting unit. The story begins when the 24th PzD joins up with 48th PzC in the Aksai region, north of Kotelnikovo where it will protect the east flank of the Corps. The 14th PzD, 94th ID and a few smaller attachments are also sighted in the assault for they work together.
Though the panzers gained ground as they headed north and a little east toward Stalingrad, Russian resistance was stiff and inflicted heavy casualties on the Germans. As the advance neared the city, the resistance would only worsen. To a rational dictator, a clear signal was sounded that trouble was ahead and alternative plans should be made but Hitler was never rational. He has a history throughout the war of pushing his troops too fast and too far but he never learned. Zhukov always made him pay for that mistake.
By the end of August, the 24th PzD had reached Peschanka, a suburb of Stalingrad. By late September, the 24th PzD and the 94th ID were inside Stalingrad, capturing the grain silo and reaching the Volga River. By early November the southern half of Stalingrad was captured and the three divisions were sent north to help Paulus capture the factory district. The story will end with the 24th PzD defending the left flank against the Russian invasion during Operation Uranus. I was really surprised at how few Mk IV panzers the division had. The bulk of its force was made up of Mk IIIs and older. There were no Panthers or Tigers. Its amazing the accomplishment made with their arsenal.

There is much to learn from this book and though its detail laden, the presentation is interesting and there is no chance of getting bored. Besides the battle action, Mr Mark includes many first person accounts to depict the human side of battle. Of special interest to me were the communications and after action reports from division to corps and corps to army that allowed you to follow what command was thinking and planning, reacting to the unexpected. Included in this chain of command is Hoth, Kempf, Hauenschild, Heim, Fremerey and others. There would be daily and weekly accountings of casualties, POWs and equipment captured, decorations bestowed and more. There are many bios of men and officers as well as their photos that helps put a face to the narrative.
There are many maps and photos to view. There is an extensive appendix that includes additional officers bios, Orders of Battle, panzer and equipment losses, accommodations and promotions bestowed and more. The Bibliography which includes primary and secondary sources is also helpful. Both of these books have been great I hope Mr Mark will extend his coverage to include the defense of the Don - Chir Rivers by Manstein during Operation Little Saturn. Anybody interested in the battle of Stalingrad should consider investing in this book. Its highly recommended.


Watch the video: Was Reaching the Volga North of Stalingrad the WRONG move? BATTLESTORM STALINGRAD E12