Turret Numbers, 1. Panzer-Division, 1943

By Christian Ankerstjerne

As the German turret number system became known to the Allies, it was found that command tanks were targeted by anti-tank guns fire. As a result, the commander of 1. Panzer-Division ordered the turret number system changed on 8 November 1943.

When the order was given, I. Abteilung (1st battalion), which was equipped with Panthers, had not arrived at the division, leaving only II. Abteilung, which was equipped with Pz Kpfw IV's. A photographs from 21 November 1943 shows a Panther from 1. Panzer-Division with the turret number I06, and the strength report from 1 December lists 41 Panthers with the division, so the battalion must have begun arriving shortly after.

It should be noted that the turret number system is theoretical; the division did not have all the tanks authorized for it, so there would have been gaps in the turret numbers.

Regiment

Regimental Staff

  • R: Regimental commander
  • Ra: Adjudant
  • Rb: Accompanying tank
  • R04: Light platoon commander
  • R05 to R08: Light platoon

1st Battalion (Panthers)

Battalion Staff

  • I: Battalion commander
  • Ia: Adjudant
  • Ib: Accompanying tank
  • I04: Reconnaissance platoon commander
  • I05 to I08: Reconnaissance platoon

1st Company

2nd to 4th company followed the same turret number pattern as the one below.

  • 1: Company commander
  • 11: 1st platoon commander
  • 112 to 115: 1st platoon
  • 12: 2nd platoon commander
  • 122 to 125: 2nd platoon
  • 13: 3rd platoon commander
  • 132 to 135: 3rd platoon
  • 14: 4th platoon commander
  • 142 to 145: 4th platoon

2nd Battalion (Pz Kpfw IV's)

Battalion Staff

  • II: Battalion commander
  • IIa: Adjudant
  • IIb: Accompanying tank
  • II04: Reconnaissance platoon commander
  • II05 to II08: Reconnaissance platoon

Flamethrower Tank Platoon

  • II F: Platoon commander
  • II F2 to II F7: Flamethrower tank platoon

5th Company

6th to 8th company followed the same turret number pattern as the one below.

  • 5: Company commander
  • 51: 1st platoon commander
  • 512 to 515: 1st platoon
  • 52: 2nd platoon commander
  • 522 to 525: 2nd platoon
  • 53: d platoon commander
  • 532 to 535: 3rd platoon
  • 54: 4th platoon commander
  • 542 to 545: 4th platoon

Sources

  1. Beschriftung der Panzertürme. 1. Panzer-Division, 1943. 2 p. 1.Pz.Div. Ia Nr. 4152/43 g.Kdos..