6th Panzer Division Tank Losses on 9 July 1943

There are some questions about the loss figures for the 6th Panzer Division on the 9th of July 1943. This is in response to this post:

Obscure Major Tank Battle on 9 July 1943

In my book (page 767) I state that the 6th Panzer Division lost 38 tanks this day. Let us look where those figures came from.

In the Provisional Army Kempf files is a report of “The Tank Situation on 9 July early [morning]. It is file T312, R58, page 4374. They report for the 6th Panzer Division

                            Ready for Action             Lost on 8.7.43

Pz II                         7                                     1

Pz III short              —

Pz III long              24

Pz III 75                 12                                     1

Pz IV short              —

Pz IV long              14

Command                3

Flame                    10

VI                            —

Assault Gun            —

Total                       70                                     2

The next page of the report for 10 July (again “early” as in früh, which I gather means “early” or “early in the morning”).

                           Ready for Action             Lost on 9.7.43

Pz II                         0?

Pz III short              —

Pz III long              12

Pz III 75                   1

Pz IV short              —

Pz IV long                7

Command                2

Flame                     —

VI                             —

Assault Gun            —

Total                       22

There is no report on losses for the 9th for the 6th PzD but there are for the other units (including the 19 Tigers lost by the 503rd Heavy Tank Battalion).

So….70 – 22 = 48. Now 5 of the 10 flamepanzers were detached to the 19th Panzer Division, so not sure of their status. If I subtract them out, I end up with 38 tanks lost.

As the first report is early on the 9th and the next report is early on the 10th, then I can only assume that most, if not all losses, were suffered on the 9th.

There was a book page that was copied by one commentator

You will note that it shows 70 tanks on 9 July (9Julam) and 22 tanks of 10 July (10 Julam). I am guessing that “9Julam” means morning of 9 July. If so, this chart appears to have been created from the same data I have and indicates up to 48 losses on 9 July.

Is this issue settled? There are similar reports for the rest of the armor units in Provisional Army Kempf.

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
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Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
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His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
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Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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7 Comments

  1. I’m wondering what’s the difference between Pz III lg. and Pz III 7,5? I always thought the (enlarged) 7,5 cm KwK was designated “lang” on both the Pz III and IV? Could you elaborate on this?

    • 5-cm-KwK 38 L/42 shorter (G,H).
      5cm KwK 39 L/60 long barrel (version L,J,M).
      Pz III version N 75mm KwK 37 L/24 (short, close support).

      • Thank you for your reply, Stiltzkin!

        I totally forgot that the long barrel 7,5 cm KwK was never installed in Pz III.

  2. I just recalled that the war diary of the Pz.Rgt. 11 (the tank component of the 11th Panzer Division) is extant at Bundesarchiv in Freiburg. The file number is RH 39/677 and probably Firma Selke can still make copies and ship them.

  3. Hi I believe the diagram shown is from Panzertruppen 2 edited by Thomas Jentz
    The references included
    “About 0700 hours, Staffel Mueller joined up. Due to the heavy vehicle traffic, the Kampfgruppe received heavy artillery fire. The stationary Panzers of the 6. and 8.Kompanien were spotted in their positions by enemy anti-tank guns and artillery. Several Panzers were hit and set on fire. Several members of the Kampfgruppe were killed or wounded. Due to this unfavorable position, the commander decided to pull back to the forest southwest of Melichowo, leaving behind a Panzer-Zug under Leutnant Arzbruster and two Kompanien of the II./Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 114. This reorganisation occurred after nightfall.”

    It is somewhat of an understatement, when you consider the numbers lost and crew complements involved. Also surprised there are still Panzer II’s.

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