Amphitheater, 9 – 11 September 1943

There used to be an engagement called “The Amphitheater, 9-11 July 1943′ in our databases. It was in the Land Warfare Data Base (LWDB) and we moved it over to our Division-Level Engagement Data Base (DLEDB). We did revise it. It now consists of two engagements:

Amphitheater Beachhead, 9 September: Created for EPW Study by Richard Anderson on 30 September 1998.

Amphitheater (rev), 10-11 September: Extensively revised 30 October for EPW study by Richard Anderson. Original engagement no. 3940 deleted.

Amphitheater Beachhead:

Engagement No:    23002

Duration:                  1 Day

Front Width:             3.5 km

Force Name:            Br 56th Infantry Division       Ger KG Stempel, 16th PzD

Total Strength:         12,480                                   5,241

Total Armor:                    52                                        27

Artillery Pieces:             110                                        36

Total Casualties:           444                                      142

Armor Losses:                 10                                         3

Artillery Losses:                 4                                       14

Enemy Captured:            54                                     120

Amphitheater (rev):

Engagement No:      23005

Duration:                   2 Days

Front Width:              13 km

Force Name:             Br 56th Infantry Division       Ger KG Stempel (+), 16th PzD

Total Strength:          12,036                                  10,271

Total Armor:                     42                                         90

Artillery Pieces:              106                                         38

Total Casualties:         1,213                                       478

Armor Losses:                   7                                          44

Artillery Losses:                 1                                         —

Enemy Captured:            23                                        725

This is response to the discussion under this post:

More on the QJM/TNDM Italian Battles

The DLEDB consists of 752 division-level engagements from 1904 to 1991. There are 121 fields per engagement, including 5 text fields. It is programmed in Access. It is company proprietary.

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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.

Articles: 1516

7 Comments

  1. Hi Chris,

    That’s really interesting, many thanks for posting this up here. I’ll compare against my calculations and respond – probably after the Xmas excess has worn off!

    Regards

    Tom

  2. Hi,

    Sorry it has taken a long time to reply. A few corrections and a couple of questions.

    The Fighting State No. 2 report of 11 Sep 43 stated that the total landed strength of 56 Div on 9 Sep 43 was 12,917 (700 officers and 12,217 ORs). That includes attached units such as the Royal Scots Greys, 69 Med Regt and 506 SP Bty, but not the Beach Group units. (WO169/8813)

    As for Artillery: (details from individual war diaries)

    64 Fd Regt RA – 24 25-pdr (Only one Bty landed a.m. – Regt complete in action with 3 Btys – 1715)

    65 Fd Regt RA – 16 x 25-pdr (only 2 Btys landed 9 Sep 43; other Bty landed @ 14 Sep 43)

    113 Fd Regt RA – 16 x 25-pdr (only 2 Btys landed 9 Sep 43; other Bty landed joined Regt on 18 Sep)

    506 SP Bty, 142 Fd Regt RA – 8 x S.P. 25-pdr (although 4 lost at sea on run in to beach)

    69 Medium Regt RA – 8 x 4.5”; 8 x 5.5” guns (although landing table associated with R.A. 56 Div O.O. No 6 Op “AVALANCHE” (31 Aug 43) shows that only 6 x 5.5” were to be landed by end D-Day, the other two following on D + 11).

    Total Fd and Med RA – 80 (78?)

    My main question is whether any allowance was given to the phased entry of these forces into the fighting on 9 Sep 43? Just taking the artillery as a good example, it seems that only single batteries were landed on each of the two British assault brigade fronts in the morning, with the follow up batteries and RHQs etc coming in about lunchtime and later. The war diary of the medium regiment is somewhat vague, but again it certainly wasn’t ‘in action’ until after lunchtime at least (I can check again if you are interested).

    It would also be valuable to compare the constraints under which the British and American artillery operated on 9 Sep 43 with the simpler conditions under which the German artillery should have been working. No established OPs, no established line comns, phased arrival of guns, Bty HQs and Regtl HQs, etc, whereas the Germans had been in the area for a considerable period, had sufficient time to register their guns, establish and distribute lists of Defensive Fire Tasks, and had been alerted the evening before to expect a landing.

    Regards

    Tom

  3. Chris,

    Further to my questions above, I’ve also noted that the German forces were heavily mechanised with armoured personnel carriers whereas the British infantry was not. Was that taken into account in any way? I’m thinking of speed of counter-attack and protected MMG fire power mainly I guess.

    Regards

    Tom

    • Hey Tom, still owe you a response on the artillery. Sorry. Too busy writing books and arguing over Prokhorovka.

      Anyhow, there is a mobility equation in the QJM that does modify the combat power scores if there is a mis-match in mechanization. It can more than double to combat power score of the more mechanized force. Is it described in depth in our TNDM Newsletter, Volume 2, No. 3, starting page 24.

      http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/pdf/v2n3.pdf

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