216th Sturmpanzer Battalion - Pz.II Platoon
 
Stu.Pz.Abt.216 Tactical Numbers
 

The Sturmpanzer Abteilung 216 was unique to other Sturmpanzer units in that it was allocated 5 Pz.Kpfw. II’s. This was at the beginning of their time in Italy. I have not been able to determine the purpose of the platoon but suspect that recon and observation might have been their task.

Records show that on March 1st the battalion had five Panzer II’s, four ready and one under repair. On April 1st there was one ready and three under repair. On the July 1st document no Panzer II’s are shown; but in the weapons section of the report a 2cm KwK 36 was still on the books. This is likely correct because the records from August through April 1945 indicate that a single Panzer II was ready for action. There are some photos that suggest that the remaining Panzer II was assigned to the maintenance company, as they show maintenance personal operating it in several photographs. If that was in fact the case, it might explain how a Panzer II survived to almost the end of the war, while four others had been lost between March and July.

Below are a series of photos of Panzer II’s that might be from the Sturmpanzer Abteilung. Some are easier to confirm as being with the battalion while others are more speculation. Though I am not a Panzer II expert these appear to be Ausf. C versions.

First is an often seen photo of a Panzer II in front of a Sturmpanzer. The location would be around Netuno, Italy. This might have been during the time the Panzer II’s were being deployed with the Sturmpanzers. The next three photos are all related. The first shows a Sturmpanzer passing a Tiger that is having a tow cable attached to it. You can see the Sd.Kfz. 9 that will be performing the towing duties just in front and to the left of the Sturmpanzer. The next photo shows a Panzer II passing the Tiger (going in the opposite direction of the Sturmpanzer) and you will notice that the Sd.Kfz. 9 is now directly in front of the Tiger with a lot more men gathering around. The next photo is the same Panzer II from a side view that partially displays the tactical number 20(?). Supposedly the Panzer II’s were assigned to the second company so this might further the case of it possibly being one of the battalions Panzer II’s.

The last two photos are from a photo album that belonged to a Waffenmeister of Sturmpanzer Abteilung 216’s maintenance company. He did not complete Waffenmeisterschule until July 1st 1944 so these pictures would have been taken after that. The two Panzer II’s shown are not the same vehicle so either one is not with the unit or there was an error in the reporting data as to how many the unit had on hand after July 1st. The first was definitely with the unit as there are several photos of it with the Waffenmeister in the picture. He is the one in the copula. The second photo display a different type of tactical number than seen previously as it has a roman numeral II followed by a 14.



 

A Pz.II and Sturmpanzer IV of the 216th Sturmpanzer Battalion in Italy. The Sturmpanzer is either a rebuilt Series 1 or a Series 2 as indicated by the drivers port.

 

A rebuilt Series 1 of the 216th Sturmpanzer Battalion passing a Tiger 1 being prepared for towing. Note the Sd.Kfz. 9 that will be performing the towing duties on the left.

 

The scene evolves as the Sd.Kfz. 9 has pulled up in front of the Tiger. A Pz.Kpfw. II is passing the as the men are connecting the cables.

 
 

The same scene shot from a different angle. Note the tactical number on the Pz.Kpfw. II.

 

The Waffenmeister in the turret of a Pz.Kpfw. II, presumably from the 216th Sturmpanzer battalion.

photo source: Wehrmacht Awards

 

This photo also from the Waffenmeisters album has a different tactical number than the one in the picture above.

photo source: Wehrmacht Awards

 

Meldung of the battalion effective October 1st, 1944. It indicates 40 Sturmpanzers and 1 Pz.II ready for action.

 

   
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