Army (Heer) dog tag Panzergrenadier-Regiment 104 Afrika, Italy, Ardennes, Holland


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Very interesting dog tag from Panzergrenadier-Ersatz-Bataillon 104, the unit that trained people for Panzergrenadier-Regiment 104, part of the 15th Panzer Division and later 15th Panzer-Grenadier Division. The unit has a very interesting Western Front battle history, first fighting in Afrika and Italy (Sicily) and later went to the Ardennes (Battle Of The Buldge) and then onto fighting in The Netherlands in 1945 in the area of Roermond-Gennep / Kleve-Reichswald.

The 15th Panzergrenadier Division was set up by order of OKH Chief H Rüst and BdE AHA Ia(I) No. 3274/43 g.Kdos of July 6, 1943 by renaming the Sicily Division. The deployment order says: “In order to preserve the tradition of the 15th Panzer Division, which remained in Africa after a brave fight, the Sicily Division will be renamed the 15th Panzergrenadier Division”. To avoid confusion when dealing with units of the 15th Panzer Division that still existed until their dissolution, the units of the 15th Panzergrenadier Division carried the designation “new” after the troop designation until December 31, 1943. After the Allies landed in Sicily on July 10, 1943, the not yet fully deployed division was used to defend against the 7th US Army in the area around Gela – west of Licata – around Comiso. The reinforced Panzergrenadier Regiment 115 counterattacked from the area of Catania and on the southern slope of Mount Etna. The “Group Schmalz” was deployed against the British beachhead around Syracuse / Augusta. The bulk of the division marched from the western part of the island to the area around Enna, the command post of the Italian AOK 6. It became an army reserve around Valguarnera. The reinforced III. / Panzergrenadier-Regiment 129 counterattacked at Panzer Division “Hermann Göring” north of Gela (the beachhead on the south coast of Sicily. On 12th and 13th July the division defended against north advancing units of the 7th US Army around Serradifalco – south Caltanisetta – around Petraperzia The reinforced Rapid Detachment 15 covered the level of the Palermo – Canicatti road, the wide open right flank of the division against strong motorized enemy forces advancing to the north.From July 15, the division gave way to the defensive area around Gangi-Leonforte-Agira, north of Enna. It defended the area around Nicosia-Leonforte and then around Agira until July 24. At the end of the month the division withdrew to the Troina position, the heights west and south of Troina to the area north of Adrano. This position was held in heavy defensive fighting until August 7th, after which the division withdrew as planned to the bridgehead around Messina, from where the division left Sicily until August 16th and crossed to the Italian mainland.
After assembling the division brought over from Sicily in the area north-east of S. Pietro, the division moved north to the area north of Naples. Here the division was refreshed and reorganized. Among other things, the Panzergrenadier Regiment 115 was dissolved. From September 1943 the division was used for coastal protection around Formia and the Gulf of Gaeta. A combat group of the division around the 129th Panzergrenadier Regiment and the “Sicily” Panzer Battalion were deployed between September 12th and 20th with the “Hermann Göring” Panzer Division to defend against the US units that had landed near Salerno. The division then withdrew to the Bernhard position together with the XIV Panzer Corps and then fought defensively at the Volturno / Garigliano estuary. From mid-October 1943 to January 1944, the division defended the Gustav position, from mid-November south of Monte Camino. Between January and July 1944 the division was involved in the defensive battle at Monte Cassino. After the Allied breakthrough through the Cassino Position, the division retreated north and cut through the mountains east of Rome. The division fought again in the Tivoli area and then withdrew further into Tuscany to a bridgehead southwest of Florence. At the end of July 1944, the division was withdrawn from the front and transferred to OB West by rail transport.
In mid-August 1944, the division was assembled in the area south of Paris-Troyes. Defensive battles for Lusigny followed. As part of the defensive battle for Lorraine, the division fought in the area south-east of Verdun – north-east of St. Dizier – around Bar le Duc. This was followed by defensive fighting west of the Moselle around Lunéville until September 1944. After that, the division at Chateau-Salins was refreshed at short notice. Fighting ensued southwest of Chateau-Salins to east of Lunéville. In October and November 1944, the division fought a defensive battle west of the West Wall for the Saar bar. At the beginning of December 1944, the division was in the reserve of Army Group B. A defensive battle on the southern wing of Army Group B (Ardennes / South Eifel) followed. In February and March 1945, there was changeable fighting in the Roermond-Gennep / Kleve-Reichswald section. In mid-March 1945 the division fought for Emmerich-Dinslaken. From March 24 counterattack at the bridgehead around Wesel, then retreat to the north-east to the Ems via Cloppenburg-Delmenhorst / Bassum in the area around Warnemünde. The division went into British captivity near Lamstedt on May 5, 1945 when OB Northwest surrendered.