Here is the original introduction we did for Panzerwrecks 1 that contained the passage from a G-2 Periodic Report. The report mentioned the city of Osterode. Ironically, an image of a vehicle in Osterode actually appeared in “Panzerwrecks 1.” Which one was it? (Note: If we had left the original introduction in place, there would have been no room to thank our contributors, etc., however, deleting the passage meant the whole point of the intro was somewhat lost. If you are interested in these Periodic Reports, we have a few more samples we could post. (P.S. That book, “A Ramble Through My War,” is a really good book, and you should try to pick up a copy.)“Why Panzer Wrecks? Because they are the empirical evidence of engagements with enemy armor often alluded to in reports at the time – and widely imagined by readers and modelers alike ever since! During World War II, U.S. Armies in the ETO communicated combat intelligence to and from their subordinate units via G2 Periodic Reports. Issued on a daily basis, each report covered conditions and enemy activities for the proceeding twenty-four hour period. Part Two of the report, “ENEMY OPERATIONS DURING PERIOD,” was the most intriguing, for it contained short summaries of activity along the various fronts, as excerpted here. These clashes ran the gamut from brief skirmishes in towns to sharp actions at roadblocks to major assaults along the front, and took place in daylight, darkness, heat, cold, dust, mud, smoke, snow and terror. When the smoke cleared and the fog lifted what was left behind were the shattered wrecks. It bears noting that, until an enterprising U.S. G-2 Captain in Italy began correlating the markings on German vehicles to their units, there was no appreciation of this method of identifying opposing forces.* We have done our best to put a name and place to a photo, however, where we felt unsure, we left the information out rather than blindly speculate. We gratefully acknowledge those who gave of their time and wisdom, and invite you to visit the numerous on-line discussion groups linked to the Panzerwrecks website to test and share your knowledge. *See “A Ramble Through My War: Anzio and Other Joys,” by Charles F. Marshall. Baton Rouge. LA, Louisiana State University Press, 1998.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST UNITED STATES ARMY G-2 Periodic Report Number 306 dated 12 April 1945 From 110001B April 1945 To 1112400B April 1945.” III Corps: One tank encountered on high ground (B- 283008). One Tiger tank observed vicinity G-292961. One tank, vehicles and personnel fired on by friendly artillery at G- 182845. One halftrack destroyed at NDR SALWEY (G-2794). PW reports: 4 tanks at G-22987I. 103 Pz Reconnaissance Bn has 4 tanks left. VII Corps: Enemy armor was active in the northern and central zones as tanks and SP guns attempted to halt our advancing troops chiefly by covering roadblocks. Several tanks were encountered in the fighting in TETTENBORN (C- 9533), OSTERODE (C-7350) and BARTOLFELDE (C-8836), and heavy tank fire was received 1000 yards west of HERZBERG (C-8042). Several tanks were observed at C- 705475 (SW of UHRDE). It is estimated that ten enemy tanks or SP guns operated singly in the northern part of the zone. Nine tanks were destroyed during the period as well as five SP guns. An American pilot shot down over enemy territory reentered our tines today and reported seeing many well camouflaged tanks between LAUENTHAL (C-7566) and WILDEMANN (C-7561); most of them were stationary, and the moving tanks were going N. V Corps: One enemy tank was engaged at D-1814 at 0635B but withdrew to the southeast at 0750B. Two to four tanks were reported withdrawing from D-3203 at 1140B. One tank was reported in KOLLEDA (J-4593) at 1255B.