Turret Numbers, 1. Panzer-Division, 1943
By Christian Ankerstjerne
As the German turret number system became known to the Allies, it was found that command tanks were targeted by anti-tank guns fire. As a result, the commander of 1. Panzer-Division ordered the turret number system changed on 8 November 1943.
When the order was given, I. Abteilung (1st battalion), which was equipped with Panther, had not arrived at the division, leaving only II. Abteilung, which was equipped with Pz Kpfw IV. A photograph from 21 November 1943 shows a Panther from 1. Panzer-Division with the turret number I06, and the strength report from 1 December lists 41 Panther with the division, so the battalion must have begun arriving shortly after.
It should be noted that the turret number system is theoretical. The division did not have all the tanks authorized for it, so there would have been gaps in the turret numbers.
1st Battalion (Panther)
2nd to 4th company followed the same turret number pattern as the one below.
2nd Battalion (Pz Kpfw IV)
Flamethrower tank platoon
6th to 8th company followed the same turret number pattern as the one below.
- Beschriftung der Panzertürme. 1. Panzer-Division, 1943. 2 p. 1.Pz.Div. Ia Nr. 4152/43 g.Kdos.. NARA T315 R32.