One of the main goals of the reorganization programs in 1944 was to outfit every Panzer-Division with a Panther-Abteilung in addition to the normal Panzer- Abteilung with Pz.Kpfw.lVs. Due to shortages in wheeled vehicles, a new organizational scheme known as “freie Gliederung” was introduced which ”freed” the motor transport from each Panzer-Kompanie and consolidated the baggage and supply vehicles into a Versorgungs-Kompanien (supply companies) within each Panzer-Abteilung. Only two new Heeres Panzer-Divisions were formed. Forced by circumstances, the major effort went into rebuilding Panzer-Divisions and Panzer-Grenadier-Divisions that had been decimated at the Front. Based on Hitler’s suggestion, independent Heeres Panzer-Brigades were formed starting in July 1944. With only two exceptions these independent Heeres Panzer-Brigades had been absorbed into normal Panzer-Divisions and Panzer-Grenadier-Divisions by the end of November 1944.
It wasn’t until 3 August 1944, that the OKH/ Gen.lnsp.d.Pz.Tr./GenStdH/Org.Abt. issued the following order for the Heeres Panzer-Divisions to reorganize in accordance with the standardized “Gliederung Panzer-Division 44”:
- The “Gliederung Panzer-Division 44″ goes into effect immediately for all Panzer-Divisions.
- Within the bounds of their available personnel and material, the Panzer-Divisions are to convert to this organization. The status of their reorganization is to be reported in the monthly operational status reports. Panzer-Lehr-Division and the 21.Panzer-Division are exceptions. A special organization applies to these two divisions.