Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Elite Units of the German Army 1939-1945

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 3rd FJ Division was an elite unit that was only partially complete by the time the Allies landed on D-day. It was raised in October 1943 from one battalion of 1st FJ division and was composed of volunteers. It was missing equipment for its Flak battalion and also 2 out of 3 artillery battalions were not present. Less than half of its authorized vehicles were available. II FJ corps had some permanently attached corps formations but most of it was incomplete as well.

    But it had 9 battalions of the most heavily equipped infantry of ww2. (mortars and automatic weapons) and despite the deficits, the German command considered this unit to be worth 2 infantry divisions.

    In the battle for St. Lo, each FJ regiment bitterly fought one reinforced US infantry division each. In the battle of the hedgerows, US artillery superiority was 5 to 1. On many periods on July 1944, allied fire superiority inflicted 100 casualties a day on 3rd FJ.
    Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
    Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
    Barbarossa Derailed I & II
    Battle of Kalinin October 1941

    Comment


    • books that have some info about 3.FJ:

      -Osprey, St. Lo (Zaloga)
      - Beyond the Beachhead (29.ID)
      -Normandy 1944 (Zetterling)

      https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Beachh.../dp/0811732371

      -Dying for St. Lo, Hedgrow Hell July 1944

      numerous details and accounts:

      https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=138201

      https://forum.axishistory.com//viewtopic.php?t=96533
      Last edited by Cult Icon; 29 Dec 17, 12:48.
      Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
      Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
      Barbarossa Derailed I & II
      Battle of Kalinin October 1941

      Comment


      • I was under the impression that during the Ardennes Campaign both the 3rd and 5th Fallschirmjager did poorly. They had been filled up with replacements from non-Infantry Luftwaffe units and there was a severe shortage of experienced officers from Battalion level down. The 5th FJ was described as moving from woods across clearings like a herd of cattle.

        With the addition of new FJ units in Holland (in 1st Airborne Army) did the FJ ever really make up for its lack of experienced officers? The 2nd FJ had to rebuild after it lost two regiments that retreated into the ports in Brittany.

        Pruitt
        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

        Comment


        • ^
          From prior readings the impression that I got was that the FJ never recovered the quality of 1.FJ and 2.FJ before the spring of 1944. 1.FJ at Monte Cassino was the last full iteration.

          Bergstrom's Ardennes 1944 considers 5FJ as fighting rather well and pulling much of the weight of 7th Army which is distinct from the well known events like the I & R platoon's stand.

          I looked at Zetterling's bio for II FJ Korps, 3.FJ and 5.FJ for June 1944. "Incomplete" is very much the descriptor for these units with 3.FJ's main advantage of having 9 strong and motivated infantry battalions.

          5.FJ had a very low standard of readiness as it was activated in the spring of 1944. A very low standard of training and equipment.
          Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
          Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
          Barbarossa Derailed I & II
          Battle of Kalinin October 1941

          Comment


          • 5 FJ performed very well in the Ardennes, the 3FJ not so well. The fighting around Saint Lo has always fascinated me. 3FJ performed extremely well there. I would consider it one of if not the best German division in Normandy. I recently bought the Bernage book on Saint Lo, and am waiting for the book Hitler's Paratroopers in Normandy, which is about the II FJ Korps.

            The FJ units in the Netherlands, fighting with the 1 FJ Armee performed well considering the stage in the war. Read Autumn Gale and Kampfgruppe Walther to learn about their history in this region. Also the FJ units in the Reichswald performed well.

            Comment


            • ^
              Bernage's book is great buy.

              There is a mediocre but essential book on FJR-6 (lions of Carenten)
              Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
              Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
              Barbarossa Derailed I & II
              Battle of Kalinin October 1941

              Comment


              • I took a look at "Lions at Carentan" and of interest is that the 2.FJ and FJR-6 fought at Zhitomir, Dec 1943.

                First battalion formed a KG Finzel that was the forward detachment of 2.SS ( Balck's counterstrike towards Radomyschl)

                On 9 Dec, 2.FJ was flown to Kirwolograd against the Soviet offensive. It was used to defend the important target.

                By Jan 1944, 2.FJ was heavily weakened with battalions at company size with 60-70 % losses of combat troops.

                On Jan 5, 1944 2.FJ claimed 150 tank kills while defending against a soviet offensive.

                By April 1944- despite reinforcements- 2.FJ had only 500 combatants in the field. In late April it received 640 new FJs with no combat experience.

                on May 20, 1944, 2.FJ was pulled out of the Soviet Union.
                Last edited by Cult Icon; 02 Jan 18, 00:21.
                Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                Comment


                • - Beyond the Beachhead (29.ID) has a great account of 29.ID vs. elements of 3.FJ

                  Initially they were attacking the weakened 352.ID (only 1,900 combat strength left since D-day) and then on June 13, they capture a FJ from 3.FJ.

                  In the first contact, several dozen FJ sneak into a communications trench. And another- a lone FJ sniper opens fire from a church steeple, hitting a company commander. The 29er's open up and kill the sniper.

                  On June 16th, 29.ID gets counterattacked by elements of 3.FJ supported by KG Bohn from 354.ID.
                  Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                  Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                  Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                  Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                    I was under the impression that during the Ardennes Campaign both the 3rd and 5th Fallschirmjager did poorly. They had been filled up with replacements from non-Infantry Luftwaffe units and there was a severe shortage of experienced officers from Battalion level down. The 5th FJ was described as moving from woods across clearings like a herd of cattle.

                    With the addition of new FJ units in Holland (in 1st Airborne Army) did the FJ ever really make up for its lack of experienced officers? The 2nd FJ had to rebuild after it lost two regiments that retreated into the ports in Brittany.

                    Pruitt
                    Pretty much. Both of these units were using Luftwaffe troops from rear area and service units to make up strength (as the Luftwaffe was doing in general by late 1944). They weren't parachute troops by any standard as they had zero jump training.
                    Both units were essentially average or below average quality infantry divisions.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                      Pretty much. Both of these units were using Luftwaffe troops from rear area and service units to make up strength (as the Luftwaffe was doing in general by late 1944). They weren't parachute troops by any standard as they had zero jump training.
                      Both units were essentially average or below average quality infantry divisions.
                      The Bergstorm book argues the opposite view- as it was compensated with leadership. Much, if not most of the German troops that attacked in the BoB were replacements with little training.

                      IIRC- it was either here or elsewhere- My copy of 2.SS "Der Fuhrer" regiment said that although the troops had little training (mostly new replacements) the leadership was in-tact.
                      Last edited by Cult Icon; 19 Jan 18, 09:01.
                      Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                      Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                      Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                      Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                      Comment


                      • 2.SS's Flak battalion claimed its final aircraft kill (251 claimed) on March 23, 1945 in Hungary. (1939-1945)
                        Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                        Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                        Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                        Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
                          The Bergstorm book argues the opposite view- as it was compensated with leadership. Much, if not most of the German troops that attacked in the BoB were replacements with little training.
                          It doesn't show in their performance however.

                          IIRC- it was either here or elsewhere- My copy of 2.SS "Der Fuhrer" regiment said that although the troops had little training (mostly new replacements) the leadership was in-tact.
                          This varied heavily by unit. For example, the 26th VG division received mostly Kriegsmarine replacements and was able to integrate them and operate with reasonable efficiency.

                          The 62nd (redesignated from the 583rd) VG division was a polyglot of replacements scraped up from everywhere and had mediocre leadership having been formed from scratch and given the number of an infantry division destroyed in Romania a few months earlier.

                          The 352nd VG (redesignated from the 581st) had been assembled from mostly kriegsmarine sailors who had little infantry training and was led mostly by unqualified NCO's and officers that were either KM or rear area sorts found in Denmark.
                          The 276th VG (redesignated from the 580th) was rebuilt in western Poland from wounded veterans returning to service and miscellaneous troops rounded up in Germany. It had poor morale and short on NCO's.

                          5th Fallschirmjäger: Reformed in the Netherlands from Luftwaffe ground and flak personnel, it was highly deficient in training and leadership. The bulk of the troops had little or no experience in being infantry or combat troops, the leadership was generally not combat experienced. In the Ardennes there are repeated instances of parts of this division getting lost just moving forward and ending up off on their own as division cohesion disintegrated.

                          18th VG got 5,000 over-age replacements mostly from rear areas where they had previously been exempted from combat because of their position. Another 2500 were ex-Luftwaffe men from a destroyed field division, and 3,000 were ex-Kriegsmarine. The unit had few combat experienced NCO's and officers and training and cohesion was poor.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                            While not in the Wehrmacht, the Fallschirmjaeger also had a good reputation.

                            Pruitt
                            Why wouldn't the Fallschirmjaeger being the Wehrmacht?

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Freebird View Post
                              Why wouldn't the Fallschirmjaeger being the Wehrmacht?
                              They belonged to Hermann Goering's Luftwaffe. So did most of the AA Guns. Goering once was quoted as saying: "If it flies, it belongs to me!".

                              Pruitt
                              Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                              Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                              by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                                It doesn't show in their performance however.

                                I have a few books that mentions "Das Reich's" actions in the BoB outside of "Das Reich V". It claimed 224 tank kills and fought battle groups from 7AD, 2AD, 3AD, 82.AB, etc. Manhay was taken in a few hours and most of a CC from 7AD was eliminated (including around 430 MIA and most of its armor/vehicles) It was locked down east of 116.Pz because of all the strong US units that were attacking it. 9.SS was unable to keep with with its flank so like 1.SSLAH it had to halt.

                                Also, Das Reich fought the BOB with a lot of disadvantages. Some of them typical and others, not so much. It had around 60% of the vehicles it needed, and many were in poor shape. Also, there was a shortage of winter clothing, which lead to high losses to frostbite. 10% of Der fuhrer was lost by this. Overall, 2.SS's casualties in BOB were increased by causes other than combat (around 3,500, many from exposure/illness) 1 battalion of Der Fuhrer was on bicycles and had no winter clothing.

                                Other, more generally applicable issues were the fighter-bomber attacks which shut down german troop movements and artillery guns. And the suppression of german artillery fire by 50-60% from its potential in the BOB.

                                Much of the airpower of "Boxing day" was aimed at 116.Pz and the 2.SS at Manhay-Grandoveil region, where, the companies were scattered around, holding various villages/ground with armor.

                                It had chronic fuel and ammo supply issues from day 1, the former being more serious (they had 3 out of the 12 refills they needed, another source said 2) so they frequently halted. Also, the 5 PzA received logistics priority after the bogging down of I SS PzK so II SS PzK was de-prioritized.

                                The condition of the 2.SS PzD was similar to the other SS PzD in the West. The replacements, like those in normandy, were low quality (many press ganged people, personnel from 14 different countries, desertion problems) and a shortage of 50% NCOs and 30% of officers.

                                But the officers and NCOs that were left were the real deal (Der Fuhrer and DL were good infantry regiments) ,and it showed in its performance as the division was generally dynamic and it successfully stopped/counterattacked many strong attacks. Its successes were less than the Army PzD but reasonable given its circumstances. By Christmas day it still had most of its armor operational (60 tanks and AG). After Manhay was re-taken by 82.AB, 2.SS was broken up as it was in Normandy (by 7th Army) and used as army reserve (6.SS PzA).
                                Last edited by Cult Icon; 15 Feb 18, 15:49.
                                Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                                Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                                Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                                Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                                Comment

                                Latest Topics

                                Collapse

                                Working...
                                X