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The Lorient Shield

Hi gents, almost time to go back to our mace of good or bad high end shields of World War II.

I did the Cholm shield part one and got a lot of feedback from collectors with thumbs up and more good information. What I liked the most was the question if I can do a part two with the cupal example and the zinc version….I will do that but it takes some time.

By the way I would like to know if there are hobby writers among you guys. I would love to make this blog bigger with more articles but my time is endless. So if you like to do something on a special badge of World War II or something similar…..just contact me and we work it out. If you are from Germany don’t be afraid, if you write in german I can translate it for you 😉

Original Lorient Shield Collection Patrick W (5)

However back to our riddle of rare shields. Today I like to bring you some information on the Lorient shield and what happened there.

And (I think you already knew it) I have been to Lorient in the early 90´s and was impressed about the big Bunker`s which were build there during the war. Huge monsters made from concrete and steel to protect the German submarine from air raids until 1945 on the Atlantic coast.  Lorient was the home base of the 10th. U-Flottilla (Unterseebootflottille). I was lucky to get a picture of the cap badge which Uboat crew member used to wear on their oversea cap (Schiffchen).

Here some background to the area of Lorient and historical facts:

Lorient, on the Bay of Biscay, had been an important French naval base until June 1940. With the capture of the base in the same month by German troops (see France campaign), the town in succession got more and more of strategic importance for the German Navy.

Cap Badge 10. U-Flottille Lorient

This concerned above all the submarine construction with its bunker buildings on the peninsula Kéroman.

U-Baot Bunker Kéroman III in Lorient

In August / September 1944, following the Allied invasion of Normandy, the port and town of Lorient were completely enclosed by US and British forces, with some 22,000 German soldiers. Adolf Hitler thereupon declared the city a fortress. During the eight-month siege, which ended with the surrender of the remaining German forces on May 10th, 1945, there were some fighting going on.

Attack direction Allied Forces 1944

Fortress Lorient was not Lorient only, but also Groix Island, Etel River, the coast between Lorient and Port Navalo, Quiberon peninsula, Belle-Ile island, and had connection with the Saint Nazaire pocket.

So finally a big area to defend with lots of artillery, bunkers and trenches around the main part of Lorient.
To get a better view on the fighting during that time, we jump in after the D-Day to August 9th ,1944. The 4th US Armored Division reached the large-scale German defense area around Lorient, which was surrounded as an important submarine base by a ring of anti-aircraft guns and artillery. In Saint-Gilles fierce fighting broke out around a bridge, which was one of the few accesses to Lorient.

Fortress Lorient 1 – 12 August 1944

A volunteer Belarussian cavalry brigade had been stationed by the Germans in defense of the American advance in this place. After a short battle, the streets were covered in blood in the rain of the wounded or dead horses and soldiers. Further towards the village core, Belorussians had positioned themselves on the houses and in turn began firing at the invading US tanks.

Fortress Lorient 01.12.1944

The tanks and other vehicles succeeded after some time the breakthrough to the bridge and its crossing. At nightfall, the Allies succeeded in positioning artillery at Caudan, about three kilometers north of Lorient. After brief bombardment of the opposing positions in Lorient, the Americans gave the Germans an ultimatum to the task, which was rejected. Since a further procedure would have been possible only with significantly increased artillery, the division leadership decided a partial retreat to the area of ​​Vannes, about 60 kilometers southeast of Lorient. Only a smaller siege group was left behind.

Fortress Lorient 01.02.1945

Task Force B of the 6th US Armored Division advanced 180 miles from Brest to Vannes on 14 August to replace the units of the 4th US Armored Division north and east of the city. On the way there they encountered no German resistance. Around noon, a reserve command advanced to Lorient to support the remaining group of the 4th US Armored Division. On August 15, the entire 6th US Armored Division arrived at Lorient. The front line enclosed the fortress Lorient and the Quiberon peninsula in the east as well as patrols from Redon in the east to the area to the Daoulas peninsula in the west.

France, Rommel and Fahrmbacher on the roof of an U-Boat Bunker

After Vannes was taken and the wider area was controlled by the French resistance, the 6th US Armored Division focused on the area around Lorient. The city itself was too heavily fortified to have a promising attack there. The German defenders, who are from parts of the XXV. Army Corps under the Commander-in-Chief for Brittany, General Wilhelm Fahrmbacher, as well as remnants of the 265th Infantry Division under Lieutenant General Hans Junck, who was in the fortress Saint-Nazaire, and Rear Admiral Otto Kähler, since February 1944 Commander of the Naval Defense of Brittany [NB Kähler, however, had become a prisoner of war on September 18, 1944 in Brest], passed, had in return no chance of counterattacking, and was also bound by Hitler’s order to keep the port cities to the last.

Knights Cross Document General Fahrmbacher

So both sides confined themselves to intensive patrols and artillery fire. The Americans had set up twelve observation posts around Lorient, from which reconnaissance units were sent to scout the German artillery positions. In addition, work began on mining the entire front line with booby traps. In some cases German patrols could be captured. But also Americans came during a small skirmish between reconnaissance patrols in German captivity.
The 6th US Armored Division was replaced on September 10 by the 94th US Infantry Division, which continued the siege, and moved east to the 3rd US Army. On 17 November, a brief ceasefire was agreed for the purpose of mutual exchange of prisoners. General Wilhelm Fahrmbacher capitulated on May 10, 1945,

Lorient Soldbuch with entry Lorient (2)

Both the Lorient and St.Nazaire pockets contained about 53000 German troops at the time of surrender. The Lorient pocket alone had over 25000 German troops.

These forces surrendered to the US 66th Infantry Division with a number of attached French units.
—-

Lorient Shield Collection Pascal H. front view

During the siege of Lorient the idea to make a remberence shield was born by some of the officers. The artistic design of the shield goes back to the head of the shipbuilding workshops of the submarine base “Marine Baurat” K. Fehrenberg. They asked General Fahrmbacher (Wilhelm Fahrmbacher (19 September 1888 – 27 April 1970) was a General in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II who commanded several corps. He was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. Upon Germany’s surrender in 1945, General Fahrmbacher was interned in France until 1950.

Original Lorient Shield 1 (1)

After his release he served as a military advisor in Egypt) and he approved the idea. With little corrections (a German eagle with a swastika on the soldiers shield) the shield was approved and the production began by using different materials due to the supply problems during the siege of Lorient.

The final shield itself shows in its upper end the year 1944 as well as on the lower side the lettering LORIENT. In the center, a naked Wehrmacht soldier was stylized with a steel helmet attached, holding a sword in his right hand and a shield (symbol of defense) in his left hand.

Original Lorient Shield 6

It is not exactly known if all Lorient shields have the Wehrmacht eagle on the soldiers shield, there are information about some shields with a Luftwaffen eagle on the soldiers shield (not proven until today). The unusual idea of ​​representing a naked soldier presumably goes back to the idea of ​​the creator, who wanted to use this symbolism to vividly portray „bare survival“. Also the evidence for this theory is missing.   Behind the symbol of the soldier were represented the rays of the rising sun, which are regarded as a symbol of hope.

Original Lorient Shield Collection LUC (1)

Finally, under the soldier a submarine is shown, which can be seen in front of a submarine bunker (on the Keroman Island) on waves in ride. Since it was not possible to supply the garrison on land, from the air or to water, it was decided to use the existing sheet metal stocks, u. a. from scrap, to resort. For the production one used copper, brass, aluminum and even steel. Higher officers received a chromed version of copper. Of course, the use of different metals also resulted in different colors. Through the use of several „punching presses“ and templates, the appearance of the sign differed significantly from machine to machine, so that there was no question of a uniform pattern embossing.
Accurate and reliable award numbers cannot be quantified. It is assumed that after all sheet metal stocks were used up in November 1944, about 10,000 – 12,000 shields were pressed. These were then issued at Christmas 1944 to deserving soldiers of the occupation. Thus, about every second garrison received the Lorient shield.

 

The Lorient shield is not a combat badge of the Wehrmacht like the Cholm shield, as neither its foundation nor the ceremony were officially. The shield was therefore regarded only as a „traditional badge“. With the entry in the “Soldbuch” also no claim to official acceptance of the shield by the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Therefore, this shield has not been included in the Law on Titles, Orders and Decorations of 26 July 1957.

Original Lorient Shields

After all these good information’s from collector friends, books, archives and databases I come to the following conclusion about Lorient shields.

There are some originals out there, but they are very hard to find. If it is true and they made 12.000 of them, what happened to the soldiers of Lorient during the surrender. Most of their personal things were taken by the allied soldiers as a souvenir. Maybe a few got their badges home from their POW time. I you look on the originals, you see them made of different materials. Some shields with prongs, some shields with holes to sew it to the uniform and some shields without anything of that. Originals are not made with a lot of details and they are not solid. You can always see that they were “pressed” in a certain way. Some have a fabric backing, but in my opinion that was made so you cannot see the backside and buy it as an original shield from the time period. In this high price area you have to be sure that you buy an original. Better to spend more money on it and buy at a dealer with a “give back guarantee”. Even if you buy directly from the family, there is no proof that the vet didn`t buy it in the early 50`s or 60`s. To be really sure you should use one of the bigger forums like GCA or WAF with all the experts there. They will know it for sure.

Copys of Lorient Shields

 

Big “thank you” to all collectors who helped me bring this information to you. There are Pascal, Patrick, Luc, Christian, Uwe, Holger, Jens and some guys who like to stay in the shadow.

 

Subscribe for more and get an email every time a new article goes online !

Best

Sascha

 

 

Copyright 2018 : Alle Rechte bei dem Verfasser Sascha Ulderup  / All rights with the author Sascha Ulderup
 

 

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Kampfgruppe Feurstein / Kampf um Narvik

Tag Sammlerfreunde,

heute möchte ich einen doch eher seltenen Nachlass vorstellen, welcher mir freundlicherweise vom Sammler Peter Hauber (MFF Scania) zur Verfügung gestellt worden ist. Auch konnte ich Bilder von Gebirgsjäger – Nachlässen aus der Sammlung von Christian Bachmann (MFF Steinacher) bekommen um den Beitrag hier abzurunden.

Nachlass Komplett – Sammlung Peter Buchner

Es dreht sich hier um die Operation Weserübung und in diesem Kontext natürlich der Einsatz der Gebirgstruppen bezug nehmend auf den Nachlass des Soldaten Bruno Unterweger.

Ich habe eine ganz besondere Verbindung zu diesem Thema, da ich in meiner Zeit an der Offiziersschule der Marine in Flensburg Mürwik eine Seminararbeit über diese ganze Operation schreiben musste. Dazu fällt mir auch immer wieder ein was mein verstorbener Großvater und Kriegsveteran der Wehrmacht „Opa Walter“ gesagt hat und was ich auch in meiner Seminararbeit als Zitat verwendet habe.

„Was machen wir heute?“ (er gab sich immer selber die Antwort) „wir marschieren in Dänemark ein“.

Gruppe Unterweger Sammlung Peter Buchner (4)

Daraufhin sagte er erneut „ und was machen wir heute Nachmittag…..“

Ich lege das mal unter „Landserhumor“ ab und muss dazu sagen, das dem Ausbildungsleiter an der Offiziersschule der Marine dieses Zitat kein Lächeln entlockte…..nun es war eben der Beitrag eines Zeitzeugen wohl aber politisch nicht ganz konform.

Des weiteren verbindet mich mit Narvik das erste Ritterkreuz der Eisernen Kreuzes meiner Sammlung, welches ich aus der Familie des Kommandanten Z2 „Georg Thiele“ bekommen habe. Ein Stück mit viel Geschichte und für mich als Marinesoldat und ehemaliges Besatzungsmitglied auf einem Zerstörer der Marine etwas ganz besonderes.

Gruppe Unterweger Sammlung Peter Buchner (2)

 

Hier nun einige historische Fakten zur Weserübung und zur späteren Operation Büffel:

Unternehmen Weserübung war der Deckname für den mit der Kriegsmarine verübten Angriff der deutschen Wehrmacht auf Norwegen und Dänemark am 9. April 1940.

Strategische Ziele der Invasion waren die Besetzung der norwegischen Häfen, um die deutsche Ausgangsstellung im Krieg gegen Großbritannien zu erweitern und eine Seeblockade zu verhindern, die Kontrolle der Ostseezugänge und die Sicherung der Eisenerz-Versorgung der deutschen Rüstungsindustrie aus Kiruna (Schweden) über Narvik. Dänemark erschien den Planern unter General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst als Nachschubweg unverzichtbar. Langfristig sollten Norwegen und Dänemark in ein „Großgermanisches Reich“ auf dem europäischen Kontinent eingegliedert werden.

Gruppe Unterweger Sammlung Peter Buchner (3)

Sowohl Dänemark als auch Norwegen waren neutral. Dänemark hatte 1939 als einziges nordeuropäisches Land einen Nichtangriffspakt mit Deutschland geschlossen. Deutschland stellte beiden Staaten ein Ultimatum mit der Zusicherung, ihre territoriale Integrität und politische Unabhängigkeit nicht anzutasten, falls sie sofort kapitulierten. Norwegen lehnte ab; die Dänen akzeptierten nach wenigen Stunden Kampf. In der Schlacht um Narvik erlitt die Wehrmacht ihre erste Niederlage des Krieges, doch Anfang Mai war der britisch-norwegische Widerstand weitgehend gebrochen. Allerdings kapitulierte Norwegen erst am 10. Juni 1940, als der deutsche Sieg im Westfeldzug absehbar war und die Wehrmacht sich auch in Narvik durchsetzen konnte.

Gruppe Unterweger Sammlung Peter Buchner (1)

Eingesetzte Soldaten der Wehrmacht ca. 120.000

Soldaten der angegriffenen Länder 110.000 (davon 15.000 Dänemark, 60.000 Norwegen und 35.000 Alliierte)

Verluste Wehrmacht (Gefallen, verwundet, vermisst) 5296 Mann

Verluste Alliierte gesamt: (Gefallen, verwundet, vermisst) 6291 Mann

 

Im Zuge der Operation Weserübung wurde die Versorgung der kämpfenden Deutschen Truppen in Narvik zunehmend schwieriger……somit musste hier eine Lösung gefunden werden und somit schauen auf die 3. Gebirgsdivision.

Die ersten Soldaten der 3. Gebirgsdivision wurden in den Morgenstunden im Ofotenfjord in Narvik an Land gesetzt. Das hier stationierte 13. norwegische Infanterieregiment leistete nur geringen Wiederstand. Im Laufe des Tages gelang es den deutschen Truppen die Häfen Stavanger, Narvik, Oslo, Bergen und Drontheim von See her und aus der Luft zu besetzen.

Gruppe Unterweger Sammlung Peter Buchner (6)

Damit waren sie den britischen Expeditionsstreitkräften nur um Stunden zuvor gekommen. Die deutsche Marine erlitt in diesen Tagen die schwersten Verluste. Es entstand eine besondere strategische Situation. Die Royal Navy konnte ohne große Behinderung im Nordmeer operieren, die deutschen Kräfte konnten sich ohne größeren Wiederstände frei auf norwegischem Gebiet ausbreiten und einige Brückenköpfe ausbauen.

Gruppe Unterweger Sammlung Peter Buchner (5)

Die 3. Gebirgsdivision, unterstützt von den Besatzungen der gesunkenen Schiffe der Kriegsmarine, stieß dann bei Narvik auf heftigen Wiederstand der 6. norwegischen Division. Zusätzlich wurde diese ab dem 14. April durch die gelandete 24. britische Brigade unterstützt. Am 13. April waren britische, französische (u.a. Alpenjäger) und exilpolnische Truppen im Raum Andalsnes, Namsos und Narvik gelandet. Hauptschlag richtete sich auf Narvik wo im Laufe der Zeit rund 30.000 Mann an Land gingen.

Am 16. April können die Gebirgsjäger die Erzbahn im Raum Narvik bis zur schwedischen Grenze besetzen. Die Lage der deutschen Verteidiger gestaltete sich ab dem 17. April als äußerst kritisch, welches seitens Hitlers zu ersten Rückzugsgedanken auf schwedisches Gebiet führte.

Gruppe Unterweger Sammlung Peter Buchner (7)

General Dietl erhält dann aber doch, durch Überzeugungsarbeit von General Major Jodl (Leiter des Wehrmachtsführungsamt) den Befehl: „Halten so lange wie möglich“. Die schwachen deutschen Gebirgsjägerkräfte (ca. 2000 Mann) hatten sich so voll auf die Verteidigung Narviks eingestellt und leisteten erbitterten Wiederstand. Ein Frontalangriff Narviks mit Unterstützung von Schiffsartillerie konnte keinen Rückzug bewirken und zwang die alliierten Truppen zum Umdenken.

Der Besitz des Hafens hing schon alleine aus logistischen Gründen von der Beherrschung der einzigen Straße die von Trondheim (Südnorwegen) nach Narvik führte ab. Sie führte durch unwegsames und zerklüftetes Gelände und nahm daher neben Trondheim eine strategische Schlüsselrolle ein.

 

Am 30. April vereinigten sich die von Oslo und Drontheim vorrückenden Kräfte (u.a. 2. Gebirgsdivision) im Raum Dombas. Die norwegischen Landstreitkräfte und die alliierten Landungstruppen konnten zwischen dem 15. und 19. April bei Namsos und Andalsnes geschlagen, zur Kapitulation oder Rückzug gezwungen werden. Am 13. Mai starten die Alliierten mit 24.000 Mann den Großangriff auf Narvik.

Die deutsche Abwehrfront umfasste etwa 5400 Mann bestehend aus 2000 Gebirgsjägern, 2800 Marinesoldaten der versenkten Zerstörer und 600 nachgeführten Fallschirmjägern. Nach 2 Wochen schwerer Kämpfe mussten die deutschen Einheiten am 28. Mai aus Narvik nach Osten ausweichen und im Bereich der Bahnlinie neue Stellungen beziehen. Die Alliierten Kräfte konnten dann die vorgesehenen Zerstörungen in Narvik vornehmen. Unterdessen hatte die 2. Gebirgsjägerdivision den Befehl erhalten, sich nach Narvik durchzuschlagen ( Operation Büffel) um die eingeschlossenen Kräfte zu unterstützen. Daher befahl General Feurstein aus den über 1200 km auseinandergezogenen Kräften drei spezielle Bataillone für die Operation „Büffel“ zusammenzustellen. Ein Auftrag der wie geschaffen für die Ausbildung und Ausrüstung der Gebirgstruppen schien und mit Begeisterung aufgenommen wurde.

Die Route führte über 200km durch weglose und für die Deutschen unbekannte Gebirgsregionen zwischen Sörfold und Narvik. Die erforderliche Versorgung erfolgte aus der Luft. Am 13. Juni um 13:00 Uhr konnte die Sondereinheit nach 11 Tagen die Verbindung mit der 3. Gebirgsdivision melden. Während dieser Zeit hatten allerdings die Norweger am 9. Juni kapituliert nachdem die britischen Truppen bis zum 8. Juni sämtliche Einheiten aus Norwegen evakuiert hatten. Da am 10. Mai die Operation „Gelb“ angelaufen war, befürchtete man die Gefährdung der britischen Insel und beschloss daher den Rückzug aus Skandinavien.

Quelle www.gebirgsjäger.de

 

Hier auch noch eine Bericht den Christian Bachmann aus dem Buch: „Es war ein Edelweiss – Schicksal und Weg der zweiten Gebirgsdivision“ herausgeschrieben hat und zu dem dokumentierten Erlebnissen des Soldaten Bruno Unterweger passt.
Schicksal Oberleutnant Rieger der anfangs fälschlicherweise für tot erklärt wurde……

Bei der Aufstellung der Narvik-Freiwilligen für die zwei Fallschirmjägerkompanien, aus den Reihen der Salzburger Gebirgsjäger, hatte es geheißen: „Verheiratete scheiden aus! “
Oberleutnant Rieger hatte erst vor kurzem geheiratet und versuchte alles um trotzdem mitzukommen. Oberleutnant Rieger, mit Leib und Seele Soldat, setzt sich durch und mit seinem besten Freund aus der gemeinsamen Zeit auf der Militärakademie in Wiener Neustadt, Oberleutnant Erich Schwaiger, werden sie mit den zwei Kompanien für den Einsatz aufgestellt.

Am 24.Mai, Riegers 28.Geburtstag – geht es los, vom Flugplatz Värnes bei Trontheim in einer Fernstrecken-JU über 850km nach Narvik – Absprung aus 140m Höhe über Björnefjell.

Collection Feurstein – Gebirgsjäger – Sammlung Christian Bachmann (2)

Meldung bei General Dietl: „Rieger, i bin ja so froh, dass ihr kemmt´s! I brauch euch so notwendig wie das tägliche Brot!“

Am 26.Mai nachts Anmarsch entlang der Erzbahn nach Narvik. Bei den darauffolgenden Kämpfen, wie im gezeigten Einsatzbericht beschrieben, versucht Oberleutnant Rieger mit einem Boot ans andere Ufer zu kommen – zwei Mann fallen im Feuer der Polen, die anderen stürzen ins Wasser und versuchen an das Ufer zu schwimmen. Oberleutnant Rieger paddelt alleine weiter, wird zur Zielscheibe der Polen – spielt den Getroffenen und bricht zusammen. Nach dem einstellen des Feindfeuers paddelt Oberleutnant Rieger weiter, erreicht das Ufer, springt an Land, rennt vorwärts – einer französischen Kolonne in die Arme: „Allemand!“ Fünf Franzosen richten ihre Gewehre auf ihn.
Es ist alles vergeblich. Er ist gefangen und wird nach Frankreich gebracht. Mit Handschellen gefesselt, vom Pöbel bespien, treibt man ihn durch die Stadt Brest. Aber die Schlacht um Frankreich ist bereits im vollen Gange.
Am 23.Juni, genau einen Monat nachdem er sich als Freiwilliger für Narvik gemeldet hatte, steht plötzlich ein deutscher Unteroffizier in der Türe der Kaserne, in der man ihn eingekerkert hat. Frei!

Dies ist wohl der einzige Fall in der Geschichte des Krieges, bei dem ein Narvik-Kämpfer noch den Frankreich-Feldzug miterlebt hat.

Waffenstillstand – Oberleutnant Rieger kommt nach Salzburg zurück. Auf dem Bahnhof starrt ihm ein Gefreiter seiner Ausbildungskompanie erschrocken ins Gesicht. „Herr Oberleutnant sind ja laut gestrigem Regimentsbefehl tot!“
Nur ein Glück , das man das seiner jungen Frau verschwiegen hat. So kann er dieser selbst beweisen, dass er noch am Leben ist.

 

Ich hoffe mit diesem Beitrag konnte man einen kleinen Einblick in die Kämpfe um Narvik und die Soldaten der Gruppe Feurstein bekommen.

„Subscribe“ / „abonniere“ den Blog und bekomme immer dann eine Nachricht, sobald ein neuer Beitrag erscheint….

Sammlergruß

Sascha

 

Copyright 2018 : Alle Rechte bei dem Verfasser Sascha Ulderup 

 

Veröffentlicht am 1 Kommentar

Cuff title L.P.G. General Göring and General Göring

Hello Collector friends

alomst time for another cuff title to speak about. It is connected with the beginning of the Fallschirmtruppe of the Luftwaffe. So lets go into it and I hope you like it.

cuff title L.P.G. General Göring on green fabric

Shortly after 31.01.1933, and the accession of Adolf Hitler to the position of Reichskanzler, Hermann Göring, at that time amongst other things also the Prussian Minister of the Interior, ordered the creation of a special Police unit, a unit which would stand loyal to the Führer and break any resistance to the young National Socialist movement. On 23.02.1933 Major of the Prussian Police Walther Wecke was entrusted with the command of this unit. Two days later Wecke reported the creation of his „Polizei-Abteilung zbV. “ with a strength of 14 Officers and 400 Men. The „Abteilung“ was initially based in the district of Kreuzberg (Berlin), in the former barracks of the Queen Augusta Grenadier Guards Regiment 4 and then in the barracks of the former Prussian Queen Elizabeth Grenadier Guards Regiment 3 in Charlottenburg.

Already on 02.03.1933, the „Abteilung“, more commonly called Polizei-Abteilung Wecke“ , was first used against political opponents in Berlin. It was mainly used to smash the KPD meetings and other workers‘ organizations, with the aim of eliminating the political opposition.

On 07.17.1933 the unit was renamed „Landespolizeigruppe zbV. Wecke, and thus was created the first country-wide „Landespolizeigruppe“ in Germany. On 17.09.1933 the „Gruppe“ was endowed by Hermann Göring with its own Standard, along with the words: „It is my intention to convert the Prussian police into a powerful weapon, similar to the Reichswehr, which I will hand over to the Führer, whenever we will fight our external enemies“.

Member of the L.P.G. General Göring with Police Uniform A

On 22.12.1933 the Gruppe was renamed again, this time as Landespolizeigruppe General Göring“. Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich-Wilhelm Jacoby, formerly adjutant of Göring in his capacity as Prussian Minister of the Interior and Reich Aviation Minister, took over command of the group on 06.06.1934. After the introduction of conscription on 16.03.1935, the „Polizeigruppe“ received the more military sounding title „Regiment General Göring“ .

In September 1935, Jacoby received from Göring the order to transfer the regiment to the Luftwaffe on the date 01.10.1935. Volunteers of the regiment would form the basis of a battalion of the future German paratroop units. At that time the regiment contained the following units:

Regimentsstabs

Musikkorps

I (Jäger) Bataillon /Regiment General Göring (späteres Fallschirmjäger-Bataillon)

II (Jäger) Bataillon /Regiment General Göring

13. Kradschützen-Kompanie/Regiment General Göring

15. Pionier-Kompanie/ Regiment General Göring

Reiterzug/ Regiment General Göring

Nachrichtenzug/ Regiment General Göring

 

 

Added later were:

III. (leichte) Flak-Abteilung/ Regiment General Göring (Autumn 1935)

14. Wach-Kompanie / Regiment General Göring (11.07.1936)

16. Wach-Kompanie / Regiment General Göring (01.04.1937)

In January 1936, one bataillon under Major Bruno Bräuer and the 15th company, moved to the military training grounds at Döberitz, where they received parachute training, while the rest of the regiment moved to Altengrabow to reorganize. On 21.08.1936 Major Walther von Axthelm took command.

Member of the L.P.G. General Göring with Luftwaffen Uniform

Later, during the 2nd World War the Hermann Göring units would be seen as a sort of elite, not only within the Air Force, but also within the entire Wehrmacht. This is partly due to the fact that the personnel, at least in the early years, were all volunteers. There were also high recruitment standards and physical training. However, the Hermann Göring units also offered the best opportunities for advancement. Also playing their part were factors such as accommodation in the new barracks in Reinickendorf, the most modern of all throughout the whole German Reich, to gain national and international recognition by the outwardly visible insignia of the white collar tabs and the cuff title „General Goering“, the possibility of being a bodyguard to Goering, and the comradeship within the regiment all provided enough reasons to wish to serve within this regiment.

By 01.10.1937 the regiment consisted of the following units:

Regimentsstabs
Nachrichtenzug

Musikkorps

I (schwere) Flak-Abteilung/Regiment General Göring (from II. (Jäger) Bataillon with:

Stab, Stabsbatterie, 1.-3. Batterie (8,8-cm) and 4. Batterie (3,7-cm)

II (leichte) Flak-Abteilung/Regiment General Göring (from III. (leichte) Flak-Abteilung with:

Stab, Stabsbatterie, 5.-7. Batterie (2-cm)

III. Wach-Bataillon/Regiment General Göring (from Reiterzug, 13. Kradschützen-Kompanie, 14. and 16. Wach-Kompanie with:

Stab, Nachrichtenzug, Reiterzug, 8. Kradschützen-Kompanie with Panzer-Spähzug (disbanded 01.11.1938), 9. and 10. Wach-Kompanie, from 01.04.1938 11. Wach-Kompanie

IV Fallschirmschützen-Bataillon/Regiment General Göring (from I./ (Jäger) and 15. Kp./Regiment General Göring) with:

Stab, Nachrichtenzug, 11.-13. Fallschirmschützen-Kompanie, 14. Fallschirmschützen-MG-Kompanie, 15. Fallschirm-Pionier-Kompanie

High decorated Fallschirmjäger

At the end of March 1938,  the IV. Bataillon and the 15th company left the regiment and formed the I./Fallschirm-Regiment 1. At about the same time, the regiment took part in the annexation of Austria and on 15.03.1938 paraded in front of Hitler. In October 1938, it participated in the invasion of the Sudetenland and on 15.03.1939 took part in the parade in Prague.

Due to the loss of parachute units, the breakdown of the regiment from 01.11.1938 was as follows :

Regimentsstab/Regiment General Göring with Musikkorps and Stabsbatterie

I (schwere) Flak-Abteilung/Regiment General Göring

II (leichte) Flak-Abteilung/Regiment General Göring

III. Scheinwerfer-Abteilung/Regiment General Göring

IV (leichte) Flak-Abteilung/Regiment General Göring

Wach-Bataillon/Regiment General Göring with Reiterzug and three Wach-Kompanien

Luftlande-Bataillon/Regiment General Göring (since Summer 1938 as Ausbildungseinheit, up to August 1939)

In the course of the Polish crisis, the regiment was mobilized on 15.8.1939 which resulted in the following restructuring of the Regiment:

Reiterzug became Reiterschwadron/Regiment General Göring

Formed from:

Reserve-Scheinwerfer-Abteilung/Regiment General Göring

Ersatz-Abteilung//Regiment General Göring

1 (schwere) Eisenbahn-Flak-Batterie

1 (leichte) Flak-Batterie as support unit for the Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe Göring, the Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and as air defence for the Führer Hauptquartier

cuff title General Göring

During the Polish campaign the majority of the regiment remained in the Berlin area to provide anti-aircraft protection and to protect the headquarters of Goering. Amongst other things in October 1939, a company participated in the victory parade in Warsaw.

With the end of the Polish campaign, at the end of October 1st., the III. and IV. Abteilung of the regiment moved in secret to the western front, where they were subordinated to anti-aircraft regiments. Only the II. Abteilung remained in the Berlin area where it would continue to provide part of the air raid protection of greater Berlin.

In early April 1940 a battalion, also known as “Einheit Kluge”, was formed from a Wach-Kompanie, a 2-cm-Flak-Battery (sf) and a newly established Kradschützen-Kompanie of the regiment all under the command of Major Kluge. This unit took part in operation „Weserübung, the occupation of Denmark and Norway. In Norway, it participated in the fighting between Oslo and Trondheim. The rest of the regiment secured the Rhineland on the Dutch border.

As from 10.05.1940, large parts of the regiment took part in the battles which followed in the West, capturing Brussels. These units were in this case used as „Kampfgruppen“, and the anti-aircraft units achieved very good results in the anti-tank role. After the armistice, the regiment was initially stationed for several weeks on the channel coast and then used for air defense in the Paris area. Towards the end of 1940, the regiment moved back to Germany and was once again part of the air defense of Berlin.

LW Soldier with cuff title General Göring

Before the beginning of the Balkan campaign the regiment moved to Romania, there to protect the major oil fields from enemy air raids. Then it moved in the early summer of 1941 to the River Bug at Sokal and remained there in readiness for the eastern campaign. After the fighting began, it distinguished itself in the fighting around Dubno and Kiev. By October 1941 the regiment had destroyed:

161 Aircraft

324 Tanks

45 Bunkers

167 Artillerie Guns

530 Machine Gun Positions

In the process more than 11,000 prisoners were taken. Up to this point four members of the regiment received the Knight`s cross and four members the german cross in Gold .

At the end of 1941, the regiment moved back to Germany to refresh, while a newly formed „Schützen-Bataillon“ remained in the east and took part in the defensive fighting there until April 1942.
In March 1942, Göring ordered the extension of the regiment to brigade level, and on 15.07.1942 the regiment was renamed as „Brigade Hermann Göring“.

Heinz Besecke who served in the Regiment General Göring and later in the Fallschirmjäger Regiment 1

Description    Cuff Title L.P.G. General Göring

The cuffband which consisted of dark green, Police uniform like badge-cloth was 3.2 cm wide and was in executed in “Frakturschrift” as follows:

  • For Officers the cuff title was hand embroidered in Aluminium thread and featured additional embroidery in the form of a 3mm wide Aluminium thread (Soutache) braid strip on the upper and lower edges of the cuff title.
  • Although similar in material and colour the version for enlisted ranks was additionally identified by having no edge strip.

Method of Wear:
The cuff title was worn on the “Tuchrock” just above the turned back cuff of the right sleeve. When worn by a soldier holding an appointment to the position of “Hauptfeldwebel” , it was attached  just above the sleeve rings indicating this status. Officers also wore the cuff title on the “Fliegerbluse” and the white summer tunic. It is evidenced by numerous photographs however, that the wearing of this cuff title was probably complied with less and less over the course of the war.

I like to thank Mr. Helmut Weitze, Hamburg and his Staff for helping me out with pictures of LPG cuff titles and also lot of collector friends who are all listed in my cuff title book: Göring units and Para units WW2

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Best

Sascha

 

 

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German Cross in Gold and the „Dotted“ Story

Hi Guys,

A while ago I read an article about  German Crosses in Gold and their different makers. Interesting information about the Juncker, Godet, C.F. Zimmermann and so on.

German Cross in Gold Zimmermann light full view

Later that day I found a posting / a discussion in a Forum which German Cross in Gold is the best to collect or the best to put in your own collection.

Some collectors say that the rarest is the best German Cross in Gold to keep, other say that the condition is deciding for keeping or buying a cross.  Some refer to the story behind it (yes I know….never buy the story just the badge ;-)) but in this case the story behind it stands for the whole grouping or the estate.

I can remember a time where I bought a huge Uboat grouping form a family here in Germany. The Kriegsmarine Soldier was from 1939 until 1945 on Uboats as a mechanic and served the whole war on these steel tubes.

Zimmermann left /Juncker right – cased

Finally he was on a Monsun UBoat and went all the way to Japan. In 1945 he earned the German cross in Gold.

As the war ends he stayed in japan until 1947 and came back to Germany…..He went a long way on Uboats and as you all know, a lot of german Uboat men died during war time but he survived it. That’s the story behind my German Cross in Gold and I put the whole grouping in my collection. That Cross was made by Junker, it was cased and in good (but worn) condition

About two years later I put my hands on a German Cross in Gold made by Zimmermann (a light one) in the best condition I have ever seen. It came along with the case, also in very nice condition.

Zimmermann left /Juncker right – cased II

I went to the bank and opened my bank deposit, took my Juncker cross out and went home. I put the side by side and thought about them.

Should I keep the unworn minty Zimmermann or the worn Juncker……keep them both and sell some other stuff.…….

Finally I made my decision and I kept the Juncker. I had a name to it, I had a face to it and (yes I know….) I had the story to the cross.

Another thing which made my decision easy was the fact that you see ten Zimmermann a year and only one Juncker. So not always that hard to get a Zimmermann cross in a decent condition.

But let`s stay with the Zimmermann. As you all know there is the number “20” for the Zimmermann company on the needle (inside) of the cross. Easy to identify but there is a problem. Have you ever heard of the „dotted“ German Cross in Gold from Zimmermann?

It is not a secret but there might be somebody out there who didn`t know. So let bring some light in this dark area.

The “dotted” Zimmermann was a long time described and handled as a fake cross. It took a long time to proof that they are original „pre“ war time made.

But fact is, that you have three things to look for to identify these “dotted” crosses.

The first thing is the Number 20 ( Präsidialkanzleinumber “20”) on the inside of the crosses needle. If the 20 is in full shape and on a straight line, that is a normal Zimmermann. If the upper area of the number 2 is cut off and the whole number 20 is not in a horizontal line, you have the indication of a “dotted”. At least it looks like a false or incorrect marking.

The second thing is the number “1941” on the outer golden wreath. On a normal Zimmermann cross the number is on a normal metal underground. On a dotted German cross the date numerals are filled with little holes, which means that there are little dots inside the numbers.

Last thing is the production mistake on the 11 O´clock area of the wreath. The first „dotted“ which were examined didn`t have the „flaw“ but now some Crosses were found with the „Zimmermann Flaw“.  If you see that, the cross should be a good cross.

Mr. Dietrich März is on this subject and he searched for more evidence on the dotted mystery. I think if he finds out something new, we will know it soon.

 

Under the line it comes down to facts and evidence. If you have a normal Zimmermann or a „dotted“ one, don`t get nervous. Just read about the facts and keep the dotted in you collection.

Finally and as always, you have to know certain things in our hobby, so you don´t lose money or pay twice.

Best

Sascha

 

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Pilot and Observer Badge 1st Form 1935

Dear collectors,

Sit down and grab a coffee. This time I have something for you what I haven´t seen in 25 years of collecting. A real stunner, so I hope you sit by now.

For some collectors this badge is the “Fliegerschaftsabzeichen” , for others it is the Pilot Badge with the funny wreath or the Air Crew Badge. But like Dietrich März wrote on the WAF, it is the Pilot and Observer Badge 1. Form “…..documented in the LVBl as „Gemeinsames Flugzeugführer und Beobachter Abzeichen“, founded on 19 January 1935 Form“.Pilot Badge first form 1935 cased (3)

Sure there were few of these “holy grails” in auctions around the world or old sales catalog, but not in the content of a whole estate of a Luftwaffe Pilot.

Well, now you think about the “second” form…..mmmhhh have I seen that one before? Sure you have , think about the Pilot Badge with the golden wreath, that’s the second form but the term “second form” got lost……somehow.

OK, back to business, to get the term right we talk about the “Flugzeugführer und Beobachter Abzeichen 1. Form“.

Pilot Badge first form 1935 cased (1)

But we want to have a close look on this bird over here. You see the badge with the large Eagle on it, looks like an attacking bird, in his fangs the swastika as always with Luftwaffen badges. The wreath in this case is not “egg shaped”  vertical like the Pilot Badge 2nd Form, it is oval and in my opinion very big.Pilot Badge first form 1935 backside

The Wreath is about 60,48 mm x 41,55 mmm. The weight is about 27,2 gramm. The pin is a round pin and about 48,8 mm long. On the backside you see a soldered round wire catch and a tube hinge, also soldered to the wreath in vertical manner. The 3 !!! rivets are like Juncker rivets used to be and they surly hold this big bird in place. The marker mark says “CEJ” on the backside of the bird, for most collectors THE company to collect Luftwaffen badges from.

Another nice feature is the blue case without any writing on it. Also a tough one to get but in this estate the badge came with it and so we have a nice combination.Pilot Badge first form 1935 case blue

Short excourse to the life of the pilot:

The man who archieved this badge was Hauptmann Günther Klünder, born on the 4th of August 1904. He served on Board of several ships of the Reichsmarine from 1927 – 1932. To name just a few of them : “Berlin” (light cruiser WW1), “Schlesien” (Battleship WW1), as well as the Torpedoboot “Albatros”.

Later on his career brought him to the “Seeübungsstaffel” (October 1933 – October 1934) and the “Erprobungsstelle Travemünde”

In 1937 he was Staffelkapitän with the Aufklärungsgruppe See 88 (A.S. 88) in the Legion Condor from February 1937 until July 1937, equipped with He-59 seaplanes.
On September 5th, 1939 – at the age of 32, he was shot down with a Junckers Ju 52 – D – AGZG by friendly fire (navy flak).

Let`s have look in the Soldbuch of the soldier. Here we found the entry for the badge with the number 1414 / 35 as you can see on the picture below.Pilot Badge first form 1935 Soldbuch

Together with the Pilot Badge there were different badges in his estate.

They were:

  1. Italian military pilot badge
  2. Medaille de la campana
  3. Wehrmacht Dienstauszeichnung 4. Klasse
  4. Deutsches Spanienkreuz in Gold mit Schwertern
  5. Cruz de guerra
  6. Officerscross Crown of Italy

We can also have a look on the historical background of the badge:

The combined pilot’s/observer’s qualification badge was originally introduced by Hermann Göring on January 19th,  1935, and featured a horizontally oval wreath encompassing a stylized national eagle in flight. On March 26th, 1935 the badge was redesigned (after 205 days) by altering the wreath to the vertical position as with the other Luftwaffe qualification badges. The badge was intended for award to personnel who had qualified for both the military pilot’s and the observer’s badges and had held at least one of the awards for a minimum of one year. This second pattern badge took the same form as the pilot’s badge, but with a golden wreath.Pilot Badge first form 1935 swas

Pilot Badge first form 1935 rivet

Pilot Badge first form 1935 catch

Pilot Badge first form 1935 tube hinge

Just to get it all together, in the summer of 1935 Hermann Göring established the combined pilot’s/observer’s badge with diamonds which was the highest Luftwaffe non-combatant award of WWII. It is estimated that roughly forty of the diamond badges were awarded.

We will never know why Hauptmann Klünder kept the first form and did not get the second form….or maybe had the second form on his uniform and it was lost when he shot down by friendly fire….

Finally said that the is one on the best estates I have seen in years and I like to quote Mr.  Dennis Suitner, the Boss of Trave-Militaria: THE HOLY GRAIL OF THE LUFTWAFFE. A big thanks in that direction to the Team of Trave-Militaria, who supported me with all the pictures and data to bring this topic in my blog.Pilot Badge first form 1935 whole estate

 

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Sascha

 

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Cuff title Geschwader General Wever

Hello Collectors,

today I like to show you a cuff title of the Luftwaffe. It came from a little grouping of a Luftwaffe soldier. He had the Iron Cross 2nd class, the wounded badge in black and a radio operator badge.

Cuff title Geschwader General Wever / Ärmelband Geschwader General Wever
Cuff title Geschwader General Wever

No papers or pictures from his active duty.  I can`t remember when I bought that for my collection but that’s also years ago. You see the normal deep blue (sort of navy blue) wool construction with machine embroidered script in “Gothic” style.

Cuff title Geschwader General Wever / Ärmelband Geschwader General Wever
Cuff title Geschwader General Wever

Threads are in white/grey and open back. Not hand made with silver/aluminum wire threads like the version for officers. They folded top and bottom over and stiched it with blue thread to the reverse. A textbook example without any doubt. Length 51 cm and 3,5 cm wide.

Cuff title Geschwader General Wever / Ärmelband Geschwader General Wever
Cuff title Geschwader General Wever
Cuff title Geschwader General Wever / Ärmelband Geschwader General Wever
Cuff title Geschwader General Wever
Cuff title Geschwader General Wever
Cuff title Geschwader General Wever

This cuff title was never on a uniform.  Maybe the soldier got three of them for the uniform and put only two of them on his jacket.

To the history of the Geschwader General Wever:

The Geschwader General Wever, (General Wever Squadron), Commemorative Honor cuff title was one of a series of commemorative honor cuff titles introduced by the Luftwaffe to honor fallen comrades and heroic pilots of WWI.

Cuff title Geschwader General Wever / Ärmelband Geschwader General Wever
Cuff title Geschwader General Wever

The Geschwader General Wever cuff title was introduced on June 4th, 1936 for wear by all personnel serving with Kampfgeschwader Gotha, (Bomber Wing Gotha). The cuff title was to be worn by all ranks on the lower right sleeve of the service tunic and officers were also authorized wear of the cuff title on the lower right sleeve of the flight blouse and the optional white summer tunic.

Cuff title Geschwader General Wever / Ärmelband Geschwader General Wever
Cuff title Geschwader General Wever backside

Officer’s cuff title were produced in hand embroidered silver/aluminum wire threads while EM/NCO’s were produced in machine embroidered silver/grey threads. During the war Kampfgeschwader Gotha was re-designated Kampfgeschwader 253, then Jagdgeschwader 131 and finally Kampfgeschwader 4, but personnel retained the right to wear the cuff title.

Wever died in an airplane crash on June 3rd 1936.

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Sascha