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Kevin H

Obscure Unit SB & WP - Let's See Them

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In this section we have had an assortment of threads from the ID's of the well known to late war units. One that we haven't had is a thread showing the ID's of those men who served in the more obscure units of the Wehrmacht, those men & units that do not get a mention in books and unit histories but who still served. So if you have one to such a person, be they in a shelf stacking unit or a puddle pirate, let's see what obscurities are out there

 

This example is for a man who served in an example of an obscure unit. No power diving in a Stuka or polishing the 15" gun barrels of the Tirpitz for this serving soldier. He served in a railway kitchen unit, Eisenbahnkuchenwagen-Abt 2, serving up slop in a railway carriage. No awards for him, not even a KvK II Kl  for being generous with his ladle.

 

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Here is another one to an obscure unit but it is one that had an important job to do that enabled units to function. This man served in 2./Trägerfrequenz-Kompanie/648 and these units were responsible for setting up communication networks. In fact there were only 6 such Kp's in the Heer and this man saw service on the Leningrad front, the Caucasus and also Italy.

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WP to Uff. Johannes Blauth who was a member of the Hermann Göring Div. . Not unique in and of itself but what I liked about this WP is that Blauth served with the surveying and mapping branch of the division due to wounds he suffered earlier in the war.

References to this particular unit of the HG Div. have been difficult to find.

Jeremy

 

 

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Interesting thread, sadly have none myself as almost all are from one division now. Glad to see such units ! Their service and branch shouldn't be forgotten, some were very important and people outside the military don't always know that. 

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I have one which might fit here. This is the soldbuch of Franz Braun. Initially he was a very normal Pionier at the Eastern Front. But in 1944 he moved away from the front to some Technische Einsatzkompanie 13 which was later enlarged to a Bataillon. At first it seemed a bit illogical to move an experienced frontline soldier to some support unit behind the front but there was something more important to do. His unit supported the Reichsbahn in the Ruhrgebiet. They were the guys who had to keep the trains going. I have added a few pictures of the destruction of Essen to give an idea of their task (credits go to this very good web-site: http://www.trolley-mission.de ). Visible is huge destruction of the Krupp Werke and the city but also lines of trains in the background - so it seems their fight was not totally in vain.

They were probably based in Engste which is outside of Dortmund. A location which was relatively safe and from where they could reach all the cities in the Ruhrgebiet relatively quickly.

With the soldbuch came a confirmation that he was in the so called Luftkriegseinsatz (air-war) dated January 1945 and another one which allowed him to move in railway facilities in the Ruhrgebiet.

 

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Something for here. Not so interesting at first glance, just a radio guy. But this young man had a special
talent. For some reason he was able to speak Siam which is Thai (I think). This was probably the reason
why he ended up in a so called Nachrichten Fernaufklärungs Kompanie. He was trained as a Horchfunker and
probably that included training in the Russian language too. The job of those guys was to listen to Russian
communication and gather information of troop movements etc.

How important their job was becomes obvious from the attached copy. It is a letter of a Major in 1. Panzer Army
to Heeresgruppe A. He sais that Fernaufklärungskompanie 620 is their only way to find out of Russian intentions
now that air recon is so weak and few prisoners are brought in. He suggests that the Kompanie should not
be subordinated to Heeresgruppe A but rather that they share the service of this Kompanie between 1. Panzer
Armee and Heeresgruppe A. Quite a responsibility for such a small unit.

This young man would survive the war and would finally become the German ambassador in Birma.

 

 

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Nice example for a rare unit. These glider towing units (and the gliders) were used not just for resupply flights but also for evacuating troops in the years of retreat such as from the Kuban and Crimea in 1944.

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Probably not a super obscure unit but one i had not on the radar till now. This young soldier belonged to a unit which
had the inspiring name Marsch Bataillon A21 (T4). That T4 unit was one of five so called Tunis Feld Bataillone. Apparently
these were units which consisted mainly of lightly armed infantry which were flown form Sicily to Tunesia from October
1942. They were used there to secure the region of Tunis and it seems arrived just at the right time. And even though they
were a bit improvised it seems without them the Germans would not have been able to hold that region.

By end of November some Tigers had arrived which were then used to attack West of Tunis. It was only a small Kampfgruppe
with one to three Tigers, some Pz. III and a bunch of infantry of which one was this young soldier. They attacked the hight
186 west of Tebourba. On December 2 1942 they managed to destroy some AT guns, some M3 tanks etc. but lost also some Pz. III.
On December 3 they attacked again with one Tiger and two Pz. III. This is where this soldier run out of luck as he was KIA.
Thanks to the involvement of the first few tigers this little engagement is pretty well documented but that does of course
not make his death less sad. His death notice mentions him being killed while trying to take hight 186 about 22 km west
of Tunis. On the picture you can see the approximate direction of their attack.

A good documentation about these T bataillons you will find here: http://ww2live.com/sites/default/files/documentos/Rommel’s Lost.pdf
Written by Doug Nash.

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Not a unit I have heard of before. Here is an account of the fighting around Tebourba as seen by one of the British units fighting there:

http://www.queensroyalsurreys.org.uk/ww2/algiera_to_tunis/algiers_tunis004.html

And it mentions the fighting on the 3rd December:

On 3rd December a particularly strong enemy attack was made with armour and infantry on Point 186 where A Company (Captain RAN Andrews) had been withstanding repeated attacks of increasing pressure for several days. In spite of stubborn and gallant resistance, the enemy succeeded in establishing themselves on the feature. This hill was the key to the Tebourba position. Colonel Wilberforce ordered an immediate counter-attack with Band C Companies. Medium gunners supported this attack which was launched with great gallantry. The two companies went right up the feature but were driven back on the summit by very heavy fire. Lieut E R Cecil led his platoon with conspicuous courage right to the crest when he himself was killed and his platoon sergeant wounded. Two company commanders, Captain Andrews and Major T A Buchanan, B Company, were wounded.

With Point 186 lost the Tebourba positions,could no longer be held. To make matters worse, enemy armour had bypassed 2 Hampshires, cutting the Chouigi road and also the main road to Medjez behind 1 Surreys. The Brigade Commander, Brigadier E E E Cass, CBE.,DSO., now gave orders for 1 Surreys to withdraw. Lt Col Wilberforce ordered each company to thin out and retire to a location some miles back along the Medjez road.

 

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Here is another one - a Soldbuch to a middle aged soldier who served in a unit called Stab Major Schu (Schrott- und Altstoff-Erfassung). This unit's task was to tour around occupied Europe and basically collect scrap.

 

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Transferred to the leichte Flak-Abteilung "Kapphahn" in May 1945.

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On 6/2/2018 at 3:11 PM, Michael1000 said:

Another one for the obsure unit corner. This soldier belonged to a unit called Lehrregiment Kurfürst for the second half of the war.
This Lehrregiment was kind of a training centre of the German Abwehr. They did all sorts of spectacular things there like training spies
but of course there were also many people doing much more common tasks. What this guy did exactly I don't know. But fortunately they did
not black the Feldpostnummern so it is relatively easy to track in what units he was. Why every German sailor on an old trawler in the
Mediterranean had to make them unreadable why a member of the Abwehr apparently did not have to do it also makes one question a bit
the sense of that regulation. Anyway, based on staps it seems he was with the following units:

3. V-Einheit (Abwehr-Stamm-Abteilung) Verband 805 Sonderverband Brandenburg
Nachrichten-Kompanie Lehr-Regiment Kurfurst
OKW-Amt Ausland Abwehr Abteilung II

 

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What an awesome soldbuch Michael!

It would look great with my other Abwehr/Brandenburg id's.?

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Here is one that fits in here too. This Leutnant was a member of Pz. Abt. 206. This unit was equipped with older French tanks and was unfortunate enough to be in Normandy when the Invasion started. Because of that the unit is a bit better known but of course with its relatively weak equipment it is a strange unit. I read in the internet that one German commander used it to bolster the moral of the troops by letting them hear the sound of tank engines near them but made sure that they did not actually see the tanks. If that is true or if those older French tanks had the same sound like Tigers is unknown to me but in the end it is better to have an old tank than no tank at all I guess ?.

Anyway, what the task of this Leutnant was is unknown to me. The soldbuch is a second issue and he saw lots of action in Africa during 1941 & 42. He managed to go to Africa in 1941 and 1942 and made it out both times which is also quite uncommon. Later he found himself with this poor tank unit which was apparently closely connected to the 716. Infanterie Division as there are a lot of stamps of that unit in the soldbuch too.

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