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Here's a nice Heer EK2 doc to a member of Festung-Infantry Battalion 1008. This unit retreated from Greece through Macedonia, western Serbia and Montenegro during October, November and December, 1944. Throughout this time, the unit engaged in fighting with Tito's patisans and the document is probably the result of these actions. It is signed by Generalleutnant Helmut Friebe of the 22nd Infantry Division. Festung Btallion served with the 22 ID (later 22. Volks-Grenadier-Division) until the end of the war. I'm pretty sure the division surrendered in Austria.

I like this doc because it is an award for fighting Partisans, not the traditional Allies. Also, it is somewhat interesting that the award date happens to be the same date as the launch of operation "die Wacht am Rhein". It's fun to think of what was going on on various fronts at the same time.

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Here's a nice Heer EK2 doc to a member of Festung-Infantry Battalion 1008. This unit retreated from Greece through Macedonia, western Serbia and Montenegro during October, November and December, 1944. Throughout this time, the unit engaged in fighting with Tito's patisans and the document is probably the result of these actions. It is signed by Generalleutnant Helmut Friebe of the 22nd Infantry Division. Festung Btallion served with the 22 ID (later 22. Volks-Grenadier-Division) until the end of the war. I'm pretty sure the division surrendered in Austria.

I like this doc because it is an award for fighting Partisans, not the traditional Allies. Also, it is somewhat interesting that the award date happens to be the same date as the launch of operation "die Wacht am Rhein". It's fun to think of what was going on on various fronts at the same time.

A very nice document indeed! Feldwebel Gaiser certainly won his EK for anti-partisan combat operations during the withdrawal. Quite a few members of Festungs-Inf.Btl. 1008 qualified for the Bandenkampfabzeichen as well. Judging by one soldbuch I saw, the unit was engaged in a lot of convoy protection duty during from October 1943 to November 1944. This makes sense, given the purpose of such units. People often pass over these documents because they do not rate fortress units but, as you say, a little bit of research often turns up trumps. Festungs-Inf.-Btl 1008 was part of Festungs-Infanterie-Rgt 938/41 which was stationed in the Pelloponese Mountains of southern Greece until July 1944, when the order to withdraw northwards came. The regiment marched north through Macedonia and then moved west through Serbia to Montenegro. In December 1944, the regiment was based in the Montenegran town of Prijepolje close to the current border with Bosnia, protecting the roads and railways against partisan attacks. I know this terrain very well and can tell you that Gaiser probably earned his EK2 the hard way. Festungs-Infanterie-Btl 1008 and its parent unit were then placed on the ORBAT of 22. ID, which was moving further north.

22. ID had been in Crete before evacuating the island and moving to the Greek mainland in October 1944. Not strictly relevant to the document but I'm sure you know that 22. ID was also known as 22. Luftlande-Infanterie-Division earlier in the war, participating with 7. Flieger-Division in the airborne operations in Holland and Crete. The division, no longer in the airborne or airlanding r?le, was later commanded from 1.3.1944 in Crete during a second operational tour there by Generalmajor Heinrich Kreipe, kidnapped on 26.4.1944 by Paddy Leigh-Fermor and Stanley Moss. Generalleutnant Friebe took over with effect from 1.5.1944 after Kreipe's capture. Captain Moss tried to kidnap Friebe two months later but was thwarted by understandably increased divisional security! Generalleutnant Helmut Friebe was a Ritterkreuztrager, like his more famous younger brother Werner, who ended the war as a Generalmajor. Here's a link to a website with photos of both brothers: http://www.specialcamp11.fsnet.co.uk/Gener...er%20Friebe.htm. Iron Cross collectors studying the portrait of Helmut Friebe will notice the first pattern 1939 Bar to the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class with the curved edges to the date casette.

22. Infanterie-Division did not become 22. Volksgrenadier-Division until March 1945. The division ended the war in Slavonia with LXXXXI Korps z.b.V., protecting Heeresgruppe E's flank.

Hope this helps.

PK

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fascinating account, PK.

my limited knowledge - and the relatively

limited coverage of this front - would indicate

that this was some of the fiercest warfare

a German trooper might encounter.

any suggestions where i might find more?

thanks!

joe

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post-281-1175868489.jpg

A pleasure, gents. Here's another EK2 document that could well be for anti-partisan operations, namely the airlift on 25.5.1944 of SS-Fallschirmj?ger-Btl 500 to the Bosnian town of Drvar, where Tito had his HQ. If this is the case, then it could be said to be a Waffen-SS-related award.

post-281-1175870684.jpgpost-281-1175870899.jpg

Here is glider pilot Otto Bracht. The fact that he wore glasses made it easier to pick him out one afternoon when I was poring over the Luftwaffe Kriegsberichter albums in the French military photo archives. LLG2 is not mentioned as participating in the Drvar mission but given that transport and glider pilots had to be drafted in from all over the place for the airborne assault, Bracht's EK2 could have been for Drvar, where the glider pilots fought on the ground during the ferocious twenty-four hour battle in and around the town.

On the other hand, Bracht was also in the Ukraine at some point during the winter of 1943/1944 as the photograph was apparently from a roll of film shot there by a Luftwaffe photo-reporter (kriegsberichter) of the Fallschirm-Propaganda-Kompanie attached to 2. Fallschirmj?ger-Division. 2. FJD had been transferred from Italy to the southern sector of the Eastern Front in November 1943. Or, rather, the rump of 2. FJD had been transferred to Shitomir, the rest being taken as cadre for the newly-forming 4. FJD. The heavily understrength division, comprising I./FJR2, III./FJR2, IV./FJR2, II./FJR5 and some supporting arms, fought at Shitomir and then at Kirovograd in January 1944. Retreating through Krioj Rog, Uman, Novgorodka and Kiev, April 1944 found the remnants of 2. FJD in the Kishinev zone, from where they were moved back to Germany for R&R and thence to Western France.

So, there are two possibilities: Bracht?s EK2 could have been for something he did when on the ground with 2. FJD in the southern USSR after airlanding reinforcements or supplies, perhaps during the Battle of Kirovograd, or it could have been for the Battle of Drvar on 25/26.5.1944. The OKW issued their Drvar communiqu? on 6.6.1944 and awards were made for Drvar on and around that date. If seconded to pilot a DFS 230 into Drvar, Bracht would have come from Hagenau and would have been back there by the evening of 26.5.1944 or the following day and from there to Istres when news of the Allied landings broke.

Otto Bracht could have been seconded for the Drvar operation on 25.5.1944. Although LLG2 was primarily equipped with the huge Gotha 242 gliders, they also flew DFS 230s and Bracht would have been DFS 230-qualified. As far as I know, glider pilots and other attached personnel were evacuated from Drvar shortly after the end of the battle on the morning of 26.5.1944. So his EK2 could easily have been for Drvar but issued by the FS-AOK in France, whose HQ was in Nancy, on 6.6.1944 along with other awards. The Luftwaffe awardee lists would have been telegrammed or telexed to local Luftwaffe headquarters so it would make sense. The document is handsigned by General Walter Lackner in the absence of Generaloberst Student.

3./LLG2 was formed in August 1942 as part of I./LLG2. From April to September 1943, I Gruppe was in southern France, based consecutively at Orange, Nancy and Istres. I Gruppe flew Heinkel He111 and Go242s. 3./LLG2 took eight Go242s to Naples on 11.9.1943 and from there to Catania on 13.7.1943. The rest of the Gruppe followed them on 14.7.1943 and airlifted 1. Fallschirmj?ger-Division?s heavy equipment to Sicily on 20.7.1943. However, 3./LLG2?s crews had returned to Istres on 19.7.1943. After airlifting elements of 2. Fallschirmj?ger-Division to Rome to disarm Italian forces early in August 1943, I./LLG2 returned to France and thence to Hagenau, in Germany, in September 1943, remaining there until June 1944, when they flew back to Istres. During this period, the squadron airlifted supplies and personnel to 2. FJD in November 1943 and it is hard not to believe that, held in reserve in France, LLG2 supplied men and aircraft for Drvar in May 1944. I./LLG2 left France in September 1944.

post-281-1175871149.jpgpost-281-1175871850.jpgpost-281-1175872446.jpg

Even if the document is for the Ukraine, it is quite likely that Bracht met Soviet partisans during his time on the ground with 2. FJD, in addition to beating off spearhead Red Army penetrations. However, the 6.6.1944 date also fits very neatly with Drvar. I haven?t researched airlandings in the Ukraine during the fighting withdrawal in the winter of 1943/44 but if anyone has any information to share, I would be grateful to see it. Otto Bracht remained involved with gliding after the war: http://www.lsg-lippe.de/htm/ve_gesch.htm.

PK

Edited by PKeating

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Wow!!

This is a great example of how a few simple docs can tell an incredible story. And the story gets better the more you dig. Your knowledge is incredible, Prosper.

Based on the little bit I know about Drvar, this guy was lucky to survive and escape being wounded.

Although the age difference is obvious between Bracht?s ID and the photo of him in Russia, it sure looks like the war was taking a toll on his aging process.

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Wow!!

This is a great example of how a few simple docs can tell an incredible story.

Indeed.

Its enough to make you want to collect documents ;-)

I love paper and the possibilities you have with it.

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That's why I collect documents and photography. One of these days, I will find an award document for Drvar to a member of SS-Fallschirmj?ger-Btl 500. I have documents to the battalion for other actions but, bizarrely, have never even seen any for Drvar. I have seen some fakes though! We'll round the Drvar part of this discussion off with a wartime print bearing Adolf Kunzmann's stamp on the reverse. It was taken early on the morning of 26.5.1944 on part of the defensive perimeter set up by the battalion the previous afternoon. This position overlooks one of the landing zones where you can see a couple of DFS230 assault gliders, as well as the smoke and flames from the fighting.

PK

Edited by PKeating

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Hello!

Very nice documents,thamks for sharing and post more. :rolleyes::jumping:

Regards

Nesredep

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A lot of nice docs on this thread...

Here's another to add, to bring this thread back to life. To a member of FJR1 who fought at Iraklion in Crete. It is signed by Oberst Bruno Br?uer and includes the FJR1 stamp. Wasn't 29 May the day the Germans actually occupied Iraklion? Its probably back dated as it doesn't seem to have been a good day for clerical work. I wonder if this was prepared on battallion level and later submitted to Br?uer's Regt. HQ for signing.

Any idea of casualties in FJR1 at Iraklion? I would imagine most guys were decorated for bravery.

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Hello,

And since we are with Crete => here is one earned by a glider pilot for his role played during teh Crete assault.

Cordial greetings, :cheers:

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Hello,

And ehre we have a nother EK 2 award document for a glider pilot, different year and theathre of war.

This EK 2 was earned for the glider mission towards Cholm.

Cordial greetings,

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Great docs, Stijn. The second doc must be the perfect piece in your collection.... a glider pilot near Cholm!!!

Hello,

And ehre we have a nother EK 2 award document for a glider pilot, different year and theathre of war.

This EK 2 was earned for the glider mission towards Cholm.

Cordial greetings,

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Hi brian,

Thank you for the comments, indeed such documents are nice and specially when they can be linke dtowards certain battle's, actions, etc ....

Here is another one fro my collection, a EK 2 document from a glider pilot who did win his EK's in ground combat (namely when active with teh Lw. feldregt. 'Barenthin' during their time in Tunesia :cheers:

Cordial greetings,

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Oops. Dunno what's happening there. Anyway, above is Martin K?hne's EK2 document for Moerdijk in 1940. classic Fall Gelb document, issued in the Hague and signed by Generalmajor Putzier, who took temporary command of 7. Fliegerkorps after Student took a bullet in the head from a nervous SS-VT soldier. K?hne won his EK2 for leading a successful assault on a heavily defended bunker, an action in which he was quite badly wounded.

Born in 1918, K?hne enlisted into the Luftwaffe in 1937, serving with a flak unit before volunteering for the Fallschirmtruppe in 1939. Qualifying as a paratrooper at Wittstock, he was commissioned and by April 1940 was a Zugf?hrer with 2./Fallsch.-Jager-Erg. Btl.1 in Stendal. At Moerdijk, he was a platoon commander with 15./Fallschirmj?ger-Rgt 1 and was quite badly wounded there. K?hne jumped on the Corinth Canal in 1941 and was recommended for the Ritterkreuz for storming an enemy anti-aircraft battery and taking numerous prisoners. He received the EK1 instead. He also jumped on Crete, where he was again badly wounded. After service in Russia in 1942, K?hne was sent to North Africa where he took part in the Ramckebrigade?s extraordinary two-hundred mile trek from El Alamein back to German lines in November 1942, for which he received the DKiG.

After the evacuation to Italy, K?hne was promoted to Hauptmann and given command of I/FJR2, which he led in the airborne assault on and capture of the Greek island of Leros in November 1943. K?hne's personal courage in leading his men and the paratroopers of the Brandenburg's 15. (Fallschirm) Kompanie in assaults on heavily-defended enemy positions on Monte Meroviglia brought him the RK. K?hne also fought at Anzio-Nettuno, Monte Cassino and in numerous actions during the retreat through Italy. He ended the was as Major und RKT in command of I./FJR10. Martin K?hne, who died in 2002, reportedly received a formal award document for the RK, which was quite rare by February 1944. He held the RK, DKiG, Ehrenpokal, EK1, EK2 and VWA in Silber. The K?hne family are apparently still in possession of Major K?hne's awards and documents and have no intention of parting with them. This document was given to Klaus Peters by K?hne and is now in my collection.

PK

Edited by PKeating

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An uncommon EK2 doc... to an infantryman in Norway. Alfred H?ttemann as a member of 10./ Infanterie-Regiment 367. From what I understand, the 214 Infanterie Division was originally to be used during the invasion of Denmark. However, Denmark?s rapid capitulation allowed 214 ID to be assembled for the clearing operations of southwestern Norway in early May. H?ttemann was awarded for actions with Kampfgruppe A, comprised of elements of IR 367, during the clearing operations northeast of Kristiansand. His doc was signed by Generalmajor Max Horn.

It's interesting to see an award for "clean up", as opposed to frontline fighting.

Edited by Brian R

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Another EK2 document this time to Erich Stoffregen, Kampfgeschwader 30, and later RKT (14.08.42).

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Another Crete jumper this time to Oberjager Erich Schmoll, later with FJ Rgt.6

Edited by spanferkel

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EK2 document to Edgar Nemann awarded while serving with 2./Minensuchgruppe 1 "Mausi". Edgar was an observer (beobachter) and was in addition awarded the Kriegsmarine Minesweeper badge.

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Nice! I know it's not an EK document but do you have his Mine Sweeper doc? I've never seen one to a Luftwaffe man. I've seen a photo album to one of these men but never a document. I think posting it here will be a 'tolerable' deviation from topic. :D

PK

Edited by PKeating

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Nice! I know it's not an EK document but do you have his Mine Sweeper doc? I've never seen one to a Luftwaffe man. I've seen a photo album to one of these men but never a document. I think posting it here will be a 'tolerable' deviation from topic. :D

PK

Haha, indeed I do Peter will post it later this evening when I'm home from work.

Cheers

Jeremy

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Peter-

As promised here is Neumann's document for the KM Minesweeper badge. When time permits I will post the remainder of the documents, under a new topic heading, I have for Neumann.

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Thank you, Jeremy. What a rare thing. I look forward to seeing the group in its entirely.

Rgds,

Paddy

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