Jump to content

Recommended Posts

All,

I've seen discussions about this small unit, but can't remember where. Can anyone provide Unit information? The word is that these SS were wearing Para Badges. A Berlin detachment?

Thanks,

Mark

:unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They were probably members of SS-Fallschirmj?ger-Btl 500, like the man below. The portrait was actually taken when he was with SS-Fallschirmj?ger-Btl 600, which was formed with survivors of SS-FJ-Btl 500 as cadre several months after the Luftwaffe had suspended parachute training. Hummel earned his jump badge with SS-FJ-Btl 500 early in 1944. There were also some para-trained members of the SS-Jagdverb?nde. Some SS-VT officers and NCOs from SS-Regiment "Germania" went through jump-training before the war as part of an attempt to form a parachute arm of the SS-VT but it proved abortive because of a lack of volunteers.

PK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prosper,

I had pretty much given up on a reply. And low and behold, one of the (probably) handfull of people knowledgable on the subject replied! Thanks.

I would think that Docs and Photos of these guys are rare little pieces?

Regards,

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think that Docs and Photos of these guys are rare little pieces?

Regards,

Mark

I tend to agree. There were not too many of these men to begin with! I am sure that there are not more than a handful of such documents around.

Thanks for sharing this info with us, Prosper!

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SS-FJ documents are very, very rare indeed. And they are faked. Here is a fake SS-Jagdverband Mitte soldbuch to Paul Spitt, who served in the SS-Jagdverband Mitte and then in SS-Fallschirmj?ger-Btl 600. It's not strictly SS-Fallschirmj?ger but gives readers some idea of what the crooks are up to. Note the use of Walter Hummel's photograph. This error arises from an amusing episode, when the author Jean-Yves Nasse corresponded with Herr Spitt about the Gran Sasso operation some years ago. Not wishing, presumably, to disappoint Nasse, Spitt sent him a photo. The photo was a copy of this original portrait of Hummel, taken in Neustrelitz in November 1944. The old lads swapped photos amongst themselves at reunions, you see. So Hummel's photo ended up in Nasse's book, captioned as Spitt. And our erstwhile soldbuch forger clearly has Nasse's book on his shelves.

PK

Edited by PKeating

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, the forger gave Herr Spitt some ranks he never held. Still, I gather that this little beauty separated someone from a substantial amount of cash.

Now, here is an original soldbuch, which was carried by Walter Scheu. Scheu served as an instructor with SS-FJ-Btl 500's Field Training Company and earned the Army Parachute Badge. Most of the SS-FJ were given the Luftwaffe version because of shortages, the bulk of Army badges having been issued to the Brandenburg Para Bn. After the formation of SS-FJ-Btl 600, Scheu served as a company commander.

PK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Note the Parachutist Licence (Fallschirmsch?tzenschein) number on the opening page. This corresponds with Scheu's licence, which is included in the group. Here is Page 4, with the classic entries for SS-FJ-Btl 600, which was placed, nominally, on the Order of the Battle of Skorzeny's SS-Jagdberb?nde. Also interesting is the reference to the Training Company of SS-FJ-Btl 500.

Sorry about the cropping but it's the only way I can get it to conform to the 110KB limit. I imagine PC image programmes are better for this but Mac image files tend to be larger.

PK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The awards page. Before being commissioned, Scheu served with the Wiking reconnaissance detachment and took part in Barbarossa. Note the clerical oversight: his Winter War Medal is not mentioned. This kind of error or omission is quite common in the case of duplicate soldbucher like this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to finish off, an Assault Badge document to a signaller in SS-FJ-Btl 600. Schumann ended the war with the EK2 and the CCC. He never got a document for the latter, just in case the monkey who offered his Wound Badge document for sale recently gets any more smart ideas! Schumann never received a Wound Badge! I have a picture of this fake somewhere and will post it when I find it.

PK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah yes, here we go! It's quite an intelligent fake and clearly inspired by Schumann's Assault Badge document. I suppose this supports the argument against posting original documents on open forums but the good news is that no matter how good the forgeries and fakes are, they are never good enough if you know what to look for.

I gather that the eventual buyer of this beauty paid handsomely for it but the chap who passed me the photos declined to put me in touch with the victim. The stamp was done with a laser printer. However, they messed up Fritz Leifheit's signature and got just a little too smart with the typographical errors, the small noughts in 600 being a glaring example.

The attempt to replicate the dropped 's' in Fallschirmj?ger - by displacing the roller as they hit the key - was smart but a bit too smart for its own good. They failed to do it in the case of Leifheit's rank. Look at the 's' in Obersturmf?hrer. The typewriter at Bn HQ - the real Bn HQ where Schumann's Assault Badge document was filled out - was evidently out of kilter. They paid attention to the 'a', though.

PK

Edited by PKeating

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More fakes. These two lovelies caught someone out a few years ago. They were clearly produced by someone who had read Antonio Munoz's Forgotten Legions book. The Felix Steiner signature on the other document isn't good enough. In any case, "SS-Hauptscharf?hrer Sepp Blaichinger" would have received this document back in the autumn of 1944. Highly unlikely that Steiner would have issued it in February 1945, by which time the SS Para Bn was moving into defensive positions on the Oderfront. Smart...but just too smart for its own good.

PK

Edited by PKeating

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't go into what is wrong with this document in detail as I feel disinclined to provide help to the scum responsible for this kind of thing. All I will say is that there was never an NCO by that name in the battalion. Nor did the unit have any company commanders of that name. But someone without access to that knowledge bought these two documents, believing them to be genuine.

PK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a wellknown shot of members of SS-Fallschirmj?ger-Btl 600 parading in Neustrelitz in December 1944.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frightening set of fakes there ! Some real effort has gone into all of those documents. :banger:

But considering the money that they would attract it is hardly surprising. Scary stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed, Nick. Here's a scan of a Fallschirmsch?tzenschein (Parachutist Licence) someone sent me a while ago. The last Waffen-SS example to change hands commanded over $5,000.00 several years ago. There are only a handful known to survive. Put another way, I know of just four, two of which I have. Anyway, here's what arrived in my electronic mailbox.

PK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a known original, issued to Walter Scheu. Readers will note that the number corresponds to the entry at the foot of the first page of Scheu's soldbuch. This licence is obviously in much better condition than the one bearing Linde's name.

PK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is Walter Hummel's wellworn FSS, carried for over a year in his pocket with his soldbuch. Note how it has worn. These documents were made of a tightly woven cloth, like the tarnausweis, which was dyed the appropriate colour, printed and then given some form of semi-matt waxlike protective treatment to waterproof it. Sharp-eyed Waffen-SS students will note his SS-VT '1' collar patch, still worn after the award of the Winterwar Medal. Many SS-Verf?gungstruppe veterans wore old insignia like this to denote their status. I have a photo from the cemetery in Drvar on 26.5.1944 showing one of these collar patches worn by an Oberscharf?hrer.

PK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You will notice that the Scheu and Hummel FSS are identical in terms of the printer and batch. The SS-F?hrungs-Hauptamt ordered these documents in from Luftwaffe stocks. The Linde FSS bears the same printer's details and stock number. Linde was also just three numbers away from Scheu, meaning that he was on the same parachute jump course. Now, here are the Scheu and Linde FSS side-by-side. Let's see what readers have to say about them.

PK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should add that I was unable to give a definitive opinion based on the scan of the Linde FSS. There are a number of things about it that concern me but nothing that couldn't perhaps be explained away should the FSS turn out to be perfectly genuine. Put it this way: I would need to be able to examine it before opening my chequebook. Anyway, let's see what you can spot.

PK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is just a laymans observations as I have not studied Third Reich documentation. But I will give it a go.

No SS type runes and slightly different type fonts (different type writer)

The info has been misaligned (but I expect this is no real issue) in the boxes

Date of birth has been misstyped

No signatures

The stamp looks to have slightly different font styles so a different stamp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prosper,

My lack of 'reply' in no way reflects my lack of interest. It is just taking me a while to absorb all the info, which is a new endeavour from collecting badges. Or is it.

Just based on the fact that these two FSS were from the same jump class and with only one FSS between them, shouldn't they, for all intents and purposes, be the same? Just like a run of a particular style badge, in a specific time frame, shouldn't they show the same bold characteristics. But right off the bat, these do not. I see a different Nummr style entry, different ink on the stamp, different details filled in, (as mentioned) no rune key on the typewriter, weak key character imprint from the ribbon,......etc. And I venture to say there is more you could identify.

I'm a novice on these too, but it would take a convincing explanation to side me over. And I for one remember how you've always felt about 'variations'.

Am I wrong!

Mark

Edited by mmiller

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry,

ADD. Automatic Digital Difficulty.

Edited by mmiller

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PK question. i notice in the second ss paratrooper pic you posted, that the guy on the right is holding a jump helmet with a luftwaffe decal. his cap shows an ss skull. did they just use luft marked helmets ? i'm just curious. thanks DaveR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The unit was issued with standard Luftwaffe-issue parachutists' kit. Most of the members of SS-Fallschirmj?ger-Btl 500 received single-decal M38s and splinter pattern jump smocks with the Luftwaffe breast eagle. Some men removed the breast eagles and LW eagle decals. I have a photo of a machinegunner in the Memelland in the autumn of 1944 with a Waffen-SS sleeve eagle on the sleeve of his smock and have seen a studio portrait of another but this was strictly an unofficial practice. There is also a photo showing an SS para on the Mataruska Banja airfield wearing a double-decal M38 but this was probably drawn from Parachute Training School stores.

Some early plain green smocks were issued as well, as photos from Drvar show. There is also a photo of the kompaniechef of 3./SS-Fallschirmj?ger-Btl 600 on the Oder Front in February 1945 wearing an early green smock with the special Waffen-SS rank patch on his sleeve, which was evidently a personal affectation. Towards the end, SS-Fallschirmj?ger-Btl 600 men also got the late war M38 helmets with no decals. Other items of Luftwaffe FJ kit worn by SS paratroopers included FJ-issue trousers and 2nd pattern boots. Luftwaffe FJ-issue field kit included bandoliers, grenade bags, gravity knives, gasmask bags and so on. Oddly enough, the SS-Fallschirmj?ger never used helmet covers. Nor did they camouflage their helmets with paint and sawdust and things. They did use the FJ-issue helmet nets.

The attached photograph, taken by Adolf Kunzmann in the cemetery on 26.5.1944 after the relief of SS-Fallschirmj?ger-Btl 500 at Drvar, is a very informative study of how the men of the 500 looked. The NCO with the MP40 and the spare MG barrel case probably doesn't have a gasmask in the gasmask bag. One period caption stated that it contained a medical kit. It probably contained extra cigarettes and food...

PK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...