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Res J?ger Baon 3 Awards for Finnland


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To put those awards into context, RJB3 was involved in the capture of Helsingfors (aka Helsinki). I have a battered copy of the battalion history at home and will see what details there are for the MGK. I also have a Milit?rpass and a Finnish award document to a member of Bavarian Gebirgsartillerie-Abteilung 2 who was there, too.

Gebirgsartillerie-Abteilung 2 in Finland

The capture of Helsingfors - 3 to 13 April 1918 by former commander Oberstleutnant a. D. Hans Butz

The text below is a translation of an extract from "Das Bayernbuch".

The detachment disembarked in Hang? on 3 April. On 5 April, 95. Preussische Reserve-Brigade (under General Wolf) started to advance towards Eken?s; with it went the 8. Batterie, which was followed by 7. Batterie after it disembarked on 6 April.

The enemy had occupied the railway station and the adjacent heights around the valley near Karis. From behind a dominating defensive line, his armoured and transport trains came forward to test the ground close to the station. This was the way the Reds generally fought.

The battle for Karis fought by J?ger-Bataillon 3 and J?ger-Bataillon 4 was supported by 8. Batterie and Auto-Kanonenzug Keller (motorised gun platoon). 8. Batterie engaged the enemy armoured train coming from the north towards Helsingors with some direct hits in the railway embankment and close to the engine, which caused the train to withdraw towards the north, thus freeing the route of our advance which ran parallel to the railway line. On 8 April, the enemy was repulsed from G?rkn?s station by 95. Brigade, which was pursuing them north together with 7. and 8. Batterie and the motorised gun platoon, with an enemy armoured train being driven further north. 2. Kavallerie-Brigade with 12. Batterie reached Ingo. The advance over the following two days resulted in no serious fighting. On 10 April, the troops occupied accommodation: 12. Batterie in K?klax, 8. Batterie in Massaby, 7. Batterie to the west, detachment staff in Bob?k.

So far, the enemy had almost only withdrawn. It seemed as though he was assembling in the north; on the other hand, strong resistance was expected in the modern line of defences in front of Helsingfors. The advance of the Ostseedivision slightly inland of the south coast of Finland was supported by the fleet in the immediate vicinity. If the resistance in front of Helsingfors did not become too strong, this meant that the only real task of the Division was initially to liberate the capital, and then to advance towards the Red Centre between Tavastehus and Lahti along the Mittelland line to break the backbone of the entire insurgent movement.

The Division continued its advance against Helsingfors on 11 April. As the vanguard (s?chsisches Karabiner-Regiment with 12. Batterie) approached, they attracted enemy artillery fire from the direction of the heights north of Allberga. All of the caves in the rocks were fully occupied. However, a detailed reconnaissance indicated that the defences could not be described as modern.

The marching column was able to deploy almost undisturbed as follows: the vanguard occupied the small height north of Gut Kilo (Kilo Farm), 1. Garde-Ulanen-Regiment deployed for the attack near Gut Kilo, and was followed by 3. Garde-Ulanen- Regiment. The detachment commander ordered the mountain batteries to take up firing positions on the heights either side of the approach road at the exit from the wood west of Gut Kilo: 12. and 7. Batterien in open (concealed) position to the north, 8. Batterie in a covered position south of the road. Targets: 8. Batterie - the Grans settlement and the stronger built part of the position nearby, 12. and 7. Batterien - the enemy positions east of Grans that were to be suppressed until the attack was launched. Since heavy artillery could not have been brought up in time, the preparatory fire to take the heights near Allberga had to be extended. Negotiations attempted by the enemy at around 2 p.m. failed; at 4 p.m., firing resumed and was so effective that after approx. 30 minutes, the attack was launched and the heights were taken. At this time, Reserve-J?ger-Bataillon 3 and Reserve-J?ger-Bataillon 4 moved forward as complete formations in the north and south respectively, however were only able to secure the positions. Led by 1. Garde-Ulanen-Regiment, the Division then continued its advance into the night to the north entrance to Bergh?ll, a wooded hill.

The next morning, the Division issued orders for 2. Kavallerie-Brigade to take Bergh?ll, while 95. Brigade was to advance against Fredriksberg station. The heavy artillery that had now been brought up, which fired very effectively from Allberga to prepare for the capture of the railway line and to block it against enemy transports, enabled the somewhat difficult task of 95. Brigade to succeed, with 7. Batterie contributing as a support battery.

12 April, however, was not to see the complete capture of Helsingfors. Bergh?ll could not be captured until 8. Batterie provided well placed fire in support of 2. Kavallerie-Brigade, while 12. Batterie dispersed enemy riflemen on the flank of the cavalry brigade at the Observatory. The divisional commanders plan to launch the decisive thrust on the right wing from Bergh?ll towards the Old Town was now put into action, After the very strong Red defenders had been completely dispersed, the following units advanced to the Esplanade without any resistance: 1. Garde-Ulanen-Regiment with 8. Batterie to the west following the capture of Gut Meilans (Meilans Farm), followed by 3. Garde-Ulanen-Regiment supported by 3. Reserve-J?ger-Bataillon with half of 7. Batterie. The 95. Brigade with Karabiner-Regiment, 4. Reserve-J?ger-Bataillon and half of 7. Batterie were soon able to occupy Fredriksberg railway station and ran into tough defenders in the workers suburbs of T?l? and Hermanstad. 12. Batterie, as the reserve battery, was to support 95. Brigade on 13 April.

The troops advanced into the Old Town, supported by fire from the fleet on the Reede, and were involved in street fighting at the Swedish Theatre, in Brunspark, at the railway crossings in T?l? and into the Old Town, with 8. Batterie and 7. Batterie contributing with great success. By the evening, the Old Town was in German hands. Finnish White Guards who had been locked in cellars helped to restore peace.

On 13 April, General Wolf surrounded the suburbs of T?l? and Hermanstad. The available artillery - 4. Batterie of 2. Garde-Fussartillerie-Regiment, 12. Gebirgs-Kanonenbatterie, half of 7. Batterie - joined in the capture of T?l?s. Between 2 and 4 p.m. the batteries were silent, since the enemy offered to negotiate once more, which resulted in the announcement that white flags would be raised from the roofs of the houses. When this actually happened at 4.15 p.m., it was no longer necessary to continue fighting and the workers suburbs of Helsingfors were occupied by the waiting troops.

At midday on the same day, the divisional commander took part in celebrations on the capture of the Old Town; in the evening, the Old Town and the suburbs were occupied by strong formations. Among them was also the 8. Batterie. From 14 to 16 April, the necessary orders were issued, delegations were received, white Finnish occupation battalions were raised, a Finnish J?ger brigade was created and trained and a Finnish volunteer field artillery detachment was established at the request of the detachment and artillery commander. On 16 April, the men who had been killed in the fighting to liberate Helsingfors, including members of the mountain artillery detachment, were buried. The funeral ceremony was attended by all of the inhabitants at the Honour Square, between the Andre and Boulevardsgatan.

Edited by David Gregory
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My guy knew your guy. :rolleyes::cheers:

Fritz Spiegelberg, ALSO 1st Machine Gun Company of Reserve J?ger Battalion 3 in Finland:

[attachmentid=19861]

Photo from his 1937 Wehrpass:

[attachmentid=19862]

(he was an "artiste," aka played the piano)

Having been wounded and sent home already, this was the version of HIS Medal of Liberty 2nd Class that got sent along (though I have the same printed version as yours above to a Saxon Karabinier Regiment member. Stamped Frh v d Goltz "signature" on that, but looks like ??? a REAL autograph on your EK2 document?)

[attachmentid=19863]

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Curiously offhanded about his exact military service and paperwork (I also have a discharge for him from the Berlin Sicherheitspolizei in 1919 and several free travel permits-- from the Nazis and Soviet Occupation--as a "cultural artiste") he applied late for the Finnish 1918 campaign medal, as this shows paperwork submitted back and forth. No campaign medal document in this group:

[attachmentid=19864]

Notice that per this, although he received the DOCUMENT for a Medal of Liberty 2nd Class in 1918, he never actually got the medal itself until this 1935 transaction. So when we find groups with medals NOT hallmarked from 1918, that doesn't necessarily mean they were "replacements" or "duplicates"-- FIRST ISSUE medals were still belatedly being handed out this late! (It would be interesting to see if silver MoL 1sts, which were year-hallmarked, show such late issue dates on medal bars. The ones I have are all 1918s.)

Small world, ain't it tho' ? :ninja:

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My guy knew your guy. :rolleyes::cheers:

Fritz Spiegelberg, ALSO 1st Machine Gun Company of Reserve J?ger Battalion 3 in Finland:

(he was an "artiste," aka played the piano)

Having been wounded and sent home already, this was the version of HIS Medal of Liberty 2nd Class that got sent along (though I have the same printed version as yours above to a Saxon Karabinier Regiment member. Stamped Frh v d Goltz "signature" on that, but looks like ??? a REAL autograph on your EK2 document?)

You mean... My guy was your guys boss :P

The signature was in coloured pencil.

Small world !!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Pauls' EK2 document is apparently from the stocks of 12th landwehr-division, from which the staff of Ostsee-Division was formed from. His MoL2 document however is especially made for the Division. But more interestingly, Spiegelberg's CoL2 is given right after the war, but Pauls' is issued when Germans started to leave the country (last ones left 12.12). Spiegelberg might have gotten his award because he got wounded. Pauls on the other hand might have been an instructor for the new Finnish army during his stay, and got his medal for that. or, then it's one of those thousands of "thanks-for-being-around" -awards of November 1918, mentioned in

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=1166&st=40

Anyway, nice documents, and rare to see two from the same unit.

Pete

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Here is the award document for the commemorative medal issued to Wilhelm Brey of Bavarian Gebirgs-Batterie 8. There is a fairly good chance that his path also crossed that of the men from RJB3.

[attachmentid=20827]

This postcard showing Helsinki/Helsingfors was sent by a member of 2. Reserve-Kompagnie, Magdeburgisches J?ger-Bataillon No. 4 to his wife on 1 May 1918.

[attachmentid=20830]

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