German units in Latvia, 1941

German campaigns and battles 1919-1945.

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Landsverk
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German units in Latvia, 1941

Post by Landsverk » Wed Nov 27, 2002 2:15 pm

Hello there!

I am interested in finding out more on the early phase of the Barbarossa, I am thinking of the early fighting in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. I can't find no good *detailed* sources yet..

I am wondering what German units that were in the Gulbene vicinity in Latvia, and also any German units who went from Siauliai in Lithuania...what units used the highway between Jelgava and Riga?

Lots of Qs, maybe some can be answered here...

Thanks,
Thorleif Olsson
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tigre
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Re: German units in Latvia, 1941

Post by tigre » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:08 am

Hello to all :D; a little more...................................

The Radfahr Bataillon 402 - Barbarroja 1941.

Background.

The Radf. Btl. 402 was created on April 1, 1940, in the WK (Military District) VII. The battalion was created as an army-level troop with the 1st to 3rd Cyclist Companies and the 4th Heavy Company. Later during the summer of 1942, the battalion was renamed as Radfahr Abteilung 402 (Cyclist Detachment 402) and therefore at the same time, the companies were renamed squadrons.

After the Western campaign, the Radf. Btl. 402, as an independent cyclist unit was stationed on the French coast. This unit was organized with troops from Bavaria and was therefore considered a mountain unit. In February 1941 the unit returned to Germany and moved east to prepare for the invasion of the Soviet Union (Unternehmen Barbarossa). For the invasion this unit was added to the XXVI Army Corps within the 18th Army in the Army Group North, as a reconnaissance troop at the body level. His commander was at that time Maj. Heinrich Roeckl. The Radf. Btl. 402 advanced through Lithuania and Latvia, reaching Riga on 1 July 1941 ..........................

Source: http://home.clara.net/percy/index.htm
Http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... Abt402.htm
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... IKorps.htm

Cheers. Raul M 8).
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image055.png
Unit's OoB ..........................................................
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image070.jpg
The Commander, Maj. Heinrich Roeckl (AFAIK later during the war) ..........................................
Http://www.das-ritterkreuz.de/index_image.php4?modul=show&search=5
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Re: German units in Latvia, 1941

Post by tigre » Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:26 am

Hello to all :D; a little more...................................

The Radfahr Bataillon 402 - Barbarroja 1941.

The general situation in the area of ​​the 8th Army.

The general situation existing before June 27, 1941 in the sector of the 8th (Soviet) Army described by Colonel V. Baryshev:

"While there was a fierce battle of tanks with superior forces, five infantry divisions were able to organize and move on June 26 to take defensive positions between the towns of Mazeikiai and Radviliškis in a front of approximately 110 kilometers. The front was not strong, and the army flanks were open.

To the right, the gap between the 67th Rifle Division, which defended Libau / Liepaja, and the right flank of the 10th Rifle Division reached 85 km. For this empty space the German High Command (18. AOK) sent immediately to its XXVI AK. Its 291 ID had blocked Liepaja, and the main forces were launched by the right flank of the 10th (Soviet) Rifle Corps, trying to reach the Riga District as quickly as possible.

Fight for Joniskis.

The main mission of the German infantry consisted in "advancing as fast as possible to approach the Panzer divisions on the Dvina, and, above all, to block the breach through which the mass of the Soviet troops could still escape, that is to say, the bridges over the Dvina in Riga "

To solve this problem a Kampfgruppe was created under the command of Oberst Lasch, commander of IR 43 (1. ID). This kampfgruppe was formed by the vanguards of the 1. ID, 11. ID and 21. ID, III./ IR 43, Radf. Btl 402, schw. Art. Abt 536, StuG Abt 185, 2./Fla-Btl.604, reconnaissance and engineers elements. The Kampfgruppe marched from Siauliai to Joniskis. On June 27, 1941 the German forces were to pursue the enemy along the Siauliai - Mitau highway. Kampfgruppe Lasch, after fighting captured Joniskis in the afternoon of June 27.

On the evening of June 27, the HQ of the 18th German Army, upon seeing the lack of organization of the opposing defense, issued to Kampfgruppe Lasch the following order: "The bulk of all divisions must immediately turn to the east and move to the Dvina between Friedrichstadt/Jaunjelgava and Jēkabpils.The kampfgruppe, should turn east from Joniskis through Bausk, seize the important bridges and then move towards Riga to take the bridges, cut off the escape of the 8th (Soviet) Army and Block the opponent on the Dvina. "

That night the 14./ IR 43 (antitank) while moving down the road to Joniskis to reinforce the Kampfgruppe had a encounter with two light tanks T-26 and scattered soldiers. The tanks were destroyed, the Soviet soldiers fled and the Germans lost an anti-tank gun ...............

Source: http://home.clara.net/percy/index.htm
Http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... Abt402.htm
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... IKorps.htm
http://refdb.ru/look/1557681.html

Cheers. Raul M 8).
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image127.jpg
Soviet units in the Baltic countries at the start of the operation...................................... ....................
Http://www.network54.com/Hide/Forum/message?forumid=116312&messageid=1027789549 (offline)
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image129.jpg
Advance of the German XXVI. AK towards Riga ..........................................
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Re: German units in Latvia, 1941

Post by tigre » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:16 am

Hello to all :D; a little more...................................

The Radfahr Bataillon 402 - Barbarroja 1941.

German units pass through Zheymyalis.

On June 28, 1941, Kampfgruppe Lasch was catching up the Soviet 125th Rifle Div, which was losing support. Arvasyavichus recalled: "At dawn it started to rain, this lasted most of the day with brief interruptions. Cloudy, this hindered the raids of enemy aircrafts and facilitated the march of the division.A few German planes came out of the clouds and dropped bombs. The division, struggling with motorized elements and German paratroopers??, left Lithuanian territory and retreated to Latvia in the direction of Bausk".

Having captured Josnikis the day before, the Kampfgruppe Lasch was reorganized during the night. At the front of the column was the advance detachment of the 11. ID and two assault guns. The III./ IR 43 and the rest of the assault guns and the antiaircrafts guns formed the bulk. The Radf. Btl 402 was moving as a rearguard. The advance detachments of the 1. ID and 21. ID, forming a column on the right flank, were ordered to advance through Kazakai, Pashvitinis, Lauksodis in the direction of Tseraukste, from where they were to attack Bausk.

The Kampfgruppe advanced from Josnikis at 06:30 hours. At that time Josnikis was attacked from the west by Soviet infantry, most likely stragglers from the 125th Rifle Div. Lasch ordered Maj. Heinrich Roeckl (Radf. Btl 402) to repell the attack with the cyclists and the rest of the force continued its march towards Bausk. The group advanced several kilometers without resistance. Burned trucks and carts lay along the road. Possibly the Soviet column had been attacked by isolated airplanes. From there the movement continued with constant skirmishes with weak Soviet elements that appeared suddenly and dispersed towards the forests.

The Kampfgruppe Lasch, directly subordinate to I. AK, marched through Zheymyalis area and thence through Bausk towards Riga. Haupt described the passage of the Kampfgruppe through Podzheymele: "Oberst Lasch allowed a short stop on the border between Lithuania and Latvia. Companies took a break, covered of aerial view under the trees near the road. Advanced posts were set to left and right. Lasch summoned the officers to discuss the future situation". After a long introduction the Oberst ordered:

The 9. and 12. Companies, reinforced by the antiaircraft guns, will form an independent group. This group will detach from the main column north of Pozheymel (Pozeimeliai) and march through Mazhbershtele (Mazberstele) towards Bausk. I will be in charge of the main force. Any of us who manage to get to the bridge at Bausk first, will conquer it, without regard to its surroundings. This was the first appearance of German troops in Zheymyalis on June 28, 1941 and the pause in the march occurred in the locality or to the north of it. Neither this day nor the following were developed military operations in the sector.

Source: http://home.clara.net/percy/index.htm
Http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... Abt402.htm
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... IKorps.htm
http://refdb.ru/look/1557681.html

Cheers. Raul M 8).
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image049.jpg
Parts of the "Kampfgruppe Lasch" (assault guns of Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 185 and riflemen of Infanterie-Regiment 43), in advance towards the city of Riga, at the end of June 1941; In the foreground a StuG III Ausf. C/D..........................
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Re: German units in Latvia, 1941

Post by tigre » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:03 am

Hello to all :D; a little more...................................

The Radfahr Bataillon 402 - Barbarroja 1941.

The fighting in Bausk.

On June 28, 1941, according to the orders of the General Staff of the 8th Soviet Army, the 28th Tank Division must travel through Bausk and to Riga. In that city, to patrol and to protect there were already tanks of the 23rd Tank Division. At 11:00 hours the 28th Tank Div was ordered to concentrate on the north shore of the Dvina near the Kegums station where it prepared for the defense at 22:00 hours. Also there, at the end of the day advanced the 23rd Tank Div under the orders of Lieutenant General Safronov to defend the crossing point. Therefore, the infantry and the artillery, that marched on the Dvina, had no armored support this day.

The motorized companies of Kampfgruppe Lasch, therefore, engaged with parts of the 125th Rifle Division and the 9th Brigade of anti-tank artillery in front of Bausk. Arvasyavichus reported: "We retired fighting, the losses grew." Not too far from Bausk a battery of howitzers suddenly found itself with the German column.The gunners dragging the howitzers of the highway, were locked in a duell with the enemy vehicles. The column was destroyed, but all the guns were left on the battlefield, and more than half of its crews were killed. "

On the outskirts of Bausk, large losses occurred in the 2nd Battalion of the 657th Rifle Regiment, Battalion Commander A. Smorkalov was wounded and taken prisoner. To the city came the schw. Art. Abt 536. The arriving units were regrouped. The Germans managed to capture the bridge over the Memel, to create a small bridgehead to the north. There get across the IIII./IR 43. The Aufkl. Abt 11 under Oberstleutnant Hans Källner was detached to protect Bausk from the east.

A bloody combat broke out southeast of the town near the village of Lauksargi, which was defended by Soviet troops with heavy artillery. Oberst Lasch sent out to the place an infantry company and an assault cannon but it was not enough. The Germans lost 17 prisoners. As a reinforcement, several assault cannons and motorcyclists arrived in Lauksargi, which burned the village and destroyed three Soviet batteries, the prisoners were recovered.

Meanwhile, Oberst Lasch received a radio message from the III. / IR 43 north of the Memel: "Troops are heavily shelled. We request support from assault guns and artillery." A new report said: "The enemy attacks the Aufkl.Abkl 11 from the east with large forces.The detachment requests artillery support." Probably the AA 11 was being attacked by the troops of the 65th Soviet Rifle Corps retreating along the route Ligumai, Linkuva, Tsereukate.

Under these conditions Lasch ordered Källner to maintain the reached positions and sent a radial message to the Aufkl. Abt 21 ordering to speed the march and reach Bausk as soon as possible (before midnight). The kampfgruppe occupied a circular position and prepared to spend the night in Bausk.

The strength of the opponent was stated by V. Richter: "In the afternoon the Kampfgruppe Lasch was able to seize Bausk after a brutal fight."

At nightfall Oberst Lasch received the order to await the arrival of the Aufkl. Abt 1 and 21, another battery of assault guns and a company of IR 23 transported in trucks. The latter was sent to protect the bridges over the Mushu, Memel and Aa. The continuation of the attack was scheduled at dawn of June 29, 1941.

Soon, in a nearby meadow landed the 18. AOK Chief of Staff, Oberst Hasse. He listened to the report of Oberst Lasch and required the plan for future actions. Lasch said: "If the promised reinforcements arrive, I feel able to start the march on Riga tomorrow. If everything goes well, we will be in the city by noon, as soon as we are able to understand the situation, we will attack. The vanguard will be composed of the 10./ IR 43, a platoon of machine guns, a platoon of the 14./ IR 43 (Atan) with three anti-aircraft guns, the battery of assault guns and a platoon of combat engineers. Its task will be to break into Riga towards the bridges and capture them.

The bulk will consist of the AA 11 and my III./ IR 43. With them the assault guns, artillery, anti-tank, anti-aircraft and Radf. Btl 402. This combat group will follow the advance guard with the highest possible speed and will secure the bridges against an enemy's attempt to break from the west.

The rest of the combat group will be composed of AA 1 and AA 21, which I hope will arrive in time "

Oberst Hasse told Oberst Lasch that from 00:00 hours on June 29, his combat group was to be subordinated to XXVI. AK.

Source: http://home.clara.net/percy/index.htm
Http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... Abt402.htm
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... IKorps.htm
http://refdb.ru/look/1557681.html

Cheers. Raul M 8).
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Oberst Otto Lasch...........................................................
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: German units in Latvia, 1941

Post by tigre » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:12 am

Hello to all :D; a little more...................................

The Radfahr Bataillon 402 - Barbarroja 1941.

Direction to Riga.

At the beginning of the war, the city garrison consisted of the Infantry School, the 5th Motorized Rifle Regiment, and the 83rd Railway Regiment of the 22nd NKVD Rifle Division. In addition, in Riga remained part of the Command and staff of the Baltic Military District, its institutions and rear elements and the head of the company headquarters.

With the approach of the enemy units were created immediately groups of volunteers of the guards workers. About half of his personnel were Jews. The limited garrison forces had to defend not only the ferry in the city, but also the river bank upstream and downstream of the city. On June 28, some isolated tanks reached Riga, which were also used for the defense of the bridges.

On June 29, 1941 at 03:10 hours the vanguard of the Kampfgruppe Lasch, under Maj. Helbig, left Bausk in the direction of Riga. The soldiers of the 10./ IR 43 were moving in light trucks. Russian positions in the north of Memel's bridgehead were previously suppressed by artillery that had been advanced. The head of the column conquered the crossing of roads in Tsodas without resistance.

The Soviets were surprised, trucks, passenger vehicles and cars were scattered around. Its drivers and passengers hid in the bushes at the roadside before the appearance of the German troops. The enemy lost his head. Just a single shot echoed behind him. The vanguard rushed forward without stopping anywhere. Few towns met on the way, there were no traces of war in them. Local residents, who could see early in the morning, paid little attention to the column. No doubt they thought they were Soviets.

Having reached the crossroads at Tsodas, the column left a 3.7-cm anti-tank weapon in order to secured to the east. The soldiers of the gun received the order to wait for the arrival of the main forces of the group, and then reach the vanguard ASAP.

As the column approached Iecava, it received artillery fire. The first grenade exploded by the assault gun without damaging it. The column stopped. The soldiers jumped from the trucks to the roadside. The bombardment intensified, but it was very inaccurate. It was not clear from where the shots came from. The Oberleutnant Geisler, Chief of the 3./ Stug Abt 185, remained calmly standing on one of the vehicles in order to determine, with his binoculars, where the enemy was. His six assault guns turned to the left of the road, crushed the bushes of the roadside, and crossed the wet meadow, leaving wide traces. The first cannon stopped and fired, followed by the second and the third. The shot was followed by another shot. The Soviets realized the danger and shifted their fires off the road to the approaching giants. But these without reacting before the fall of the projectiles, continued advancing. The enemy battery was soon suppressed.

The column continued immediately. In the trench was left a heavy weapon with the barrel and the shield smashed. A little further on the side of the road lay a howitzer. Beside the heavy tractor, with which the Soviets dragged their guns at the beginning of the war. The third and fourth were abandoned by the servants.

In his memoirs, Arvasyavichus does not mention any battle of the 125th Rifle Division near Iecava, although: "General [Bogaychuk] was concerned that in Iecava the enemy could cut off the escape routes." Intuition had not deceived him. Of Iecava clashed with German parachutists and machine guns of the "fifth column." Intense artillery fire and a sudden attack by the enemy was able to disperse and destroy.

After skipping Iecava the Germanic column soon arrived at Kekava. To get to Riga was still about 20 kilometers.

Source: http://home.clara.net/percy/index.htm
Http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... Abt402.htm
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... IKorps.htm
http://refdb.ru/look/1557681.html

Cheers. Raul M 8).
Attachments
image056.png
Stug III of the 2./ Stug Abt 185 during the advance ..................................... ......................
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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