A 6th Hochgebirgs-Jager-Bataillon??

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Jason Pipes
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A 6th Hochgebirgs-Jager-Bataillon??

Post by Jason Pipes » Mon Sep 30, 2002 12:53 am

In doing some research on the 5.Gebrigs-Division I stumbled upon some excellent info regarding a relatively unknown late war operation in northwestern Italy against the 92nd US Infantry Division known as Operation Winter Storm. During this operation over Christmas 1944 a mixed group German infantry and mountain troopers and Italian RSI troops pushed back an entire US division from it's positions and managed to retake a section 20km wide and 8km deep into enemy territory. It's especially interesting in that this operation took part during the much more well known Battle of the Bulge on the Western Front.

Anyway, while looking into this info I came across reference to "Hochgeb.Btl 6" stationed with the 5.Geb.Div in September of 1944, that is, according to info printed on the "Heeresgruppe C OB Sudwest Dislokation nach Lage Sudwest-Sudost" map for 16.9.44 - does anyone know if this is accurate?

All other resources I have only list 4 Hochgebirgs-Jäger-Bataillonen, numbers 1 through 4. I have never seen reference to a 6th Hochgebirgs-Jäger-Bataillone anywhere.

Can anyone confirm or deny the existance of this unit?

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Hochgebirgsjäger-Bataillon 6

Post by C.G. » Mon Sep 30, 2002 7:46 am

Dear Mr. Pipes,
AFAIK there was no Hochgebirgsjäger-Btl. 6. At least not in Italy. Operation Wintergewitter (Winterstorm) against US-Army 92 Inf.Div. in the Garfagnana region of the Apennines saw two german alpine units in action: Hochgebirgsjäger-Btl. 4 and
Lehrbataillon Hochgebirgsschule Mittenwald.
The operation was started soon after the Ardennenoffensive, but had a very limited scope.
A few documents on this operation can be found in the papers of AOK 14 and LI. Gebirgskorps. 5. Gebirgsdivision was by then in Western Alps, some 300 km away from Garfagnana. The division in cherge of the operation was 148. Infanterie-Division.
Do you already know the book "Dort, wo der Adler haust. Die Geschichte des Hochgebirgsjägerbataillon "? It contains some more detailed information.
Best regards
C.G.

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Post by Jason Pipes » Mon Sep 30, 2002 9:24 am

Thanks for the excellent reply. I didn't mean to imply that I had thought that the 5.Gebirgs-Division had taken part in the operation, only that while researching it I came upon reference to it. I was indeed very interested to know when I originally learned that the little know Lehrbataillon Hochgebirgsschule Mittenwald took part in the fighting. I have not heard of the book you mentioned, although I have many others that detail the Gebirgstruppen in great detail. I'm always on the prowl for more though! Thanks for your input!

BTW, I am guessing that the ref I found to a 6th Hochgebirgsjäger-Btl. must be a mistake.

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Geb.Jg.Btl.6

Post by Christoph Awender » Mon Sep 30, 2002 9:59 am

Hi Jason!

I only know of a Geb.Jg.Btl.6 which was Heerestruppe then with 139.Geb.Jg.Brigade and 9.Geb.Div.

Maybe they referred to this?

Christoph

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Post by Jason Pipes » Mon Sep 30, 2002 10:02 am

Well, that could be, let me look and see if I can find reference to its location in Sept 44. If it is listed as being in northern Italy than I think it would be a close fit. Somehow I recall the 9.Gebirgs-Division being operational in Norway though??

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Post by C.G. » Mon Sep 30, 2002 12:21 pm

I just checked my AOK 14 and LI. Geb.A.K. photocopies and came across this document which might be useful. It refers to Wintergewitter.
Best regards
C.G.

Kommandierender General des LI. Geb.A.K., 30.12.44
Korpstagesbefehl Nr. 51
In den Tagen vom 26.-29.12.1944 hat Gruppe Fretter Pico einem Angriff mit begrenztem Ziel beiderseits des Serchiotales durchgeführt. Kühne Planung, gründliche Vorbereitung und straffe Führung, vor allem aber Einsatzbereitschaft und Tapferkeit der Truppe haben zu einem vollen Erfolg geführt.
Der überraschende Stoss traf den Gegner unerwartet, hat schweres personelle und materielle Verluste beigebracht und ihn gezwungen, fluchtartig seine gut ausgebauten Stellungen zu verlassen. Nicht zuletzt aber wurde erneut die Hohe kämpferische Überlegenheit des deutschen Soldaten unter Beweis gestellt.
Zahlreiche Gefangene und reiche Beute blieben in unserer Hand, ein erheblicher Teil der feindlichen Truppen und Waffen sowie umfangreiche Lager aller Art wurden vernichtet.
Mit Stolz und Freude spreche ich allen beteiligten deutschen und italienischen Truppen meinen Dank und meine Anerkennung für ihre hervorragenden Leistungen aus.
Besonders hebe ich hierbei das Geb.Jäg.Lehrbtl. Mittenwald und das Hochgeb.Jg.Btl. 4 hervor, die trotz schwerster Geländeschwierigkeiten und harten feindlichen Widerstand mit Zähigkeit und hervorragendem Kampfgeist den entscheidenden Stoss in die Flanke des Gegners geführt haben.
Mit berechtigtem Stolz können wir auf diese hartem aber ruhmreichen Tage zurückblicken.
...
signed: Feurstein

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Post by Martin Schenkel » Mon Sep 30, 2002 11:48 pm

I also have a reference for a 3. Hochgebirgsjäger Bn serving in Italy. Did this Bn in fact serve in Italy? If so, does anyone have a date of arrival in Italy for the Bn, as well as the 4. Bn?
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H.Geb.Jg.Btl.3

Post by Christoph Awender » Tue Oct 01, 2002 12:54 am

Yes I see it on a Dislokation map from August 1944

Christoph

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Post by C.G. » Tue Oct 01, 2002 4:26 am

Two Hochgebirgsjäger Bn. served in Italy. Both arrived in november or december 1943 and were deployed in the Majella/Gran Sasso area. Hoch 4 fought at Montecassino, Hoch 3 in the area of the Aurunci Mountains (not completely sure on this). In June 1944 both were sent to the western ligurian coast: Hoch 3 near Ventimiglia, Hoch 4 near Albenga and both engaged in antipartisan operations. Around July 20th Hoch 3 was sent to Apuanian Alps and Hoch 4 took over its old positions near the italian-french border. After August 15th (Landing of the Allies in Southern France) Hoch 4 was sent deeper into the border region, then took over with Lehrbataillon Mittenwald a sector of front in the western Alps (Gebirgsjäger-Rgt. Stab Meeralpen). Hoch 3 joined in september and was deployed at the Col de Larche with a battallion of Gebirgsjäger-Rgt. 100 (Kampfgruppe Flecker, later Bachmeier). In November Hoch 4 and Mittenwald were sent to the Apennines where they fought against US-Army and brasilian troops as well as italian partisans. They both remained there until the general retreat in april 1945. Hoch 3 became III./Gebirgsjäger-Rgt. 296 of 157. Gebirgsdivision (later 8. Geb.Div.) and fought alongside with this unit until the end.
CO of Hoch 3 was Major Bader, later Capt. Alois Eisinger
CO of Hoch 4 was Major Franz von Ruffin, later Capt. Andreas Schönleben
CO of Mittenwald was Capt. Hans Ruchti.
Best regards
C.G.

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Post by Andy H » Tue Oct 01, 2002 12:25 pm

Ecellent posts CG, and just to confirm there is no listing in Tessin.
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Post by Jason Pipes » Tue Oct 01, 2002 12:31 pm

Indeed, excellent posting CG! Just for reference purposes, do you have a source for that info? Thanks again!!

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Post by Wolf » Tue Oct 01, 2002 1:18 pm

I too hve only heard of a Geb.Jg.Btl.6 which was Heerestruppe then with 139.Geb.Jg.Brigade and 9.Geb.Div.
Wolf
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Post by C.G. » Tue Oct 01, 2002 11:19 pm

Thank you for the compliments. The information I sent is based on a couple of older articles on antipartisan warfare and the Western Alps front 1944-1945 published in Italy and written - of course - in italian. A few infos come directly from original sources which weren't published yet.
By the way, the book about Hoch 4 Bn. might still be available in Germany.
Best
C.G.

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Re: Hochgebirgsjäger-Bataillon 6

Post by heinzschafheutle » Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:15 am

C.G. wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2002 7:46 am
Dear Mr. Pipes,
AFAIK there was no Hochgebirgsjäger-Btl. 6. At least not in Italy. Operation Wintergewitter (Winterstorm) against US-Army 92 Inf.Div. in the Garfagnana region of the Apennines saw two german alpine units in action: Hochgebirgsjäger-Btl. 4 and
Lehrbataillon Hochgebirgsschule Mittenwald.
The operation was started soon after the Ardennenoffensive, but had a very limited scope.
A few documents on this operation can be found in the papers of AOK 14 and LI. Gebirgskorps. 5. Gebirgsdivision was by then in Western Alps, some 300 km away from Garfagnana. The division in cherge of the operation was 148. Infanterie-Division.
Do you already know the book "Dort, wo der Adler haust. Die Geschichte des Hochgebirgsjägerbataillon "? It contains some more detailed information.
Best regards
C.G.
Hello together

Is the unit "Lehrbataillon Hochgebirgsschule Mittenwald" mentioned here really so designated? Is there any evidence for this?

It is true that there was a Hochgebirgsschule Mittenwald at Mittenwald. However, as far as I know, only the second school located at Mittenwald, the Gebirgsjägerschule Mittenwald, had a Lehrbataillon (training battalion).

As far as Operation Wintergewitter (winter storm / battle of Garfagnana) is concerned, the Hochgebirgsjäger-Batallion 4 worked together with the Gebirgsjäger-Lehrbataillon of the Gebirgsjägerschule Mittenwald. For the Lehrbataillon der Gebirgsjägerschule Mittenwald some so-called casualty reports can be found in the DHI Rome database for the 26th to the 28th of December 1944.

http://militari-tedeschi.dhi-roma.it/or ... mit=Senden

I can't find a Lehrbataillon of the Hochgebirgsschule, neither in Mittenwald nor in Italy.

Kind regards

MP
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