57. ID, 297. ID, 716. ID, 275. ID Need Informations

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Axel
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57. ID, 297. ID, 716. ID, 275. ID Need Informations

Post by Axel » Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:21 pm

I just get post with informations about the grandfather of my wife. He served in the time from 08.1939 in the 57. ID, from 02.1940 in the 297. ID. Then he was at Home.
After his holidays he comes to the Nachrichten-Ersatz-Kompanie 26. From 07.1942 he was in the 716. ID. In 13.06.1944 he came to the 275. ID. And the last stay was at the Reserve-Grenadier-Bataillon 328 und was prisoned by US-Troups at 10.10.1944.

There are not very much informations online available. So somebody could help me for more informations.
The Grandpa of my wife, never(!) had talk about to anybody(!) about his wartime.

Thanks for help.

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Doktor Krollspell
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Post by Doktor Krollspell » Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:26 pm

Hello Axel!

Have you tried http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de yet?


Regards,

Krollspell
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Doug Nash
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Dein Opa

Post by Doug Nash » Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:25 am

I'll check it out when I get home tonight - I have a few sources at home that may shed some light on the situation. Any idea where he was captured? Usually the Deutsche Dienststelle will tell you that information and might even have a complete copy of his file. Judging by the time he was captured and the last division he was assigned to, he may have been captured in the Aachen or Huertgen Forest area, but I will check further and get back to you tomorrow.
Cheers,
Doug
Abbott: This sure is a beautiful forest.
Costello: Too bad you can't see it for all those trees!

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Christian
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Post by Christian » Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:11 am

Here is some information about Reserve-Grenadier-Bataillon 328:
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... t328-R.htm

Is the information about your relative from WASt or his Soldbuch? Was he wounded when attached to the 275. Infanterie Division?

Christian

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Doug Nash
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Res.Inf.Btl. 328

Post by Doug Nash » Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:39 pm

Hi - Here's something I found when I was able to dig into my archives a little bit when I got home ----
According to a Situation Report submitted by Res.Gren.Btl. 328 to LXXXI Armee-Korps on 12 Sep. 1944, the battalion was involved in the fight for the town of Roetgen in the Huertgen Forest while attached to Gren.Ersatz Regiment 253. According to German records, this regiment was attached at the time to the 353rd Infantry Division, which only consisted of remnants at this point. That same evening at 2230 hours, both the Res.Gren.Btl. 328 and the Gren.Ersatz Regiment 253 were attached to the 9th Panzer Division for the defense of Aachen on the orders of LXXXI Armee-Korps.
When a Landes-Schutz Battalion holding positions near Schevenhuette abandoned them in the face of a probing attack by the US 3rd Armored Division on 15 September, Res.Gren.Btl. 328 was rushed down from its positions on the western edges of the Stolberg Corridor just south of Aachen to plug the gap, according to a telephone conversation between Commander, LXXXI Armee-Korps and the commander of the 9th Panzer Division that took place 0353 hours on 15 September 1944. They arrived in time to prevent any further American penetration of that sector that morning. Later that day, the US 3rd Armored Division penetrated the battalion's defense sector in several places and captured one of its strongponts (From Daily Situation Report, 9th Panzer Division, 1910 hours 15 September 1944). Both sides suffered extremely heavy losses that day and 9th Panzer Division accounted for the destruction of 42 US tanks. That evening, the 9th Panzer Division gave up half of its defensive sector to the 353rd Infantry Division in the south, and the 328th Res.Gren.Btl. passed under the control of the latter division. More to follow -----
Doug
Abbott: This sure is a beautiful forest.
Costello: Too bad you can't see it for all those trees!

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Res.Gren.Btl. 328 Part II in the Huertgen Forest

Post by Doug Nash » Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:23 pm

By 22 September 1944, Res.Gren.Btl. 328 and its parent unit, Gren.Ers.Rgt. 253 were defending along the Weisser Weh creek in an area called the Todtenbruch (Dead Man's Moor). Still attached to the 353rd Infantry Division, the battalion was attacked on 25 September by 1st Battalion, 60th Infantry of the US 9th Infantry Division. Extremely bitter fighting took place over the next several days, with the Germans "Clinging to their foxholes and bunkers like beggarlice," according to American survivors of the battle. On 2 October, the 353rd Infantry Division was relieved by the 275th Infantry Division and sent to a rest area near Bitburg to be reconstituted. However, only the staffs and support units were withdrawn while the fighting troops remained behind to be incorporated into the 275th Infantry Division, which was still weak. Res.Gren.Btl. 328 was sent back to the home front to resume its training mission, though all of its combat troops were attached to the Res.Gren.Btl. 453, which was still defending the Todtenbruch and the Kall Valley near Kallbrueck. An assessment of the troops under its command was carried out shortly thereafter by headquarters, 275th Infantry Division and this is what it had to say: "The equipment and arms of the older men and replacement units leaves much to be desired. Res.Gren.Btl. 328 and Landes-Schutz Btl. I/9 came directly from their training role into combat. The shortage of heavy infantry weapons places them at a particular disadvantage. These battalions have only two heavy machineguns each. They have also lost their communications section with the loss of Bunker 45." The 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry of the 9th Infantry Division renewed its attacked against the Germans defending the Todtenbruch on 6 October with overwhelming artillery fire and bombing by P-47s. Res.Inf.Btl. 453 (with the remaining men of Res.Gren.Btl. 328 attached) was hit hard between 7 and 8 October and the German front line south of Germeter along the Weisser Weh was torn asunder. Part of the German force was surrounded, and fighting devolved in some places into hand-to-hand combat. By 10 October, American forces had fought their way through the Todtenbruch after suffering appalling casualties, and had seized the village of Germeter. The few surviving German defenders withdrew on the night of 10 October.
So, if your father was captured on 10 October while assigned to Res.Gren.Btl 328, chances are that he was captured near Germeter in the Huertgen Forest.
Hope this helps -
Regards,
Doug
Abbott: This sure is a beautiful forest.
Costello: Too bad you can't see it for all those trees!

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Axel
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Post by Axel » Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:06 am

I am always be suprised, what for detailed information in this group exist.
Your information are great and I thank you very much. I will give this to my stepmother and I will tell you her reaction.
Best regards

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Doug Nash
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Res.Gren.Btl. 328

Post by Doug Nash » Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:49 am

I forgot to mention that Res.Gren.Btl. 328 was based in Aachen and had the mission of training infantry replacements for combat. When the German Westfront collapsed in late August 1944 and most of the ground combat troops in 7th Army and 5th Panzar Army were captured, killed or missing, training and replacement units, as well as Landes-Schutz, Luftwaffe Fortress, and even Police battalions were rushed to the Westwall to set up a hasty defense to buy time in order for the combat units to be rebuilt behind the front. Although the fighting efficiency of these units was generally low, they did well enough. Even when you put such troops into bunkers and give them a few cannon and machine guns, they did the job. These units in the Aachen - Stolberg - Huertgen Forest area were placed under the command and control of about 6 divisional headquarters that had lost most of their battalions and regiments in Normandy and the retreat to the Westwall. These "cadre" divisions were the 49th, 89th, 246th, 275th, 347th, and 353rd Infantry Divisions.
Abbott: This sure is a beautiful forest.
Costello: Too bad you can't see it for all those trees!

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Timm Haasler
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Post by Timm Haasler » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:52 am

Doug,

I’m a little bit surprised to see that you came to different statements regarding Gren.Ers.u.Ausb.Btl. 328 like me as you obviously used the same sources I used for my book.

The battalion was in charge of defending the first Westwall line east of Roetgen since Sept. 6th 1944. The battalion was made of young recruits and replacements for 253 Inf.Div., convalesced soldiers, volunteers that were in charge of repairing the Westwall and dispersed soldiers. The commander was LtC Friedrich Tröster and his adjutant Lt Trockenbruck.

On Sept. 12th 1944 the battalion managed to deny TF Lovelady the breakthrough through the first Westwall line. The same night the battalion, which was attached to 353 Inf.Div., came under the command of 9 Pz.Div. after 116 and 9 Pz.Div. had failed to stop the 3rd US Arm Div in front of the Westwall. Both tank divisions took over the first Westwall line during that night while 353. Inf.Div. received the order to prepare the second Westwall line between Aachen and Zweifall.

The next day TF Lovelady penetrated the Westwall east of Roetgen and the battalion fell back to Rott where it tried to block the American task force together with elements of Pz.Brig. 105. At least 4 soldiers of the battalion lost their lives at Rott. While most of the German forces at Rott fell back to the north via Mulartshütte, the remnants of the battalion withdrew to the east.

The next day CCA and CCB of 3rd US Arm Div pushed back 9 Pz.Div. from its new positions at Kornelimünster and Breinig to the northeast in the direction of Stolberg while elements of Gren.Ers.u.Ausb.Btl. 328 were still holding the second Westwall line between Zweifall and Kesternich. Following behind 3rd US Arm Div were two battalions of 9th US Inf Div (I./ and II./ US Inf Rgt 47) which reached Zweifall and the second Westwall line by late evening. 9 Pz.Div. tried everything to fill the developing gap between Vicht and Zweifall, where weak forces of 353 Inf.Div. had started to man the Westwall. Elements of Pz.A.A. 9 and Pz.Jg.Abt. 50 started to arrive in the Mausbach area during that night while two Marsch-Bataillone (Nagel and Zorn) were ordered to reinforce the Westwall between Vicht and Zweifall. Again the units of 353 Inf.Div. came under the command of 9 Pz.Div. and the staff of the division was pulled out.

On Sept. 15th the Germans had manned a new line running from Vicht via Zweifall to point 530 southeast of Raffelsbrand with the two Marsch-Bataillone Zorn and Nagel. From point 530 running parallel to road R399 to the road fork north of Lammersdorf Gren.Ers.u.Ausb.Btl. 328 was in position. During that day TF Lovelady broke through the new German line and reached Mausbach. The attempt of the task force to reach Gressenich was blocked by elements of II./ Pz.Rgt. 33. To the right of TF Lovelady US Inf Rgt 47 pushed trough the dense woods north of Zweifall and reached Schevenhütte by the end of the day. According to a report of 9 Pz.Div. Gren.Ers.u.Ausb.Btl. 328 was still holding the strong points 6, 7 and 10 (belonging to the first Westwall line) at 17.30 hrs. There is no sign or proof that the battalion was engaged in support of the German defenders at Schevenhütte when it came under command of 353 Inf.Div. again at 18.30 hrs by order of LXXXI. A.K.

Timm

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Ken Heichler

Post by Doug Nash » Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:26 am

Timm,
So where were you five days ago when we started this exchange? I was wondering whether you would engage on this, since you're the author of the book on the 105.Pz.Bde. which was heavily involved in the Stolberg corridor.
I don't have all the sources you mentioned, only where they are cited in Ken Heichler's monograph. As you know, he did not use all of the German sources, just snapshots of individual actions as a way of illustrating what was going on at the small-unit level. His focus was on what the German and US forces were doing at the Division and Corps level - it was only by accident that Res.Gren.Btl. 328 was even mentioned in his monograph. Obviously you have the primary source material in front of you that I do not have access to (unless I go spend two or three days at the national archives). I was also able to pull out a little bit of detail from the book "Hoelle in Huertgenwald" by Trees and Hohenstein.
D. Kaeres provided me with some of the other details. Also, it was not called Gren.Ers.u.Ausb.Btl. 328, by then it had been mobilized and designated as Res.Gren.Btl. 328, at least according to Georg Tessin.
Doug
Abbott: This sure is a beautiful forest.
Costello: Too bad you can't see it for all those trees!

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Ken Heichler's Monograph

Post by Doug Nash » Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:26 am

Heichler, Lucian. The Germans Opposite VII Corps in September 1944. (U.S. Army Chief of Military History, Washington, DC, December 1952).

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Re: Ken Heichler

Post by Richard Hargreaves » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:08 pm

Doug Nash wrote:I was also able to pull out a little bit of detail from the book "Hoelle in Huertgenwald" by Trees and Hohenstein.
D. Kaeres provided me with some of the other details.
Hello Doug,

I'm very belatedly (four years!) bringing this thread back to life as I'm toying with tackling Aachen one day; cities caught in the front line seems to be growing into an obsession for me!

I see copies of Trees/Hohenstein floating around, but never cheap. Before biting the bullet, a simple question: is it any good? I'm assuming it is, as I see Hohenstein quoted sporadically (I think by Hastings and Ambrose, inter alia) so I guess he's quite a good chronicler.

The same goes for the Kaeres volume; much as I'm reluctant to trust reviews on Amazon... I'm reluctant to trust reviews on Amazon! That said, the solitary volume I have from Helios, 277 ID history, is excellent.

Many thanks. All the best.
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Re: 57. ID, 297. ID, 716. ID, 275. ID Need Informations

Post by Doug Nash » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:24 pm

Richard,
The Trees/Hohenstein book is very good - they cast a wide net for information and managed to haul in quite a bit. Trees was the journalist (still alive as of a couple of years ago) and Hohenstein was the veteran/historian. Hohenstein passed away a good while ago but if you can find the book, you'd be satisfied. They used a quantity of both German and American primary sources and some narratives which I was not able to find anywhere else.
Another really decent book is Edgar Christoffel's "Krieg am Westwall 1944/45" published in 1989. It's quite humongous, clocking in at 555 pages in 10" x 14" format - hundreds of photos and maps. The ISBN is 3-88915-033-0. If you can find it, buy it. He spends an entire chapter on Aachen.
Cheers,
Doug
Abbott: This sure is a beautiful forest.
Costello: Too bad you can't see it for all those trees!

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Re: 57. ID, 297. ID, 716. ID, 275. ID Need Informations

Post by Richard Hargreaves » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:30 am

Thanks for the help as ever Doug. Despite the numerous editions floating around I'm still surprised by how expensive the Trees book is - but it sounds like an good investment.

I've heard of the Christoffel volume before - now I know what's in it, it's one on the wants list. The price tag is a tad off-putting though. c. $150. :shock: Ouch.

There's still the small matter of the Krim/Kaukasus to get through yet (after Breslau). And Endkampf in the East. And Norway. And perhaps Austria. Or maybe France 1940. Too many ideas, too little time (and money)...
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Re: 57. ID, 297. ID, 716. ID, 275. ID Need Informations

Post by Richard Hargreaves » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:38 am

Many thanks for the tip on the Christoffel book, Doug. It's outstanding. :up:

Equally impressive (and somewhat cheaper) is Hans Kramp's Rurfront 1944/45. Definitely worth buying. I'm very glad I did. :[]
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