Hello to all
; more ...........................
With the 25. ID (Mot) in Operation Barbarossa.
Broniki, the sacrifice of II./ IR 35 (Mot) - July 1941.
The Eastern Front manifested its brutality from the beginning and later was growing up more and more. Here goes the case involved an unlucky german company which was slaughtered after being captured…………
On Jun 29 1941 at 15:00 hours, the 25 ID (Mot) relieved the 13 Pz Div at Rowno (main road hub) securing there against south, east and northeast. The enemy retreating southeastwards to Klewan broke through the road Dubno – Rowno, hence the Division had for the time being a new thread closing in from the west.
On Jun 30 1941, the Army Corps ordered that the security had to be strenghtened to the east so the IR 119 (Mot) was engaged in the direction given. Meanwhile it was ordered also that a reinforced battalion should press to the northwest in order to seize Klewan. The task was given to Hauptmann Dr. Keller’s II./ IR 35 (Mot).
On Jul 01 1941, at 06:00 hours, the battalion jumped off along the road between Klewan and Broniki in Ukraine, in spite of they met strong resistence and heavy hostile artillery fire the attack went under way until reaching a point located 1.5 kilometers east of the fork located northeast of Klewan. But around 09:00 hours, the battalion’s commander gave the withdrawal’s order towards the high ground located northeast of Broniki in order to set a defensive line there. While the Germans were carried out that movement, the Russian counterattacked from the wooded land located northwest of Orzew with two infantry battalions supported by 15 tanks. The thrust knocked the II./ IR 35’s right flank, which was being protected by the 7./ IR 35. The attack continued through Adamkowskie and Grabow onto the main road over the battalion's rear.
After this attack, parts of the german battalion (among them the 7. Company) were encircled and when they spent all their ammunition were taken as prisoners. At that time fell as POWs around 180 soldiers, most of them belonging to the II./ IR 35 ( there were soldiers from the 6./ IR 119 and the 5./ AR 60 also). Nevertheless as the sun was rising on Jul 02 1941, the IR 35 (reinforced) counterattacked and took again the whole ground lost previously.
Hence were found the corpses of 153 german soldiers; in the spot were the Judge Dr. Heinrich and Leutnant Franz Kröning, who helped to identify the bodies. Later another 12 corpses were found 200 meters away (the officers??). It was known later that seven men survived the slaughter, they had saved their lives running away or were left as dead.
From the statements of several soldiers who had escaped after the capture, it was obtained that:
1.) The Russians killed the wounded immediately by means of pistol and rifle shots, blows of butts and shovels and stabbed with bayonets. The corpses show that this has happened in the most cruel way.
2.) The other prisoners were immediately deprived of all equipment, boots, jacket and shirt. Their private property was taken away from them. Those who did not immediately comply with the order were killed or wounded by pistol shots, bayonets and blows with the butt of the rifle. The naked prisoners (around 170 - 200) were taken out of the way to a field of clovers. Some of them, about 20 men who wore rank insignia, were tied and separated from the rest. They were joined by a group of officers or political commissaries. One of them gave a speech to the other Russians and in the end shot down three prisoners with the gun. Then a wild shooting began on the prisoners, who also ws aimed the other larger group. Some of the prisoners managed to escape and, in spite of the fire of machine guns, rifles and pistols-machine guns and artillery fire, managed to reach the German troops. But most were killed on the scene or in the attempt to escape ....................
Sources: Wege eines Soldaten. Gerhard Brugmann, Heinz Gaedcke.
Erwin Boehm: Geschichte der 25. Division, Hrsg.: Kameradenhilfswerk 25 e.V., Stuttgart 1983
Cheers. Raúl M
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.