Waffen SS flak units

German SS and Waffen-SS 1923-1945.
charlie don't surf
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Post by charlie don't surf » Sat Apr 24, 2004 3:03 pm

Anton, yes, I've been in contact with Kam. I believe he prefers German when it comes to letters.

Best regards/ Daniel

Anton
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Post by Anton » Sat May 01, 2004 6:11 pm

Thanks everyone for the help. I finnaly got my german together and wrote Kam. I have become quite facinated with him, as I´ve been reading what´s on the net.

I saw that there is a book about him in danish. Hans Kristian have you seen it? Is it any good?

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Post by Hans Kristian » Wed May 05, 2004 2:14 pm

Hi Anton
I know the book very well - i have it.

It is a good and well written and researched book called "Dansk Dødspatrulje" (danish deathsquad) by Erik Høgh-Sørensen, publ. 1998.
It actually turns around the subject of Kam´s participation in the killing of a danish reporter in sept. 1943.
Ther are 2 versions of the incident:
1. in the official documnets from the trail in Germany (St.L.II 289/43, Judge SS-Sturmbannführer Meurin), its is stated by the 2 persons charged (S.Kam and F. Helweg-Larsen) that they both did the shooting.
2. At wars end, Helweg-LArsen was captured, and on trail, he said he was the only one to shoot. When Kam asked for German citizen-ship in 1956, he said that he was lying in the SS-trail, and that Helweg-Larsen was the only one to shoot th reporter.

Lots of evidence points to the first version to be the closest to the truth, but ther a loads of other evidence to take into account. Please let me know if you want me to explain in detail.
Best regards, Hans Kristian :?

Anton
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Post by Anton » Sun May 30, 2004 4:45 am

Finally got around to scan some pictures.

Image
Fresh in uniform 16 years old january 1944.

Image
This is taken in France late 1944, my father to the left. The guy on the right side had his head blown off.

http://www.travits.se/bilder/Anton%20pr ... b00f11.jpg
Same gang with french girlfriends.

In the battle of Kolbenz they took a stand at Karola höhe (the Karola hights) west of the city. It was all cloudy so no allied air support could operate. They destroyed four sherman tanks and cleared the tanks from infantery with grenade shells. The americans withdrow and in the cover of the night the germans also moved back across the Rhine river.
They then blew up the bridges Pfaffendoferbrucke and Horchheimerbrucke. The unit took stand between the bridges on the eastern shore. But a commander futher north had not succeeded in destroying the bridge and americans where comming that way. Rumour said he was shot for the neglectance. My father was now ordered to hold the north with a machine gun together with another soldier. They shoot continously till my father saw all blood on his leg and the friend dead.

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Veteran memories

Post by LaurentR » Sun May 30, 2004 8:55 am

As has shown my interest in my own grandfathers, you can trust the description of events, names and places but dates are often wrong.

Bordeaux was evacuated by the Germans in August 1944. Part of the garnison left for Germany across Central France and was partly captured here, while the rest reaches the new front established in Eastern France in fall 1944. The other part of the garnison remains in Bordeaux area but not in the city. It holds both sides of the Gironde river (so denying the access of Bordeaux port to Allied ships) until April 1945 when French took both German positions.
No unit in these Atlantic "Festung" was able to retreat accross France after they were surrounded. None ever try to be precise. So your father probably was part of the 1944 retreat.

You "late 1944" picture is obviously taken during the summer.

As for the other points of the story,

_ "But a commander futher north had not succeeded in destroying the bridge and americans where comming that way. Rumour said he was shot for the neglectance."

This probably refers to Remagen bridge, taken on March 7th by the US.

_ "During the retreat they moved forth and back on small roads and through forests in order not to be involved with the enemy. Though from the start of the Moselle upto Koblenz they had regular contact with the enemy."

Most units retreating from SW France in summer 1944 use small roads to hide from Allied planes, and not from Allied units that were not there. Taking such small raods increase the risk of guerilla ambushes, that were responsible for high losses and sometimes capture of entire units, but the air danger was worst. From Moselle to Koblenz, the unit should be reintegrated to the frontline and so have fought a slow fighting withdrawal.

_ "My father has bad memory on the exact dates. But he remember that he was at Koblenz on his birthday March 13. He thus got wounded on March 14 1945."

If he remembers his friend's name, you can check his death date (and place) at http://www.volksbund.de/graebersuche/content_suche.asp

_ "As for the Lancasters, I am told they had 16 rings on their gun, one for each confirmed hit. I will ask him again about the Goebbles episode."

It is perfectly possible that they were told that they shot down 16 bombers but the number is probably much lower. They were hundred of guns in Berlin area during 1943 and they shot down less than a hundred bombers. Most of the planes lost in the area were shot down by night fighters. And of course it was almost impossible to say who shots down who in the Berlin battles of late 1943.
As for the Goebbels visit, I will say that is classical propaganda show, as do all politicians and generals everywhere. "Well done chaps, continue like that, what would you like to have to do a better job ?" And the answer is forgotten by the big guy as soon as it has been said. The fact that they received a new gun is propably unrelated to the Goebbels visit, but rather to the fact that RAF raided many times Berlin in late 1943 and so defences were reinforced. The dancing girls are porbably the only part where Goebells (or rather his subordonates) have done something.

To end this long post, my best advice would be to post anotehr question about wich SS unit was in Koblenz area on or around 14 March 1945. The Flak unit of your father may have changed of name (becoming a PAK unit) or be included in a Kampfgruppe. So ask for any SS unit and for the commander's name. Names may remember somebody to your father. Once you have an unit, dig in the archives. And find more people and place names.

One of my grandfathers served in the French Army in 1940. His story was rather confuse but after a long time he said that soldiers from Madagascar were in his unit and that he trained in Perpignan, S France. By chance only one unit in France has soldiers from Madagascar and this unit trained in Perpignan. So I was able to find in the French archives the story of the unit and the name of my grandfather, who was a sergent and a squad leader. And I then provide him with a map of the area of the last battle of his unit. That brings far more memories of his past... and the final story was far more precise and bloody than the initial one.

Good luck

Anton
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Post by Anton » Sun May 30, 2004 11:13 am

You are absolutely right about the dates. He was 17 scared and confused. We have never gored in the stories, it has been more of forgetting and not talking about the war. So there are few dates that I trust.

He told me that when they where stationed at Karola höhe, there came a local priest on a bicycle with a white flag on his way toward the americans. My fathers unit shoot him away with their 88.

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Post by Anton » Mon May 31, 2004 5:36 am

As for the date of leaving the Bordeaux area he can stretch it back to November.

On 20 juli 1944 he reached Danzig on leave. The same day that Hitler escaped the assasination attempt. All leave passes where imediately withdrawn and he had to go back to France on the same day.

In August 1944 he took a train from France up to Rugen at the Baltic sea, for a Naval officers training camp. But he did not pass the physicals (he had to box against some dude that muched him up), so he returned to France.

The unit commander was Oberleutnant Kees and after being vergatted, turned into SS, Sören Kam. As I understood it Kees was the flak-specialist and their teacher.

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Post by LaurentR » Mon May 31, 2004 6:26 am

November 1944 is coherent with the Mosella battle, that was fought around this date.

But Bordeaux has been liberated (in fact evacuated by Germans) in end August 1944.

In fall 1944, every village in liberated France has its guerilla unit, mostly men that joined the French Resistance after liberation or some days ago. Most of the ten of thousands of volunteers that joined the maquis in summer 1944 were at the time on the frontline with Allied armies or allready dead or wounded or in German captivity. Anyway, I can't see how a motorized column like your father's can slip from the Atlantic coast to Mosella in this condition without ever being noticed.

Can you check if the Danzig leave and Rugen school were not during the same trip. In 1944, a trip Bordeaux-Danzig may last more than one week... so Bordeaux-Danzig-Bordeaux-Rugen-Bordeaux will take probably one month. Possible but he will probably remember that. In fact in August 1944 a prisonner train starting from Bordeaux arrived at the German border weeks later (don't remember the exact number, between 2 and 4).

Anton
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Post by Anton » Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:24 am

He was in the Bordeaux area defending the pens (that he never saw), not the town. They moved on small roads through small villages. They never saw any resistance, and my father still think that they where formed after the liberation. Like the fenomomen of the vanishing nazis in Germany after the war.

The train rides did not take spectacular long time. They where military trains and had priority. He also states that it was two separate journeys.

On one occation he had to change train when the station was attacked by air. My father took shelter with an SS-officer behind a couple of barrels. When the plains had past the officer suggested that they run to a better shelter some 100 meters away. He ran, but my father was to terrified to move. What he did not see was the plains comming with the sun in behind. They tore the officer to pieces. My father saw first hand the value of being a coward. LOL

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Post by Anton » Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:12 pm

Sorry I have not been back here for a while. I have moved down to Malaga, Spain and have been quite bussy. Unfortunately my father died two weeks ago, not from cancer, but from a hart attack. So I am back helping my mother a bit and also scanning more pictures and documents.

I am more motivated in writing my family history, not nessecary to get published, but for my future generations to read. In order to understand the horror of war and the thinking of germans in those times.

I found a draft for a book of his life in his papers. Much about the feelings and situation untill 1944, but as pointed out the dates are not totally reliable. The whole school class was drafted, 27 fifteen year old boys. They burried 16 of them before my father was hit himself.

Thanks again for all help.

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