Kampfgruppe Scherer and the Cholm pocket 1942

German campaigns and battles 1919-1945.

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Risto
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Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 9:40 am

Kampfgruppe Scherer and the Cholm pocket 1942

Post by Risto » Fri Jan 10, 2003 12:50 am

Hi all,

Im researching the encirclement battle of Cholm during that took place
during the first 5 months of 1942. What im looking for is detailed
information on the units and their equipment that fought in this battle.

So, here are a few questions I have:

1) I know the germans in Cholm had very little support weapons (a few mortars and pak guns), but exactly what weapons were they and how many?

2) I know there were elements of a luftwaffe unit inside Cholm, but were there any AA guns inside the Cholm pocket?

3) There were also some naval transport units there, what type of vehicles
did they have and how many?

4) I have read somewhere that there should have been a small detachement of waffen ss soldiers inside Cholm. Other sources say that there was a small police unit. So which was it? Police or WaffenSS or both?


I now these questions seem a bit "geeky" but I really need the answers :)

Best Regards,
Risto

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jmark
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Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2002 4:39 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by jmark » Sat Jan 11, 2003 5:57 am

I'm not sure if the following will answer your questions but I'm sure there's something useful in there. This is a nice summation about the units at Cholm written by Stephen Kelly.

I also have a few books about Cholm. The Oskars Perro book, the original "Kampfgruppe Scherer - 105 Tage eingeschlossen" by Richard Muck, and the republication of this book called "Circle of Fire". If you want, I could look some other info in those for you.

Hope it's of some use.

Jason Mark



The Siege of Fortress Cholm by Stephen Christopher Kelly

I. PREFACE
II. ENCIRCLEMENT
III. SIEGE
IV. RELIEF
V. EPILOGUE

THE COMPONENT UNITS OF "KAMPFGRUPPE SCHERER"

Das Heer

Kommando 8
An unknown battalion of mountain troops detached from their parent unit, apparently from Wehrkreis XVIII {Carinthia-Styria/Kaernten-Steiermark}.

122.Infanterie-Division
Raised in Wehrkreis II {Mecklenburg-Pomerania} in September 1940, this division fought at Novgorod, Lake Ilmen and Mga with I.Korps during 1941. Sent to relieve II.Korps at Demyansk early in the following year, it broke the Siege of Cholm on 5 May 1942 and subsequently the Siege of Demyansk in February 1943. The division fought in the Battle of Nevel in 1944 before departing for Finland. Arriving in Helsinki, it left on 29 July 1944 and was a factor in the defection of Field Marshal Mannerheim and the subsequent declaration of war on Finland's former allies. Retreating though Estonia, it was cut off in the Kurland Peninsula in October 1944.
~Infanterie-Regimenter 409, 411 & 414.

123.Infanterie-Division
Raised in Wehrkreis III {Brandenburg}, this division crossed the Soviet-Polish frontier in June 1941 with Heeresgruppe Nord and fought at Dvinsk and the drive on Leningrad. During the Soviet Winter Offensive 1941-1942, it covered 50 miles of frontage on the southern flank of Heeresgruppe Nord and was destroyed by the convergence of four Soviet armies. On 9 January 1942, the Soviets finshed off the organized remnants of the division at Lake Seliger, although some elements managed to escape into both the Cholm and Demyansk Pockets. Apparently re-united and re-inforced, it re-emerged in late 1943 during the battles for Zaporozhe in Ukraine but was eliminated from the German Army Order of Battle in February 1944 after being finally run to earth in the battles around the lower Dniepr River and disbanded.
~Infanterie-Regimenter 415, 416 &418.

218.Infanterie-Division
Landwehr reservists were mobilized in summer 1939 to form this Wehrkreis III {Brandenburg} unit in Spandau. After participating in both the Invasions of Poland {1939} and France {1940}, it was sent to occupy Denmark in 1941, where its age structure was made normal. Sent to the northern sector of the Soviet Union later that year, some of its elements were encircled at Cholm while assigned to other groups. This division was not re-united under its own headquarters until December 1943. Cited for its defense of the Saare Island in 1944, it retreated across Estonia and into the Kurland Peninsula in Latvia where it was cut off in October 1944.
~Infanterie-Regimenter 323,386 & 397.

329.Infanterie-Division
Known as the "Hammer Division" because of its unit symbol, this Wehrkreis VI {Rheinland-Westphalia} division was formed in late 1941 and divided between several parent units. The 553.Infanterie-Regiment was encircled at Cholm while the remainder of the division fought to free II.Korps from its siege at Demyansk, 1942-1943. It was briefly attached to Heeresgruppe Mitte for the Battle of Nevel in 1944, anmd subsequently retreated though Estonia into the Kurland Peninsula in Lativa where it was trapped in October 1944.

281.Sicherungs-Division
Raised on the northern sector of the Russian Front in 1941, its primary mission was line of communications and rear-area security duties in a partisan-infested area. Encircled at Cholm on 28 January 1942, the 386.Sicherungs-Regiment fought at Demyansk from November 1942 to February 1943. This division was destroyed in the Soviet Summer Offensive of 1944.
~Sicherungs-Regimenter 107, 281 & 386.

285.Sicherungs-Division
Formed in Russia during late 1941, this unit was somehow affiliated with Wehrkreis V {Baden-Württemburg}. Its primary mission was line of communcations and security duties in a partisan-infested rear-area and was completely encircled at Cholm during the early months of 1942. It participated in the withdrawal from Leningrad and was destroyed in the Sovet Summer Offensive of 1944. What remained of the division was, by September 1944, under the operational command of the 20.SS-Freiwillige-Grenadier-Division "Estnische Nr. 1" as it faced the opening battles which resulted in the Kurland Pocket. The division was disbanded shortly thereafter.
~Sicherungs-Regimenter 113 & 322
~Füsilier-Kompanie 285

Deutsches Feldpolizei

65.Reserve-Polizei-Abteilung
Composed of field police personnel, this unit was on garrison duty in Cholm when the city was surrounded. In May 1942, the unit was rotated to a rear area in Latvia and re-designated SS-Polizei-Abteilung 65 "Cholm".

Kriegsmarine
Reportedly a battalion of transport drivers.

Luftwaffe
Reportedly a ground infantry unit composed of air and maintenance crews.

Foreign Personnel
Reportedly a number of Latvian medical orderlies, nurses and a physician. Additionally, Perro {p.76} claims he was a member of an independent security squad made up of eight Latvian army infantrymen and seven German army infantrymen. According to Perro, all of the Latvians including himself and five of the Germans were casualties by the first week in May 1942.

Generalleutnant Theodor Scherer {17 August 1889 - 17 May 1951}

23 October 1910 Promoted Leutnant in Bavarian Infanterie-Regiment 12.
30 August 1920 Retired and entered Bavarian Police.
1 October 1935 Appointed Oberstleutnant with a patent {1 June 1934} {31a1} and given command of II Battalion{Aschafenburg}, Infanterie-Regiment 87, 9.Infanterie-Division.
1 January 1937 Promoted Oberst.
12 October 1937 In staff of Infanterie-Regiment 111.
1 April 1938 Commandant of Infanterie-Regiment 56 {Ulm},5. Infanterie-Division.
13 June 1940 -
15 September 1940 Commandant of Infanterie-Regiment 507.
1 November 1940 Promoted Generalmajor.
4 March 1941 -
25 September 1941 Commandant of Hauptquartier-OKH.
1 October 1941 -
18 May 1942 Commandant of 281.Sicherungs-Division.
22 February 1942 Awarded Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
5 May 1942 Given 92nd award of the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
5 September 1942 -
1 November 1942 Commandant of 34. Infanterie-Division.
1 November 1942 Promoted Generalleutnant.
2 November 1942 -
25 January 1944 Commandant of 83.Infanterie-Division.
15 April 1944 -
30 August 1944 or
25 September 1944 Inspekteur für den Küstenschütz beim Wehrmacht Befelshaber Ostland.
17 May 1951 Died in automobile accident.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Army Group North.
by Werner Haupt.
Schiffer Publishing, Atglen...

Circle of Fire: The Epic Siege of Fortress Cholm.

Fortress Cholm.
by Oskars Perro.
Privately published, Toronto, 1992.

Hitler's Legions: The German Army Order of Battle, World War II.
by Samuel W. Mitcham.
Stein and Day Publishers, Briarcliff Manor, 1985.
Leaping Horseman Books
Specialising in books about Stalingrad and the Eastern Front
*** NEW BOOK! Croatian Legion ***
http://www.leapinghorseman.com.au

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