baltics in italy

Foreign volunteers, collaboration and Axis Allies 1939-1945.

Moderator: George Lepre

Post Reply
User avatar
Lupo Solitario
Contributor
Posts: 353
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2002 12:15 am
Location: Italy, EU

baltics in italy

Post by Lupo Solitario » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:41 pm

Hi

I recently learned some baltic Schuma unit operated in Italy in 1943-45 but I can't find other data

Do you know anything about it?

thanks

Lupo

Eugene72
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:06 am

Re: baltics in italy

Post by Eugene72 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:38 am

Does any one have information about what German unit was on the Italian island of Elba from November-December 1943 until the French took the island in 1944. My father was with the Office of Strategic Services, OSS, and made a number of landings on Elba on an OP (Observation) mission to report on German re-supply shipping up and down the Italian coast. He made contact with locals out of necessity (his food was stolen) and found the German soldiers were referred to as "polacchi." I have been unable to find any references to Polish soldiers serving in the German forces, or in Italy. Does anyone have any information? Thank you.
Eugene

arturolorioli
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:38 am

Re: baltics in italy

Post by arturolorioli » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:42 am

Eugene72 wrote:Does any one have information about what German unit was on the Italian island of Elba ....the German soldiers were referred to as "polacchi." I..
AFAIK there were two german bn garrisoning Elba island, namely Festungs Bataillon 902 and Festungs Bataillon 908.

Aighe-va

Arturo FIlippo Lorioli

arturolorioli
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:38 am

Re: baltics in italy

Post by arturolorioli » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:44 am

Lupo Solitario wrote:Hi
I recently learned some baltic Schuma unit operated in Italy in 1943-45 but I can't find other data
Do you know anything about it?
thanks
Lupo
I suppose one could be the Litauer-Bataillon, reportedly attached to the 4. Fallschirmjäger-Division.

Aighe-va

Arturo FIlippo Lorioli

Eugene72
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:06 am

Re: baltics in italy

Post by Eugene72 » Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:40 am

Could you tell me where you got the information on Baltic soldiers serving on Elba? Thank you.
Eugene

alan newark
Supporter
Posts: 161
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2002 9:00 am
Location: England, UK
Contact:

Re: baltics in italy

Post by alan newark » Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:15 pm

Eugene

I have appended below some urls with info about the French liberation of Elba and the IDs of French and other Allied units involved in that operation. Along with the Festungs Bataillionen info supplied by a fellow contributor this info might give you access to Allied / French War Diaries and Ops Logs and, therefore, more info about the 'polacci' troops.

The second url leads to a lot of info about the invasion of Elba.

Best

Al:->
*****************************************************************************************************************************

http://www.cheminsdememoire.gouv.fr/pag ... Citoyen=35
The conquest for the island of Elba (Operation "Brassard")


Planned for the month of May 1944, the conquest of the island of Elba, an Italian island situated to the east of Corsica and opposite Piombino in Tuscany, along the Germans' rear lines, was initially conceived as a support operation for the Allied forces held at the time on the Gustav line and at Anzio. The taking of Rome on the 4th June meant that it lost its strategic interest, but since the layout of the island presented many similarities with the Provence coast, its execution nevertheless went ahead as a preparatory exercise.

The operation, set for the 17th June, was entrusted to the French ground forces of General de Lattre de Tassigny, in charge of the B army (which would become the 1st French army) and General Martin, in charge of the 1st French army corps, with support from the Allied air forces and navies. In total 12,000 men were involved. On the opposite side, the German garrison comprised some 3,000 men entrenched behind solid batteries, with networks of barbed wire and mine fields defending access to the island.

Foto of French landing on Elba
French landing on the island of Elba, in the Bay of Marina di Campo, 17th June 1944.
Source: History department of the Defence

Having landed in Bastia during the night of the 16th to 17th June 1944, the mission of the men from Commandant Gambiez' shock battalion was to neutralise the enemy's coastal defences and means of communication before the main landing in the Bay of Marina di Campo. Landing at 1 am with a detachment of commandos, at six different locations, five in the south and one in the north, they launched themselves into attacking their targets. Taking advantage of the element of surprise, they were able to seize the majority of the most dangerous batteries.

Supported by fire from the British fleet, General Magnan's 9th colonial infantry division, Commandant Bouvet's African commandos and Colonel de la Tour's Goumiers (African auxiliary soldiers) landed in turn, to be met with strong resistance. Control of the beach at Marina di Campo was not secured until the afternoon. Sustaining some harsh fighting, French troops continued with their advance.

On the 18th June, the island's capital, Porto Ferraio, fell. On the 19th the whole island was occupied. On the 20th the last pockets of resistance were overcome.

More than 2,000 men were taken prisoner. Enemy losses amounted to more than 500 dead.

For the French, the operation accounted for 250 dead or missing and 600 wounded.


******************************************************************************************************************************
http://www.combinedops.com/Elba%20-%20Op%20Brassard.htm

In his post-operational report (W.O. 204/1473. PRO = UK National Archives reference) to the C.in.C. Admiral Troubridge [/b]wrote: -

"The garrison of the island we had been told was under 800 Germans and reports spoke of their being preponderantly Poles and Czechs of low morale and all set for evacuation. In fact the ration strength was 2,600 Germans who fought extremely well.

The defences of Campo Bay were somewhat stronger than intelligence reports had led us to believe, and were in fact, extremely formidable. They had excavated caves in the granite cliffs flanking the beaches and installed 155 mm, 88mm and machine guns in them. Behind the beaches, exactly ranged on the likely places of disembarkation were heavy mortars.

Petty Officer Holwill of A2 commando[/b], who was afterwards billeted in the village, wrote:-
"After the island was captured, the French constructed a P.O.W. camp on the hill above Marino di Campo and as we did not like the brutal treatment the French meted out, we asked for six Germans (English speaking) as a working party every morning. We learnt that they:

were crack Herman Goering Panzer Grenadiers who had been sent from the Russian Front to strengthen the German/Italian front,
• had seen the activity at Bastia (On Corsica) from Mount Rambone and knew we were coming to Elba 24 hours before we arrived,
• were able to lay the Land Mines on the Jetty with cables going to one of the houses from where they could be detonated,
• had evacuated the civilians from the Village.
www.dpcamps.org (1st Vice-President)

Paul E
Supporter
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2002 4:09 am
Location: England / Estonia
Contact:

Re: baltics in italy

Post by Paul E » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:48 am

Lupo Solitario wrote:Hi

I recently learned some baltic Schuma unit operated in Italy in 1943-45 but I can't find other data

Do you know anything about it?

thanks

Lupo
Certainly no Estonian Schuma units were deployed in Italy , possibly Latvian but i have no info on them !

cheers

Paul

alan newark
Supporter
Posts: 161
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2002 9:00 am
Location: England, UK
Contact:

Re: baltics in italy

Post by alan newark » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:47 pm

Hi, Lupo/guys

Acccording to Osprey's 1983-2004 'Men At Arms' series work 'Partisan Warfare' by Peter Abbot and Dr Nigel Thomas (books.google.vo.uk\books?isbn=0850455138) there was a (un-named) Latvian Schuma battalion in Italy (when?) with others fighting partisans in, for example, 'Byelorussia and the Ukraine and one in Yugoslavia'.

The above authors continue: 'In May 1943, they (NB: the Latvian Schuma Batallions) were re-designated Lithuainian Police Battalions serving in German Police Uniforms; and in April 1944 all Schuma were renamed Lithuanian Police'.
**********************************************************************************************************************************
Latvian Schuma battaliosn of course served in various guises with SS and similar units throughour the Russian Frone and Eastern Europe.

Besten

Al:->
www.dpcamps.org (1st Vice-President)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron