German Penal Battalions

German Heer 1935-1945.

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Janek19801119
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German Penal Battalions

Post by Janek19801119 » Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:22 pm

Hello,
Can You give me some informations about german Penal Battalions:
- how many of thouse battalions were rised during the war?
- what were the reasons for sending solider to souch unit?
- how could solider "rehabilitate" himself?

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mightythor99
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penal units

Post by mightythor99 » Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:26 pm

there were penal battalions, and there were penal units inside regiments/divisions, etc.
depending on what the soldier had done, determined what his penalty was. i have a feldpost group (group of letters) from a 1st lt, who was in charge of the penal unit for his unit, which was the 88th panzer artillery (motorized). in the letters, he talks about the soldiers a little, basically, they hated the army, hated army life, did not want to fight, did not want to be in service, etc. they were not allowed to carry firearms. they built bunkers, built or worked on roads, unloaded trucks, and that kind of work. he had to stay on top of them all the time, and hated the job. he had one or two sgt's, other then that, he was it for 30+ men. he kept writing his commanding officer, wanting to be a battery commander again, and was given the chance, then 3 or 4 months later, was killed in the kursk offensive. bad luck!
I am interested in buying / trading for photo albums, photo groupings, diaries, feldpost groupings,etc, from any country in the world, any army/navy, etc, mostly 20th century!!

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Christoph Awender
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Post by Christoph Awender » Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:14 pm

First basic mistake is that there were no "Penal batallions" in the Wehrmacht when you translate it as "Strafbataillon"

There were several types of units which were related to disciplinary matters

A) (Feld-) Strafgefangenen-Abteilungen which consisted of soldiers which were condemned to prison for longer than 3 months (for a list of reasons). These Abteilungen were used for hard, dangerous labour for example in partisan endangered areas.

B) Strafvollstreckungszüge of divisions and armies consisted of soldiers condemned to prison under 3 months. There were always strict regulations what kind of crime the soldier did to come into such a unit.

C) Infanteriebataillone z.b.V.500, 540, 550, 560, 561, 609 consisted of soldiers which were condemned to probation. These units were supplied and treated nearly as normal units but used for special dangerous "missions". Usually these soldiers had to make their probation in their field unit and were transferred to these Inf.Btls.z.b.V. when their unit was not at the front or did no actions where the soldiers could stand the test.

D) Feld-Sonder-Bataillone consisted of soldiers fullfilled their prison time but are not accepted in their field unit again because of deficiencies in character.

E) The "999" units are not such units because they consisted of soldiers who were not "worthy to serve" (Wehrunwürdig) - so they were not condemned by a court in prior.

F) The Waffen-SS had also probation units (SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 500, SS-Sturm-Btl 500, SS-Brigade ''Dirlewanger'') which consisted of soldiers from Straflager und Wehrstraflager. In these Straflager and Wehrstraflager (comparable to a KZ) they had to do very hard labour without being supplied properly and if someone survived them he was "endangered" to get into one of these units like the Brigade Dirlewanger.

Paddy Keating

Post by Paddy Keating » Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:30 am

Not all of the recruits to SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 500 were B-Soldaten. Estimates of the percentage of disciplinary cases in the battalion in the beginning, from November 1943 to, say, March 1944, vary from 60% to 80%. I would tend towards the lower figure. The few remaining B-Soldaten still with the battalion were rehabilitated in the autumn of 1944.

PK

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mightythor99
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my mistake on my last post........for penal battalions

Post by mightythor99 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:30 am

:oops:
my feldpost group is from an oberleutnant, (older man, who was training artillery troops in prague area when russian campaign began, and wanted to rejoin his "old unit". he got his wish, but was made the leader of the trouble maker group, and hated it. he talks only a little bit about what they were doing, but he did not like being in charge of that unit at all,..........they were not a "motivated" bunch of guys,..........they did not like following orders, etc. they built many bunkers, cut down lots of trees, hauled lots of lumber, and that kind of thing. he kept badgering his higher ups, to make him a battery chief again, and they finally put him back in there.........then was overrun by the russians and he was killed july 12th, '43, near orel/kursk. probably when the penal group was overrun, they were un armed, so went that much faster. bad timing................
I am interested in buying / trading for photo albums, photo groupings, diaries, feldpost groupings,etc, from any country in the world, any army/navy, etc, mostly 20th century!!

blurrededge
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Re: German Penal Battalions

Post by blurrededge » Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:00 pm

Hello,

Just a note to say that there is a 'Penal' belt buckle, which has no Third Reich markings. It is the same oblong shape and uses the same attachment method as a normal buckle. I have no picture but this is a description, slight dimple finish to back ground, raised center with three or four circle bands inside each other. Inside these circle bands a large number of raised dots, these are about 2/3mm in diameter. When you see one it reminds of the bees/beehive. as in one of many. Many people confuse the 'Condor' legion belt buckle as a an 'penal' buckle, I don't believe it is.

blurred......

Juergen Fritz
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Re: German Penal Battalions

Post by Juergen Fritz » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:09 pm

Hello greetings!
I try to found more INFO on the Penal Units belt buckle?I got one marked Nolte&Berg 43 (N&B 43) :D
give it any Photos on this from the Wartime?
best Regards
Jurgen
P.S.Tis Buckles(maybe made on old Tools still for Sale $125-150!) :?

Juergen Fritz
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Re: German Penal Battalions

Post by Juergen Fritz » Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:35 am

Hello again
:wink: I just read on "Wehrmacht awards" most denie the Buckles are from the wartime-made later(unknown reasons?on original Tools?)-but also one mentioned that he found (with others) in 1947 such as Described Penal unit Buckle??That looks to me the exists in the war?(In 1947 nobody want such Buckles anyway why make them?)I know "Denazified" Buckles were used by the Police ecet.The just filed the Eagle&swastica off (also on the Tszako was worn still for a While Swastika drillt out the emblem)!)
I had a "heatet Discussion" on War relic Forum the"Big Wigs" sayed all "rubbish" made in 1970s! to sell better on Collectors market??(still on for $125-150.-) 8)
But I read in the Book of Sven hassel(warstorys Bestsellerwriter) he was in Penal Unit in Russia IIWW and mentioned that the Wore Buckles without III Reich insignia?
An Friend now 86 also believe it gave the Buckles?Only an Time Photo maybe clear all up?
Any Photo evidence ( or Time witness)really appreciatet
best Regards
Juergen :D

Juergen Fritz
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Re: German Penal Battalions

Post by Juergen Fritz » Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:41 am

Hello Paddy,Thanks for Your mail-can You show some Photos of the Units You mentioned Please?
I guess photographic Evidence could be in Germany :Bundesarchive Koblenz?
Best Regards
Jurgen 8)

MadDog
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Re: German Penal Battalions

Post by MadDog » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:37 pm

I was never clear on "z.b.V." vs. "straf". Were zbV units not straf or punishment details ?

Mad Dog

Juergen Fritz
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Re: German Penal Battalions

Post by Juergen Fritz » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:58 pm

Hello,so much I know is :z.b.V "zur besonderen Verwendung":for special Use,Straf:"Penalty"
Regards
Jurgen 8)

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