Panzerbrigade 150
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MarioL
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BeitragBeitrags-Nr.: 123415 | Verfasst am: 03.06.2007 - 15:01    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

ein US-Report über die umgebauten Panther

http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/ttt07/panther-tank-disguise-m10.html
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BeitragBeitrags-Nr.: 132409 | Verfasst am: 29.10.2007 - 22:17    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

http://i24.tinypic.com/34e456a.jpg
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BeitragBeitrags-Nr.: 175585 | Verfasst am: 10.09.2009 - 11:47    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Noch ein Zufallsfund von heute:

http://i28.tinypic.com/34gpo48.jpg

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BeitragBeitrags-Nr.: 175619 | Verfasst am: 10.09.2009 - 19:11    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Hallo JH,
vielen Dank für das Dokument Zwinkern

Hat vielleicht irgendjemand mal einen Bericht eines Angehörigen der Kampfgruppe des Oberstleutnants Wulf der Brigade gesehen oder gelesen?

Schadewitz hatte ja in seinem Buch verschiedene Berichte vorliegen, leider aber keinen zu besagter Kampfgruppe u n d keine von Angehörigen der Fallschirmjäger und der SS-Angehörigen der Brigade (SS-FschJgBtl. 600 und SS-Jagdverband "Mitte") Fragend

Gibt es also auch Berichte zu den Luftwaffen-Fallschirmjäger-Bataillonen „Bading“ und „Schäfer“ zum Einsatz bei der Brigade Fragend

Ein wichtiger Aspekt wegen der Identifizierung der verschiedenen Einheiten scheint mir diese Angabe zu sein: Damit wegen der unterschiedlichen Zusammensetzung der Truppe nicht alles in Heeres-, Luft-waffen- oder Marineuniform rumlief, wurde einheitlich an die Männer Fallschirmjägerkleidung ausgegeben! (Schadewitz, S.75)
Kann man diese Angabe bestätigen? Leider geht aus den mir vorliegenden Informationen keine klare Aussage hervor!! Keine Ahnung

Hallo Timo,
Du hattest auf Seite 2 bei diesem Thema einen Bericht eines dänischen Freiwilligen erwähnt …
Timo hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Das wurde durch ein Veteran am AHF Forum gepostet und das hat "Panzerass" auf Deutsch umgesetzt:
Zitat:
Ab August 1944 diente ich bei der Luftwaffen NAG3 (=Nah-Aufklärer-Gruppe 3) als Funker. Wir flogen Aufklärungseinsätze vom kleinen Flugfeld Lyck in Ostpreußen aus. Eines Tages als ich Dienst in der Fernschreibzentrale hatte, kam ein Spruch vom gKdo des RLM, Berlin, herein. ....

Ist hier vielleicht der Name des Dänen bekannt? Fragend

Herzliche Grüße Roland
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BeitragBeitrags-Nr.: 175845 | Verfasst am: 17.09.2009 - 19:31    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Martin Block hat Folgendes geschrieben:


Aber zurück zum Thema:
Laut besagtem Aufstellungsbefehl vom 10.1.1945 sollte der Pz.Gren.Brig. 92 zunächst die z.Zt. in Milowitz zur Auffrischung befindliche 1./Pz.A.A. 2 (2. Pz.Div.) vorübergehend zugeteilt werden. Bereits 3 Tage später am 13.1.1945 wurde dies jedoch abgeändert.

Martin Block




Hallo, laut Vorschlag zur Abwicklung Pz.Brig.150 vom 8.2.45 sollte die

Einheit Seidler (1./A.A.2)

zum Arbeitsstab Pz.Aufkl.Tr.Übungsplatz Milowitz zur Eingliederung in die Pz.A.A.2 verlegt werden. Deswegen vermutlich die Änderung des Aufst.Befehls für die "92" im Januar.

Wann erging der offizielle Auflösungsbefehl für die Pz.Brig.150??

----

War die 1./Pz.A.A.190 auch bei der "150"? (im Dezember ist neben den Auffr.Daten vermerkt "im Sondereinsatz")

danke Uwe
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BeitragBeitrags-Nr.: 175942 | Verfasst am: 20.09.2009 - 11:17    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Ich glaube kaum, daß man es geschafft hat, die Männer der Brigade einheitlich zu kleiden. Es hat ja nicht mal bei der gröberen Ausrüstung der Planung entsprechend geklappt, geschweige denn im größeren Rahmen der Offensivplanung.

Nicole
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BeitragBeitrags-Nr.: 208110 | Verfasst am: 12.03.2017 - 01:00    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Jan-Hendrik hat Folgendes geschrieben:
Was mir grade so auffällt : Der Hauptmann Scherf , der Gruppe Y führte , war "unser" Hauptmann Dr. Walter Scherf von der 3./sPzAbt. 503 ! Danach war er Kommandeur der sPzJgdAbt. 512 .


Jan-Hendrik



meine deutsche is nicht gut ...
a couple questions

Otto Skorzeny forwarded his plans and requirements for Operation Greif to the OKW Chief of Staff Generaloberst Jodl within five days of receiving his mission tasking at the Fuehrer Headquarters. Although his request for personnel and equipment might have been considered somewhat optimistic, (a 3300 man full panzer brigade in addition to the commando unit), he was promised unlimited support for his mission by the Jodl. German forces had undoubtedly captured American equipment and uniforms, and number of Germans had traveled to or even lived in America, and were thus familiar with the language. Although seemingly possible, the reality of assembling the force turned out to be a different matter. It started with material problems. Despite the pledge from Jodl, Skorzeny was obviously aware that the collection of a large quantity of captured American equipment would be no simple task, if for no other reason than the front-line units holding and using the needed tanks or jeeps would be unwilling to freely give them up. As a result he wrote to the Chief of Staff of Oberbefehlshaber West (OB West) Gen Siegfried Westphal on November 2 1944 and requested assistance in gathering the required equipment for the operation. Thus was born Rabenhugel.

Rabenhugel was the code name for the requisition and collection of the American equipment and uniforms for Operation Greif conducted on the Western front during the month of November 1944. As part of Rabenhugel, the Ober Quartiermeister of OB West, Oberst John, was tasked to locate 15 tanks, 20 armored cars, 20 SP guns, 100 jeeps, 120 trucks, 40 motorcycles, and thousands of uniforms. These would be used by the Greif forces to replicate both small and large size American forces in order to conduct their penetrations to their targets. Rabenhugel, however, did not meet with much success. Despite the promises of support, and Hitler's outbursts of fury against various gentlemen in the quartermaster department, Skorzeny came no where near to obtaining the equipment needed his operation. On November 21, he sent a message to OB West complaining about the lack of necessary equipment for Greif. At that time, Skorzeny had at his disposal fewer than 34 jeeps, 15 trucks, one armored car, and two half-tracks. An official, full report was sent to OB West on November 24 by SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Stromer, one of Skorzeny's staff officers. It outlined the problems encountered in fitting the unit with equipment, and stated that the planned target date for completing the organization of the Greif force, November 25, could not be met.


Rabenhugel being an Operation I am wondering why some uses Panzer brigade 150 'Rabenhugel'.. ?

Another question
KG X Y Z
what is Kampfgruppe 2250 and so ?

about the COs

Kampfgruppe X
Commanded by SS-Obersturmbannführer Willi Hardieck (KIA)
(replaced by SS-Hauptsturmführer Adrian von Foelkersam)

Kampfgruppe Y
Commanded by Hauptmann Walter Scherff (correct ?)

Kampfgruppe Z
Commanded by Oberstleutnant Hermann Wolf (correct ?)

The commando company, Einheit Stielau, named after their commander,
SS-Hauptsturmführer Stielau

does someone know the full name of Stielau ?

thanks


sorry but I am working on this text for days and I am bugged with the PB-150 composition
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BeitragBeitrags-Nr.: 208114 | Verfasst am: 12.03.2017 - 10:19    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Hallo eucmh,
you referring to the Osprey book?

The name of Stielau was SS-Hauptsturmführer Horst Stielau.

Der Name war Horst Stielau.

Hier:
http://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/index.php/Thread/2840-PzBrigade-150/

wurde auch über über die 150 gerätselt.
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BeitragBeitrags-Nr.: 208116 | Verfasst am: 12.03.2017 - 10:25    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Sicher, das nicht Oberleutnant Lothar Stielau gemeint ist?

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Hoover
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BeitragBeitrags-Nr.: 208117 | Verfasst am: 12.03.2017 - 10:29    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Wenn das mal klar wäre. Beide werden immer wieder gemischt genannt.

Mal heißt er auch Obersturmführer oder Hauptmann.

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BeitragBeitrags-Nr.: 208118 | Verfasst am: 12.03.2017 - 10:43    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Weil ein Olt. Lothar Stielau für den Einsatz bei der KaGr. Solar 1945 die Ehrenblattspange verliehen bekam.

Einen SS-Hstuf. Stielau habe ich primärquellenseits noch nicht ausmachen können.

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BeitragBeitrags-Nr.: 208122 | Verfasst am: 12.03.2017 - 12:59    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

[quote="Hoover"]Hallo eucmh,
you referring to the Osprey book?

The name of Stielau was SS-Hauptsturmführer Horst Stielau.

Der Name war Horst Stielau.

Hier:
http://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/index.php/Thread/2840-PzBrigade-150/

wurde auch über über die 150 gerätselt.[/quote]

Hallo leuten
Nee if am working on the thesis of a Major US Army I plant to publish on my site.
Being full time on the other side (US) when I am into German archives I am a little lost.
If you want I can put in there the work done so far or publish it protected with a password for you to see the monter text. It's up to you.

Anyway I have checked about 7 or 8 different stories over Greif & Stoesser and all these datas are different Traurig ...
My deal to to put out and finally the exhaustive OOB of Panze-Brigade 150 as well as the equipment they became and they used.
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BeitragBeitrags-Nr.: 208124 | Verfasst am: 12.03.2017 - 13:01    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

This is so far where I am bugged


German Special Operations in the 1944 Ardennes Offensive
<a href="http://www.eucmh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Henri-Chapelle-001.jpg"><img src="http://www.eucmh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Henri-Chapelle-001.jpg" alt="" width="1024" height="763" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-12588" /></a><br>
<br>
<b>German Special Operations in the 1944 Ardennes Offensive</b><br>
Major Jeffrey Jarkowsky, USA<br>
<br>
This study is a historical analysis of the German special operation conducted in support of their over all Ardennes offensive. It focuses on the two major special operations of the German offensive, Operations [Greif] and [Stoesser]. Operation Greif was the German attempt to infiltrate a commando unit disguised as soldiers behind American lines. Operation Stoesser, the last German airborne operation of the war, was designed to secure a key cross-roads behind American lines. These special operations failed because of faulty planning, inadequate preparation, and a lack of coordination between the special and conventional forces. These problems, exacerbated by a lack of preparation time, resulted in a pair of ad-hock units that were improperly manned, trained and equipped. As a result, the special operations units were unable to accomplish their primary missions, although the operations were characterized by boldness, initiative, and improvisation. This study examines the strategic setting, planning, preparations, and conduct of these operations, as well as their impact on the overall campaign. This study also examines the key lessons-learned that can be derived from both operations. Lady, the study explores the implications of these lessons for the US military of today.<br>
<br>
It was December 16 1944. The German Offensive had just exploded along the entire Ardennes front. American vehicles clogged the roads in Belgium and Luxembourg as they streamed westward. A jeep, one many, crawled down the hill leading to Huy, Belgium, its gears straining to maintain its slow pace behind the column of American trucks. The four soldiers in the jeep strained to see the bridge that spanned the Meuse River. They also looked for a spot where they could pull out of the long, retreating convoy. Soon, they found it. Sgt Rhode directed the driver to pull into a stretch of grassland right along the river, near the bridge. The radio operator contacted their base and relayed their vital message. They had reached the Meuse. Sgt Rhode and his team had reached their assigned target. Their mission was to conduct a reconnaissance of the Meuse River bridge at Huy for the advancing 6.SS-Panzer-Army. Far from being GI's, the four soldiers were members of a German special operations unit, the Stielau Commando Company. They had successfully infiltrated almost 75 miles behind American lines to reach their target, which was a link-pin in the German operational attack plans. They were conducting what the US Army special operations doctrine calls <em>special reconnaissance</em>. This team, however, was only a small part of a large and complex series of operations conducted by the German military during the Second World War Battle of the Bulge. Along the Ardennes front and in its depths, German special operations units infiltrated American lines, maneuvered combat vehicles, and parachuted into the rear areas. Their goal was to support and to assist the offensive and help achieve its success. Ultimately, the German offensive failed. But what of these unique and special missions, did they fail too ? What was their impact on the campaign ? Who were these special units, what where their missions, and what did they really do ? What can we learn from them ?<br>
<br>
[restrict]
<!--more-->
A shroud of myth, confusion, and distortion still surrounds these units and their operations. Valuable insights and lessons remain hidden under this cloak. The goal of this study is to lift the fog and to bring forth the important lessons of these operations. Successful special operations require detailed planning, thorough preparation of units, and mutual coordination among the organizations involved. Major Jarkowsky's thesis is that the German special operations conducted during the Ardennes Offensive, [Code-named Wacht am Rhein], were a failure because of faulty planning inadequate preparation, and a lack of coordination between special and conventional forces. These problems, exacerbated by a lack of preparation time, resulted in a pair of ad-hock units that were improperly manned, equipped, trained, and suffered from confused command and control. However, despite these handicaps, the special operations forces still achieved a positive impact on the campaign resulting from a combination of the use of boldness, initiative, and improvisation.<br>
<br>
This study is an historical analyse of the German special operations conducted during the German December 1944 Offensive Wacht am Rhein, [Watch on the Rhein]. The intent of the thesis is to illuminate this specific subject and to provide a consolidated focused source outlining these operations. Unfortunately, this topic is not adequately addressed in full detail in any one single source. Although there are numerous works concerning the Battle of the Bulge, as it became known to the American side, they do not address this specific subject in great detail. Also no source analyzes these operations in order to determine pertinent historical lessons. Most importantly, no source links the wealth of valuable experience from these operations to the current US Army and its special operations forces and doctrine.<br>
<br>
This thesis will analyze the planning conduct, and impact of these special operations in relation to the larger overall campaign they supported. The analysis will describe the specifics of the operations and their outcomes. It will focus on identifying [lessons-learned] from these operations and applying them to the US Army of today. This thesis will seek to answer the primary question : <em>What are the lessons learned from the German special operations conducted in support of Wacht am Rhein ?</em> The thesis will provide an organized and analytical account of the German special operations from the perspective of a special operator. It will describe the missions, the units, and the leaders. It will present a mission analysis of their assigned tasks. Additionally, it will show the interface between these operations and the overall campaign, and where they stood in the big picture. It will trace the conduct of the operations and their impact on the larger campaign, and highlight their successes and failures, and their aftermaths. Finally, and most importantly, the thesis will derive and present the key lessons-leaned of these operations. It will link them to current US Army special operations doctrine with a view to providing a [tool] into aid planning and conducting, and perhaps combating future special operations.<br>
<br>
My analysis will show that adequate resources must be available for planning, organizing, equipping and training special operations forces properly and for coordinating with the other units or services involved. Also, I will show that special operations must not be conducted in a vacuum, but rather must be integrated into the overall campaign in order to successfully achieve the campaign objectives.<br>
<br>
This thesis is limited to the German special operations conducted during their Ardennes Offensive, specifically Operations Greif and Operation Stoesser, as the campaign's commando and airborne operations were respectively called. It will cover the larger Ardennes campaign only to put the special operations into perspective and to show their contributions to, and integration into, the offensive. Likewise, the American reactions to the operations will be addressed only to illustrate the degree of success of these missions. The thesis will introduce and explain current US Army special operations doctrine only in the amount necessary to fully understand the lessons-learned, and give the reader an appreciation on how to apply these lessons in the future for both special or conventional operations.<br>
<br>
The thesis is broken down into seven chapters, with each chapter building upon the previous one. This chapter will outline the thesis and its goals and will briefly describe special operations. Chapter 2 : Setting the Stage, will show the reader where and how the special operations conducted fit into the big picture of the German campaign. This chapter will trace the genesis of the special operations missions. It will give the reader an idea of the time-line involved, the nature of the German military crisis, and the status of the opposing forces at the time of the battle. Chapter 3 : Special Operations Planning, will focus on the specific planning for the German special operations missions. It will provide a mission analysis of the special tasks and describe how the operations supported the overall campaign plan.<br>
<br>
Chapter 4 : Special Operation Preparation, will outline how the special operations units were organized, trained, and equipped in preparation for their special missions. Chapter 5 : Conduct of Operations, will focus on the actual execution of the operations. It will describe the sequence of activities and the overall success or failure of the missions, and their impact on the campaign. Chapter 6 : Lessons-Learned, will identify and analyze the lessons-learned that can be derived from these operations. Chapter 7 : Conclusion, will discuss the significance of the operations and the lessons-learned, and apply them to current US Army special operations.<br>
<br>
Special operations are unique, high-risk, high-payoff missions conducted in an unconventional and often covert manner by specially selected, trained, and equipped units, usually behind enemy lines. They require accurate timely, and precise intelligence, and thorough, detailed planning for success. They may be conducted unilaterally, or in support of a larger conventional campaign, but their success or failure can often have significant strategic and operational impact. When conducted in conjunction with or as a part of an overall campaign, the special operations must be closely integrated and coordinated with the actions of the conventional operations in order to achieve the campaign objectives. US Army doctrine defines Special Operations (SO) as follows :<br>
<ul>
Special Operations are actions conducted by specially organized, trained, and equipped military and paramilitary forces to achieve military, political, economic, or psychological objectives by non-conventional means in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive areas. Special operations usually differ from conventional operations in their degree of risk, operational techniques, mode of employment, independence from friendly support, and dependence upon operational intelligence and indigenous assets.<br>
</ul>
Like most elements of the art of war, special operations are founded upon several underlying and time-tested fundamentals. Current US Army doctrine codifies these concepts as the Special Operations Imperatives, which special operations forces(SOF) operators must incorporate into their mission planning and execution if they are to use their forces effectively. Briefly, these imperatives are :<br>
<ul>
1. Understand the operational environment<br>
2. Recognize political implications<br>
3. Facilitate inter-agency activities<br>
4. Engage the threat discriminate<br>
5. Consider long-term effects<br>
6. Ensure legitimacy and credibility of SO activities<br>
7. Anticipate and control psychological effects<br>
8. Apply capabilities indirectly<br>
9. Develop multiple options<br>
10. Ensure long-term sustainment<br>
11. Provide sufficient intelligence<br>
12. Balance security and synchronization<br>
</ul>
Additionally, the US Military special operations forces recognize several tenants that underlay successful special operations forces. These are known as the SOF Truths and are widely adopted within the current US special operations community. The following SOF Truths provide the framework upon which effective SOF units are built :<br>
<ul>
1. Humans are more important than hardware<br>
2. Quality is better than quantity<br>
3. Special Operations Forces cannot be mass produced<br>
4. Competent Special Operation Forces can not be created after emergencies occur<br>
</ul>
These truths in conjunction with the Special Operations Imperatives, and the commonly accepted Principles of War, from the foundation of the US Army Special Operations Doctrine. An understanding of the basic elements of this doctrine will serve to highlight the German special operation's successes and failures in a manner that has relevance for the military profession of today. The Germans special operations failures can be directly linked to the violation or disregard of several of the SO Imperatives and Truths listed previously. This study is of importance for the special operator and the conventional warrior alike. Special operations, like air or naval operations, are a fundamental element of the US Military's joint war-fighting philosophy. All members of our military must understand how to plan, integrate, and conduct these types of operations. Hopefully, an appreciation of the lessons-learned presented in this study will prevent them from being relearned the hard way on some distant battlefield of the future.<br>
<br>
<a href="http://www.eucmh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/otto-skorzeny.jpg"><img src="http://www.eucmh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/otto-skorzeny.jpg" alt="" width="1240" height="873" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-12593" /></a><br>
<br>
<em>Otto Skorzeny (June 12 1908 – July 5 1975) was an Austrian SS-Obersturmbannführer (LTC) in the German Waffen-SS during World War II. During the war, he was involved in a string of operations, including the rescue mission that freed the deposed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from captivity. Skorzeny led Operation Greif, in which German soldiers infiltrated enemy lines using their opponents' languages, uniforms, and customs. For this he was charged at the Dachau Military Tribunal with breaching the 1907 Hague Convention, but was acquitted. At the end of the war, Skorzeny was involved with the Werwolf guerrilla movement. Skorzeny escaped from an internment camp in 1948, hiding out on a Bavarian farm for 18 months, then spent time in Paris and Salzburg before eventually settling in Spain. In 1953 he became a military advisor to Egyptian President Mohammed Naguib and recruited a staff of former SS and Wehrmacht officers to train the Egyptian Army, staying on to advise President Gamal Abdel Nasser. In 1962, Skorzeny was recruited by the Mossad and conducted operations for the agency. He spent time in Argentina, where he acted as an advisor to President Juan Perón and as a bodyguard for Eva Perón. Skorzeny died of lung cancer on 5 July 1975 in Madrid. He was 67.</em><br>
<hr>
<b>Chapter 2 - Setting the Stages</b><br>
<br>
I have just made a momentous decision. I shall go over to the counter attack, that is to say here, out of the Ardennes, with the objective Antwerp ! With a sweep of his hand, Adolf Hitler had just laid the foundation for the German counter offensive that would become more known as the Battle of the Bulge. The German generals and field-marshals surrounding the large situation map in the Fuehrer Headquarters war-room were momentarily stunned, and with good reason. Assembled at Hitler's military headquarters, the Wolf's Lair, they had only moments before heard the all too familiar litany of reverses and losses briefed by Generaloberst Alfred Jodl, the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) Chief of Staff. The fortunes of war were not looking favorable for Germany on September 16 1944. Strategically, the Germans were on the run. The Allied advance across western Europe following the breakout in Normandy had carried right to the vaunted West Wall defenses of Germany's border. American units had already penetrated on to German soil near Aachen. On the Russian front, the Soviet summer offensive had crossed into East Prussia. Allied bombing was crippling German industry and devastating her cities.<br>
<br>
The once mighty Axis alliance was falling apart, as one by one Germany's allies, save an isolated Japan, defected, surrendered, or were over-run. German losses in men and material were tremendous, and worse, non-recoverable. Combined German military losses during June, July, and August 1944, totaled at least 120.000 dead, wounded, and missing. Everywhere the German military was on the defensive. It was a period of crisis, and of desperation, for Germany. With this back-drop in mind, Hitler would try one last gamble : a surprise attack upon the unexpecting Allies on the Western Front Hitler was betting that a successful operational-level offensive in the west would have strategic results. The stakes were : staving off defeat just long enough for the German secret weapons to turn the tide of the war, or the destruction of the last remnants of German combat power and the hastening of her defeat.<br>
<br>
The operational situation of the Allies in the west actually presented the conditions that would favor a large scale enemy counter offensive. Although advancing ceaselessly throughout August and into September, the Allied armies were on the verge of outrunning their supply lines. The Broad Front strategy of the Allies already had the advancing army groups competing for supplies. Strains within the alliance, though personality driven, were emerging. The German West Wall Defense, the infamous Siegfried Line, would serve to fix and hold the Allies as they gathered their strength over the winter months.<br>
<br>
By November of 1944, the Allies had reached their operational culminating point. The beginning of December, the originally planned - time for the German offensive, saw the Allied armies settled into a static front, positioned along or astride the West Wall. Although limited offensive operations were continuing, by and large, the Allies were gathering their strength for a full scale resumption of their offensive in the coming months. They expected the Germans to attempt a defense of the West Wall coupled with the usual local counter attacks. They did not anticipate a full scale counter offensive, and especially in the Ardennes area.<br>
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The German operational situation, though bleak, offered the glimmer of a brief respite by November 1944. German Army units had ben in full retreat across the occupied countries since late July. However, now they were on German soil and fighting for German survival. Throughout the battered ranks this was well understood, as German fighting spirit began stiffen. Furthermore, the recent German success in Holland, where they defeated the Market Garden attacks, and the American repulse in the entire area of the bloody Hürgten Forest fighting, reduced the sense of shock from the great German rout of August. Perhaps most importantly, the German Army had fallen back on its lines of communication, and had occupied excellent defensive terrain along the German border. Additionally, there was the West Wall. Although the much vaunted Siegfried Line was a mere shell of its former self by November of 1944, it did present a formidable obstacle to the advancing Allies.<br>
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<a href="http://www.eucmh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/M4_Sherman_of_the_3rd_Armored_Division_Crossing_Dragons_Teeth_of_Siegfried_Line_September_1944_Roeten.jpg"><img src="http://www.eucmh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/M4_Sherman_of_the_3rd_Armored_Division_Crossing_Dragons_Teeth_of_Siegfried_Line_September_1944_Roeten.jpg" alt="" width="1184" height="871" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-12598" /></a><br>
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<em>An US M-4 Sherman medium tank of the 3rd Armored Division crossing the Dragons Teeth of Siegfried Line during the month of September 1944. Roeten, Germany</em>
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As German Army units settled into their aging bunkers, just a step ahead of the Allies, their High Command steeled themselves for a defense of the West Wall. They would defend for as long as possible, attempt to rebuild their depleted strength, and delay what was now considered the inevitable defeat. Coupled with the Allied over extension and pause at the border, the German defensive activity brought a quiet along the line of opposing Armies. By December, the area of the Ardennes could be called a Ghost Front, as both sides settled in for a long, cold winter. Both, German and American Armies alike viewed the Ardennes as a quiet, non vital sector, where troops could be rotated in for a stretch of rest in the Wehrmacht's case, or for seasoning of green units like the 106th Infantry Division or the 99th Infantry Division in the case of the Americans.<br>
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The prevailing weather and terrain of the Ardennes both aided this mutual impasse. The winter Ardennes weather could be expected to be unfavorable for large scale operations. Extremely cold weather and wet conditions would make life miserable for soldiers. Snow, sleet, or freezing rain grain would be anticipated almost every other day. Overcast skies were normal, and fog was not uncommon. If the ground was not frozen solid and covered with snow, then it was a quagmire of mud. The winter of 1944 would be one of the coldest Europe was to see for years, and secret German weather stations forecast a period of cold, fog, and low clouds for December.<br>
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<em>(Above) An M-4 Medium Sherman tank crewman finds the mud heavy going in Germany on November 24 1944. (Bellow) December 1944, heavy snowfalls and deep freezing temperatures will make more casualties as the Germans. December 1944, members of the American 82nd Airborne Division trudging through the snow behind a tank during the Battle of the Bulge. (Berterath)</em><br>
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The terrain was equally challenging. The Ardennes is an area of dense, coniferous forests traversed by several ranges of low mountains and hills. Although hills and trees predominate, the terrain is interspersed with the fields of local farmers. Several water courses crisscross the region Most are characterized by steep gorges and banks, and deep, swift waters. An extremely limited and restrictive road network serves to link the numerous towns and villages that dot the area. In essence, the Ardennes is rugged campaigning country. The prevailing weather and terrain would serve to negate the tremendous American advantages of overwhelming air power and masses of material. Conditions in the Ardennes, at once, would offer the Germans the conditions for a stubborn defense, and the possibility of a surprise attack.<br>
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<em >(Above) The way the Belgian Ardennes looks during Spring, Summer and Autumn. (Bellow) The way the place can be turned into in no time. (Note from Doc Snafu : the above photos shows the Belgian Ardennes with regular Spring and Summer weather. Bellow they also shows you the Belgian Ardennes with a regular Autumn and Winter. In 1944 this turned into a freezing heel in a way that not only Pvt Snafu said it one, but a veteran, from the 2-ID who was in the Forest during the terrible week of December 16-24 1944, told me that it was so damned cold that it could have frozen the nuts off a jeep.</em><br>
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They had done it before. The German Army had swept through the Ardennes unexpectedly in May of 1940 during the invasion of Belgium and France. Perhaps it was this that put the idea in the Fuehrer's head, but Hitler obviously saw the inevitable defeat of Germany, given its current situation. His strategic concept : a bold, unexpected offensive that would split the advancing American and British Army Groups on the ground, and also split what he saw as a strained Anglo-American political alliance. The goal was to delay the Allied advance and enable Germany to apply the power of her Wonder Weapons against the enemy. It was reasoned that this might result in a negotiated peace in the west, allowing Germany to turn her full might eastward for the ensuing defeat of Russia.<br>
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The sleepy Ardennes front offered the ideal spot. The American sector was very lightly held as green units were stretched thin defending over-extended frontages. The Allies would never expect a major attack in the Ardennes as the sector was not considered favorable for a large-scale offensive. Besides, most intelligence reports indicated that the German Army was beaten, and not capable of an attack. The Americans were thinking Home by Christmas.<br>
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The plan conceived by Hitler and his staff was deceptively simple. Under the cover of darkness and poor weather, the Germans would launch a massive surprise attack at the weakest point in the Allied lines - the center of the Ardennes. The main effort would penetrate the center of the line and reach for operational objectives, while supporting attacks were made on the flanks to hold the shoulders of the breakthrough, fix allied forces, and protect the flanks. Within the main effort, attacking infantry divisions would first create the penetration of American lines. Then, operational-level, forward detachments, would race forward through the gaps to secure deep objectives to ensure the unhindered advance of the main attack.<br>
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These critical objectives took the form of the Meuse river bridges. The main body panzer formations would pass through these detachments and then continue the attack to the decisive objective - Antwerp. One key problem existed; the Meuse bridges were almost 75 miles behind American lines. Surely, the Americans would react and deny use of the bridges through destruction or defense before the forward detachments might get to them, or counter attack the exposed flanks of the penetration.<br>
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The solution was unconventional and equally as bold as the offensive itself a pair of operations to snatch the bridges right from under the American's noses, and block American reinforcements. German special operation forces would operate ahead of the army forward detachments to seize the critical crossings intact, before the stunned defenders could react. They would hold the bridges long enough to hand them over to the forward detachments. Airborne troops would parachute in at night behind the lines to seize key crossroads to block the expected American counter attacks. The entire plan was constructed on a delicate timeline. Speed was all important to the success of each part of the operation. The offensive had to reach its initial objectives before the Allies could react. Likewise, achieving initial surprise was equally critical. Although many senior German leaders had their doubts about the entire operation, this offensive could presumably change the course of the war. The idea of employing special operations to support Wacht am Rhein also sprang from Adolf Hitler.<br>
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Several issues motivated Hitler to consider the special operations that were to support the offensive. Most important was that of operational necessity. The Meuse River was the most formidable water obstacle between the offensive's jumping off points and the decisive operational objective. A major, and unfordable watercourse, it posed a natural line of defense that a withdrawing army could rally upon and renew its strength, and use to delay an advancing opponent. In the summer of 1940, the assault crossing of this river was a major event for the Germans in their first offensive through this area. It would take time to cross this river, which was over 75 miles behind the front-lines. Despite the most rapid German advance, the Americans would have adequate time to defend, and very likely, destroy the bridges over the Meuse before the armored spearheads could hope to reach them. The tempo of the offensive was fast paced, and the operational objectives would have to be seized within a week so that the Allies could not effectively react. It was vital to capture the Meuse crossings intact in order to maintain the momentum of the attack. A delay at the river could spell disaster for the offensive. Additionally, the strong American forces pushing eastward the Aachen sector posed the threat of immediate counter attack from the north. Delaying this counter attack would allow the spearheads to reach the Meuse unimpeded.<br>
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Another reason for considering the employment of special operations were the precedents established by the Germans earlier in the war. Special operations forces had been used several times to conduct deep operations in pursuit of operational campaign objectives. The seizure of the Belgian fortress of Eben Emael is an excellent example of this technique. In May of 1940, a glider-borne commando detachment swooped down on the impregnable fortress in a surprise air assault operation ahead of the main German forces. The commandos, members of an elite special military unit, the Brandenburgers, paved the way for the conventional spearhead to continue its attack unimpeded. The small force of 86 men had accomplished a task which had significant operational-level impact. Likewise, Hitler and the German military witnessed the Allies employ just this sort of tactic successfully against them in almost every campaign of the war. The month previous to the formulation of the offensive plans, September 1944, saw the concept carried to the extreme as the Allies attempted to size the multiple bridges that lay in the path of the British XXX Corps' advance during the airborne phase of Operation Market-Garden.<br>
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Additionally, up through October of 1944, elements of the German military had displayed a certain flair for conducting unorthodox, unilateral, strategic-level special operations as well. Of the most notable German special operations, it is of no small coincidence that a certain Otto Skorzeny was involved in them. The success and dramatic rescue of Benito Mussolini from atop the Gran Sasso in Italy, the daring, but costly, airborne raid to capture Marshall Tito in Bosnia, and the abduction of Admiral Horthy's son in order to keep Hungary in the war on Germany's side, all serve to illustrate Germany's ability to conduct unique special operations when the situation warranted such an approach. Countless other smaller and less significant special operations were conducted by the Germans against both the Allies and the Soviets. Bold and daring, often conducted against the odds, the reports of these operations never failed to thrill Hitler and capture his imagination. So did the apparent American use of special operations teams in the recent successful operations to seize Aachen, Germany, just that October of 1944.<br>
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German intelligence had reported to Hitler that operatives of the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS) had conducted operations during the advance to that city clothed and posing as German soldiers. This and similar operations of the American OSS and the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) did not go unnoticed by German intelligence services nor Hitler. Hitler, always enamored with secret weapons and daring operations, and at ways willing to go 'tit-for-tat' with the enemy, grasped the potential utility that such covert forces offered.<br>
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A force operating behind enemy lines in the guise of the enemy presented numerous opportunities to have an impact on the defenders out of all proportion to their size. This coupled with more orthodox paratroopers operations might also be a useful economy of force measure against the numerically and materially superior Allies. Although the ultimate success or failure of the offensive would not hinge upon the special operations, they would offer the potential for great increasing its probability of success. Finally, one last reason for attempting the special operations existed. For Germany, this was a time of desperation. Wacht am Rhein was a military gamble with very high stakes. The survival of Germany was at risk, and every resource that could be marshaled and thrown at the Allies was required in order to ensure a winning hand. It was hoped by Hitler that the unfolding German special operations would be one of the needed wild-cards.<br>
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<em>Above : With gliders Fallschirmjäger landed on the roof of Fort in Eben-Emael and three bridges over the Albert Canal. Both the fort and the bridges were captured in a lightning action. Bellow : The practice showed that the high expectations of the Belgian fortress were unjustified. On May 10 1940, 86 well trained German Fallschirmjäger succeeded by surprise, speed and innovative military technology (eg gliders and use of a new weapon : the hollow charge) to land in a blind spot (top of the fort) and turn of the guns of the fort in fifteen minutes. After a half day siege the fortress had to capitulate.</em><br>
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<b>Special Operations Planning</b><br>
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<em>Well done Skorzeny ! I've promoted you to Obersturmbannführer (LTC) and awarded you the German Cross in Gold</em>, a jubilant Adolf Hitler proclaimed Otto Skorzeny, commander of the Waffen SS elite commandos, had just returned from his latest triumph, Operation Panzerfaust, the successful kidnapping of the son of Hungary's leader, Admiral Horthy, and the storming of his residence on Castle Hill. He met with Hitler in the Fuehrer Bunker at Rastenburg, the site of the Fuehrer Headquarters and thrilled him with the exciting details of the mission, for by then Otto Skorzeny had become one of the Fuehrer's trusted favorites as a result of his daring exploits throughout the war. But on this 21st day of October 1944, Hitler had summoned Otto Skorzeny to his headquarter for an additional purpose. Hitler turned serious as he spoke next : <em>I have perhaps what will be the most important job in your entire life. So far very few people know of the preparation for a secret plan in which you have a great part to play. In December, we will start a great offensive, which may well decide our fate.</em><br>
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A startled Otto Skorzeny attentively listened as Hitler continued speaking and presented the following mission guidance :<br>
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<em>One of the most important tasks in this offensive will be entrusted to you and the units under your command, which will have to go ahead and seize one or more of the bridges over the Meuse River between Liege and Namur. You will have to wear British and American uniforms. The enemy has already done us a great deal of damage by the use of our uniforms in various commando operations a few days ago. I received a report that the use of our uniforms by an American force had played no inconsiderable part when they captured Aachen our first city to fall into their hands. Moreover,detachments in enemy uniforms can cause the greatest confusion among the Allies by giving false orders and upsetting their communications with a view to sending bodies of troops in the wrong direction. Your preparations must be complete by the 2d of December, and you can settle all the details with General Jodl. I know that the time is very, very short, but you must do all that is humanly possible.</em><br>
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<img src="http://www.eucmh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Otto_Skorzeny.jpg" alt="" width="265" height="382" class="alignright size-full wp-image-12615" />Such was an example of the type of initial planning guidance given to Otto Skorzeny for his upcoming role in the great offensive. With this, the special operations planning to support Wacht am Rhein began. Eventually, two operations would be planned to help the offensive reach its objectives. The guidance given in terms of specific missions and intent would be fairly clear, and planning would begin immediately. The planning conducted for the operations would suffer from problems. Inadequate intelligence, faulty assumptions, and poor coordination would result in plans that were to become nu-executable on the ground. The primary reasons for these planning deficiencies were the incredibly short amount of available planning time and the unusually strict operational security blanket thrown over the entire offensive. These problems would plague what were to become the two special missions of the offensive, Operations Greif and Stoesser. Although these problems would not be immediately apparent during the initial planning for both operations, they would soon manifest themselves during the extensive preparations required for both missions that would soon follow.<br>
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Operation Greif, or Griffin, named after the mythological winged lion, was to be the primary special operation of the offensive. It was to offer the greatest potential positive impact to the success of the overall campaign. Consisting of forces masquerading as American soldiers, the men of Operation Greif were to infiltrate into the American rear areas in order to seize the critical crossings over the Meuse River, and cause confusion throughout the enemy's defense. The commander of Greif was to be SS-Oberststurmbannfuehrer Otto Skorzeny which, at that time, had become Germany's number one special operator. As commander of his group of specially trained Waffen SS commandos, the Jadgverbande Skorzeny, had successfully conducted numerous strategic and operational level operations.<br>
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<a href="http://www.eucmh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/OP-Stoesser.jpg"><img src="http://www.eucmh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/OP-Stoesser.jpg" alt="" width="578" height="94" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-12619" /></a><br>
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<img src="http://www.eucmh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Friedrich_August_Freiherr_von_der_Heydte.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="379" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-12620" />Operation Stoesser, was planned as a parachute operation in which an airborne battle group would drop behind American lines in order to secure vital crossroads along the flank of the German line of advance and block the movement of Allied reinforcements. The commander of Stoesser was to be Oberst Friedrich August Freiherr von der Heydte, one of the premier paratroopers commanders still alive in the German Army. He was among the best of the remaining airborne commanders to choose from. He had commanded an airborne regiment into the jump on Crete and led it through the bitter fighting that followed. He led the regiment through campaigns in North Africa and in Normandy, where he had the opportunity to come face to face with American paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division. Perhaps in contrast to Skorzeny, von der Heydte was noted for his calm and steady approach to fighting. His personal bravery and coolness under fire were beyond reproach. Like Skorzeny for Greif, von der Heydte was the right man for the job of leading Stoesser.<br>
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Newly promoted SS-Obersturmbannführer Skorzeny coordinated the details of his new mission with Gen Jodl, Chief of Staff OKW. Hitler had explained to Skorzeny why he let him in on the plan so relatively early : <em>I am telling you all this so that you can consider your part in it and realize that nothing has been forgotten.</em> Given the mission guidance received from Hitler, Skorzeny was left to plan the specifics of the Operation Greif's mission analysis, if conducted in accordance with the current US Army Doctrine, would have started off with Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) followed by an assessment of his own forces and higher HQs missions. Additionally, the guidance given, and tasks assigned to him by Hitler, would have been broken down into specified tasks implied tasks, mission essential tasks, and limitations. An analysis of an this would lead to a mission statement for the operation, an intent and a concept of operation. Skorzeny would find out that he was not only fighting the Americans, but also fighting against time, terrain, and amazingly, the German military system. Skorzeny's area of operations was in the zone of attack of Sepp Dietrich's 6.SS-Panzer-Army, which initially was the offensive's main effort. The area consisted of typical Ardennes countryside. Rugged ground in the eastern half of the zone was bisected by a handful of east-west running roads twisting through the hills. The dominant Hohen Venn Ridge formed a north-south running spine that lay half-way to the Meuse. Closer to the river, the terrain gradually opened up some and consisted of less severe elevation. Numerous towns dotted the area, while several rivers crisscrossed through the valleys. The terrain in the area favored the defenders.<br>
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The American defenders in the area consisted of elements of Gen Troy H. Middleton's VIII Corps. The defense consisted of a crust of infantry divisions and cavalry forces holding an extended frontage, with some armored formations positioned in depth as a reserve. Reconnaissance conducted by the German units in the line, and signals intelligence from specialized units were able to paint a fairly clear picture of the front line defenses. The situation in the American rear areas, as well as information regarding the important bridges over the Meuse River, was not so clear. Skorzeny requested all available intelligence concerning them, and even asked that air reconnaissance photos be taken of the bridges. These were eventually received by Skorzeny for only the bridges at Huy and Amay in late November. Although they showed anti-aircraft positions near the bridges, they did not indicate any other special defensive measures. Skorzeny was forced to assume that some type of local defenses would be established at the Meuse crossings, even if only initially by rear area troops. He also fully realized that the bridges would be more heavily defended, if not out-right destroyed, if he did not reach them within the first critical days of the offensive.<br>
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One key planning assumption was that the initial conventional attacks would achieve a clean breakthrough on the first day of the offensive. It was assumed that the defenders in the area would be in disorderly flight on the first day, thereby allowing the Greif force to infiltrate to the bridges unhindered. This critical assumption upon which the nature and concept of the operation were founded was ultimately to prove faulty, and would even spell doom for the success of the mission. Skorzeny anticipated that if he was successful in seizing the bridges, it was very likely that his forces might be cut-off and isolated for a short period by Allied counter attacks until the main body of the German advance could reach him. Very importantly, Skorzeny's assessment of the terrain and forward defenses led him to believe that his special units would not be able to break through the Americans lines on their own, but would have to exploit a penetration achieved to some significant depth by the conventional forces making the initial attacks. He knew that the available preparation time was short, he had less than five weeks to prepare for this new mission. In fact, he had voiced his concern over the lack of adequate planning and preparation time to the Fuehrer personally. The unique nature of the mission would require special equipment and soldier in the form of captured American equipment, and English speaking troops with a knowledge of American slang and idioms. His own SS commando unit, of less than a battalion strength, could provide some expertise, manpower, and leadership, but the force would bave to essentially be established and trained from scratch. His original designs for the force proposed a unit of over 3300 men dressed and equipped to pose as an American outfit. His initial task organization for the unit proposed a full sized, robust, brigade. The creation of such a force, with such a unique and unorthodox mission, would take some time to do properly.<br>
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Additionally, Skorzeny was keenly aware of the operational time line for the offensive, and knew that once committed, his forces would have only one day to reach and capture the bridges. Skorzeny also realized the limitations imposed upon his forces by the terrain. He identified the critical importance of the defensive advantage offered by the Hohen Venn Ridge along the enemy's forward defenses. The restricted nature of the Ardennes provided little maneuver space, and confined his force to the few good roads that ran directly to the bridge targets on the Meuse. His freedom of maneuver and action with any sizable combat force was dictated by the available road network behind the American lines as much as by any possible enemy counter action. The specified tasks assigned to Skoneny were to seize a minimum of two bridges over the Meuse River between Liege and Namur to infiltrate enemy lines covertly, posing as American soldiers; and to cause confusion among the enemy by disrupting his communications and rear areas. The implied tasks that Skorzeny derived for his mission were :<br>
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- conduct coordination with the conventional forces of the 6.SS-Panzer-Army;<br>
- conduct a forward passage of lines through the attacking divisions west of the Hohen Venn Ridge;<br>
- exploit the confusion and disorganization within the enemy's ranks, conduct deep reconnaissance of the bridge targets on the Meuse River for the commando force;<br>
- seize the bridges at Andenne, Amay, or Huy through a surprise 'coups de main' attack;<br>
- defend and hold two or more of the bridges until relieved by 1.SS-Panzer-Division;<br>
- conduct a link-up with the 1.SS-Panzer-Regiment at the bridges;<br>
- increase confusion and panic behind the lines among the defenders by circulating false reports, removing sign posts, cutting telephone lines, and blowing up ammunition dumps;<br>
- conduct tactical reconnaissance forward of the Skorzeny force and the conventional armored spearheads<br>
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Two key limitations that Skorzeny was operating under were the requirement for strict secrecy and operational security (OPSEC) and the accepted laws of war. Hitler's desire for utmost secrecy prevented Skorzeny from briefing his forces on their real mission or coordinating with the associated conventional units until only days before the offensive. Also, by wearing American uniforms his force would give up their protected status as prisoners of war (POWs) and if captured, would face execution as spies. Hitler directed that Skorzeny's commandos were to wear their German uniforms under the American clothing, and were not to fight in American uniforms, i.e. they were to take off the American clothing before fighting. Although no record of a formal mission statement exists, if presented in current US Army fashion, Skorzeny probably would have looked something like this :<br>
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On order, Battle Group Skorzeny infiltrates in zone to seize bridges over the Meuse River at Andenne, Amy, and Huy, in order to ensure the uninterrupted advance of the 6.SS-Panzer-Army across the Meuse, and conducts unconventional warfare operations to disrupt enemy defenses in the area of operations.<br>
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Skorzeny, after the war, presented a less formalized description of his mission : the mission of the Brigade was to seize undamaged at least two Meuse River bridges from among the following possibilities : Amay, Huy, or Andenne.<br>
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The concept of the operation was not particularly complex, but it was not necessarily easy to execute either. Skorzeny's forces would follow immediately behind the lead spearheads of the I.SS-Panzer-Korps attacking divisions as they pushed through the initial penetration created by the infantry divisions. Once west of the Hohen Venn Ridge, Skorzeny's battle group would side-slip or pass through the lead panzer regiments and advance to the Meuse. Special reconnaissance teams would race ahead of the main body by jeep once a penetration was achieved, conduct reconnaissance of the routes, and place the bridge targets under surveillance. The main body of Skoneny's force, split into three smaller Kampfgruppe, would advance west along three separate directions of attack directly to the bridges, now called Objectives X, Y, and Z. One of the Kampfgruppe would each move behind the lead elements of the 1.SS-Panzer-Division, 12.SS-Panzer-Division and 12.Volksgrenadier-Division. This was to have occurred by the end of the first day of the offensive.<br>
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Tactical reconnaissance teams would advance immediately forward of the attacking divisions and these groups to report on local enemy defenses. Independent teams of commandos would conduct small scale acts of sabotage ahead of and behind the main body to disrupt enemy communications and create disorganization within the defenders. Resistance would be bypassed and reported, as speed was essential and the limited combat power of the battle groups was to be preserved for seizing and defending the bridges. Once captured, the bridges were to be defended, then turned over to I.SS-Panzer-Korps. Skoneny's force would then be prepared to continue acts of sabotage, and deep reconnaissance in support of the main attack. This was all to have occurred not later than the second day of the offensive. However, Skorzeny's force would not be operating behind American lines completely on its own.<br>
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Concerned over the threat of reinforcement posed by the large American forces to the north of 6.SS-Panzer-Army, FM Walter Model, the commander of Army Group B, the operational headquarters for the offensive, on December 4, proposed to Hitler another special operation. It would consist of an airborne force dropped behind American lines in the area of Krinkelt, Belgium to block enemy moves south against the northern flank of the 6.SS-Panzer-Army. Although dismayed of airborne operations after the heavy casualties sustained during the invasion of Crete, Hitler seized upon the idea and approved it. However, he changed the drop location to an area north of Malmedy, Belgium, deeper behind the American front lines than Model's original concept. This would put the paratroopers beyond the immediate reach of their panzer counterparts until a penetration was made of the American lines. The plans for this new operation were hastily drawn up on December 8, by Army Group B Headquarters. Although getting the paratroopers force would eventually pose a problem, getting the commander for this operation did not.<br>
<br>
Baron August Friedrich von der Heydte, Oberst der Fallschirmjagertruppen, was in December 1944, the commander of the German Parachute School in Aalten, Holland. Summoned to the headquarters of Gen Kurt Student on December 8, von der Heydte learned of his role in what was to be the second special operation conducted to support Operation Wacht am Rhein, an operation code-named Operation Stoesser. Von der Heydte was to be the commander of the operation but, in the effort to maintain secrecy, he was initially misled about the actual location of the mission. Student briefed von der Heydte on the plan. The Fuehrer had decided to undertake a major offensive in which a parachute detachment would be employed. Von der Heydte was to form and command this force. Von der Heydte learned that he was expected to jump behind the Soviet troops surrounding the German bridgehead on the Vistula in Poland. He also learned that Gen Student wanted his force ready by December 13, the initial planning date for the start of the offensive. Like his counterpart Skorzeny, von der Heydte was at first stunned, and then thrilled, by the prospects of this new mission. It was not until December 14, after a fortuitous mission postponement caused by the failure to assemble the attacking division in time that he was to learn the details of his real mission. The unit that von der Heydte would support, the 6.SS-Panzer-Army, received notification of the airborne operation from Army Group B on December 10. In turn, von der Heydte reported to 6.SS-Panzer-Army Headquarters on December 11 and received detailed mission guidance concerning the real objective of his operation. The 6.SS-Panzer-Army Chief of Staff, SS-Brigadefuehrer Fritz Kraemer issued the Operation Stoesser orders to von der Heydte :<br>
<ul>
<em>On the first day of the attack, elements of the 6.SS-Panzer-Army will take possession of Liège or the bridges across the Meuse south of the city. Then, at dawn, Kampfgruppe von der Heydte will drop into the Baraque Michel area, eleven kilometers north of Malmedy, and secure the multipleroad junction at Belle Croix (Jalhay) for use by the armored point of the 6.SS-Panzer, probably elements of 12.SS-Panzer-Division. If for technical reasons this mission is impracticable on the morning of the first day of the attack, Kampfgruppe von der Heydte will drop early on the following morning into the zone along the Amblève River or Amay to secure the bridges there for the advance of 6.SS-Panzer's armored points. The drop was scheduled to commence at 0300, on December 16 and, consequently, it would be a night jump.</em><br>
</ul>
[mapsmarker marker="26"]<br>
<hr>
Oberst von der Heydte also met with the Army commander, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Sepp Dietrich. This meeting did not go very well because, as according to von der Heydte, Dietrich was intoxicated. Von der Heydte attempted to work out the details of his mission, and although Dietrich appeared unconcerned over the operation, he was able to get the Army commander's intent for the mission. Stoesser was to secure the crossroads either in the Mont Rigi or the Belle Croix areas and block American reinforcements until elements of the Army linked up with him. Dietrich assured von der Heydte that the link-up would occur within 24 hours of his drop. Von der Heydte managed to coordinate a few details then departed to set about his own preparations. The area of operations for Operation Stoesser was in the 6.SS-Panzer-Army's zone of attack. The designated drop zone and objective area was astride the Hohen Venn Ridge. Here the steep hills, dense woods, and marshy valleys limited the available avenues of approach. One good north-south running road connected the city of Malmedy with the city of Eupen. This formed the best avenue of approach into the flank of the 6.SS-Panzer. North of Malmedy, a road junction linked the town of Verviers with this highway. The terrain did not favor the employment of massed airborne troops.<br>
<br>
Very little was known of the enemy situation that Operation Stoesser would face. Von der Heydte's request for an estimate of the enemy situation brought the following reply from Dietrich during their meeting : <em>I am not a prophet ... you will learn earlier than I will what forces the Americans will employ against you.</em>. Von der Heydte attempted then to gain more information from the 6.SS-Panzer Headquarters Staff members. He did not get much and later, he observed : <em>we had thoroughly reconnoitered the American front lines and the enemy chain of command was well known. However, we were completely without knowledge of the enemy's strategic reserves. The distribution of his forces within the American communications zone was also unknown.</em> Von der Heydte's request for a personal air reconnaissance of the drop zone and target area was later rejected for fear of compromising the offensive. At the drop time, several days later, little would still be known of the enemy situation. The specified tasks given to von der Heydte were fairly clear : <em>conduct an airborne assault, secure the road junction; block enemy reinforcements moving south along the Eupen-Malmedy road; link-up with the elements of 12.SS-Panzer; and be prepared to jump into the Amblève river or Amay areas to secure bridges for the advance elements of 6.SS-Panzer.</em> The implied tasks for the operation were to assemble rapidly after the drop, establish defensive positions around the road junction, and be prepared to block enemy forces for up to twenty-four hours.<br>
<br>
The key limitation von der Heydte was working under was the incredibly short amount of time available for planning and preparation for the operation. Less than five days were available. The other limitation was that of available trained forces. Fighting as conventional infantry for the past three years, by December 1944, no parachute regiments were on active jump status. Additionally, no large scale airborne drops had been conducted by the Luftwaffe, save for the costly airborne raid on Marshal Tito's headquarters in Drvar, Bosnia, in May 1944. Ironically, the SS-Fallschirmjäger-Battalion that conducted the drop in Bosnia would be unable to conduct Stoesser as it was operating on the Eastern Front and had suffered heavy casualties. The solution would be to form an ad hoc Kampfgruppe or battle group consisting of elements from various parachute regiments in the Luftwaffe. Although this battle group concept was standard procedure for the German military, the results would be far from anyone's standards.<br>
<br>
Based upon the specified and implied tasks, the restated mission for Operation Stoesser might have read : On order, Battle Group Stoesser conducts an airborne assault to secure objective A (crossroads), and establish defensive positions in order to block enemy counter attacks into the northern flank of the 6.SS-Panzer-Army. The intent of Operation Stoesser was to block Allied advances against the flank of the 6.SS-Panzer, thereby allowing them to continue their advance across the Meuse unhindered. The restrictive nature of the terrain would make this possible at certain key points on the battlefield, like the road junction atop the Mont Rigi. This is what was desired by Model, and eventually understood by von der Heydte. However, the original guidance to von der Heydte from the 6.SS-Panzer's Chief of Staff indicated securing the road junction for use by armored points, although this was not what the originators of the plan intended. This disconnect in guidance would serve to give von der Heydte some latitude on how he would conduct the mission. This issue would resurface later in the operation.<br>
<br>
The concept of the operation was very simple. The paratroopers would conduct a mass night parachute assault into a drop zone in the immediate vicinity of their objective. They were to assemble rapidly, then secure the road junction and immediate surrounding area. At the road junction, they were to establish a blocking position astride the Eupen-Malmedy road to cut the American lines of communications to their forward defenses. The defensive position astride the road junction would then block combat units attempting to move south and reinforce the southern American defenses, or engage the flank of the 6.SS-Panzer. Link-up with the elements of the north flank division of 6.SS-Panzer, the 12.SS-Panzer-Division would occur by the end of December 16. The battle group was expected to hold their positions for two days, if necessary, until German forces could swing north and relieve them. Two days would be pushing the limits of the small battle group's capabilities, but it was not a completely unreasonable demand. The Stoesser force was to be an airborne battle group of approximately 1200 men, equipped with airborne 80-MM mortars, anti-tank weapons (Panzerfaust), and MG-42 machine guns while the Kampfgruppe would be inserted by the conventional Luftwaffe Ju-52 transport aircraft.<br>
<br>
(part one)
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BeitragBeitrags-Nr.: 208125 | Verfasst am: 12.03.2017 - 13:05    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

Both Operations, Greif and Stoesser, appeared in concept as viable missions. As events were to show during the limited preparation, and ultimately during the execution of the operations, the problems caused by the limited amount of time that hampered the planning effort would carry over throughout the missions. Although conceptually Operation Greif and Operation Stoesser fit well into the overall campaign plan for the offensive, realistically they were to be prepared in isolation and almost considered as after thoughts by the conventional commanders of the campaign. Based upon the concept of operations for each mission, Skorzeny and von der Heydte began their preparations immediately. From the start, the problems that would plague Operations Greif and Stoesser throughout their existence began to appear.<br>
<br>
<b>Special Operations Preparation</b><br>
<br>
The tasks of assembling and preparing the men and machines of Operations Greif and Stoesser began immediately after their inception :<br>
<ul>
<em>The Fuehrer has ordered the formation of a special unit of a strength of about two battalions for employment on reconnaissance and special duties on the Western Front. The personnel will be assembled from volunteers of all arms the Army and the Waffen SS who must fulfill the following requirements :<br>
<br>
a) Physically A-1, suitable for special tasks, mentally keen, strong personality<br>
b) Fully trained in single combat<br>
c) Knowledge of the English language and also the American dialect. Especially important is a knowledge of military technical terms<br>
<br>
This order is to be made know immediately to all units and headquarters. Volunteers may not be retained on military grounds but are to be sent immediately to Friedenthal near Orianenburg (HQs Skorzeny) for a test of suitability. The Volunteers that do not pass these tests satisfactorily will be returned to their headquarters and units. The volunteers are to report to Friedenthal by November 10 latest.</em><br>
</ul>
So read the order sent on October 25 1944 from the OKW to all units on the Western Front. It sums up in a nutshell the process for assembling the special operator trainees, that in this case, would be the heart of Operation Greif. It also serves as an example of just one part of the many and varied mission preparations that were undertaken for both operations. Special operations units require select personnel, unique equipment, and thorough training in order to success fully accomplish their high risk special missions. The German special operations forces participating in Wacht am Rhein were no exception. The unorthodox, unique and diversified nature of their tasks would place a premium on cohesive well-drained, and properly equipped forces. Unfortunately for the Germans, neither of the forces conducting the two operations would be well-manned, well-trained, or well-equipped.<br>
<br>
The lack of available time, coupled with the ad hoc nature of the organizations, would serve to prevent the formation of units truly capable of accomplishing their assigned missions with a reasonable probability of success. Thus despite tremendous organizational efforts, and a large dose of improvisation, the special operations forces would not be the highly mission capable units that were envisioned during the initial planning of the higher command headquarters. Rather than task organizing forces to accomplish their missions, both commanders were forced to do it backwards. They tailored their organizations and missions, to what forces were ultimately made available to them. Both the lack of time, and the depleted state of the German Army, were working against them. Operation Greif suffered from a lack of qualified soldiers and from insufficient amounts of equipment. The force, by nature of its mission, required a large number of English speaking personnel. It also required a broad range of combat skill from among the soldiers. Everything and everyone from tankers to signalers would be needed. American uniforms, arms, and vehicles of all types would be required for the unit's cover. No German unit existed that could meet all of the requirements of the Greif force. Even Skorzeny's own SS-Jagdverbande, less than a full battalion in strength, would not fit the bill. It lacked the English speakers needed, and it was a special mission unit that had focused on primarily strategic level special operations in the past. The creation of such a large unit with the requirement to use the ruse of posing as an enemy unit was something new to the special operations planners and the conventional staffers alike. From the start, it did not go well.<br>
<br>
Otto Skorzeny forwarded his plans and requirements for Operation Greif to the OKW Chief of Staff Generaloberst Jodl within five days of receiving his mission tasking at the Fuehrer Headquarters. Although his request for personnel and equipment might have been considered somewhat optimistic, (a 3300 man full panzer brigade in addition to the commando unit), he was promised unlimited support for his mission by the Jodl. German forces had undoubtedly captured American equipment and uniforms, and number of Germans had traveled to or even lived in America, and were thus familiar with the language. Although seemingly possible, the reality of assembling the force turned out to be a different matter. It started with material problems. Despite the pledge from Jodl, Skorzeny was obviously aware that the collection of a large quantity of captured American equipment would be no simple task, if for no other reason than the front-line units holding and using the needed tanks or jeeps would be unwilling to freely give them up. As a result he wrote to the Chief of Staff of Oberbefehlshaber West (OB West) Gen Siegfried Westphal on November 2 1944 and requested assistance in gathering the required equipment for the operation. Thus was born Rabenhugel.<br>
<br>
<a href="http://www.eucmh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/OP-Rabenhugel.jpg"><img src="http://www.eucmh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/OP-Rabenhugel.jpg" alt="" width="672" height="89" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-12946" /></a><br>
<br>
Rabenhugel was the code name for the requisition and collection of the American equipment and uniforms for Operation Greif conducted on the Western front during the month of November 1944. As part of Rabenhugel, the Ober Quartiermeister of OB West, Oberst John, was tasked to locate 15 tanks, 20 armored cars, 20 SP guns, 100 jeeps, 120 trucks, 40 motorcycles, and thousands of uniforms. These would be used by the Greif forces to replicate both small and large size American forces in order to conduct their penetrations to their targets. Rabenhugel, however, did not meet with much success. Despite the promises of support, and Hitler's outbursts of fury against various gentlemen in the quartermaster department, Skorzeny came no where near to obtaining the equipment needed his operation. On November 21, he sent a message to OB West complaining about the lack of necessary equipment for Greif. At that time, Skorzeny had at his disposal fewer than 34 jeeps, 15 trucks, one armored car, and two half-tracks. An official, full report was sent to OB West on November 24 by SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Stromer, one of Skorzeny's staff officers. It outlined the problems encountered in fitting the unit with equipment, and stated that the planned target date for completing the organization of the Greif force, November 25, could not be met.<br>
<br>
Counting both American equipment, and substituted German vehicles for example, only 57 of 150 jeeps, and 74 of 198 trucks were on hand at the Greif training site at Grafenwoehr. Five tanks, all German, in addition to the armored vehicles mentioned in Skoneny's earlier message, were the only combat vehicles for the entire Panzer Brigade 150. Two American M-4 Sherman tanks were turned over to Skorzeny. But, like most of the captured vehicles at Grafenwoehr, they were in poor running shape, both had soon broken down and proved un-serviceable. Skorzeny was forced to improvise in order to overcome the lack of vehicles. Several German tanks, assault guns, armored cars, and armored personnel carriers were received in lieu of the anticipated American vehicles. Substitute German Mark V Panther tanks were visuaUy modified to resemble American M-10 tank destroyers by cutting down their barrels and welding steel plates to their turrets and hulls. The remaining German assault guns, armored personnel carriers, and trucks were painted olive drab and adorned with painted white stars. Later Skorzeny would state <em>All I can say is that they could only deceive very young American troops, seeing them at night, from very far away.</em> Ultimately, the Kampfgruppe Skorzeny, Panzer-Brigade 150 would consist of five German Panther, five assault guns, six armored scout cars, and six armored personnel carriers. Added to this were four American scout cars and five half-tracks. The Stielau Commando Company fared much better, and had almost two dozen jeeps at its disposal.<br>
<br>
Only fifty percent of the required American small arms were ever assembled, and owing to the destruction of a munitions train, they were without any quantity of ammunition. Gemran weapons again filled the void. There were only enough American arms and ammunition to equip the commando company. The situation in regards to uniforms was no better. Skoneny stated the case very clearly himself :<br>
<ul>
<em>but the most fantastic position of all was in respect of clothing, to which, of course, we had to attach the utmost importance. We started off by receiving a consignment of miscellaneous articles, which upon closer examination turned out to be parts of British uniforms. Then we were sent lots of overcoats, which were practically useless, because we knew that the Americans only wore so-called field-jackets in the line. When the head of the prisoner of war section sent us a supply of these jackets, it was observed that they were adorned with the triangle peculiar to prisoners and the consignment had to be returned. It was an eloquent comment on the way business was handled that the commander of the brigade - myself - got nothing but an American army pullover in my size.</em><br>
</ul>
It was all far from ideal, and much less than what was hoped for in the initial planning. The shortage of equipment was paralleled by shortages of personnel. The original table of organization for Operation Greif proposed a force of 3300 men. By 0-Day, closer to 2500 men filled the ranks of Panzer-Brigade 150 and it is just a commando company. Similarly to the problem of procuring sufficient quantities of American equipment for the force, finding adequate numbers of capable American speakers was also quite a challenge. Skorzeny realized early in his planning that he could never hope to get sufficient numbers of English speakers to man his entire force. More important perhaps, he also realized that with only four weeks of preparation time, he could not mold them into a cohesive, and self-contained and compact formation, but rather would require a few regular units to give them stiffening. Upon his request to OKW, Skorzeny's original force of his SS commando company, and the 600.SS-Fallschirmjäger-Battalion, was increased with two Luftwaffe parachute battalions, one Wehrmacht tank company, and one communication company. Additionally, Skorzeny knew that to lead his ad hoc formation he would need battalion commanders with front-line experience. He requested
and was granted, three such officers, SS-Obersturmbannführer Willy Hardieck, Obersleutnant Hermann Wolf, and Hauptman Walter Scherff. Skorzeny was to say of his three battle group commanders :<br>
<ul>
<em>Of the three allocated, Hardieck was a splendid officer, but never led this sort of operation before. The same could be said of Wolf and Scherff but the enthusiasm with which they entered into their new duties made me certain that somehow, everything would be all right. I did not forget that I had no previous experience of leading an attack in borrowed plumage.</em><br>
</ul>
The situation with the English speaking volunteers for the mission paralleled that of the Rabenhugel failure with material. For a force originally envisioned to masquerade as the equivalent of an American regiment numbering in the thousands, fewer than 150 competent English speakers were ultimately obtained. While it was probably unrealistic to expect such a large number of English speakers, the results still fell short of expectations. Skorzeny described the situation with these volunteers as follows :<br>
<ul>
<em>When the first hundred volunteers reported at Friedenthal a week later, the future of Greif looked blacker than ever. We employed a number of language experts who divided them into categories, according to their knowledge of English. After a couple of weeks, the result was terrifying. Category one, comprising men speaking perfectly and with some notion of American slang was ten strong and most of them were sailors, who at so figured largely in category two. The latter comprised men speaking perfectly, but with no knowledge of American slang. There were thirty to forty of them. The third category consisted of between 120 and 150 men who spoke English fairly well and the fourth, about 200 strong, of those who had learned a little English at school. The rest could just about say yes. In practice it meant that we might just as well mingle with the fleeing Americans and pretend to be too flurried and overcome to speak.</em><br>
</em>
Of the 600 volunteers who arrived at Friedenthal, Skorzeny picked 150 of the best for the commando company. Some of the remainder were to go directly to the panzer brigade, while the many of the poorer speaker who possessed no critical or special combat skills were destined to remain at Grafenwoehr during the operation both for security considerations and for use as some type of last ditch reserve. Most of the men selected were sailors that had served in the American merchant marine prior to the war, while some were German-Americans who had lived in the United States. Most lacked any real combat training, and none had anything approaching special operations experience.<br>
<br>
The total force ultimately available to Skorzeny for his Panzer-Brigade 150 was as follows :<br>
<ul>
1 - Brigade HQs consisting of the Brigade Staff and a signal company, (based upon Panzer Brigade 108 elements)<br>
2 - Three small combat staffs, one per battle group, (drawn from Panzer-Brigades 10 and 113)<br>
3 - Two Army signal companies<br>
4 - Two Luftwaffe parachute battalions<br>
5 - One company of Jagdverbande Mitte<br>
6 - Two companies from SS-Fallschirmjäger-Battalion 600<br>
7 - Two tank companies, (crewed by elements from the 11.Panzer-Regiment and the 655.Jagdpanzer-Battalion<br>
8 - Two panzer grenadier companies<br>
9 - Two companies of heavy mortars<br>
10 - Two anti-tank companies<br>
11 - One pioneer company<br>
12 - Three vehicle repair companies<br>
13 - One special commando company<br>
</ul>
The overall capability of this force was something much less then originally envisioned prior to Rabenhugel. It consisted of the equivalent of an infantry regiment augmented with some tanks, rather then a full-blown panzer-brigade. However, it might still be of sufficient strength to seize a lightly defended target in a surprise attack, and hold it until link-up with header forces. If employed on a conventional mission as a whole force, it might be counted on to put up one credible fight, despite the lack of tactical unity and cohesion. This could be adequate enough to defeat a defending force of several companies in strength, but would not be sufficient to exploit such success. Lacking artillery, anti-tank, anti-aircraft, and support units, and limited in supplies, the brigade could not be counted on for any sustained combat. It would need to avoid fighting until it reached its objectives on the Meuse. Skorzeny was to say this regarding the force's capability : <em>my detachments could not allow themselves to be involved in even a minor scuffle.</em><br>
<br>
The shortages in personnel and equipment forced Skorzeny to modify his original proposed task organization for Operation Greif. The English speakers were concentrated into one special unit and isolated from the rest of the force. The headquarters for the force was small, with no liaison teams or extra personnel. The three battle groups of Panzer-Brigade 150 remained, but rather than being full reinforced battalions, they eventually were tasked organized as folows :<br>
<ul>
<b>Kampfgruppe X</b>
Commanded by SS-Obersturmbannführer Willi Hardieck<br>
(replaced by SS-Hauptsturmführer Adrian von Foelkersam)<br>
1 HQ Section<br>
1 Tank Company, (5 Mark V Panther and 5 StuG III)<br>
2 Infantry Companies from Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger Battalion<br>
1 Infantry Company from the Jaghverband Mitte<br>
2 Panzer-Grenadier Platoons<br>
2 AT Platoons<br>
2 Heavy mortar Platoons<br>
1 Engineer platoon<br>
1 Signal Platoon<br>
1 vehicle repair group<br>
<br>
<b>Kampfgruppe Y</b><br>
Commanded by Hauptmann Walter Scherff<br>
1 HQ Section<br>
1 Tank Company (5 Mark V Panther and & 5 StuG III)<br>
3 Infantry Companies<br>
2 Panzer-Grenadier Platoons<br>
2 AT Platoons<br>
2 Heavy mortar Platoons<br>
2 Engineer Platoon<br>
1 Signal Platoon<br>
<br>
<b>Kampfgruppe Z</b><br>
Commanded by Oberstleutnant Hermann Wolf<br>
1 HQ Section<br>
3 Infantry Companies<br>
2 Panzer-Grenadier Platoons<br>
2 AT Platoons<br>
2 Heavy mortar Platoons<br>
1 Engineer Platoon<br>
1 Signal Platoon<br>
<br>
<b>Commando Company</b><br>
<br>
The forces of the Panzer-Brigade 150, with the exception of the modified tanks, olive drab vehicles, and the soldiers of the commando company, were eventually equipped with German material and weapons. The overall result was far from what was expected. Skorzeny reported these shortages and difficulties to his higher headquarter. During several situation conferences at the Führer Headquarter, Skorzeny stated his <em>perpetual complaints</em> about the failure to procure the needed personnel and equipment. At the last situation conference, he summed up the overall situation of the Operation Greif force : <em>we are having to improvise from A to Z, but we will do all that is possible</em>.<br>
<br>
The capability of the brigade was now split three ways. Each battle group was the size of an under strength infantry battalion with armor attached. Clearly, each battle group lacked the combat power for any type of determined fighting prior to reaching their targets. They would have barely enough to seize and hold their objectives. Lacking artillery and anti-tank weapons, the battle groups could not be expected to realistically hold the bridges against determined American counter attacks for any long period of time. The battle groups would have to get to their targets quickly, and without fighting, and then be promptly relieved. This task organization reflected the units that each battle group would eventually support and follow. Kampfgruppe X (Hardieck), the most capable, would work with the 1.SS-Panzer-Division, the I.SS-Panzer-Corps main effort. Kampfgruppe Y (Scherff) would operate with the 12.SS-Panzer-Division. Kampfgruppe Z (Wolf), the least capable of the groups was destined to operate with the 12.Volksgrenadier-Division, an infantry organization lacking much armor, and given a supporting role in the attack.<br>
<br>

THIS IS THE PLACE I WAS BUGGED

while ready my text I found out that they had 10 Mk V Panther and 10 StuG III but this doesn't seems to fits to the rest of the story

So I went to you guys (you are expert into this area) for assistance because I will not let the archive go untill I have all it complet ...

...


The commando company, Einheit Stielau, named after their commander, SS-Hauptsturmführer nnfrc.hrer~ t i e l a u , ~ ~ was task organid into three groups based
upon their assigned missions. These commandos were equipped with Americanjeeps and
arms,and wore American uniforms. Comprised of the best of the English speakers, most
commandoswere crediiledoubles of their American counterparts.





Oberfähnrich Günther Billing
Obergefreiter Wilhelm Schmidt
Unteroffizier Manfred Pernass
tried and executed on 23 December 1944

Leutnant Wilhelm Wiesenfeld
Feldwebel Manfred Bronny
Stabsgefreiter Hans Reich
tried and executed on 26 December 1944

Leutnant Arno Krause
Leutnant Günther Schilz
Unteroffizier Erhard Miegel
Obermaschinenmaat Horst Görlich
Obergefreiter Norbert Pollack
Obergefreiter Rolf Benjamin Meyer
Obergefreiter Hans Wittsack
tried and executed on 30 December 1944

Gefreiter Otto Struller
Gefreiter Alfred Franz
Obergefreiter Antoni J. Morzack
tried and executed on the 13 of January 1945 (at Huy)

Günther Schulz
tried and executed on 14 June 1945

All of these commissions were appointed by Lieutenant General Courtney Hodges, Commanding General of the First United States Army pursuant to authority delegated to him by the 12th Army Group CG (Omar Bradley) on the instructions of General Dwight Eisenhower, commanding the European Theater of Operations, United States Army. The first sixteen executions were all carried out by the First Army after the sentences were confirmed by General Hodges.

It is not known why the trial of Gunther Schultz was delayed until May of 1945, and nor is it clear who ordered his death sentence to be carried out. The Schultz execution was carried out by personnel of the Ninth United States Army.
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BeitragBeitrags-Nr.: 208126 | Verfasst am: 12.03.2017 - 13:18    Titel: Antworten mit Zitat

If you want to see the text online (more easy to read I will put it online with the password 'skorzeny'

I have removed the tags [restrict] to allow you to see it but I don't know if it will let you in - if not - just register (worpdress) (sorry)

http://www.eucmh.com and it's the 1st post under the search engine (German Special Operations)
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