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Heroes of DAK

Discussion in 'North Africa and the Mediterranean' started by Kai-Petri, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    I might research on the generals... That's my speciality, isn't it? ;)
     
  2. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    OK Kai, here is a sample for you.

    Hans-Jurgen von Arnim, was born on April 4/ 1889 in Ernsdorf, Silesia. His ultimate rang was Generaloberst. His last postiion was as C-i-C of Armee Gruppe Afrika.

    He was the son of General Hans von Arnim, and he joined the Army on April 1/ 1908, and was commissioned a Leutnant on August 19/ 1909, and was posted to the 1st Guards Uhlan Regiment.

    He served as battalion Adjutant and had also been a Kompanie Commander in Reserve Regmint 93. He had been wounded three times and in ww1, was awarded the Wound Badge in Silver, and both classes of the Iron Cross.

    Never serving in the Freikorps , he was retained by the military to serve in the Reichswehr and he had served i9 both the General Staffs and in the Field Forces. In the latter half of 1931, he became CO of a Light Infantry Unit based in Orteslburg, East Prussia.

    On July 1/ 1934, he was promoted to Oberst and became I.a. of the 22nd Infantry Division in Bremen.

    On October 1/ 1935, H-J. von Arnim became CO of the 68th Infantry Regiment and was promoted to Generalmajor on January 1/ 1938.

    When war broke out in 1914, von Arnim became the CO of the 52nd Infantry Division . He was promoted to Generalleutnant on December 1/ 1939 and led this Division in France.

    He transferred to command the 17th Panzer Division on October 17/ 1940, which he led in campaigns against Russia. He was awarded his Knights Cross of the Iron Cross for his Divisions actions resulting in the capture of Brest Litovsk, Smolensk, Kiev and Briansk.

    On October 1/ 1941, he was promoted to General der Panzertruppen and was the CO of 39th Panzer Korps in Russia, untill he was sent to Tunisia, to become Commander-in-Chief of 5th Panzer Army on December 3/ 1942.

    When Rommel departed from Afrika, von Arnim became the commander of Armee Gruppe Afrika. On May 12/ 1943, he surrendered his forces and went with them into captivity untill he was released sometime in 1947. He is deceased.

    [ 18 October 2002, 03:52 PM: Message edited by: C.Evans ]
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Thanx a lot Carl!

    What a coincidence as I read on Rommel today
    ( David Irving´s book ).Unfortunately Arnim was not good friends with Rommel and vice versa. :confused: :(
     
  4. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hi Kai, I thought you might like that--it was just a small gift to last you till Sat or Sunday. :D
     
  5. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Carl :

    Can you tell which of the chaps are Fallshirmtruppen ? maybe some bio's from me...

    E
     
  6. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hi Erich--yep--that will be easy to do. I can cross reference what I have and can let you know. Ill try to remember to look by tomorrow if I dont have the time today. There arent very many so it shouldnt take too long.

    Do you also have any names that you particularly interested in? Just let me know.

    BTW, about 2 yrs ago--just by cross referencing all my books, I had discovered TWO men who were Fallschirmjager, but were mistakenly listed as being in the DAK. I cant remember their names off hand but, ill try to remember to sort those two out too. :D
     
  7. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Sure, all of them would be excellent so I can cross reference with my other Luftwaffe RK books.
    Thumbs up !

    E
     
  8. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I "see" you have 1870 posts--I guess you get an 1870 EK2 ;)

    Next question is, do you want all FCHJGR RKT names or just ones that might be on the list I posted somewhere above?
     
  9. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Ha good one ! never even thought about the EK 1870......

    No just the DAK/Fallshirm RK winners only. I have a complete listing of all Fallshirm guys but it is buried on the shelves with the other materials on their units. Curious as to received the Ritterkreuz while doing combat in Nord-Afrika.
    Ohhhhhh, just to thinking the DAK symbol might be kinda neat for an icon, though it may be hard to see that small....

    E
     
  10. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    OK, let me see what I can come up with on names--ill send you a list or post them here--then you can let me know who your most interested in--this way I dont get too far behind on other stuff. Im still working on my Kurt "Panzer" Meyer Bio.

    Also, in the KC Recipients-an update topic--did you see my new posting today? Our resident RKT passed away on Oct 16th in Maryland. :(
     
  11. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Sad to hear about the falling of the RK in Maryland.....

    please post the Fallshirm guys here and then I can make a look over the list and put bios together for them..Oooooooh, I see a parachutist icon coming.... ;)

    E
     
  12. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    [​IMG]

    No, this man didn't like Rommel at all as well as Rommel didn't like Von Arnim.

    Von Arnim was the typical Reichswehr officer, with bright boots, gloves, batton and monocle. He hated the idea of being like Rommel: sleeping anywhere with the men, having dust in his uniform... An abstoβend... Also, he was very conservative in his military views. He was used to big anihilation battles of the Eastern front more than very mobile warfare. Before leaving his men, trapped in Tunisia, Rommel advised him about where the British forces were badly deployed and where they were most vulnerable. He suggested mobile surroundings for the flanks with mobile forces. Von Arnim said he would do so but he didn't. He attacked frontally with his infantry, supported by mobile forces, there, where the British were strogest and where they were waiting the Germans. The Panzerarmee "Afrika" was smashed.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Erich--OK, ill post their names tomorrow when I get access to my stuff. :D
     
  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    On the tigers of DAK:

    Upon arrival the commander of 504 learned that the 501 was without a commander and only 11 of the 501’s Tigers remained serviceable. It was therefore decided to incorporate the 501 Tigers and their remaining PzKpfw.IIIs and PzKpfw.IVs into the 504 since only 3 of the 504 Tigers were ready for action around the time of March 10th. Gen.von Arnim then ordered the merged battalion south to the Maknassy pass area in support of Kampfgruppe Lang.

    On March 20 they moved west to intercept American forces attempting to break through to the sea and claimed 44 tanks of 9th Armored Division. These would be some of the last victories for the newly combined 1st Company 504 battalion.

    Because of situation in Tunisia getting worse, the 2nd Company s.Pz.Abt.504 was retained in Sicily. All of the 1st Company s.Pz.Abt.504 Tigers were destroyed or captured. The First Tiger to be captured by the allies came from this unit. The surviving elements surrendered on 12 May 1943, only 60 short days from their arrival.

    --------

    In a series of sharp armored actions, Rommel quickly penetrated thinly held American positions and broke through the Kasserine Pass. Although success appeared within his grasp, lack of unified command interfered. Planning an attack of his own, General von Arnim refused to release an armored division needed to continue Rommel's thrust ( The tigers plus some infantry!! ). Concerned that Rommel lacked the strength for a deep envelopment by way of Tébessa, the Italian high command directed a turn northward, a much shallower envelopment.

    The turn played into Allied hands, for the British already had established a blocking position astride the only road leading northward. At the height of a clash between Rommel's tanks and the British, four battalions of American artillery arrived after a forced march from Oran. On February 22 these guns and a small band of British tanks brought the Germans to a halt. Warned by intelligence reports that the British Eighth Army was about to attack the Mareth Line, Rommel hurriedly pulled back to his starting point
     
  15. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Kai, ill have more DAK heros stuff here for you as soon as I finish posting Kurt "Panzer" Mayers bio info. Im now at the part where he is in command of "H.J" in Normandy and they are fighting the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division. Im supposing he gets captured VERY soon.
     
  16. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Okie dokey, post the Fallshirm DAK vets RK list when you have time......I'll be making comment when I see them sometime tomorrow possibly.

    E
     
  17. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Which unfortunately will have to be tomorrow. My car is back in the shop till late today--and I forgot to bring my info with me. Anyway--I will post more info tomorrow.
     
  18. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Ich verstehen ! nicht vergessen......

    Carl, no problemo. i was looking through some of my Fallshirmjäger materials very late last night; didn't sleep too well, maybe the reason I feel so cocky today. Anyway I couldn't tell who did what as several of the winners are dressed in the med fatigues and were either serving in Afrika or Italy. So I'll leave that up to you. My DAK FAllshirm vet friend on the coast knows a couple of the guys and I need to send a letter or phone message his way to find out more. Of course I was going to have an interview of him to send to Otto but that hasn't transpired as of yet. hopefully by Christmas.....maybe.
    Not sure if I mentioned this or not last year, but my older neighbor across the street used to work in White City which is home of the local domaciliary. Back in 1943 onward she drove truck armed with Us army guards and who should be on work detail...... ? U got it ! many DAK vets. There had been Heer veterans here before their transfer back east, but she talked to me several times about how ruff and full of pride the Afrika Korps boys were, some of them talking some very good English to her. I asked her if she was ever afraid of being overpowered by them and the final result, but she always said she could hold her own.......her father was a mafia leader and she learned how to fire a handgun at age 6. She did tell me though that the Offiziers always treated her with respect. Cheers Stella. She is a wonderful 99 years of age.

    E
     
  19. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Double thumbs up for that lady you know.

    Im off to get my car in about another 30 minutes--then a 30 minute trip just to get there. So ill have the info tonight--but no access to a computer till tomorrow :(
     
  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The power of the 88!:

    Africa. Generally speaking the German tanks were inferior to the British in both numbers and quality. The big difference was in their handling as Rommel massed his tanks and used the Shield and Sword tactic continually. The British attack of June 1941 (Operation Battleaxe) ran into thirteen 88’s which were well dug in and concealed. They lost 123 out of their 238 tanks and were almost cut off by a skilful counter-attack by the Afrika Corps panzers. General Messervy of the 4th Indian Division said that the 88’s were the main reason for the failure of Operation Battleaxe but his views were obviously not heeded As it all happened again in Operation Crusader.

    In Operation Crusader ( November 1941 ) after 5 days of hard fighting the Germans were down to only 100 tanks from the original 174 German and 146 light Italian . However, the British lost 300 out of 450 Cruiser tanks - mostly to anti-tank guns. In mobile battles where there is no enforced line of approach ( Forest road etc) the trick is to lay mines so that the enemy tanks are forced down a lane onto the Pakfront.

    The Sword tactic is important too as Rommel told a captured British Brigadier “ I don’t care how many tanks you British have so long as you keep splitting them up the way you do . I shall continue to destroy them piecemeal”.

    Later on I thought of going through the battle at Gazala where Rommel almost got trapped but instead Ritchie lost his tanks by the mighty 88´s. Even if mentioned as Rommel´s finest victory in Afrika it as well almost was the end of his army!
     

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