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Metz 1944


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#1 Erich

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 09:29 PM

anyone suggest a web-pages or book(s) to view on the battle for the Forts in the Lorraine. I do know that the 17th W-SS was involved and fighting for their lives. Anyone have a OOB for both US and German sources ?

thankx all !

~E
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#2 Stevin

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 10:49 PM

Red Devil by Lawrence Nickell that I just finished has a chapter about Metz. Lawrence was with the 5th Inf. Div. and mentions fighting the 17th SS several times. Although certainly not exhaustive on Metz and as this is a veteran's memoir, it does tell you something about Metz from his perspective. Though probably not what you are looking for. As to German OOB, he mentions they faced troops of a Officer Candidate School located in Metz, consisting of battle-hardened veterans, which were more difficult to deal with thanany other unit, including 17th SS, he writes...

Some other units he mentions with regard to Metz:
- 6th Cavalry Group
- 7th Armored Division
- 90th Infantry Division

I also have Das Auge Der Division by Helmut Gunther. It has 1 chapter, 55 pages on Metz.

As I understand it Metz took quite a while so at least on the US side there were quite a few units involved. I'll try to dig up some more I might have.

HTH
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#3 Erich

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 12:20 AM

Stevin do you have Günther's book ? hmmmmmmmm idea coming on. I do notice the 2nd volume of Das Sturmflut und das Ende has coverage but the volume is not in my hands.
I placed this post because this severe and almost unknown campaign started in September and did not finish up until November of 44

thanks so far......

~E
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#4 Erich

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 12:23 AM

crap, my Opa eyes are getting tired.......yes I SEE that you have his book. A couple of questions.

Stevin what was the heaviest equipment the Recon Abt. had during this time ? Recon vehicles with anything heavier than 2cm ? Also does Günther have some close-up maps in his book during the time of the fortresses ?
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#5 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 03:15 AM

I would recommend 'The Unknown Battle: Metz, 1944 by Anthony Kemp. If you still would like an OOB it will take a few days but I could produce a fairly detailed one in that time.
The US did bring up alot of their heaviest field pieces for Metz including 8" and 240mm howitzers and guns along with a fair number of M 12 155mm SPGs. One was used to smash in the gates of a medival castle in the center of Metz itself at one point.

[ 22. October 2003, 10:19 PM: Message edited by: T. A. Gardner ]

#6 Erich

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 03:45 AM

Yes I think I even posted something on Kemps newest release a revision and much larger version of his older work on the subject. Available through Casemate pubs for around 70.00 US.

my mind is going sadly

T.A. yes if you have time I'd like to see an OOB for more research purposes.

~E
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#7 m kenny

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 09:46 AM

Heimdal have a Metz book in their Album Memorial series, again by Kemp (£40). Published only recently and bi-lingual (French/English)it is mainly a photo chronicle with several hundred images. Is it the same as the update you mention?

#8 Stevin

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 02:56 PM

Schwere waffen are hardly mentioned.He mentions Flak abt. 17 had their 88's destroyed in Klein-Prunach, south of Metz.

Later, in Chenicourt, he mentions "...3. komp., teile der 4., des PAK- und 1IG-zuges..." In an Anlage this 1IG identified as "3 Geschutze 7,5 an 1/2 to Opel-Blitz" Same as PAK-zug. These were with 5.Kp (Schwere Kompanie), only one other; 1 Pi-Zug auf VW-Schwimmwagen.

Later, "...Die fahrzeuge waren unsere wichtigsten waffen-..." just before that he writes about " Schwimmwagen".

He does mention a Lt. from Kriegsschule Metz that was attached to his unit.

Also mentions 106. Panzer Brigade and the follwoing US units; 5th Armored Div. 5th and 7th US Inf. Div.

He has one or two maps. More about the surroundings of Metz than Metz itself...
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#9 Erich

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 03:04 PM

M kenny, yes that is the book. Most book distributors are selling the book now, and www.rzm.com has a blurb on it. sounds like a nifty Christmas present in the making eh ?

Stevin, very cool ! Can you scan and post the two maps possibly ? I am actually surprised that the 17th SS had any heavy stuff at all after Normandie fiasco as the division was really hit hard. Though I have felt the Recon Abt must have been in some sort of shape since they formed the basis of a small Battlegroup under Fick upon the escape of Falaise pocket. Somewhere is some buried info I acquired back in the late 60's consistent of almost 1 liners from day to day about the 17th Ss activites during the Metz ops. Will look for and post

anyone else ?
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#10 Stevin

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 03:33 PM

Yes, I will...the moment I get Helmut's or Vorwinckel's permission... ;)

Ok, but only for research purposes, right? tongue.gif

I'll email them in a few hours.
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#11 Erich

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 04:07 PM

I'll make sure I write Helmut and ask and hopefully he won't send some sort of wierd stealth package in return...... :eek:

received loud und Klar
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#12 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 10:49 PM

Well, the OOB's going faster than I thought. A day or two should have it. I could also post maps and even some of the plans for some of the forts if I could figure out how to get them from the scanned files onto this site.

#13 Erich

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 11:06 PM

Excellent !

Kai, Stevin O., Friedrich maybe able to help......send them a private

will look forward to seeing them

~E
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#14 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 25 October 2003 - 06:32 PM

Ok, I have a decent German OOB for the Metz battles (September through November) done. I will post that one as soon as it is typed up. The US one will be ready in about a week (I want to check some things with a friend who is more of an expert on Third Army than I).

#15 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 10:30 PM

Ok. Here's the German OOB:

Metz 1944 Order of Battle (German)



The Metz Fortifications:

Only the fortresses that were central to the fighting are listed. While many of the older Vauban and bastion type forts dating from the 1700’s and 1800’s were involved, their use was limited to local defenses and short lived. Those listed below are primarily German feste type fortresses built in the 1890’s.

The typical feste type fortification had 16 – 18cm thick cast iron turrets with a 4cm steel liner. These were fixed in battery positions, usually three turrets to a battery, in a common concrete pad. The mount for the turret was a steel apron with thicknesses similar to the turret itself. The aprons were set in the concrete pad, which was 6 to 10 feet thick. These forts also had several large blockhouse style barracks. These had 10 to 15 foot thick reinforced concrete roofs with 4 to 6 ft thick walls. They were partially buried under as much as 20 feet of compacted earth. Underground tunnels connected all of the structures. The fort also had deep wide trenches, some as much as 30 feet in both dimensions and were surrounded by a thick layer of barbed wire entanglements.



Driant:

2 batteries of 3 each 10cm guns, 2 batteries of 3 each 15cm guns. Attached to this fort is Batterie Moselle just east of the main fort with 2 10cm guns.



Jeanne d’Arc:

2 batteries of 3 each 10cm guns, 2 batteries of 3 each 15cm guns.



Fest Friedrich Karl:

Consists of forts Plappeville, St. Quentin (both bastion type forts from the 1870’s) and, Girardin (a polygonial type from the 1880’s). Upgraded with a battery of 15cm guns and a battery of 21cm guns.



Verdun group:

Consists of forts St. Blaise and Sommy. Each has 2 batteries of 3 each 10cm guns, 1 battery of 3 15cm guns.



Aisne:

1 battery of 3 10cm guns, 1 battery of 3 15cm guns.



Yesr:

2 batteries of 3 each 10cm guns, 2 batteries of 3 each 15cm guns.



Lorraine:

2 batteries of 3 each 10cm guns, 2 batteries of 3 each 15cm guns.



Of these, about 10% were initially made operational. Most of those were in forts Driant and Jeanne d’ Arc. By November the Germans had managed to get about 50% of the guns operational in most of the forts listed. These batteries were missing sights, range tables and, a lot of other equipment to make the guns fully operational and effective.



South of Metz the town of Thionville was also fortified. The fortifications there that played a role in 1944 were:



Königsmacker:

2 batteries of 3 each 10cm guns, 2 batteries of 3 each 15cm guns.



Marne group:

Consists of forts Jury, Mercy and, Ars-Laquenery. The last named had a battery of 6 10cm guns.



The September OOB:



The battle for Metz took place in two distinct segments: The first segment took place in September and was primarily an attack by the 90th US Infantry Division against Fort Driant. To the South of Metz some additional battles occurred between units of XIII SS Corps and the US as well.



Units involved directly in the defense of Metz in September:



462nd Division Number (Lt. Gen. Krause to 9/18. Relieved by GenMaj Lübbe)



Fahrenjunkerschule (Officer Candidate School) regiment. (Oberst v. Siegroth)

(3,300 men)



Unterführerschule (NCO Leadership School) regiment (Oberst Wagner)

(1,500 men)



1010 Landesschützen Regiment (Oberst Anton)

1 Fest MG abt.

1 Fest inf abt

(600 men)



Artillery: 2 batteries 7.62cm ® guns, 1 battery 10.5 cm howitzers.



City garrison:

282nd Infantry Abt.

Abteilung “Berg” (SS signals school troops)



South of Metz the following units were deployed. These were engaged in a combination of offensive and defensive operations but not directly in defense of Metz.



19th VG Division (Obrest Britzelmayer)



59th, 73rd and, 74th VG Regiments

119th Artillery Regiment

119th PzJr Abt (11 Hetzers)

(approx. 9,000 men)



106th Panzer Brigade “Feldherrenhalle” (Oberst Bäke)



2106th Panzer Abt. (33 Panthers, 11 Stg III)

2106th Panzergrenadier Abt.

2106th Pioneer Kp.


NOVEMBER OOB



Following a localized counterattack by the 19th VG and 106th Panzer and the successful defense of Metz by the 462nd, and in particular the Fahrenjunkerschule Regiment, the 3rd US Army went into defense during October due to a shortage of supplies. The US resumed the offensive in early November.



LXXXII Corps (MajGen Johann Sinnhuber)



Corps troops:



1 Eisenbahn Artillerie Btry (1 x 28 cm railway gun)

485th Pzjr Abt (20 – 25 guns)

486th Pzjr Abt (20 – 25 guns)

1131 Fest. Art. Reg.

761st Art. Reg.

22nd Fest. Reg

45th Fest MG Abt

53rd Fest MG Abt

811th Fest Flak Abt (3 Batteries 88mm AA)

1519 Fest Art Abt

55th Fest Pio Abt.

1010 LdS Reg (Oberst Anton) (about 500 men)



462nd VG Division (MajGen Lübbe, relieved 14 Nov by LtGen Kittel)

(The 462nd Division Number was redesignated a VG division in late October)



1215 VG Reg (from Fahrenjunkerschule Reg) (Oberst Stössel)

1216 VG Reg (from Unterführerschule Reg) (Oberst Stolz)

1217 VG Reg (formed from local units) (Oberstlt Richter)

1462 Artillerie Reg (Oberst Palm)

2 batteries 7.62mm ®, 1 battery 10.5cm howitzers

1462 Pzjr Abt (Hpt Lautenschlager)

(10 anti-tank guns)

1462 Füsilier Abt (initially company) (Hpt Voss)

1462 Pioneer Abt (Hpt Hasselmann)

1462 Nach Abt. (Hpt Fremel)

Divisional services number is 1462



19th VG Division (GenMaj Britzelmayer)



59th, 73rd and, 74th VG Regiments

119th Artillery Regiment

(2 light battalions, 1 medium battalion)

119th PzJr Abt (11 Hetzers)

Divisional services number 119

(about 8,500 men)



416th VG Division (Genlt Pflieger)

(Locally this unit was widely known as the Schlagsahne Division or “Whipped Cream Division” due to its being manned mostly by unfit troops)

712th, 713th and 714th VG Regiments

416th Artillery Regiment

(equipped with Danish 7.5cm guns and 1 battalion of 12.2cm ® Howitzers)

416th Pzjr Abt

Divisional services number 416

(about 8,500 men)



During the battle a KG from 25th Panzer Grenadier Division was made available for counterattacks. This consisted of:



PzGr Reg 35 + 10 AFV



XIII SS Corps (Genlt der SS Hermann Preiss)



Corps troops:



SS Flak Abt 513

SS Nach Abt 513

Corps services # 113

SS Reg. zbV “Matzdorff” (asorbed by 17th SS PzGr Div in early Nov)

92nd Luftwaffe Field Reg

48th Fest MG Abt (Verdun group garrison)

1431 Fest Abt

401st VolksArtillerie Korps

7th VolksWerfer Korps

243rd StG Brigade



17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division (Genmaj der SS Werner Ostendorff)



37th and 38th SS Pz Grenadier Regiments

17th SS Artillerie Reg.

(This unit has its complete assignment of towed artillery)

17th SS Pzjr Abt.

17th SS Panzer Abt. (4 Pz IV, 6 StG III)

17th SS Aüfks Abt (has an armored car company with Sdkfz 222 and 223 armored cars)



Division services number 17

(lists 15,843 men on 10/31)



553rd VG Division (Genmaj Hüter)

(Relieved by 48th VG Division early Nov)

1119th, 1120th and, 1121 VG Regiments

1553 Artillery Regiment

1553 Pzjr Kp.

1553 Füsilier Kp

Services number 1553



48th Infantry Division

(Relieved by 36th VG Division in mid Nov)

126th, 127th and, 128th Infantry Regiments

148th Artillery Regiment

48th Füs Kp.

148th Pzjr Abt.

Divisional services number 148



36th VG Division (Genmaj Wellm)

87th, 118th and, 165th VG Regiments

36th Artillery Regiment

Divisional services etc # 36
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#16 Erich

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 03:09 AM

very good T.A. ! what a mish mash of units, some without full strength numbers to really be effective. I'll ask a question or two when I have my thinking cap on properly this week......
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#17 Stevin

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 08:43 AM

Originally posted by T. A. Gardner:

17th SS Artillerie Reg.

(This unit has its complete assignment of towed artillery)

T.A., Erich, is the the same as 17th Flak Abt.? or is 17th Flak abt. a unit resorting under this unit? (of course, Abt. and Reg. are two different units. reason for Q: see post above; they had their 88's destroyed south of Metz.)

Impressive list, T.A.!
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#18 Erich

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 04:38 PM

well I am frustrated this morn. Cannot find the small KTB of sorts for this time frame by the 17th SS........maybe tonight late. The artillery unit should of been equipped with 105 and 150mm guns while the Flak Abt. should of had at least 6-8 88mm guns with a small compliment of 3.7cm weapons on mobil wheels hauled or 2cm weapons. In writing in could of been a propaganda ploy if the Flak had been destroyed or was not put into effect with the W-SS administration and that only the stab was in operation, which then would of been a special case, the unit non-operational by an engagement point of view but in man power was still active. Similiar to Luftwaffe. A Gruppenstab still alive and kicking but no a/c due to attrition.......

~E
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#19 Erich

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 08:01 PM

Sept. 6, 1944 in the Metz area, 17th Ss and the 462nd Div. with Ss signal school Berg with 4 companies, HQ of Berg at Joury aux Arches along with 37th W-SS regiment east of Metz, after road march of 50 iles from the vicinty of Saarbruten.

Sept. 7, 1944 37th W-SS regt. 2nd Abt. with 620 men ordered to Marly three miles east of Jouy aux Arches. Attached to the second Abt. was a cmpany of grenadiers, 7 flak tanks-2cm Flak vierlings, 2 Stug's and 1 7.5cm self-propelled gun. Second Abt. arrived in marly mid afternoon. The bulk of the abt. arrived at Augny, between marly and Jouy-aux-Arches.

this is from some materials some 35 years ago and unfortunately I never kept track as to what source I was keeping many times as a junior high/high school student.

Stevin what date do you have for the 88mm flak abteilung destruction ? I see nothing of it's demise in these pages. The Artillery Abteilung-regiment was of high reputation clear into December 4, 1944. On 9th of November 44 it is reported the Artillery unit possessed all weapons.

~E
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#20 Stevin

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 10:11 PM

Either on 9 september or later. It is only 3. batterie that lost their 88's, though. He writes that 3. batterie was the only 'einsatzfaehige' within Flak abt. 17 and it lost it 88's 'am vortage in Klein-Prunach'.
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#21 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 03:11 AM

17th SS PzGr didn't have its flak abteilung at Metz. That unit was detached on 14 Sept and was at Kaiserslautern not rejoining the division until December. At that time the division posted a strength of 3,500 with 1,000 rifle stength and 20 AFV available.

#22 Stevin

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 07:03 AM

That is strange as Helmuth is rather clear about it. But I could have translated it wrong. I think (I am at work now, no access to sources) that he also put thatin an undated map of the attack on Klein-Prunach :confused:

However, could the destruction of 3. batterie have taken place between 9 and 14 september, while the rest of the flak-abt. was withdrawn to kaiserlautern??? Helmuth writes 3. batterie is the only 'einsatzfaehige'.
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#23 Kai-Petri

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 05:49 PM

Weiler, August

Rank: Hauptmann (Captain)
Unit: Bataillonsführer Regiment "Von Stössel" / Kommandant Festun Driant
Awarded on: November 16th, 1944
Action: As Bataillonsführer of Regiment 'Von Stössel' and Kommandant of Festung Driant near Metz. Weiler won his Knight’s Cross for defending the fort against the might of Patton's Third Army, forcing the Allies to take Metz by the flanks and thereby allowing an organized retreat of German forces.

World War 2 Awards.com - WEILER, August
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#24 BWilson

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 06:34 PM

T. A.'s German OOB was a nice piece of research. It was too old to salute so I gave it a prestige point.

Cheers

BW

#25 Rocco1v

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 01:11 AM

Looking for information for my Great Uncle:


Sgt. Samuel A. De Petro, S/N #36227745, E Co., 2nd Bn., 11th Regt., 5th Division.


Sgt. Samuel A. DePetro, 303 W. College Ave., Marquette, Michigan, had joined the Army 11/1941 and was in the 5th Div as they went through training and garrison details in Iceland and England.


He was listed as D.O.W. 09/08/1944 during combat in the Horseshoe Woods bridgehead near Dornot, France while crossing the Moselle river.


Had received his C.I.B. & E.I.B. through the 11th Infantry Regiment (G.O. #6 & #7 11INF1944) as well as his Purple Heart from the 5th Infantry Division.


Any assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.


Joe Voet

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