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Kaoschallenged29 Dec 2012 3:25 a.m. PST

Tango's recent thread and some photos I viewed recently jogged my memory about Kriegsmarine ground units. Does any one make miniatures of them wearing the different types of uniforms and carry the variety of weapons? Has anyone gamed using them?

From German Naval Infantry in the Defense of Berlin
By Mike Bennighof, Ph.D.
October 2010

"Germany lost her colonies in the Versailles peace accords, and together with the colonies went the rationale for the Sea Battalions. The post-war Reichsmarine maintained base security detachments, and by the late 1930s the Kriegsmarine had added "Marine Assault Companies" — actual marines in the American sense of the word. These troops took part in the first action of World War II in Europe, attacking the Polish naval base at Westerplatte in Danzig's harbor under covering fire from the ancient battleship Schleswig-Holstein. The Poles resisted stoutly, and the marines did not emerge from their first action with a very high military reputation.

Kriegsmarine ground units continued to see action over the next several years, but always as the result of emergencies where security detachments or base personnel were drawn into the fighting — for example, in the defense of Novorossisk in 1942, at Messina in 1943 or at Sevastopol in 1944. Otherwise, they were not seen as true ground combat elements. Coast defense artillery had been part of the Reichsmarine, and expanded greatly to protect the shores of occupied Europe from Allied invasion. But these gunners, who included a large contingent of anti-aircraft troops, were definitely not considered combat forces.

In April 1940, crews from destroyers sunk in the Narvik operation formed three small ad hoc battalions that took part in defense of the Norwegian port alongside German mountain troops. They were led by their own officers and armed with weapons taken from the Norwegian 6th Division's arsenal, which had been overrun by the mountaineers. But as soon as the operation was concluded, these unoits were dissolved and the men became sailors agaiun.

As German forces fell back from France, the Soviet Union and the Balkans, naval personnel became involved in ground fighting at numerous locations. By November 1944, the Navy had taken its cue from the Air Force and began to form an infantry brigade for coast defense on the North Sea. By February it was on its way to Stettin for front-line service as the 1st Naval Infantry Division. The unit received a cadre of officers from the Army, including a new commander, Maj. Gen. Wilhelm Bleckwenn, and was organized along the Army's 1945 tables. It fought, usually poorly, for the remainder of the war ont he northern flank of the German line on the Oder River.

The 2nd Naval Infantry Division formed in Schleswig-Holstein in March 1945 and went to the front in April (again, with the infusion of an Army cadre including a new commander) and fought the British and Canadians around Bremen. Three more "divisions" (the 3rd, 11th and 16th) were ordered form, but none seem to have seen much action, if any.

Additionally, large numbers of Kriegsmarine personnel were tranferred directly to units at the front during April. The 20th Panzer Grenadier Division fighting in front of Berlin received several thousand Kriegsmarine replacements and sent them into action still wearing their naval uniforms.

Sailors also were sent to the 32nd SS Grenadier Division, also in their old uniforms (a blessing in this case, as the Soviets rarely took prisoners clad in SS camouflage). Small naval units also showed up as ad hoc reinforcements alongside the Volkssturm and police units rushed to the front, including several hundred trainees from the Kriegsmarine's radar school — that the Navy was still training radar operators with the Soviets smashing their way into the capital goes far to illustrate the Nazi state's "efficiency."

The naval troops in Road to Berlin are of poor quality, with much lower firepower than regular Army units and lower morale. They appear to have been armed with captured weaponry for the most part, and suffered from serious ammunition shortages as a result. The ratio of Navy to Army officers in the front lines is hard to determine, and in the game they draw their leaders from the general Army pool. "

link

picture

picture

Denmark 1940

picture

link

Robert

Gaz004529 Dec 2012 4:35 a.m. PST

Grubby Tanks produces 20mm K'Marine 'infantry' with rifles and mg's- great for landing parties or last ditch defences…..
Of note that some of the worst brutality committed against British pow's was inflicted by Kriegsmarine guards during the evacuation of pow camps in the last weeks of the war….

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2012 6:37 a.m. PST

I am aware of 1/72 and 1/35 being available. Are you looking for any size in particular? There are also 28mm WWI German sailors that could be used in a pinch.

Jemima Fawr29 Dec 2012 7:04 a.m. PST

The 53rd (Welsh) Division fought the German 3rd Marine Division during March and April 1945. 53rd (Welsh) Division accounts describe the naval troops as very tough opponents. The uniforms were described as field grey like the army, though with yellow/copper embroidery as opposed to the white/grey embroidery of the army.

Curiously, the 3rd Marine Division on the Western Front also included a Hungarian battlegroup, who were very tough indeed.

Garand29 Dec 2012 7:42 a.m. PST

IIRC also the Kriegsmarine land security detatchments wore a uniform cut exactly like the army uniform, but navy blue instead of field gray. Per Handbook on German Military Forces. The double-breasted coat, however, does look smart.

Also, anyone planning on doing a Marine Division force, for armored support both 1st & 2nd Marine Divisions received 10 Hetzers each in April 1945!

Damon.

Sundance29 Dec 2012 8:27 a.m. PST

Wouldn't mind a unit of these in 15mm. Interesting change of pace. Thanks, Kaos!

BrianW29 Dec 2012 8:37 a.m. PST

Mick Yarrow miniatures makes some German sailors with rifles. They are 'chunky' miniatures, and I am still trying to find figures they can mix with. Peter Pig also makes a "u-boat shore party" pack, but they don't appear to have all the field gear.
BWW

Legion 429 Dec 2012 8:41 a.m. PST

I didn't realize the Riech had actual Marine Forces, like the US, but thought they were more like what we saw in Norway, Sailors armed and used as Infantry. And I think a similar thing happened in East Africa … and German Sailors fought along side the Italian Forces in that region …

archstanton7329 Dec 2012 11:37 a.m. PST

In the chaos of late 45 everyone who was able to fight was thrown in…So really they would be equipped with whatever came to hand..Even captured weapons??

Kaoschallenged29 Dec 2012 3:09 p.m. PST

You are welcome Sundance. I wasn't really looking for a scale. Just wondering if there were miniatures made for them. I think I have a few of Mick's figures. Robert

Kaoschallenged29 Dec 2012 4:58 p.m. PST

picture

Westerplatte. Manning a Maxim


picture

link

Kaoschallenged30 Dec 2012 3:42 p.m. PST

"So really they would be equipped with whatever came to hand..Even captured weapons??"

Yep.As quoted above,
"They appear to have been armed with captured weaponry for the most part, and suffered from serious ammunition shortages as a result."

Robert

Kaoschallenged31 Dec 2012 2:49 p.m. PST

I certainly think IMO the Italian Naval Infantry was alot more useful and successful. Robert

Kaoschallenged02 Jan 2013 10:08 a.m. PST

Feldgrau has a bit of information on,

Marine-Infanterie Truppen - Naval Infantry Troops
Marine-Schnelle Truppen – Naval Mobile Troops
Marine-Artillerie Truppen - Naval Artillery Troops
Marine-Pioniere Truppen - Naval Engineer Troops
Marine-Sicherungs Truppen – Naval Security Troops

feldgrau.com/kmsground.html

and on the,

1.Marine-Infanterie-Division
2.Marine-Infanterie-Division
3.Marine-Infanterie-Division
11.Marine-Infanterie-Division
16.Marine-Infanterie-Division
feldgrau.com/kmsdiv.html

Also on the various Marine-Artillerie-Abteilungen .

Robert

Kaoschallenged03 Jan 2013 10:28 a.m. PST

picture

"Marine Infantry units in 1939 guarding Polish prisoners"
link

Kaoschallenged03 Jan 2013 11:54 p.m. PST

picture

St. Nazaire 1942.

link

Kaoschallenged04 Jan 2013 4:53 p.m. PST

Marinestoßkompanie "Westerplatte"

link

Kaoschallenged04 Jan 2013 11:55 p.m. PST

Another site. But in German though. Robert

link

Kaoschallenged05 Jan 2013 8:36 p.m. PST

Battle of Westerplatte 1939

Eberhardt group:

3. Marine-Stoßtrupp-Kompanie (elite naval infantry company, later renamed Marine-Artillerie-Abteilung 531) and an attached Pioneer platoon from Dessau-Roßlau
An independent howitzer battalion (Haubitzen-Abt.)
Küstenschutz der Danziger Polizei (a coast guard unit of the Danzig police) and Ordnungspolizei's Landespolizei Regiment

SS Heimwehr Danzig (the local SS militia force), including SS Wachsturmbann Eimann (already part of the forming 3rd SS Division Totenkopf)

Other forces

link

Kaoschallenged06 Jan 2013 11:04 a.m. PST

"The 2nd Naval Infantry Division (German: 2.Marine-Infanterie-Division) was formed in March 1945 in the region of Schleswig-Holstein from Kriegsmarine personnel no longer required to crew ships or for shore establishments. The division was deployed in defensive operations in north-west Germany and fought in actions against British forces at Rethem near Verden and Visselhovede. While in withdrawal following operations in the region of Bremen it was defeated and captured by advancing British forces in its home region of Schleswig-Holstein in May 1945. According to author Richard Jackson, it was planned to be part of SS General Felix Steiner's abortive counterattack to relieve Berlin in late April 1945, along with the 7th Panzer Division and 25th Panzergrenadier Division."

link

Kaoschallenged06 Jan 2013 11:25 p.m. PST

picture

"Kriegsmarine Bootsmann wielding a bolo knife next to a KO'd Churchill tank.
Taken shortly after the failed Dieppe Raid – 1942"

link

Murvihill07 Jan 2013 10:59 a.m. PST

"Kriegsmarine Bootsmann wielding a bolo knife next to a KO'd Churchill tank.
Taken shortly after the failed Dieppe Raid – 1942"

Carrying a venerable Kar 98 no less.

Kaoschallenged07 Jan 2013 1:41 p.m. PST

Looks like binoculars and a stick grenade also. Though I'm not sure what type due to the head of it. Robert

Kaoschallenged07 Jan 2013 7:06 p.m. PST

link
link

Fallschirmjäger and Kriegsmarine sailors Narvik 1940.

Kaoschallenged08 Jan 2013 7:27 p.m. PST

Kriegsmarine Kraftfahrtruppen
feldgrau.com/kmsupply.html

SFC Retired09 Jan 2013 5:50 a.m. PST

Very interesting read!

SFC Retired

Kaoschallenged09 Jan 2013 2:10 p.m. PST

Thanks SFC *Grin*. Robert

Kaoschallenged09 Jan 2013 6:58 p.m. PST

Some nice displays here,
link

picture

Kaoschallenged09 Jan 2013 9:09 p.m. PST

picture

Legion 410 Jan 2013 7:43 p.m. PST

Very interesting display …

Kaoschallenged11 Jan 2013 4:40 p.m. PST

I think so too. He also has some others at that site too. I like being able to see what the uniform looked like in color more. Also to see what the top of the stick grenade looks like. Robert

Kaoschallenged11 Jan 2013 10:51 p.m. PST

picture

Sailor. Narvik.1940

Kaoschallenged12 Jan 2013 12:08 p.m. PST

picture

Sailors with Edelweiss

Kaoschallenged13 Jan 2013 5:23 p.m. PST

picture

More Narvik sailors. Robert

Kaoschallenged15 Jan 2013 6:46 p.m. PST

picture

Sailors,Fallschirmjäger and Gebirgsjäger. Narvik 1940. Robert

Kaoschallenged17 Jan 2013 7:01 p.m. PST

"Norge elements had to support the defense of these hills, and Soviet attacks came in as some units were still finishing their retreat. This caused massive confusion, and soon clumps of Dutchmen, Danes, Norwegians, Flemings, Estonians, and German Naval Infantry were intermingled and fighting together in mixed groups. "
feldgrau.com/norway.html

Robert

Kaoschallenged18 Jan 2013 1:03 p.m. PST

And the Nafziger Organizational History of German Naval Divisions 1945 over at CARL,
PDF link

Kaoschallenged19 Jan 2013 2:34 p.m. PST

A couple of books about the Marinestoßtruppkompanie and following units are:
Jörg Benz, Die Deutsche Marineinfanterie 1939 – 1945, Husum Verlag

No Triumphant Procession by John Russell (ISBN1854092340) details some of the actions fought ny the 2nd Marine Division between April-May'45.

Kaoschallenged19 Jan 2013 2:49 p.m. PST

Sorry about the length of this. But the site it was originally posted on no longer exists. Even the Wayback Machine can't even find it.But it is very informative and I thought some would like it. Robert

Sailors in Berlin

The plan

It started all with an phone-call. In the KTB of the OKM, with the date of 24th April of 1945 at 24:00 hrs, it is recorded as follows:

Kpt z.S. ASSMANN informed the OKM via phone about a Führerbefehl. HITLER had given the order to VAdm VOß to transport some battalions of the Kriegsmarine, fully equipped with all kind of infantry weapons, to Berlin. He wished the sailors to join the defense of Berlin.

The plan was for two battalions of sailors from 1. SStR to be air-lifted into Berlin already the next night(25th/26th of April). The units thus had to march immediately to distant air-fields.

- The so-called alarm battalion from Stralsund had to march to the seaplane base at Pütnitz near of Ribnitz, from where 175 men were to be flown with the 3./I./TG 1, which was equipped with a floatplane version of the Ju 52, and to Tutow, from where another 288 men were to be flown with Ju 352‘s of the Squadron „Mauß".

- Another alarm battalion from Rostock, with 476 men, had to march to the local air-field (this navy unit is unknown).

The following night (26th/27th of April), it was planned to transport a regiment from the island of Fehmarn, with some 1000 men, to Berlin from the airport of Rerik (sailors were part of the 1.FuMLAbt).

It seems, as GrAdm DÖNITZ wished to co-operate. He mobilized the 1.SStR in Stralsund and the 1.FuMLAbt on Fehmarn. These were also the „bravest" of his men, he would send to Berlin for the personal protection of the „beloved" Führer. The highest elite of a supreme-commander, was the impression of HITLER in his bunker under the Reichskanzlei.


1. SStR in Berlin

1.SStR (1. Schiffstamm-Regiment), which was the 1st naval instruction regiment, CO was Kpt z.S. Herbert ZOLLENKOPF, consisted of:

- 1.SStA (1. Schiffstamm-Abteilung), the 1st naval instruction battalion, CO was KKpt Wolfgang DITTMERS, stationed on Dänholm
- 2.SStA (2. Schiffstamm-Abteilung), the 2nd naval instruction battalion, CO was KKpt Franz MAYERHOEFFE, stationed in Flensburg-Mürwick
- 3.SStA (3. Schiffstamm-Abteilung), the 3rd naval instruction battalion, CO was FKpt Richard STEFFEN, stationed on the Schwedenschanze. At this time, this batallion was already mobilized as MarSchB 903(903rd naval infantry batallion). It was almost completely unarmed, except some carbines for the ranks, and very few submachine-guns for some officers. More about this battalion later.
- 4.SStA (4th Schiffstamm-Abteilung), the 4th naval instruction batallion, CO was KKpt Herbert BANZHAF, stationed from February of 1945 in Flensburg-Mürwick.
- SSS „Gorch Fock", CO was Kptl Wilhelm KAHLE.

The 1.SStR was augmented in manpower, as it wasn‘t only the Crew I/45 drafted, but also the Crew IV/45 was called to equip. It seems the Kriegsmarine had drafted these men to prevent them from being mowed down at the front, a process commonly known as „Heldenklau" (Heldenklau/Operation Heldenklau was catchy black humor Landser slang to describe the efforts by the High Command to replace the enormous and steadily increasing losses suffered by the Heer, especially on the Eastern front, during the last year of the war by combing the personnel of the rear (also derisively called Etappenhengste, or Home Front Studs, by the frontline soldiers) for men capable of carrying and firing a rifle or Panzerfaust. Literally translated, the word means something like 'grabbing the heroes' (Held = hero, klauen = slang word for stehlen, meaning to steal)).

Around noon on 25th April of 1945, there was the issuing of orders for the Operation „Berlin" or „Reichskanzlei". There they stood, not veterans with fighting experience of some years, but young, untrained soldiers of the 1927 – 1929 age group.

After the distribution of food, ammunition and weapons (mostly captured guns), hand-grenades, Panzerfäuste and some Panzerschrecks, they had to wait for transport. Many of them were from the special navy training course for HF-technology „Tegetthoff".

CO of this alarm-battalion was the recently decorated Kptlt Franz KUHLMANN. The officer corps of this battalion was a mix of officers of the entire 1.SStR. On the evening some busses and lorries transported part of them to Pütnitz. It remains unknown if they were transported to Berlin by the floatplane versions of the Ju-52 aircraft.

The rest of the unit arrived at the Tutow air-field at 22:00 hrs. Due to attacks of the Russian „Nähmaschinen" ('Sewing machines' – Landser slang for the slow-flying Soviet observation plane (max. speed 93 MPH), the Polikarpov Po-2 bi-plane, whose motor sounded like a sewing machine from the distance; it was regarded as a real nuisance, because it would sometimes also drop small fragmentation bombs that caused death or injury to the Landsers on the ground. To get even, they would fire their rifles at them, often bringing one down in the process) it looked like the transport flights would have to be postponed.

Once again there was a phone call from Berlin, GFM KEITEL pointed out the importance of this airlift. So, Mjr MAUß, CO of the „Großraumtransportstaffel" (large capacity transport squadron) , made all clearance for the commencement of the airlift. With great difficulty 5 or 6 Ju 352‘s were cleared to take-off. There had been a of loss of 5 planes (4 Ju 352‘s and 1 Ar 232) the night before(24th/25th of April) on a supply operation for the encircled 9th Army.

Between 01:35 hrs and 02:35 hrs on 26th of April all left Tutow. The aim was to land at the Berlin airport Gatow, as the Tempelhof airport wasn‘t available as of 23rd of April, due to heavy Russian attacks, and it fell to them the following night.
It seems each Ju 352 carried 40 soldiers, which is their maximum troop capacity. At least one Ju 352 had in addition 4 t of Panzerfäuste and Panzerschrecks. 40 soldiers and 4 t of ammunition means, that the aircraft was close to the maximum load of this type of plane

OFw Herbert SCHULZ (G6 + .X) was the first to take-off from Tutow, as he received the landing permission in Gatow. His plane came under heavy attack from all types of weapons. With only one engine it was not possible to fly a full loaden Ju 352. OFw SCHULZ tried to make an emergency landing, but crash-landed. Somehow, the entire crew managed to escape the explosion of 4 of the Panzerfäuste. On 29th of April they returned to their squadron, which was stationed in Großenbrode at this time. Nothing is known about the fate of the 40 soldiers from this Ju 352.

StFw Kurt BECKER (G6 + RX) wasn‘t succesfull in landing at the Gatow airport, because of heavy anti-aircraft fire, he decided to return to Tutow, where he landed a 03:00 hrs. These soldiers, including the acting CO of the 1st coy, Kptlt BRANDT, were relieved of the fights in Berlin.

A further Ju 352 (G6 + .X) couldn‘t land in Gatow, due to heavy machine gun fire from the ground. The plane was hit in the landing gear and in the cockpit, however no crew or troops were wounded. To avoid an emergency landing on the small airport of Tutow – which could have lead to a stoppage of all air-lifts in Tutow- he made an emergency landing near Barth. The plane was destroyed, but again no one was injured.

OFw Paul KÖHLER (G6 + EX) left Tutow at 02:35 hrs, but needed almost two hours to land in Berlin-Gatow at 04:25 hrs. Maybe he had tried to land in Berlin-Staaken, according to an officer of the navy. After 20 minutes on ground he took off for Tutow, where he landed a 05:40.

In the literature about the battle of Berlin, whenever some reference is written about the German Kriegsmarine-sailors in Berlin, the numbers mentioned are far too high. According to a NCO, his plane was the last one landing in Gatow. In a wood near the airport his group of sailors joined up with another 40 sailors.

According to Olt z.S. Clemens ZUBORG, an Olt of the reserve and then adjutant in the staff of the alarm-battalion, mentioned the landing of 2 Ju 352‘s and the arrival of about 80, maybe 100 sailors, in the Reichskanzlei, which they had to defend.Kptl Franz KUHLMANN wrote in his memoirs about his meeting with Adolf HITLER: „At this date, I didn‘t know in which bad health HITLER was. I never thought that the signs of breaking up and the feelings of doom would led to such a chaos to the hierarchy of orders."

All officers of the unit survived the Battle of Berlin, except one, Lt z.S. BÖING who was killed in the garden of the Reichskanzlei by a mortar grenade.

There are many hints, of the landing of sailors (and other soldiers) on the so called „Ost-West-Achse". However no exact confirming source is available.

1. FuMLAbt in Berlin

On 25th April 1945 there was a issuing of an order, in which the CO of the 1.FuMLAbt, FKpt BORMANN (a brother of the Reichsleiter) tried to enlist volunteers for Berlin. He stressed that they had the duty of the close, personal protection of the Führer.

During the 26th April 1945 the first soldiers of the FuMLAbt were transported by MFP (German LTC‘s) from Puttgarden/Isle of Fehmarn to near the airport Rerik. On arriving at Rerik, they found that there were no aircraft available. They were ordered to sleep in a nearby hangar/shed. However at 22:00 hrs new orders were given. New groups of sailors were created at random. One witness said, one reduced coy marched to the airport. At the airport no „normal" transport planes were waiting for them, however there were aircraft of the F.d.F. (personal squadron of the Führer).

At least 3 planes were waiting:
- a Fw-200 „Condor" (CE + IC), the pilot was Hptm Joachim HÜBNER,
- a Ju-290 (9V + BK), the pilot was Lt WAGNER,
- a Ju-352 (KT + VJ), piloted by Olt SCHULTZE

Some sources say there could have been one other planes involved in this operation:
- a second Fw-200 „CONDOR", the pilot was Hptm Kurt HERZOG or Fw BAUER

HÜBNER‘s Fw-200 was the first to be loaded and to be clear to take-off. In his aircraft were 17 sailors. The 14 leather-chairs inside the aircraft were covered for protection by strips of canvas. The last 3 sailors sat on boxes of Panzerfäuste. The highest rank among the sailors was a NCO, OFm(~OBtsM) Julius LANGHALS.

The „Condor" was in a height of 120 meters, as it was hit by anti-aircraft fire. One of the right engines was burning, the pilot tried to make an emergency landing, but crashed into a house in Wilhelmshorst. 12 of the 17 survived, two because Russians transported them into a hospital, another two were hidden in Wilhelmshorst by civilians, and eight hid themselves in a nearby wood.

Coming near to Berlin, the surviving soldiers saw red flares, so another plane was hit by heavy anti-air fire and had to fly away for an emergency landing. A sailor of this unknown plane, said after the war, that they landed in Rerik again after 1 hour, because two engines stopped working, after these were hit by anti-aircraft fire.

But Lt WAGNER wrote in his after-flight report, he had to abort his flight with his Ju-290 after 15 minutes due a malfunction of engine No. 3. He landed back again in Rerik at 23:30 hrs, with 50 sailors on board. Also two sailors on board of WAGNER‘s Ju-290 mentioned, they were never hit by anti-aircraft fire, and returned with three engines to Rerik after a short time.

So another plane with four engines (maybe the Fw-200 of Hptm HERZOG/Fw BAUER)
was involved in this operation.

Olt SCHULTZE started with his Ju-352 at 23:40 hrs from Rerik. The airport Berlin-Gatow was under heavy Russian artillery fire, as he tried to land. At 01:00 hrs, after two attempts to land in vain, he succeeded in his third try. On board were some 40 sailors. They were used to defend the airport just a few minutes after landing. One officer, Lt z.S. Horst THIELE, was last seen in a machine-gun position.

SCHULTZE had to wait for about 36 minutes in Gatow, as he got the order to transport 25 wounded soldiers out of Berlin. His plane was the last to leave Gatow, as all other planes (maybe II./TG 4) didn‘t wait for wounded soldiers.

The MarSchB 903

As earlier mentioned, 3. SStA of the 1. SStR had already been mobilized by late April, and was known as MarSchB 903. CO was FKpt Richard STEFFEN. It was organized into 4 – 5 coys with 500 petty officers, and almost unarmed (except carbines for ranks and NCO‘s and some sub machine-guns for the officers).

On 24th April 1945 in Nauen, just a few kilometers from the Russian forces, FKpt STEFFEN was ordered by an unknown Kpt z.S. (maybe Kpt z.S. ASSMANN?) to wait for coming trucks, to be transported to Berlin. The trucks didn‘t come, so the battalion marched to Wustershausen, as Döberitz had just been occupied by the Red Army. On the next day in Wustershausen, they were stopped by a General and military police. STEFFEN was – this times in very harsh words – ordered back again to Berlin. He refused to lead his almost unarmed battalion to Berlin, as well armed Russian forces were on the route back to Berlin.

So, in Wustershausen 50 or 60 petty officers of the MarSchB 903, which volunteered to fight in Berlin – mostly coming from Berlin themselves – got properly armed with the help of the military police. With them, a platoon of recruits of the 3.MarInfDiv, were transported in the direction of Berlin. CO of this reduced coy with two platoons was an unknown Olt z.S..

On the way to Berlin they came under heavy Russian artillery fire. They dug in, and held their position for 3 days until the 28th April. Then they got the order to retreat to Strodehne. The CO of the recruit platoon, OFhr z.S. Walter NORTHOFF wrote in his memoirs: "The village was full of a small rest of an Wehrmacht‘s unit. This unit had only sub-altern officers (Lt‘s and Olt‘s) and NCO‘s, CO was Obstlt v.d. BOTTLEMBERG. He was a very impressive man, commanding a Regimental group within the Divisional group "von HAKE". He issued our coy the order to hold a bridgehead on the eastside of the Havel, as a corps and several thousands of refugees were retreating in our rear. He promised we would be rescued by pioneer‘s boats. In the next morning (30th April), we were transported back. After that, our coy became part of the vortex of general dissolving."

On 27th April the other 450 sailors of this battalion got more weapons and closed the road leading from Waren to Güstrow for one day. After this day this battalion vanished in the general retreat.

Other sailors in the battle

There were also small boats of the Kriegsmarine on the River/Lake Havel around Berlin. These were captured boats of the former Polish Vistula Flotilla. At least the former Polish patrol vessel KU-30 is mentioned to have been in action on the River/Lake Havel.

Also possible could be, that the navy-soldiers of the Marine-Verbindungs-Kommando (~navy liaison command) beim Führer (VAdm Voß) were part Kriegsmarine battle-group in Berlin.

French Wargame Holidays19 Jan 2013 4:44 p.m. PST

great info Kaos,

I have used Naval Infantry in a scenario for "fall of berlin" and marines for invasion Britain games

I used Blitz 20mm range and a few fall of berlin figures to make up the battalion.

cheers
Matt

Kaoschallenged20 Jan 2013 1:24 p.m. PST

Thanks Matt grin. I'm still looking for photos of them at Novorossisk in 1942, at Messina in 1943 or at Sevastopol in 1944. Robert

Kaoschallenged21 Jan 2013 2:32 p.m. PST
Kaoschallenged22 Jan 2013 10:19 p.m. PST

picture

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Private first class (Matrosengefreiter) Kriegsmarine landing units, 1940
01 – M-35 helmet with Kriegsmarine decal
02 – privates' and NCOs' jacket, Matrosengefreiter insignia on the sleeve
03 – standard trousers
04 – boots
05 – M-38 gas mask with canister
06 – leather main belt with ammo pouches
07 – M-31 tarpaulin breadbag
08 – mess kit with cup
09 – Mauser 98k rifle
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Lewisgunner23 Jan 2013 3:00 a.m. PST

excellent stuff, kaos, it really makes it worthwhile visiting the list.

Kaoschallenged23 Jan 2013 2:00 p.m. PST

Thanks Lewisgunner. I like the list too. Lots of examples to look at if you need reference. Robert

Kaoschallenged24 Jan 2013 12:47 a.m. PST

"At the beginning of World War II, on 1 September 1939, the Marine Stoßtrupp Kompanie (Marine Attack Troop Company) landed in Danzig from the old battleship Schleswig-Holstein for conquering a Polish bastion. A reinforced platoon of the Marine Stoßtrupp Kompanie landed with soldiers of the German Army from destroyers on 9 April 1940 in Narvik. In June 1940 the Marine Stoßtrupp Abteilung (Marine Attack Troop Battailon) was flown in from France to the Channel Islands to occupy this British territory.

In September 1944 amphibious units unsuccessfully tried to capture the strategic island Suursaari in the Gulf of Finland from Germany's former ally Finland (Operation Tanne Ost).

With the Invasion of Normandy in June 1944 and the Soviet advance from the summer of 1944 the Kriegsmarine started to form regiments and divisions for the battles on land with superfluous personnel. With the loss of naval bases because of the Allied advance more and more navy personnel were available for the ground troops of the Kriegsmarine. About 40 regiments were raised and from January 1945 on six divisions. Half of the regiments were absorbed by the divisions."

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Kaoschallenged24 Jan 2013 12:40 p.m. PST

Found this,

"Whilst I do not know if Market Garden was the "biggest engagement the German Marines took part in", derGespenst is correct is saying it was most notable as there were over 2000 "Marines" fighting in and around Arnhem. They fought as cohesive units supplimented with Heer or SS NCOs attached for leadership and direction (naval personnel not so well trained in street fighting). They were also thrown into Kampfgruppes already fighting in situ.

Units in Arnhem with "German Marines"

Schiffsturmabetilung 10
6./Schiffsturmabetilung 14
SS-Pz.Gr.AuE.Btl.16 (500 Naval personnel attached 21st Sept 44)
642 Marine Regt
1st Marine Cadre Regt
It is believed that Naval Personnel were attached to the 9th SS-Pz Div as well….but at work, so do not have references…but I remember it so. "
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Kaoschallenged25 Jan 2013 1:36 p.m. PST

"As for Narvik, these ad hoc units were organised by 18/4-40, and are known as:

Abschnitt Narvik
Marinebatallion Erdmenger (sometimes referred to as "Marine-Regiment Erdmenger")
Marinebatallion v. Freytag

These two "batallions" had 2 companies each.

On the railway itself, same "Abschnitt", was Marine-Regiment Berger (Freg.Kpt Berger),w/ Mar.Btl Holtorf (3 coys), Mar.Btl Thiele (3 coys), Mar.Btl Zenker (2 coys) and Mar.Btl von Arnim.

Gruppe Windisch (at Bjerkvik)
Mar.Btl Kothe (3 coys formed from crewmembers from "Hermann Kühne".)

In German sources, the "batallions" sometimes are referred to as "Batallione", "Abteilungen", or "Kompanien". The men, about 2000, were mostly crew members of sunken ships, including U-64, and Coastal Artillery soldiers."

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Kaoschallenged26 Jan 2013 6:14 p.m. PST

"2. Marine-Infanterie-Division was formed in Schleswig-Holstein at Glueckstadt and Itzehoe from surplus naval personnel (surface and submarine crews in training). The division was allocated to Armeegruppe Student for the defense of the Weser-Aller line.

The division was first committed in the Aller area around Verden, with a forward unit in Nienburg/Weser. It got particular notice for its determined defense of the Aller crossing at Rethem, and the defense against the bridgehead at Essel. British units involved were 53rd Welsh Division and 7th Armoured Division, as well as 1st Commando Brigade. 2. Marine Infanterie Division withdrew towards the coast and surrendered at Cuxhaven, with some elements in Schleswig-Holstein."

Kaoschallenged27 Jan 2013 7:34 p.m. PST

Marine Einsatz Kommandos

"Within the defense organization (Admiral Canaris) existed before creation of the command of small combat units called "Marine task force." These were reduced by 2 units of frogmen for special tasks such as bridge demolition, limpet mine operations, etc. With the installation of the small task force which functions are delegated to him. The K-union put on the model set out in the defense of the Hamburg branch commands MAREI and MARKO on other MEKs, which were then numbered, however. – Since June 1941 there was also still a naval task force "Black Sea" (KKpt. Armin Roth), which was intended for investigative operations against the Soviet navy and merchant marine and as the advance guard of the Naval Commander in the occupation of port facilities and vessels (plants 1 / Appendix 2), and was dissolved in July 1943 is again.

MAR-EI
Kptlt. Opladen 1941 – ……….

MAR-CO
Kptlt. Opladen
Oblt.M.A. Broecker ……… – 04:44


M.E.K. 20 in Cavella (Italy) Oblt.M.A. Broecker 04:44 – Closing
M.E.K. 30 Kptlt.M.A. Gegner 03:44 – Closing
M.E.K. 35 Kptlt. Breusch 11:44 to 03:45 / Kptlt. Woerdemann (Norwegen) 3:45 – Closing
M.E.K. 40 Dänemark Kptlt.M.A.Buschkämper
Oblt. M.A.Schulz 08:44 to 03:45
M.E.K. 60 in Le Havre / Rouen Oblt.M.A. Prinzhorn 03:44 – Closing
M.E.K. 65 in Boulogne Oblt.z.S. Richert 05:44 – Closing
M.E.K. 70 in Brest
M.E.K. 71 in Toulon Oblt.M.A. Wolters 04:44 – Closing
M.E.K. 75 in Anzio Oblt.M.A. Wolters 02:44 to 04:44
M.E.K. 80 in Northern Italy Kptlt.M.A. Krumhaar 03:44 – Closing
M.E.K. 85 Oblt.M.A. Wadenpfuhl 01:45 – Closing
M.E.K. 90 in Dubrovnik Oblt.M.A. Wilke ----
M.E.K. z.b.V --------

Quellen: Hildebrand / Lohmann, Die Deutsche Kriegsmarine 1939-1945, Chapter 153.4 (Nach Unter Act von KKpt. Dr.. Heinsius Paul);
Mike Whitley, Deutsche Seestreitkräfte 1939 – 1945. Im Einsatz Küstenvorfeld. Stuttgart: Motorbuch 1995, S.121-122"
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