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|WorldWar2.ro Forum > Western Front (1944-1945) > Romanian Army against Waffen-SS units?|
|Posted by: Geto-Dacul December 12, 2003 05:50 pm|
| Did the Romanian Army ever met some SS units of the Western Front?
|Posted by: Dénes December 12, 2003 06:39 pm|
|In September 1944, during the battle for Northern Transylvania, Rumanian army units did clash with units of the 8th SS-Kavallerie Division 'Florian Geyer'. There must had been other SS units, too (see, for ex., topic regarding Gen. Phleps), but that's all I know off the top of my head.|
|Posted by: mars December 13, 2003 04:22 pm|
|In the battle of Budapest, Rumanian Army did battle with German Waffen SS 8. SS-Kavallerie-Division Florian Geyer and 22. SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Division Maria Theresa|
|Posted by: Florin December 27, 2003 04:42 pm|
I read parts of "Romania pe frontul antihitlerist / Romania on the Anti-Hitler Front" about 19 years ago.
In the chapters dedicated to combat in Czecho-Slovakia are certain notes about the SS troops, and a Romanian soldier mentioned how impressed he was about a SS man wearing a lot of decorations, who did not leave his position and fired against the Romanians until literally they reached him and killed him.
|Posted by: dragos December 30, 2003 06:48 pm|
| In mid-September 1944, elements of the 4th SS Police and of the 7th SS Mountain Division "Prinz Eugen" attacked towards Timisoara, but were stopped by the 9th Cavalry Division, supported by 19th Infantry Division and 14th Infantry-Training Division.
2nd Tank Regiment faced during 11-14 April 1945 at Hohenruppersdorf (Austria) elements of 25th SS "Hunyadi" and 26th SS "Hungaria" divisions, comprising mostly Hungarian volunteers.
|Posted by: mg 42 January 17, 2004 11:15 am|
| actually, from what I read, the 7 th SS mountain division Prinz Eugen, made up from germans from the Banat, was active in Uzice ( Serbia ) and Montenegro when the fighting around Timisoara took place.
and, BTW, my grandfather was in the 9 th Cavalry Division.
|Posted by: RHaught December 25, 2005 10:22 pm|
|The 7th SS did send troops into Romania. The 8th SS is known to have been near Arad (or that region) from what I have been able to find out. 4th and 7th were in Balkans for anti-partisan action which made them ideal to send to attempt to stop the tide. Really do not think the Romanians would have been able to defeat them without the Soviets.|
|Posted by: sid guttridge December 28, 2005 11:44 am|
| Hi RHaught,
As mg42 noted, 7th SS-Division was not in Romania.
What is more, it was badly defeated by the Bulgarians at Nis, so it is perfectly possible that it could have been beaten by the Romanians.
8th SS-Cavalry Division did attack into Romania along with Hungarian forces in early September 1944 and it had been largely brought to a halt by mostly Romanian training divisions before the Red Army arrived. 4th SS-Division was also halted, as has already been mentioned.
Most Waffen-SS divisions were not exceptional formations and there is no reason to believe that the likes of 7th and 8th SS-Divisions were unbeatable at Romanian hands. Indeed, there is god evidence to the contrary.
The Romanian Army, like that of any other minor power, would have had problems facing the most senior Waffen-SS panzer divisions, but was quite capable of handling the likes of the 7th and 8th.
|Posted by: RHaught December 30, 2005 10:09 pm|
|With the 8th SS, the Romanians wouldn't have been able to defeat it. Experienced division that fought on the Eastern Front and not one of the weaker divisions formed later which were composed mostly of "volunteers". Do believe that some elements of the 7th were ordered into Romania as some historians have shown this in their books. How good was the 7th? That is up to each of us since it was in the Balkans for anti-partisan garrison and believe fighting Tito later. The Romanian army wasn't highly trained as that of the Germans and since the SS were considered to be paart of the elite, the Romanian mountain divisions would have been the most likely units to have success not the regular army. When the 8th was cut off at Budapest it took the Soviets to break it.|
|Posted by: sid guttridge December 31, 2005 11:05 am|
| Hi RHaught,
We know how 8th SS Cavalry Division performed against the Romanians in early September 1944. It was unable to achieve a breakthrough of inexperienced Romanian training formations. It was definitely not an outstanding formation at any stage. The fact that it was wiped out by the Red Army does not in any way indicate that only the Red Army could have defeated it.
I have never seen any evidence that 7th SS Mountain Division served in Romania. It was certainly formed by a Volksdeutsch former general in the Romanian Mountain Corps and contained a large number Transilvanian Germans who were or had been Romanian citizens. It also had its depot in Serbian Banat, right next to Romania.
However, at the time fighting was taking place in Romania 7th SS Mountain Division was fully engaged in defending Nis against the Bulgarians, where it only managed to save most of its manpower from encirclement and annihilation by abandoning almost all its heavy equipment and retreating over the mountains.
If, as you say, some sources state that 7th W-SS Mountain Division served in Romania, what are they?
The W-SS was as elite as the quality of manpower and equipment it managed to leach off the German Army. Thus, for example, the senior three divisions contained German long service regulars and volunteers and were re-equipped with armour. However, the likes of 7th and 8th W-SS Divisions got second rate Volksdeutsche manpower, much of it conscripted, and when initially formed were largely equipped with Czech and some French weaponry, much of it identical to standard weaponry in the Romanian Army. There was nothing elite about them.
|Posted by: RHaught January 01, 2006 04:24 am|
The 8th SS was formed from the birth of the SS-Totenkopf-Kavallerie Regiment. Became part of Riechsfuhrer-SS in 41. In 1942 became a division not named till later. This early history would have being drafted with Germans. Later replacements most likely would have been volunteers/conscripts from various regions. The 8th saw frontline action on the Eastern Front giving its personnel experience needed. Would have to say they would be near the earlier divisions (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th )
Yes, 7th SS drafted men from the Banat, about 15,000 as freiwilligen-gebirgs. As suspected troops weren't the best and might not have given full/proper training as needed.
Most of my books are still in boxes having moved to NYC this past summer. However, pretty sure Third Axis, Fourth Ally mentions it.
|Posted by: sid guttridge January 01, 2006 02:39 pm|
| Hi RHaught,
If I remember rightly, the SS-Totenkopf-Kavallerie-Regiment served as a security unit in the 1941 campaign, being implicated in a number of the atrocities against Jews and others that illustrate that parts of the Waffen-SS were connected with the extermination campaigns conducted by the wider SS. I think it was later expanded into 8th SS Kavallerie Division using largely Transilvanian Volksdeutsche (this bears double checking). Neither the original Reich Totenkopf men, nor the later Volksdeutsch recruits were prime manpower.
Experience on the Eastern Front was not necessarily an advantage. I think 8th SS Cavalry Division may have been available for deployment in Northern Transilvania in September 1944 because it was recuperating from losses on the main Eastern Front. (I will check).
|Posted by: dragos03 January 01, 2006 04:00 pm|
|Romanian units defeated elements of the elite "Brandendurg" commandos in August 1944. I think these special units were better trained than even the best of the SS divisions.|
|Posted by: sid guttridge January 01, 2006 04:40 pm|
| Hi Dragos 03,
That is true.
However, I would add the proviso that the Brandenberger Parachute Battalion was a comparitively small unit that was committed deep inside Romania in almost hopeless operational circumstances. The unit was annihilated and never reformed.
|Posted by: RHaught January 02, 2006 04:27 am|
|Didn't the 500th do extensive operations in Yugoslavia and Hungary before being sent to Estonia? Haven't seen where they were in Romania. The 600th was sent to Budapest as part of Operation Panzerfaust upon forming. Unless he means another unit instead of fallshirmjajers.|
|Posted by: mabadesc January 02, 2006 04:51 am|
Your statement implies that the manpower (the troops) weren't "the best", in addition to the fact that they were not given proper training, and not because of the lack of training.
What makes you say that?
|Posted by: udar January 02, 2006 12:57 pm|
|From what i remeber,after 23 aug. 44,a SS paratroops unit (it was 500th,i think)try to conquest the Otopeni airfield,near capital, the most important airport of country.They come from Yugoslavia with glider planes and ,after they landing on german airfield,they try to ocuppy the whole airport.The romanian 4th paratroopers battalion counterattack, and, in short time destroy the main force of SS paratroopers, and control all the area.|
|Posted by: RHaught January 04, 2006 09:33 pm|
From the books I have read, units with ethnic Germans (not all however) and/or with foreign volunteers (again not all) were considered second rate units and some books have units on a 1-5 scale (do not name units specifically or books right off the top of my head, first day back to work after Christmas vacation and students were full of energy). Just found they did the 1-5 scale of german divisions for 1939-1941, do not see it after defense of reich plans and France 1940.
|Posted by: Alexei2102 April 26, 2006 01:53 pm|
| Dear all,
The SS-FJR unit (500/600) did not took part in fighting in Romania. Please check this for details:
Also, in order to prove my point with other examples, I have in my collection the book "Fallschirmjager der Waffen-SS im Bild" written by Siegfried Milius. It never states there that they fought on Romanian soil.
However, I am very interested in more info about the Brandenburgers, fighting here in Romania. If anyone has fresh info, I will kindly ask him to share.
Also, if you want, I may post scans of the SS-FJR book, as it's an exceptional and rare book.
All the best.
|Posted by: dragos03 July 30, 2006 02:50 pm|
| At a bookstore in Craiova I found an excellent reference book about the defense of Timisoara (mostly against SS units) in 1944: “Apararea Timisoarei. Documente si memorii. August-Septembrie 1944” (“Defense of Timisoara. Documents and recollections. August-September 1944”), Editura de Vest, Timisoara, 1997, ISBN 973-36-0297-3.
The Romanian forces defending the city were elements of the 9th Cavalry Division and some 2nd and 3rd rate formations. Since he didn’t have enough troops to form a continuous front, the commander of the division (Major General David Popescu) divided his forces into three battlegroups, defending the North, West and South directions.
The Northern Detachment consisted of cadets from the NCO and gendarmes schools in Botosani and an infantry company formed from the 5th Battalion of Auto Mechanics, all under the command of Col. Constantin Botez.
The Central Detachment was the strongest. Under the command of Lt. Col. Ilie Bradateanu, it had the 17th Training Infantry Regiment, the 6th Mounted Artillery Regiment and a company of mechanics.
The Southern Detachment only had three improvised infantry companies from the men of the 5th Battalion of Auto Mechanics, commanded by Maj. Petrovici.
The central reserve consisted of the 13th Calarasi (cavalry) Regiment and the Timisoara garrison company.
To give these units some anti-tank capability, some light AA guns of the 15th AA Divizion were distributed to the three detachments.
After 23 August, the Romanian units allowed some of the German forces in the area to retreat over the border. Others were disarmed and captured after the German attack against Bucharest.
Here is a brief description of the military actions:
11 September – The 4th Recon Battalion from the 4th SS Division attacks the border posts South of Timisoara. The “Banloc” Border Guards company retreats to the villages of Peciul Nou and Ciacova and manages to resist, helped by the men of an army textile workshop that was deployed in the area.
The Recon battalion and other units from the 4th SS bypass the resistance and head to Timisoara, defeating the mechanics of the Southern Detachment, which retreats towards the centre. At the outskirts of the city, the Germans are counterattacked by a cavalry squadron from the central reserve, whose men were quickly redeployed using the trams of the public transport system. The cavalrymen destroy one tank and three tankettes and stop the enemy advance. While the Germans were regrouping for a second assault, they are hit by 12 Romanian dive bombers that manage to destroy several armoured vehicles. At this point, the Germans start to retreat in disorder to the South. A second counterattack of the cavalry squadron overruns some of their artillery pieces.
Gen. Popescu recalls the cavalry squadron and sends two newly-arrived conscript battalions from the 5th Training Infantry Regiment (Lt. Col. Alexandru Giuran) to follow the retreating enemy.
12 September – In the morning, the two conscript battalions surprise the German units in the villages of Sag and Parta, forcing them to retreat with great losses. The Germans retreat over the border and the “Banloc” Border Guards company is redeployed to its former positions. The Border Guards also capture some men of the 4th SS, which were scattered in the area after the fight with the 5th Training Inf. Regiment.
I will post more about this battle later.
|Posted by: dragos03 August 08, 2006 10:56 pm|
| 13-14 September – no major attacks on Timisoara but the defenders are now in a precarious position because to the North Arad and Aradul Nou were captured by Hungarians and to the South German units occupy Oravita and Sasca Montana. On 14 September, a small Hungarian attack from the North is repulsed by the cadets of the Northern Detachment.
15 September – The enemy attacks the city from three sides: from the West and Northwest by the SS Kampfgruppe Behrends (two mechanized battalions and a tank company), from the North by the Hungarians and from the South by elements of the 4th SS Polizei Division. However, the 4th SS didn’t finish its reorganization after its defeat on 11-12 September and reported that it was unable to attack in the morning as ordered. The attack from the South will only begin during the evening. The other two attacks are repulsed by the Central and Northern Detachments. Surprisingly, Kampfgruppe Behrends was unable to break through the positions of the 17th Training Infantry Regiment, reinforced by a cavalry squadron.
During the night, Gen. Popescu orders the Central and Northern detachments to retreat to positions closer to the city and replaces the Southern Detachment with the bulk of the13th Calarasi Regiment (commanded by Col. Ioan Enescu, some elements of this regiment were sent to other sectors) from the general reserve and a battalion of conscripts from the 5th Training Infantry Regiment.
16 September – The Southern positions are attacked by a powerful Kampfgruppe of the 4th SS Polizei, formed of the Recon battalion, two reinforced battalions and an artillery divizion. The Germans defeat the conscripts battalion and capture the villages of Sag and Parta, afterwards they attack the sector held by the Calarasi Regiment, which repulses all the attacks.
To the West of the city, the pressure of the SS Kampfgruppe Behrends forces the 17th Training Infantry Regiment to retreat towards Sanandrei. The only Romanian force that holds its position in this sector is a detachment from the 13th Calarasi Regiment, supported by an artillery battery from the 1st Training Infantry Regiment. This detachment, commanded by Capt. Victor Serbanescu, defends its position against several enemy attacks supported by armoured vehicles and tanks. The Germans are repulsed with heavy losses and are forced to abandon several tanks and vehicles disabled by the single field gun of the detachment, used in an anti-tank role.
In a critical moment of the battle, Capt. Serbanescu replaces the dead servant of a machinegun and continues to fire. He will be later awarded the Michael the Brave order with swords, 3rd Class, “For his bravery in the defense of Timisoara, when he was also deafened permanently by a shell. […] The officer and a sergeant jumped to the machineguns, opening fire and pinning the German infantry to the ground, showing great bravery and personal courage. […] Without his exceptional bravery, the enemy could have captured Timisoara that day.”
Later during the day, another German attack on Sanandrei (where the 17th Tr. Inf. Reg. had retreated) also fails.
In the Mehala sector, Northwest of the city, a battalion of conscripts from the 5th Training Inf. Regiment supported by a small Calarasi detachment and a company of mechanics hold their positions against the Hungarians.
During the evening, the first Soviet forces arrive in Timisoara but will not take part in combat initially.
17 September – The Germans start a powerful attack in the southern sector and manage to capture the suburbs of Chisoda and Ghioroc. After fierce fighting, the calarasi repulse the enemy and recapture the suburbs in the afternoon, with the help of a Soviet AT divizion. The commander of the 13th Calarasi Regiment, Col. Ioan Enescu, is killed in action, along with some other officers of the regiment (Maj. Titus Muresanu, Capt. Alexei Donici and others).
Some German formations from the southern sector try to envelop the city from the East. Some of them are stopped in the Bistra forest by the detachment of Col. Galgoti (which was formed from geandarme cadets). A small German tank detachment runs head on into a formation of Soviet heavy tanks (which was coming from the East) and is completely destroyed.
To the West of the city, the Romanian positions at Sanandrei, defended by the 17th Training Infantry Regiment, were attacked all day. The regiment repulses the attack of a Hungarian cavalry squadron early in the morning, followed by a heavy attack of the Behrends Kampfgruppe. Two other Hungarian attacks follow in the afternoon, with forces estimated at two battalions of infantry, supported by artillery, cavalry and cyclists. All the attacks are repulsed, the last one after a counterattack of the 1st battalion of the regiment.
Smaller Hungarian attacks in the Northern sector also fail.
At the end of the day, the German-Hungarian forces are ordered to stop all attacks and entrench on their current positions.
18 September – All the Romanian forces are withdrawn, as requested by the Soviet high command, and replaced with Russian units.
In conclusion, I would say that Sid is right about the low combat value of some of the SS formations. Even if it was the Soviet arrival that probably stopped the German attack, Romanian units proved more than capable of dealing with the SS. The Germans, which were usually superior in numbers and weaponry, were defeated every time they met elements of the only regular Romanian unit in this sector, the 13th Calarasi Regiment. Even some of the training formations were successful in stopping the German units.
|Posted by: dead-cat August 16, 2006 12:53 pm|
| the above article is using attributes like "powerfull Kampfgruppe", "powerfull attack", "heavy losses" without giving actual numbers.
also, it doesn't tell what tanks were used in the attack. one is to assume that Kampfgruppe Behrends used elements of the 4th SS Panzer Abt.
also i doubt that the bespoken Kampfgruppe was reinforced by an "artillery divizion", more likeley elements of the SS-Artillerieregiment 4.
the way it looks like, the Kampfgruppe Behrends fielded 2/3 of a regiment+recon and artillery unit, which, if at full strength, is 1600-2500 men at best (1600 for the 2 batallions).
i'm no expert on soviet armed forces, but on the same line i doubt the "Soviet AT divizion" as well.
also, Mehala is in the west of the city and by no means northwest. i lived there for 28 years so i kind of know the neighbourhood.
as it is quite clear from the article, the units encountered belonged to the 4. SS Polizei-Panzergrenadier-Division, which was a police unit and not a frontline combat division.
even the participation in anti-partisan operations was limited at best. it was a unit used for occupation duties.
|Posted by: Alexei2102 August 16, 2006 02:42 pm|
100 % correct IMHO. The 4th SS was considered even among SS as well a second-rate unit, in terms of millitary profficiency.
And as for the idea that Romanian units were more than capable of dealing with the SS, it is correct also, but it is a subjective matter. It depends entirely on the conjuncture. Just imagine for example that instead of the 2 battalions from the 4th SS, would have been 2 battalions from the 2nd, 5th or 12th SS (namely "Das Reich", "Wiking" and "HJ"). Also, other factors are involved too: the degree of support (aerial, artillery, armor, etc), morale, supply, and so forth.
|Posted by: dead-cat August 30, 2006 02:28 pm|
to belatedly answer this, as i purchased some time ago "Vorwärts Prinz Eugen!" by the former division commander SS-Brigadeführer Otto Kumm, it depends on the timeframe.
the unit was formed by Phleps in early '42 and he was given no commanding staff, he had to get all the personell he needed through his old Austria-Hungary connections. then, to form a mountain division with people predominantly living in the plains is a bit awkward.
so the division needed about 8 months training until the first combat action. at first, one of the batallion commanders described the unit as a "pile of pigs" ("Sauhaufen").
During Operation Weiss, and Schwarz, the unit gained experience and was given 500 MG42s and some additional artillery in July '43.
then they recived Karl von Oberkamp as commander (which Kumm didn't held professionaly in high esteem) who took over from Phleps and under which they took part in disarming italian troops. after that operation the rating was "2" and Kumm metions that they couldn't compare to the 1st. Gebirgsdivision.
in early '44 von Oberkamp seems to have been removed from command and Kumm took over.
after "Rösselsprung" the unit is rated "allmost as good as any regular SS unit"
before Nis the Pz-Jäger batallion was detached and reinforced with the StuG-Abt. 105 under Paletta (a KC holder). fighting the soviet speerhead the reinforced unit claimed 64 tanks.
the division at Nis however lacked AT capability and sustained heavy losses, then retreated to Kraljevo and held the position until Heeresgruppe E evacuated Greece.
by then the units combat value was rated higher than before the action at Nis.
from then on, Kumm speaks of an "elite division".
until 30th aug. '44 the division was taking part in "Unternehmen Rübezahl" in Bosnia and went to refit until late sept. when they took positions around Nis. no units of the division were engaged in any kind of action on romanian territory after 23 aug.
however, a lt. or captain mentioned in his diary an occurence in oct. '44 when they overran a position of romanian and russian troops during the retreat towards kraljevo. other than that there is no mentiong of romanian troops at all. even this diary entry is doubtfull since he probably mixed them up with bulgarians.
|Posted by: sample March 30, 2007 12:50 pm|
|Posted by: Zlatan Filep December 26, 2009 09:15 am|
| First of all I would like to thank you all for posting your info on this site. My father was conscripted into the German Army from Fericanci in Croatia at the age of 17. I found out yesterday from an old family friend that he was captured in Timisoara, and started to find out more about this event.
He was in the SS police, in the green uniform, which was mainly made up of non-German/Nazi nationalities, and, so I am told, was there to keep an eye on the "real SS". I think he gave himself up to two Russian soldiers, who asked how many Russians he had killed. He replied that he didn't know, because he fired back in self-defence and didn't know whether he had killed anyone. When asked if he was a Nazi, he replied no, (the answer which probably saved his life) and was taken off to a POW camp to cook for other soldiers.
He eventually came to England from Graz to become a miner, and ironically he joined the Home Guard in England with my granddad and great uncle. He entered a shooting contest and won, and when he was asked where he learned to shoot, the reply "in the German army", went down like a lead balloon!!
As with most old soldiers he didn't tell us much about his war life, and the snippets I have have lead me to your site. It looks like he could have been in the 4th SS division - any idea if there is somewhere that I could confirm this? I would imagine that most war records listing individual soldiers were not kept, but you may know differently?
Once again, thank you all for your interests which have answered some of my questions, I wish he was still alive to see all this as I am sure he would have been fascinated!
|Posted by: 21 inf December 26, 2009 10:40 am|
|There it is on the net a certain waffen ss site who has detailed info about former SS men, including simple soldiers. As far as I remember, some info about officers was listed, some about a small number of NCO's, but more infos were available if one desired, but requested some payment. Unfortunatelly, I dont remember the adress of the site, you'll have to find yourself and ask for more info there.|
|Posted by: Alexei2102 December 26, 2009 11:01 am|
| Try contacting WAST.
As a next-of-kin, his dossier will be made available to you.
|Posted by: dead-cat January 05, 2010 06:53 pm|
| the WAST is indeed the best attempt, however, as many records from german units in yugoslavia, as i had to find out myself, are incomplete and/or missing, they might not have much available.
a reply might take up to 6 months (as it was in my case).
|Posted by: ANDREAS March 02, 2010 12:11 am|
| A clash between romanian troops and SS-units:
Elements of the 8.SS-Kavallerie Division Florian Geyer fought the romanian 82nd Infantry Regiment at Ogra and Cerghid in 5 september 1944. The german forces were accompanied and supported by 12 Jagdpanzer 38 "Hetzer" and light hungarian infantry. Even outnumbered and outgunned the romanians stubbornly resist and with the help of fresh troops from the rear, repel enemy forces attacks on 6th of september 1944. Source: "Epopeea de pe Mures", Ed. Vatra Targu-Mures, 1985, pg. 30-38
|Posted by: ANDREAS August 22, 2011 10:47 am|
Indeed there are more questions than answers about the fightings that occured in mid-September 1944 in Banat, even if I read a book (right now I can't remember the name) dedicated to this fightings. The notes that I took after reading this book spoke about the participation of small armoured detachments as reinforcements for the SS Regiments (could be the reccon battalion or even tank battalion of the SS Division, this one had in august 1944 42 StuG IV and 3 Pz.Bef.Wg.IV). What is really interesting ist that the Kampfgruppe Behrends was reinforced by 2 Kp./Panzer-Abt.202 in september 1944 who by the time had only italian medium tanks Fiat Ansaldo M15/42. It is unknown to me if these tanks were used against our troops or only later against the russians.
|Posted by: Jakob1944Polizei November 07, 2011 08:09 pm|
| Hi, I live in USA.
I am interested in the Battle of Timisoara, Sept. 1944
One of my grandmother's relatives was killed in action
Sept.16th ,1944 near Timisora. He was a native son of Banat.
His burial site is in Timisora, Cemitriul Calea Lipovei.
Regarding this little known WWII battle I would like to know if anyone has photos,
or knows of books with photos of the battle/participants.
This battle is connected to my family history/geneology so I have a strong interest.
Appreciate any input.
|Posted by: ANDREAS November 12, 2011 07:42 pm|
| Hallo Jakob1944Polizei,
Do you know the name of your grandmother's relative who was killed in action, his ethnicity (was is german?) and what side did he fight (was he in the Waffen SS?). I ask you this because I have a German ethnic neighbour (I live in Arad city, 50km north of Timisoara) who fought, in the fall of 1944, in the 8th SS Cavalry Division in central Transylvania against our troops. Now he feels guilty for the situation in which he has been but but it is a decent man with good sense, right and has many interesting stories from the front!
|Posted by: Florin November 15, 2011 03:11 am|
| In the book "Romania pe frontul antihitlerist" / Romania on front line against Hitler,
at the part dedicated to Czechoslovakia in 1945, it is related an episode with a SS guy not leaving his position and firing against the Romanian soldiers until they physically reached him. It was mentioned that his uniform had many military medals.
The whole episode was described with some respect toward the SS guy. Considering that he was an enemy, and the book was published during the Communist times, I guess he was really impressive.
|Posted by: Jakob1944Polizei November 15, 2011 07:50 pm|
| Hello Andreas,
Thank you for your reply. My relative was Jacob Sieber, born in Gross Jetscha.
His ancestry was entirely German. As you know there used to be many German villages in western Banat. Gross Jetscha is now Iecea Mare.
He was conscripted into a German HilfsPolizei battalion along with many men from his village. They received little in the way of training, obsolete equipment, etc.
Mostly they were used in Yugoslavia for occupation duties such as enforcing curfew,guarding train stations etc. They were just assistant police really.
In 1944 some of these battalions were combined into the unit known as
Polizei Freiwilligen Regiment 1 Serbien. Unfortunately in Sept 1944 his
battalion became part of the so called "Kampfgruppe Behrends".
His unit passed through his hometown of Gross Jetshca on Sept.15th 1944
Jacob was killed in action the next day near Timisoara. To me this was just
a suicide attack. These men were simple farm boys forced into service with little or
no training and obsolete weapons and little ammunition. It is likely that he had
never fired a shot in his life. To use these men in offensive combat mission was
merely a suicide charge. The Romanian troops in the city had the upper hand.
Anyway it is interesting that you live in Arad. I would like to visit Timisora some
day as it seems an interesting city. I am sue Arad is as well. Your neighbor must
surely have a lot of interesting stories, he was lucky to survive!
|Posted by: ANDREAS November 16, 2011 08:20 pm|
| Interesting but not unusual Jakob1944Polizei,
I read in a book the unfortunate fate of many ethnic Germans from Banat and Transylvania forced to fight in difficult conditions without having received an adequate instruction level and also not the top military hardware. It is the case of those those sent to antiguerilla units in Serbia and Ukraine forced to fight later as first line units without proper training and equipment (my neighbour told me a lot about that)! They served especially in the 7th SS “Prinz Eugen” Division and 8th SS “Florian Geyer” Division and probably in other units. For instance my german neighbour told me about a good friend from his childhood who fought in France with the 17th SS ”Götz von Berlichigen” Division in 1944.
|Posted by: Jakob1944Polizei November 24, 2011 06:15 pm|
| Good Day to you Andreas. Hope all is well in Arad.
Since we have been discussing the military actions around Timisoara in the
month of September 1944 I was wondering if you know of any books
related to this battle?
It seems like it is difficult to find material on this battle.
I would like to read more about it if I could find book sources.
|Posted by: ANDREAS November 25, 2011 10:06 pm|
| Thanks Jakob1944Polizei,
Wish you the same!
Yes I have read a book, I don't know if I didn't mention it by now, called (as I remember so I am not sure) Operatia de acoperire in Sud estul Romaniei august-septembrie 1944 /The frontier defence operation in south-east Romania august-september 1944/ written before 1989 by a collective of military authors. The book is excellent in describing our forces in Banat but more than excellent in describing the ennemy forces (especially german few hungarian only in the northern sector of Banat) and of course the military operations until the arrival of the soviet armies in the area! Of course there are descriptions of the battles, the forces involved, the successes of the ennemies (yes even if it was written in communist era) and our successes also. There are description of the operations from german documents captured after the operations including what you are especially interested in -Kampfgruppe Behrends and the 4th SS POLIZEI Panzer Grenadier Division. I didn't have this book I read it from the local library in Arad. I will soon "investigate" and I will tell you exactly the book title and authors. As I said it is old written before 1989 as I remember! We keep in tuch!
|Posted by: Dénes November 26, 2011 07:33 am|
| I believe this is the book you meant:
Indeed, an excellent one, well worth consulting.
|Posted by: Jakob1944Polizei November 26, 2011 02:23 pm|
| Thank you very much Andreas,
and thank you Denes for the link.
Perhaps we are on to something here.
All I have to do now is find a copy of this book
and have it shipped to USA and find a way to
I would like to have it though to see if there are
any photos, and look at the documents. It would
indeed be interesting.
All part of the fascinating history of the Banat.
The best from USA.
|Posted by: ANDREAS November 27, 2011 04:53 pm|
| Thanks Denes,
Yes, it's the book I talked about! Thank you also for the link I didn't know about! It's useful for other old books I was searching for!
|Posted by: Dénes November 28, 2011 06:08 am|
As a sidenote, the other part (about 1/3rd) of Banat region is in Serbia.
|Posted by: ANDREAS November 28, 2011 05:08 pm|
| Maybe this book can help you a bit:
PANZERSCHLACHT: ARMOURED OPERATIONS ON THE HUNGARIAN PLAINS SEPTEMBER-NOVEMBER 1944 by Perry Moore
But it's surely not so focused on operations in Banat area (and surely not so detailed) than the romanian book I and Denes spoke about.
|Posted by: MMM November 29, 2011 06:00 pm|
The so-called "Serbian Banat" (Banatul Sârbesc), which was awarded to Jugoslavia after WWI, not to Romania as some politicians would have wanted! But when the "Bucharest peace" was weighed against the Serbian Army continuing to fight after its territory was invaded, well... only the territory with a Romanian majority was given to Romania...
See also the mighty wikipedia
|Posted by: Jakob1944Polizei December 02, 2011 06:54 pm|
| It sounds like I should order the book:
“Operatia romana de acoperire”, de Eugen Bantea
I did study Spanish in High School although Romanian is rather different,
but I could make a go at it.
Is http://www.coltulcolectionarului.ro OK to place orders with?
I don't know if anyone has experience with them shipping books.
|Posted by: ANDREAS December 06, 2011 05:53 pm|
| I do, Jakob1944Polizei,
today I received the two books I ordered from them, but I am in Romania, so I don't know how is when you are outside... in a country quite far from us? They would write you very soon and they will tell you if they can send the book or not ... they wrote me that in case I don't get the books in a week, I should notice them by an e-mail! But I got them!
Good luck to you!
|Posted by: Jakob1944Polizei December 06, 2011 06:42 pm|
| Good day to you Andreas,
I heard from dragos by email that he could purchase the book and send
it to USA. He didn't think that the book seller would send it to USA.
I am so glad that both of you guys are so willing to help out.
Regards from USA.
|Posted by: dead-cat April 25, 2012 03:31 pm|
| some time ago:
http://www.z-g-v.de/doku/archiv/rumaenien/kapitel-4-2-4-0-1.htm the composition of the "Kampfgruppe Behrends" is detailed:
formed by 100 germans from yugoslavia, 160 germans from romania, 130 romanian legionaries(?) (from the "iron guard" coming from belgrade and vienna, as it is explained later) and 300 men from the belgrade police force.
The "Kampfgruppe Behrends" was supported by hungarian regiment to the north, by elements from the 4.SS Polizeidivision to the south.