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> Romanian Army against Waffen-SS units?
mabadesc
Posted: January 02, 2006 04:51 am
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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.


RHaught,

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?
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udar
Posted: January 02, 2006 12:57 pm
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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.
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RHaught
Posted: January 04, 2006 09:33 pm
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QUOTE (mabadesc @ Jan 2 2006, 04:51 AM)
QUOTE
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.


RHaught,

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?

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.

This post has been edited by RHaught on January 04, 2006 09:34 pm
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Alexei2102
Posted: April 26, 2006 01:53 pm
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Dear all,

The SS-FJR unit (500/600) did not took part in fighting in Romania. Please check this for details:

http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=1714

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.

Al
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dragos03
Posted: July 30, 2006 02:50 pm
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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.
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dragos03
Posted: August 08, 2006 10:56 pm
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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.
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dead-cat
Posted: August 16, 2006 12:53 pm
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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.

QUOTE

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.

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.
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Alexei2102
Posted: August 16, 2006 02:42 pm
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QUOTE (dead-cat @ August 16, 2006 12:53 pm)
QUOTE

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.

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.

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.
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dead-cat
Posted: August 30, 2006 02:28 pm
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QUOTE (RHaught @ December 31, 2005 12:09 am)
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.

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.

This post has been edited by dead-cat on November 21, 2007 04:11 pm
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sample
Posted: March 30, 2007 12:50 pm
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...

This post has been edited by sample on March 20, 2013 07:28 pm
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Zlatan Filep
Posted: December 26, 2009 09:15 am
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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!
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21 inf
Posted: December 26, 2009 10:40 am
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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.
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Alexei2102
Posted: December 26, 2009 11:01 am
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Try contacting WAST.

http://www.dd-wast.de/frame_e.htm

As a next-of-kin, his dossier will be made available to you.

Cheers,

Al
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dead-cat
Posted: January 05, 2010 06:53 pm
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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).

This post has been edited by dead-cat on February 02, 2010 12:22 am
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ANDREAS
Posted: March 02, 2010 12:11 am
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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
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