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2nd Fallschirmjager Division OoB


stoat
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I'm making a CMAK scenario covering the fighting for Hill 103, northeast of Brest on the Brittany peninsula. My sources cover the American forces well enough for my purposes:

1/175

elements 2/175

elements 3/115

elements 709 tank Battalion

elements 86th Chemical Mortar Battalion (4.2in FOs)

elements 121st Engineer Combat Battalion

However, I am not very sure of what units made up the German defense. I do know most of them were from the 2nd Fallschirmjager Reg, 2nd Fallschirmjager Div, and not the first Battalion, but I don't know what combination of 2nd and 3rd Battalion units, plus supporting formations, were at the battle. (16 Kompanie [recce] came into play too late in the battle. I am looking for the period of 27-29 August, 1944)

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The only useful info I've been able to find is about what 2 FJ had with it, not which portions were present in that particular time and place.

Most of the artillery was missing, only 1 battalion of 12 105mm recoilless rifles was with the division inside the Brest perimeter. Their 120mm mortars had been pooled in a separate battalion which was not present. The divisional Flak was committed in Normandy earlier and destroyed. They did have their Pz Jgr and Pioneer battalions, and the regiments had companies of those arms as well.

So I'd expect FJ squads, HMGs and 81mm mortars, schrecks, and some 75mm PAK. Possibly limited 105mm fire support, 81mm fire support available if wanted. The overall manpower strength was between 5500 and 7500 men for all elements of the division inside the perimeter. The men were not veterans but fought well considering. Greens mixed with regulars but with some fanaticism thrown in might be more accurate. They also had MG bunkers, trenches, wire, mines, etc but you know all that.

FWIW...

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Turns out that 3/2 FJR was there, so for the Germans I'll probably go with:

12 Kompanie, 3/2

elements 11 Kompanie 3/2

elements 10 Kompanie 3/2

elements 13 Kompanie 2Reg (81mm mortars)

elements 14 Kompanie 2Reg (panzerjaeger)

elements 15 Kompanie 2Reg (engineers)

elements 1 Batterie, 1 Artillery Battalion 2nd Fallschirm Artillery Reg(105 FO)

also some direct fire flak guns (thinking 2 37mm one should do it, but I'm not sure of the formation they would come from)

Anything obvious I'm missing?

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Hmm, I sent it to the address you have listed in your profile.

Anyway, I have John Gawne's "Americans in Brittany - the battle for Brest". In it there is a chart listing all the various units that defended Brest, as well as an OOB of the 2nd FJ, showing which parts fought in Brest, St. Malo, etc.

There is also a decent map of hill 103 showing German defensive layouts, gun emplacements, trenches, etc, as well as a write up several paragraphs long describing the battle.

I can scan these for you if you are interested. Let me know.

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Originally posted by Kingfish:

Hmm, I sent it to the address you have listed in your profile.

Anyway, I have John Gawne's "Americans in Brittany - the battle for Brest". In it there is a chart listing all the various units that defended Brest, as well as an OOB of the 2nd FJ, showing which parts fought in Brest, St. Malo, etc.

There is also a decent map of hill 103 showing German defensive layouts, gun emplacements, trenches, etc, as well as a write up several paragraphs long describing the battle.

I can scan these for you if you are interested. Let me know.

I got your second e-mail. Thanks for the offer of scanning those pages, but coincidentally, that is the same book I am using as my primary source. Unfortunately the map doesn't show any German units, and the paragraphs only mention several formations. We'll see how it turns out.
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Originally posted by JasonC:

stoat - the Flak in the Brest fortress was actually from naval formations, assigned to protect the submarine pens. Not FJ - the organic Flak battalion of the division was lost earlier in Normandy.

Duly noted. I was just checking if anyone had anything concrete on parent formation and gun calibers. I'm thinking 37mm, as that will provide the heavy firepower for the defenders, and they were prevalent on German warships.
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I know they had batteries of 105mm Flak (yes 105mm, it existed) and of 88mm Flak, in the general defense of Brest. Some used direct to defend the outer ring, though I don't know about your particular hill. There were 18 batteries of that stuff in the whole fortress. I haven't seen details on the light stuff, but sure 37mm was typical. Usually 3 to a position though, rather than 2 (unless one KOed already etc).

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According to Werner Haupt the strongest unit in Brest was the 343ID. It's artillerie:

2 "abteilungen" 343 Artillerie Regiment with 10,5 cm Fieldhouwitser, and each a 7,5cm and a 10cm batterie.

About the precise FJ units on the Hill: he only talks about FJR2 (oberstleutnant Tannert).

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Originally posted by painfbat:

According to Werner Haupt the strongest unit in Brest was the 343ID. It's artillerie:

2 "abteilungen" 343 Artillerie Regiment with 10,5 cm Fieldhouwitser, and each a 7,5cm and a 10cm batterie.

About the precise FJ units on the Hill: he only talks about FJR2 (oberstleutnant Tannert).

As has been previously mentioned, parts of the 2nd FJR Div were torn up quite badly in the fighting for St Mere Eglise, St Lo, and Carentan. It does not surprise me in the least that the strongest formation in Festung Brest was one stationed there to guard the coast from invasion. However, strong does not mean experienced, nor does it mean of high quality. It would seem that the 343rd was much like the 352nd stationed at Omaha, in that it included many impressed Russian and Polish nationals that surrendered willingly, and in Brittany, fought against the Germans with some effect. The Fallschirmjaeger were by far the fiercest fighters the Germans had, and more importantly, were the only ones at Hill 103.
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Originally posted by stoat:

It would seem that the 343rd was much like the 352nd stationed at Omaha, in that it included many impressed Russian and Polish nationals that surrendered willingly, and in Brittany, fought against the Germans with some effect.

I think you may be confusing the 352nd for the 716th, which fought alongside the 352nd on D-day. The former was a field division, while the latter a static division (same as the 343rd) and thus held large numbers of ex-Russian and Poles in its ranks (3 battalions out of 9). Two of the 716th ID's Ost battalions were subordinated to the 352nd on D-day, which may account for the large number of surrenders.
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Originally posted by Kingfish:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by stoat:

It would seem that the 343rd was much like the 352nd stationed at Omaha, in that it included many impressed Russian and Polish nationals that surrendered willingly, and in Brittany, fought against the Germans with some effect.

I think you may be confusing the 352nd for the 716th, which fought alongside the 352nd on D-day. The former was a field division, while the latter a static division (same as the 343rd) and thus held large numbers of ex-Russian and Poles in its ranks (3 battalions out of 9). Two of the 716th ID's Ost battalions were subordinated to the 352nd on D-day, which may account for the large number of surrenders. </font>
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