donate
PGnet home | Advertise | Donate | Contact | free classifieds
New here? Register now and join in with the most vibrant re-enactor community on the web.

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 50 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Battalion 500
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:27 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:16 pm
Posts: 2952
Location: Grossbritannien
Greetings menschen, just thought id write aline or two. An intresting unit ive come across, however i did read about them a few years ago, but seeing a reenactment group portraying this unit made me research them again, please correct me if my facts are wrong however. The "SS" Battalion 500 was a strange unit in the fact that to my knowledge they only carried out one mission which was to capture Tito at his HQ in Dryvar which i think now comes under Croatia but could be wrong, anyway this unit apparantly was made up from disgraced Luftwaffe officers strangely enough, but reading the details i could see why afterwards. The unit was hastily put together in readiness for the op and requirements were that men were needed with experiance of parachute training, these men were promised reenlistment back into their former units on completion of the mission. They were led by Sturmbannfuhrer Otto Skorzeny and a small cadre of his "commando" group and NCO'S, the mission needless to say was a failure and Tito got away and apparantly Randolph Churchill "Winston Churchills son" who was there in some advisory capacity, what happened to the men of the 500 after that no one knows, according to my refrence books the survivors were sent to join other diciplinary units. Skorzeny himself was a strange "mythological" figure due to some of the unusual missions he carried out. Not only did he command the rescue party of Mussolini from his mountain top prison but also was in charge of a "commando" mission behind American lines in the Ardennes in 44. (Hollywood tried to portray this in the movie "Battle of the Bulge", with the actor Ty Hardin playing the part of Skorzeny) They were dressed in American uniform, which was a breakage of the Geneva convention and i think he was wanted after the war because of this, i read he had escaped to South America in 45-46 but could be wrong. Skorzeny was awarded the Pilots and Observers badge with diamonds for that little rescue mission (only 55 were awarded), Mussolini was awarded one as well probably at the same time, however in Mussolinis case it was more of a political award than anything else. Regards Peiper.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Battalion 500
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:44 pm
Posts: 2058
Location: Britain
Here's another account although this may be biased in some way other than just reporting facts and figures.
There are however some good minds and persons on this forum who could dispel some myths regarding this unit.

The Waffen SS Parachute Battalion

Though lauded for its “efficiency” by some post-war apologists, Nazi Germany resembled nothing more closely than a brutal feudal system: barons jockeyed for power and the approval of their master. This yielded several competing military institutions, all of them trying to adopt the trappings of modernism.

In 1937, the Waffen SS, then a relatively small organization, attempted to form a parachute battalion. This effort foundered under opposition from the larger and better-organized Luftwaffe, as one Nazi baron outplayed another. But by 1943, things had changed. Herman Goering, the Luftwaffe chief, had steadily lost power and influence as drug addiction sapped his personal strength and several signal failures of his Air Force (chiefly, the failures to re-supply Stalingrad or to stop the Allied strategic boming offensive) eroded his political standing. Now Heinrich Himmler could form a parachute battalion in the Waffen SS as part of its huge expansion, and even force the Luftwaffe to train and equip his butchers from the sky.

While the SS was a criminal organization dedicated to mass murder, Parachute Battalion 500 began as a pack of criminal’s criminals. Unable to find enough volunteers among regular SS formations, the battalion made up its numbers from SS prisons: members of the SS who had been convicted and imprisoned for military offenses or other crimes. By good service in the battalion, they had the opportunity to have their records wiped clean. And if they died doing so, as must have seemed likely, their death benefits would be restored whereas their families would receive nothing if they expired behind bars.

With 1,000 recruits, training began at Chlum in occupied Czechoslovakia and moved to Madanrushka-Banja in Yugoslavia, where the Luftwaffe operated one of its jump schools. Luftwaffe instructors conducted the jump training there and at Papa in Hungary, where a Luftwaffe mission was assisting the Hungarians in expanding their own parachute unit.

Herbert Gilhofer’s battalion went into action in February in Yugoslavia, fighting partisans. In April they returned to base to receive a new commander, Kurt Rybka, and a new mission. They would play the key role in Operation Knight’s Jump, an attempt to capture or kill Josip Broz Tito.

The battalion would jump onto Tito’s headquarters in a cave complex located among the hills above Drvar in western Bosnia, a fortified area known as “The Citadel.” The 7th SS Mountain Division, a German-Croatian infantry division, some collaborationist units and a smattering of independent German units would follow up and relieve the paratroopers after they had achieved their objective.

The landing took place on the morning of 25 May 1944. Planning for the operation ran into a problem immediately: the Luftwaffe had lost hundreds of Ju52 transport planes in the attempt to re-supply Stalingrad by air during the winter of 1942-43, and the losses had never been made good. Only enough planes and gliders could be assembled to land part of the battalion, so the SS men would attack in two waves: one at 7 a.m., and the second at noon. Three hundred men would jump in the morning wave plus another 300 landing in gliders; the final 300 would jump in the second wave.

As soon as the paratroopers landed, Tito and his staff escaped. The remaining partisans resisted fiercely, shooting up the assault team detailed to seize Tito. Fierce fighting raged all morning, and though Rybka had not secured the drop zone he failed to abort the second landing. The partisans greeted the drifting troopers with intense machine-gun fire, killing most of them before they hit the ground. Rybka pulled his men back to the town cemetery, and the next day troops from 7th SS Mountain Division relieved them. Of the nearly 1,000 men who participated, over 800 were killed or wounded.

After another anti-partisan operation in Yugoslavia, the company-sized remnant fought on the Eastern Front during the summer of 1944 and gradually regained its strength. On November the battalion received a new number, 600, to designate that it “no longer had criminals within its ranks” (at least by SS standards; all of the former convicts had been killed or wounded).

Two companies were attached to the SS Panzer Brigade 150 during the German offensive in the Ardennes known as the Battle of the Bulge. No airborne role for them in the operation appears to have been contemplated: apparently the replacements received since the Drvar disaster apparently were not jump-trained, and anyway the Luftwaffe could not supply transport planes.

_________________
94-87 Ich bedauere nichts
57-93 Either put me in jail or kill me


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Battalion 500
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:57 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:16 pm
Posts: 2952
Location: Grossbritannien
Greetings menschen, i agree with your comment John, a lot of Third Reich organisations were "jockying" for power as you put it and some strange units started to appear including SS Falshirmjager Battalions and Herman Goring tank Divisions. As i read Himmler and Goring were apparantly rivals and trying to out do one another for the position of Hitlers "number two" as it were, in fact i came across an idea for an SS Stuka squadron, whether this was true or not i have no way of knowing, i think there was even plans for an SS U-Boat formation but this obviously never came to fruitrition. I know Himmler had his own personal pilots and he intended to extend this "wing", even having their own personal cufftitles but the war ended before he could put these strange plans into practice. Regards Peiper


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Battalion 500
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:44 pm
Posts: 2058
Location: Britain
Just to clarify peiper, this is not my comment about the battallion, it's just something I found on the internet.
The purpose of putting it here was to show people that sometimes what you read isn't always the bona fide 100% that you'd expect.

_________________
94-87 Ich bedauere nichts
57-93 Either put me in jail or kill me


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Battalion 500
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 1:36 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:16 pm
Posts: 2952
Location: Grossbritannien
Greetings, some intresting things ive found out regarding the missons of the 500/600 Btls. According to the book "Storming Eagles" by James Lucas, the rescue misson to rescue Mussolini from his mountain prison at Gran Sasso in 1943 was carried out by members of the No1 Falschirmjager Training Btl based nearby at Grosseto. Apparantly Skorzeny was only going originally as an escort for Mussolini, in the end he brought along a squad of men with him, General Student wasn't pleased but accepted that they would take part in the "Op".The Op was going to be a glider assault, Mussolini was going to be flown out by Fiesler storch and Skorzeny would follow. Due to some misjudgement by the leading glider pilot "Captain Langguth" the order of landing had been mixed up, Skorzeny's glider ended up landing first closely followed by the others. After securing the mountain and joining up with the other detatchments who had captured the cable car system. Skorzeny was flown out along with Mussolini to the airfield at Practica di Mare then back to Vienna Austria. As Skorzeny arrived back first and Gorings delay in contacting Hitler the whole misson had been credited to Skorzeny not the 1st Parachute detatchment who had planned and executed the plan. Hope you enjoy reading this little story, regards Peiper [quote]: "According to a New-Yorker like you, a hero is some sort of weird sandwich".


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Battalion 500
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 10:02 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:15 pm
Posts: 1142
Location: Ireland
John , you seem to have a very wise head on your shoulders there , I was very impresses with your last post .
The victor writes the history books gentlemen .
I have a special interest in the 500/600 Bt as I attended one of their reunions some years ago in Germany .By the end of the war these guys earned the respect from all their foes .
If any of you are interested I can post some pics of these guys both "Then and Now" .

_________________
Image

Kampfgruppe Sud:Irelands Largest German military vehicle and
re-enactment group


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Battalion 500
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 6:10 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:41 pm
Posts: 5732
Location: TAMPERE FINLAND
The good and dear SchnellMeyer wrote
Quote:
If any of you are interested I can post some pics of these guys both "Then and Now"

POST AWAY GOOD SIR

_________________
ImageImageImageImageImage


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Battalion 500
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 6:33 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:46 pm
Posts: 2254
Location: Telford
Yes please post them i to would be interested.
8)

_________________
May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the crotch of the person who screws up your day and may their arms be too short to scratch.

GeFoPo

Web site http://vietnamuk.moonfruit.com

Forum http://vietnamreenactors.myfastforum.org/index.php


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Battalion 500
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 8:07 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:15 pm
Posts: 1142
Location: Ireland
Ok guys , here are some signed photos I got from some veterans from SS-FJ 500/600 Bt when I attended one of their reunions some years ago .Hope ye like them .I also met the units last commander Siegfried Milius who with Adolf Kunzmann wrote this units history .I also have over 100 negative photos from this unit which I got from Siegfried.
If ye want more photos just ask , thanks for showing a interest in this topic.


Attachments:
IMG_0002.jpg
IMG_0002.jpg [ 327.17 KiB | Viewed 13340 times ]
IMG.jpg
IMG.jpg [ 87.92 KiB | Viewed 13336 times ]
IMG.jpg
IMG.jpg [ 152.77 KiB | Viewed 13329 times ]

_________________
Image

Kampfgruppe Sud:Irelands Largest German military vehicle and
re-enactment group
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Battalion 500
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 8:09 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:15 pm
Posts: 1142
Location: Ireland
Here is me with Heinz Jamin .


Attachments:
IMG_0001.jpg
IMG_0001.jpg [ 623.06 KiB | Viewed 13331 times ]

_________________
Image

Kampfgruppe Sud:Irelands Largest German military vehicle and
re-enactment group
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Battalion 500
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 4:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:10 pm
Posts: 48
Schnellmeyer -
Thanks for sharing your photos,excellent stuff. Look fwd to more from your files in future.
Rgds
Rosselsprung

_________________
Rosselsprung


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Battalion 500
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 5:30 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:41 pm
Posts: 5732
Location: TAMPERE FINLAND
Love the one of Adolf as you can see his FJ jump badge

_________________
ImageImageImageImageImage


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Battalion 500
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 5:36 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:15 pm
Posts: 1142
Location: Ireland
Thanks Franz , i have some more SS-FJ photos where you can also clearly see the FJ jump badge .I will post them when my 16 year old son finishes giving me computer lessons , ha ha . Will do my best to get them up soon.

_________________
Image

Kampfgruppe Sud:Irelands Largest German military vehicle and
re-enactment group


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Battalion 500
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 8:45 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:15 pm
Posts: 1142
Location: Ireland
Here are some more SS-FJ pics from my collection .Note the FJ jump badge , enjoy.


Attachments:
IMG_0003.jpg
IMG_0003.jpg [ 57.27 KiB | Viewed 13258 times ]
IMG_0001.jpg
IMG_0001.jpg [ 131.96 KiB | Viewed 13361 times ]
IMG.jpg
IMG.jpg [ 51 KiB | Viewed 13233 times ]

_________________
Image

Kampfgruppe Sud:Irelands Largest German military vehicle and
re-enactment group
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Battalion 500
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 3:59 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:16 pm
Posts: 2952
Location: Grossbritannien
Greetings gentlemen, (and women if your'e reading), fantastic pictures "Schellmeyer". Am i right in thinking those are pictures of Battalion 600 not 500, after the Battalions "penal" status had been revolked? I have dug out some photos (from ref books) of the 500's in the aftermath of Dryvar,44, i will try and get them posted up for us. Unfortunately my collection of "real" German wartime photographs are limited im afraid but i have just purchased an album which had belonged to a Werhmacht Engineer Leutnant (no portraits just scenary and platoon members unfortunately), along with various loose photos of tanks etc, (mostly i collect badges and uniforms), my intrest in photo's has been stirred since joining this forum. I will get some of those posted up aswell once ive got the hang of the hardware. dassvidanya for now tovaritches, from Peiper.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 50 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

*webmaster temp testing**

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group