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- Joined: 29 Jan 2013 20:18
We’re trying to narrow down where my wife’s grandfather was captured around Saint-Malo. What with thousands having surrendered there, I know it’s a search for a needle in a haystack, but we want to try. Here’s what we know…
- He surrendered to the Americans on 8 Aug 44.
- He was a wachmeister, perhaps an oberwachmeister, in the 1./266 Artillery Regiment, Anton (“Tony”) Schlegel.
- Don’t know what gun, section, or battery to which he was assigned. Previously, when assigned (I think) to the 5th Jaeger Division on the Russian Front, he’d been with a horse-drawn battery of 105mm’s.
- From descriptions of what he had told my father-in-law, the fighting around where they were captured was pretty fierce. Indications are that it might have been in the Parame area, although that’s not known for certain.
- Within his unit were a significant number of soldiers from Russia or perhaps another of the Soviet countries. They told Tony and the other Germans of the unit to give them their weapons and ammo and to go surrender to the Americans; they’d fight to the death, as they could never go back home.
I hope to take my wife to Saint-Malo later in the year, and it would mean a lot if we could get as close as possible to where her grandfather was taken prisoner.
Any insight, info, or assistance would be very greatly appreciated.
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- Joined: 29 Jan 2013 20:18
Here is some additional info...
-On 8 Aug 44, my wife's grandfather surrendered around Saint-Malo. His story was that there were a number of Russians in the regiment. They had urged Tony and the other Germans in the unit to surrender. They said, though, to leave all of their weapons and ammunition with them so that the could fight until the end - as they could never go back home after fighting in the German Army.
-With that information, I looked at the American battle after-action reports:
http://83rdinfdivdocs.org/documents/329 ... UG1944.pdf
On 8 Aug 44, the 1st Battalion, 329th Infantry Regiment changed front and attacked the "town of La Balue". The report goes on to say, "It took the remainder of the day for the 1st Bn to clear out the town of La Balue with the exception of one pillbox that continued to hold out." The next day, B Co., 1/329 continued to attack the pillbox. It surrendered in the afternoon.
This account matches very well with my wife's grandfather's story.
-Someone sent me a map that identified the location of the 1./A.R. 266 in the La Balue area of Saint-Malo, south of St. Servan. Where the map locates them is around the intersection of what is today D137 – Rue de La Balue – and D201. This location is around le Phare de La Balue (lighthouse). The original lighthouse was destroyed sometime around the battle in 1944, but a tall tower like this would have made a great observation point for artillery.
-He also told me that 1./A.R.266 were near cemetery "La Balue" (just across the road to the east of le phare) just behind some German's strong points. He also added,
“About Russians, the divisions have got 389 Hiwi (volontary french, Italians and russians). Two Russians bataillons in 266 ID: The Ost-bataillon 629 (russians) and the Ost und Ausbildung Rgt III/Mitte (Ukrain), but neither went to St Malo. In Saint Malo, there were the Ost Bataillon 602 (Russians) and some guys inside the 1220 Sicherungbataillon.”
Although I have a lot of information, what I really hope for is to find out – as closely as possible – where my wife’s grandfather’s gun position was. The American report lists a "pillbox", making me believe that the German guns were in some kind of bunker or fortification. I’m hoping that something else might pinpoint where the individual guns were or, even better, maybe the pillbox still exists.
Again, any additional info would be greatly appreciated.
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Like I write to Mark, the battery were near cimetery of La Balue end of July, beginning of August. This battery arrived the 22/07/44 in Train station St Servan at 22h00. The battery were in field emplacement behind (near S 119) the differents Strong Holes with a part of the 2/G.R 899.
It were attached to the I/A.R 266 (Hauptmann der Reserve Holtzhaus Walter) Post commanding in S 234 (Josefberg).
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