"ear"and"stomach"battalions

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michiel
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"ear"and"stomach"battalions

Postby michiel » 01 Sep 2004 17:23

I recently heard about these special battalions,is there someone who can give me some more information about these special units.(where,how many,how selected,...)


thanks,

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Christoph Awender
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Postby Christoph Awender » 01 Sep 2004 17:54

Hello!

They were selected by the responsible doctors either in special recreation hospitals or in the drafting process.
At the moment I just can find info about three battalions with "stomach-ill" soldiers.
(Fest.Inf.Rgt.)1018, (Fest.Inf.Rgt.)1019, (Fest.Inf.Rgt.)1020 all element of 70.Infanteriedivision.

\Christoph

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Starinov
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Postby Starinov » 01 Sep 2004 19:49

Hello Christoph,

Could you share some more light on those units?

Thanks a lot.

Andreas
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Postby Andreas » 01 Sep 2004 22:13

From Mitcham 'Hitler's Legions'

Nicknamed the 'Whitebread Division', because most of its 7,500 soldiers had stomach problems and required a special diet. Mustered on Walcheren in 1944, with cadres from 165. ID which garrisoned the island until then. Destroyed in the attack on Walcheren in November 1944, almost all the soldiers killed or taken POW.

That information does not appear correct though. According to Moulton 'Battle for Antwerp', the 70. Division was involved in Breskens, and already lost heavily there (~ 1/3rd men, all vehicles, many heavy weapons). 1018.IR was removed to the Albert Kanal to 346.ID, with one artillery battalion. So only the already weakened 1019.IR and 1020.IR were present when the island was assaulted. The HQ of 1019.IR was in the Hotel Britannia in Flushing. 1020.IR was defending the South Beveland Kanal, but was withdrawn onto Walcheren on 29/30 October, where they surrendered on the 6th November.

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Postby V. Andries » 02 Sep 2004 16:23

Hi all,

A benefit of 70. Infanterie-Division's deployment on the Walcheren and Beveland peninsulae, was the fact that the rich dairy products of the area proved to be a great asset to the diet of the 'Magenkranken'.
Concerning the soldiers with hearing problems, no doubt they were at a great disadvantage in combat: one can only imagine the troubles with issuing orders, let alone the danger of not being able to hear incoming fire.

Before its commitment in the battles for the Scheldt estuary, 70. Infanterie Division first saw action in the Ghent (Gent) area, where it fought to delay the 7th Armoured Division and later 1st Polish Armored Division, in order to allow the remains of the 15. Armee to pull back and form a bridgehead on the South bank of the Scheldt estuary.

Following overview was put together from information out of the excellent "Gent, september '44", by J-P Marchal.

On September 4th, 15. Armee ordered the 70th ID's Stab, its Infanterie-Regimenter 1018 and 1020, Füsilier- and Pionier- Bataillone along with two leichter Artillerie-Abteilungen to move from Vlissingen via Breskens to the Ghent sector ('Raum Gent').
On September 5th, IR 1018 took position South of the city, while IR 1020 slowly took up positions to its East along the Scheldt, stretching as far as Wichelen (a village between Ghent and Dendermonde).
On September 6, 15. Armee's defense lines were shifted to the Ghent-Terneuzen, Gent-Brugge and Brugge-Zeebrugge canals. IR 1018 gave up its positions South of Ghent, thereby allowing the Desert Rats to enter the city center, and redeployed to Ghent's Northern quarters. There the Gent-Terneuzen and Gent-Brugge canals are connected by another canal, called the 'Verbindingsvaart'. This canal was first crossed by 1/5th Queens on September 8th, but IR 1018 kept up a stubborn defense against the Brittish (later Polish) bridgehead till September 14th (according to Polish war diaries, elements of 3.FJ-Division fought alongside IR 1018 in the area, with about 50 Fallschirmjäger used as scouts by each infantry battalion). The rest of 70. ID was ordered on September 10th to move back to its old positions on Walcheren and Beveland. The crossing of the Scheldt estuary was carried out between September 15th and 22th via Terneuzen and Breskens. General Daser admitted having lost up to about 1/3rd of his division's strength in the Ghent bridgehead.

kind regards,

Andries

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Postby Ingsoc75 » 02 Sep 2004 21:32

Was this unit for soldiers who would of had what we call today "Irritable Bowel Syndrome"?

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Postby V. Andries » 03 Sep 2004 12:59

Was this unit for soldiers who would of had what we call today "Irritable Bowel Syndrome"?


Couldn't tell... Only know of stomach problems like stomach ulcer, not intestinal problems.

Maybe someone else knows more details about the special facilities and treatments for these soldiers?

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Postby Ingsoc75 » 03 Sep 2004 13:39

Well seeing as the first thing to react to stress is your GI tract it was probably a common ailment among soldiers of all nations. Even worse when soldiers contract dysentery, cholera and other ailments that hit hard their bowels. I could not imagine that during the later months of the war a German soldier would get out of fighting because his bowels were out of order per say.

What about influenza? Strepp throat? Stomach flu? Would a soldier be told just to deal with it? It's little daily things like this that are interesting about the German experience in WW2 (not that it was unique to era).

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michiel
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Postby michiel » 03 Sep 2004 15:00

[quote="V. Andries"]Hi all,

.
Concerning the soldiers with hearing problems, no doubt they were at a great disadvantage in combat: one can only imagine the troubles with issuing orders, let alone the danger of not being able to hear incoming fire.


Hello,

can you give some more information about the ear battalions:how many,where,....

Thanks

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Conacher1941
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Postby Conacher1941 » 03 Sep 2004 16:11

Enigma229 wrote:What about influenza? Strepp throat? Stomach flu? Would a soldier be told just to deal with it? It's little daily things like this that are interesting about the German experience in WW2 (not that it was unique to era).


That's a good question, unfortunately I do not have the answer to it. You should start a new thread on what sort of ailments the soldiers were just told to suck it up and deal with, and which earned them convalescence.

Cheers,
...Conacher

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Totalkrieg
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Postby Totalkrieg » 03 Sep 2004 16:55


V. Andries
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Postby V. Andries » 04 Sep 2004 18:07

can you give some more information about the ear battalions:how many,where,....


Michiel,

I wish I could be of more help to you, but that's really all I know about the 'ear battalions'.

There are documents about 70. ID to be found in the Militärarchiv (http://www.bundesarchiv.de) and there's a post-war interview with Daser (MS B-274) in the NARA (http://www.archives.gov), but it's unsure (though probable) that you'll find any details in those.

vriendelijke groeten,

Andries


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