LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

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xristar
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LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

Post by xristar » 07 Dec 2010 11:57

As you know, the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler fought as a strong brigade group during the German invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece. The LSSAH played a very important role, it was perhaps the single most important unit, during the successful campaign. Initially it succeeded in penetrating the Yugoslav defenses (together with the other units of the XXXX and XVIII Corps) and later it penetrated itself the Greek-British lines in Western Macedonia. The main phases were these:
6-8 April: The LSSAH follows behind the advancing 9th Panzer Division into Yugoslavia towards Skopje.
9-11 April: The LSSAH turns south towards Greece. It crosses the Crna river, captures the Javat pass from the defending "Vardar" Yugoslav divison and contacts the Italians in the area of Struga. It captures the Greek town of Florina.
12-13 April: After handing over its sector to the 73rd infantry division, the LSSAH attacks southwards towards the town of Amyntaion. It captures the Kirli Derven pass (also known as Kleidi pass) from the British "Mackay" force, after intense combat. The 9th and 5th Panzer divisions continue the southwards advance against the British, while LSSAH turns right, to the west against the Greeks.
14 April: The LSSAH overruns the Greek force defending the Kleisura pass (elements of the Greek 20th infantry division) and advances towards Kastoria.
15 April: The LSSAH encounters in open terrain the forward elements of the Greek 13th infantry division retreating from Albania, and after a day long battle defeats them. The LSSAH establishes contact with the 73rd infantry division that advanced from the north. During the night of 15-16 April, the elements of the 13th division continue to pour southwards anaware of the presence of LSSAH, and by the morning of 16 April about 12,000 Greeks and 36 guns (the entire 13th division) have been captured by the LSSAH.
16-23 April: The LSSAH advances towards the Katara pass (also known as Metsovo pass), which it captures on 18 April before the retreating Greeks. On 21 April the LSSAH reaches Ioannina and accepts the surrender of the retreating Greek armies (Army Section Epirus and Army Section West Macedonia). The 73rd infantry division is tasked with the collection of prisoners. About 140,000 Greeks are captured and disarmed.
24-29 April: The LSSAH moves southwards towards the Peloponnese.

My question is if anyone knows the casualties that the LSSAH suffered, both in total as also in the separate battles. I'm interested particularly about the battles against the Greeks in Western Macedonia between 13 and 15 April.

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Re: LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

Post by Peter » 07 Dec 2010 12:10

There is a lot of information about the campaign in the book "The Leibstandarte" volume I (Rudolf Lehmann), and at least one photo of the LSSAH cemetery at Klidi Pass I cannot get my copy at the moment though.

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Re: LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

Post by xristar » 07 Dec 2010 17:51

Peter wrote:There is a lot of information about the campaign in the book "The Leibstandarte" volume I (Rudolf Lehmann), and at least one photo of the LSSAH cemetery at Klidi Pass I cannot get my copy at the moment though.
Yeah, there should be. Lehmann's book was my first thought to look up, but after some searching on the internet for a copy I am dissappointed. It seems it is quite rare and only second-hand copies are available. Amazon.de offers what appears to be a new copy but at 80 euros. Second-hand copies can be found at lower prices (in "acceptable" condition) but won't ship to Greece. So, before considering those options seriously, it seemed a good thing to ask the gentlemen of Axis History forum, who are quite knowledgable and may know the answer. :D

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Re: LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

Post by j keenan » 07 Dec 2010 18:24

13/14.4.41
1 officer Hauptsturmfuhrer Schröder and 8 men dead
1 officer Obersturmfuhrer von kurz 3 nco and 14 men wounded
source vol 1 lssah
best jamie

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Re: LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

Post by j keenan » 07 Dec 2010 18:30

12.4.41
1 officer Untersturmfuhrer witt, 4nco and 32men dead
3 officers Obersturmfuhrer Pleiß,Untersturmfuhrer Urabl,Untersturmfuhrer Harmuth,14 ncos and 81 men wounded
2 missing.
Source as above jamie

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Re: LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

Post by j keenan » 07 Dec 2010 18:36

15.4.41
4 men dead and 6 men wounded

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Re: LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

Post by Harro » 07 Dec 2010 19:05

Gefallenen der Aufklärungsabteilung LAH

Donnerstag den 10. April 1941

† 2. (Krad.-) Kompanie:
SS-Mann Willi Moser (Weinsberg, 10. November 1918), in Bitolj (Jugoslawien)
SS-Mann Heinz Bohn (Hannover, 2. Dezember 1920), in Bitolj (Jugoslawien)

Freitag den 11. April 1941

† 4. (schw.-) Kompanie:
SS-Mann Willi Farken (1. März 1921). Er ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Dionyssos-Rapendoza (Griechenland). Endgrablage: Gruft 1, Reihe 4, Platte 5
SS-Mann Herbert Birk (25. Dezember 1922). Er ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Dionyssos-Rapendoza (Griechenland). Endgrablage: Gruft 1, Reihe 4, Platte 5

Montag den 14. April 1941

† 1. (Krad.-) Kompanie:
Hauptsturmführer Rudolf Schröder (SS-Nr. 9 956) ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Dionyssos-Rapendoza (Griechenland). Endgrablage: Gruft 1, Reihe 8, Platte 11
Rottenführer Heinz Böhme
Rottenführer Erich Quast (13. Mai 1918). Er ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Dionyssos-Rapendoza (Griechenland). Endgrablage: Gruft 1, Reihe 8, Platte 10
SS-Mann Bernhard Furche (4. März 1922). Er ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Dionyssos-Rapendoza (Griechenland). Endgrablage: Gruft 1, Reihe 8, Platte 11
SS-Mann Heinz Poppmüller (Dornap, 15. Februar 1920), auf der Passh. nö. Klisura. Er wurde noch nicht auf einen vom Volksbund errichteten Soldatenfriedhof überführt.
SS-Mann Karl Rapp (14. Dezember 1921). Er ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Dionyssos-Rapendoza (Griechenland). Endgrablage: Gruft 1, Reihe 8, Platte 11

† 2. (Krad.-) Kompanie:
Rottenführer Adolf Pohl (11. November 1918) ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Dionyssos-Rapendoza (Griechenland). Endgrablage: Gruft 1, Reihe 8, Platte 10

Dienstag den 15. April 1941

† 2. (Krad.-) Kompanie:
SS-Mann Alois Bergler.

† 3. (Pz. Späh.-) Kompanie:
SS-Mann Günther Kinser
SS-Mann Horst Zimmermann (10. Dezember 1921). Er ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Dionyssos-Rapendoza (Griechenland). Endgrablage: Gruft 1, Platte 20 - Unter den Unbekannten

† 4. (schw.-) Kompanie:
Unterscharführer Hans Lölgen (9. August 1920). Er ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Dionyssos-Rapendoza (Griechenland). Endgrablage: Gruft 1, Reihe 9, Platte 6

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Re: LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

Post by Harro » 07 Dec 2010 19:13

In addition: all veterans from 2./AA LAH I've interviewed still remember those two names, Moser and Bohn. They do because for all the young men who entered service in Metz during the formation of the AA LAH (and 2./AA was formed mainly with fresh recruits with the "veterans" from Poland and the Western Campaign forming the 1/AA) these were the first ever casualties. That day in Bitolj, "training was over and the war had begun".

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Re: LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

Post by xristar » 07 Dec 2010 20:01

j keenan wrote:15.4.41
4 men dead and 6 men wounded
Harro wrote:Gefallenen der Aufklärungsabteilung LAH

Dienstag den 15. April 1941

† 2. (Krad.-) Kompanie:
SS-Mann Alois Bergler.

† 3. (Pz. Späh.-) Kompanie:
SS-Mann Günther Kinser
SS-Mann Horst Zimmermann (10. Dezember 1921). Er ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Dionyssos-Rapendoza (Griechenland). Endgrablage: Gruft 1, Platte 20 - Unter den Unbekannten

† 4. (schw.-) Kompanie:
Unterscharführer Hans Lölgen (9. August 1920). Er ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Dionyssos-Rapendoza (Griechenland). Endgrablage: Gruft 1, Reihe 9, Platte 6
So, I understand that the data Jamie Keenan gives are only for the Reconnaissance battalion?

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Re: LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

Post by Ste » 07 Dec 2010 21:13

Hello Xristar,something for you:

Sldt Doll Helmut 29.10.19-10.4.41
Sldt Krischik Egon 25.9.20-10.4.41
Strm Füllert Gerhard 11.11.21-11.4.41
Strm Ahrens Horst 17.10.21-12.4.41
Strm Born Herbert 13.4.20-12.4.41
Strm Fuhlert Horst 17.11.18-12.4.41
Rttf Heinzmann Karl 21.6.19-12.4.41
Strm Hilmer Harald 28.1.22-12.4.41
Strm Ropeter Wilfried 11.8.22-12.4.41
Strm Kinzer Gunter 28.6.20-15.4.41
Strm Krüger Erich 21.6.21-15.4.41
Rttf Schmieja Georg 16.5.19-16.4.41
Rttf Siebert Karl 30.1.19-18.4.41
Strm Plociennick Paul 2.3.21-18.4.41

Rttf Ferdinand Koops 14.11.20-10.4.41
Strm Johann Maurer 16.4.19-12.4.41

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Re: LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

Post by Harro » 07 Dec 2010 21:50

xristar wrote:So, I understand that the data Jamie Keenan gives are only for the Reconnaissance battalion?
I think you'll need a complete overview of the actions that day. If only the AA encountered the enemy then only that unit suffered casualties.

For the AA LAH that day...
Dienstag den 15. April 1941 – 05.30 Uhr werden die verstärkte Aufklärungsabteilung auf Höhe 800 westlich Zubajakos, möglichst unter nördlicher Umgehung des Kastoria-Sees, und die Kampfgruppe Weidenhaupt, nach Bereitstellung ostwärts Zdralci, auf die Höhe nordostwärts Argos-Orestiakon zum Angriff angesetzt. Infolge erheblichen Artilleriefeuers wird der Angriff nach kurzer Zeit angehalten; Sturzkampfflieger werden angefordert, und nach deren Einsatz wird der Angriff gegen 11.00 Uhr fortgesetzt. Es verläuft dann planmäßig. Um 14.00 Uhr werden die Angriffsziele des III./LSSAH, die Höhen nordostwärts Argos-Orestiakon, gewonnen. Leidreiter bricht mit seiner Gruppe an der Spitze der Kompanie Kraas auf der Höhe 800, westlich Zubajakos, ein. Als er die fliehenden Kolonnen sieht, stürzt er sich aus eigenem Entschluß auf die Kräder und fährt mitten unter die Griechen. Damit verlegt er dem Gegner die Abmarschstraße. Die Abteilung rollt, von hinten kommend, den Weg auf und gegen 16.45 Uhr ist die Höhe 800 gewonnen. Um 18.00 Uhr sperrt Kampfgruppe Weidenhaupt durch einen verstärkten Stoßtrupp die Nord-Süd-Straße Kastoria - Argos - Orestiakon, und die Masse der Aufklärungsabteilung stößt nach Norden nach Kastoria und gegen die nördlichen Paßstraße vor und sperrt diese. Unzählige Gefangene werden gemacht.

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Re: LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

Post by Harro » 07 Dec 2010 21:55

Ste wrote:Hello Xristar,something for you:

[...]
Strm Kinzer Gunter 28.6.20-15.4.41
Strm Krüger Erich 21.6.21-15.4.41
[...]
Thanks! Krüger is not AA LAH but on the other hand Zimmermann is not listed by you. Kinzer was from the AA LAH

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Re: LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

Post by xristar » 07 Dec 2010 22:54

Harro wrote:
xristar wrote:So, I understand that the data Jamie Keenan gives are only for the Reconnaissance battalion?
I think you'll need a complete overview of the actions that day. If only the AA encountered the enemy then only that unit suffered casualties.

For the AA LAH that day...
Dienstag den 15. April 1941 – 05.30 Uhr werden die verstärkte Aufklärungsabteilung auf Höhe 800 westlich Zubajakos, möglichst unter nördlicher Umgehung des Kastoria-Sees, und die Kampfgruppe Weidenhaupt, nach Bereitstellung ostwärts Zdralci, auf die Höhe nordostwärts Argos-Orestiakon zum Angriff angesetzt. Infolge erheblichen Artilleriefeuers wird der Angriff nach kurzer Zeit angehalten; Sturzkampfflieger werden angefordert, und nach deren Einsatz wird der Angriff gegen 11.00 Uhr fortgesetzt. Es verläuft dann planmäßig. Um 14.00 Uhr werden die Angriffsziele des III./LSSAH, die Höhen nordostwärts Argos-Orestiakon, gewonnen. Leidreiter bricht mit seiner Gruppe an der Spitze der Kompanie Kraas auf der Höhe 800, westlich Zubajakos, ein. Als er die fliehenden Kolonnen sieht, stürzt er sich aus eigenem Entschluß auf die Kräder und fährt mitten unter die Griechen. Damit verlegt er dem Gegner die Abmarschstraße. Die Abteilung rollt, von hinten kommend, den Weg auf und gegen 16.45 Uhr ist die Höhe 800 gewonnen. Um 18.00 Uhr sperrt Kampfgruppe Weidenhaupt durch einen verstärkten Stoßtrupp die Nord-Süd-Straße Kastoria - Argos - Orestiakon, und die Masse der Aufklärungsabteilung stößt nach Norden nach Kastoria und gegen die nördlichen Paßstraße vor und sperrt diese. Unzählige Gefangene werden gemacht.
Your text mentions the IIIrd battalion.

I'll give you a short summary of the 15 April from Greek perspective. The Greek XIII division was retreating from Albania. Its recoinnassance group (cavalry battalion) and the I/23 infantry battalion covered the route of retreat. They had arrived south of lake Kastoria in the evening of 14 April, while the bulk of the division was still to the north. In the morning of 15 April at 5.30 the Greek units saw an incoming German column of motorcycles and opened fire. Greek artillery fired on the German infantry as well as the exposed German artillery, causing the German batteries to silence. Progressively the German artillery increased its fire and caused casualties to the Greek infantry. At 11.00 the Germans attack towards the Greek right, which is weaker, but are repulsed. They attack again at 13.30 and manage to take village Ampelokipi. The Greek III/22 battalion which arrived after exhausting march is immediately thrown to battle towards the advancing Germans and manages to hold them back. At 17.00 a devastating Stuka attack silences the Greek artillery while the Germans attack again. They break the Greek right and the battle comes to an end. The Germans attacked also north of the lake (Fotini pass), where a Greek cavalry battalion from the Cavalry division was defending, and were held at bay.

The Greek casualties are unclear, but the I/23 battalion alone had 83 killed and wounded at 14.45, and 160 killed and wounded by the end of the battle. The Greeks claimed to have destroyed a significant number of German vehicles, including tanks. They also mention they identified at least 17 light tanks. A Greek source mentions that the LSSAH had been reinforced with units from the 9th Panzer division.

It's clear that: the German attacking force was much bigger than just the Aufklaerungsabteilung -you mention the III/LSSAH. The German artillery must also have taken casualties, as the Greek sources make it clear that initially the German batteries opened fire from exposed positions in open terrain and were successfully suppressed by the Greek artillery. I understand that it's possible that the Germans, even though attacking, suffered fewer casualties than the Greeks, but with several hundred Greek casualties I find it hard to believe that the only German casualties were those 4 killed and 6 wounded of the AA.

EDIT:Here's a Greek sketch I found on the internet, from the official history
Image

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Re: LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

Post by Ste » 08 Dec 2010 12:13

Hello Harro!
The list I posted was taken from the "Member Liste of LSSAH" topic;I checked all the names on VB and that names are what I found about LSSAH soldiers killed during Marita,but I can't tell you in which unit they were.
So Kinzer is Kinser?

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Re: LSSAH casualties in Greece 1941

Post by Harro » 08 Dec 2010 17:58

Hi "Ste"! According to the Verlustliste his name is Kinser, but I did not find him in the Volksbund database

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