Seeking info about SS-Fallschirmjäger-Bataillon 500.

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Petterson
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Seeking info about SS-Fallschirmjäger-Bataillon 500.

Post by Petterson » 03 Apr 2004 09:07

SS-Fallschirmjäger-Bataillon 500 is an interesting topic but there is such a little facts about this bataillon.

I do know that this particular unit took part in attack against Tito`s headquarters in 1944. But how close to Tito they altually advanced?

According to some sources Tito managed to escaped because of British aircraft did transfer him to southern Italy.

In some sources on internet they states that in autumn 1944 SS-Fallschirmjäger-Bataillon got replacements men from Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe and even from Kriegsmarine?... From Kriegsmarine?!???... Is this true?

And why bataillon`s number was 500?

Well, there is even a reenacting unit: http://www.geocities.com/ss500600/SS_Fa ... jager.html

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Kurt_Steiner
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SS-Fallschirmjäger Abteilung 500/600

Post by Kurt_Steiner » 03 Apr 2004 09:22

Well, in several internet sources I've found the information that you comment. I'm not surprised because the SS-Fallschirmjäger Abteilung 500/600, after the attack against Tito, fighting against the Russian operation Bagration in East Prussia, the defensive actions around Vilnius, retaking Raseinen and so on, when the remnants of unit finally stand down and stationed with units from the Grossdeutchland Division in Sept. 1944, would be quite under strenght.

And towards the end of the war, the SS-Reichsführer Himmler was willing to accept every kind of human being that could fight into the ranks of the SS.

So, why not Kriegsmarine?

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Re: Seekin info about SS-Fallschirmjäger-Bataillon 500.

Post by K.Kocjancic » 03 Apr 2004 09:35

Petterson wrote:According to some sources Tito managed to escaped because of British aircraft did transfer him to southern Italy.


Tito escaped through cave's back "exit" and was later flown to safety by Soviet aircraft.

BTW. Do "Forum search" and you'll find a lot of info on this unit.

Regards,
Klemen

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Post by Paddy Keating » 03 Apr 2004 12:09

when the remnants of unit finally stand down and stationed with units from the Grossdeutchland Division in Sept. 1944, would be quite under strenght.


Following the Vilnius operation with a Grossdeutschland regiment, SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 500 was used as a mobile 'fire brigade' against Soviet advances on the Eastern Front. After several months, the survivors of SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 500 were withdrawn from the Eastern Front and sent to Neu-Strelitz late in October 1944 as the cadre of the new SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 600 which formed up in November 1944.

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From the beginning, SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 600 was part of Otto Skorzeny's SS-Jagdverbände commando organisation. The official unit designation, as you can see from Page 4 of the soldbuch above, was Die SS-Jagdverbände SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 600. Two companies of the 600 were attached to Skorzeny's Panzerbrigade 150 for the Ardennes counter-offensive. Meanwhile the rest of the battalion continued finding and training new recruits in Neu-Strelitz.

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SS-Untersturmführer Walter Scheu, newly promoted to OC of Bn HQ, took some vehicles and men and drove around Northern Germany recruiting men from Heer and Luftwaffe depots and barracks. Infuriated Heer and Luftwaffe commanders wanted Scheu arrested because of his disregard for regulations and paperwork but he got away with it. Above is the first page of his soldbuch. Note the entry for the Fallschirmschützenschein.

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Heinrich Karrasch was one of the men Scheu illegally recruited into SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 600. Karrasch had been a mechanic with the prestigious Lehr-Geschwader 1 since 1939, as his ID tag number shows. He had been transferred, like other redundant Luftwaffe ground personnel, into an army transit unit - the soldbuch is Heer not Luftwaffe - and was presumably awaiting a posting when Scheu turned up Bielefeld and inducted him into the Waffen-SS. Note the change of ID number.

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On Page 3 of Karrasch's soldbuch, we see Scheu's signature confirming Karrasch in the rank of SS-Unterscharführer. Then we see the page with details of his issue of kit. Karrasch is now with Stab/SS-Fallshirmjäger-Btl 600, serving under Walter Scheu.

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The survivors of the Ardennes counter-offensive returned to Neu-Strelitz on January 28th 1945. SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 600 moved out to take up positions on the Oder Front at the beginning of February, in the Schwedt bridgehead as part of Kampfgruppe Skorzeny. From Fabruary 1st to March 3rd, they held off ferocious Soviet assaults.

Receiving some replacements, which brought the ORBAT up to about 800 men, SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 600 was then sent to the Zehden bridgehead as part of Kampfgruppe Solar, with SS-Jagdverband "Mitte", under the overall command of SS Para Bn CO Siegfried Milius. KG Solar moved into the bridgehead on March 9th. During the battle, elements from retreating units joined KG Solar, including some remnants of SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 7 from the SS-Polizei-Division. They held out until March 28th against incredible odds until Milius ordered the withdrawal. Many survivors died swimming the Oder. SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 600 fought a series of fierce rearguard actions across the countryside to the north of Berlin throughout April and finally, with the Soviets close behind them, the battalion headed for the American lines where they surrendered to the US 9th Army at Hagenau, east of Hamburg.

Heinrich Karrasch survived, as did Walter Scheu. Scheu was wounded and ended the war in hospital. After the Zehden breakout, Karrasch found himself with some survivors of SS-Panzergrenadier-Rgt 7, as an entry in his soldbuch and his demobilisation documents show. The entry was obviously made by an NCO of SS-Pz. Gr. Rgt. 7 in order to keep Karrasch's papers in order and avoid any trouble from the Military Police who delighted in hanging stragglers as deserters.

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Karrasch was 'reclaimed' by the Heer as the above document from July 1945 shows. He made the declaration that he was never a member of the Allgemeine-SS or Waffen-SS but points out that he served briefly with the "Fallschirmtruppe" of the Waffen-SS. The army clerk filling out the form omits the SS prefix to "Pz. Gr. Rgt 7" and "Pz. Gr. E. u. A. Batl 35", the depot unit of SS-Fallschirmjäger-Bataillon 500 and 600.

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Walter Scheu spent almost two and a half years in captivity but like his surviving comrades considered himself very lucky not to have been handed over by the Americans to the Soviets, which was American and British policy where Waffen-SS men retreating from the east were concerned.

Anyway, I hope that I have been able to fill in some of the blanks for you. I haven't gone into too much detail. You will have to wait for my book!

PK

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 03 Apr 2004 12:28

This photo was posted on the Wehrmacht Awards forum for a long time ago. Paddy Keating participated in that discussion as well. It might be interesting to this discussion although at this time the Bataillon was renamed to 600.

The photo was taken on the Oder front in February, 1945 (this is from memory so I'm a bit unsure about this). The noncommissioned officers have destroyed sixteen tanks in one morning. The officer standing to the right has been identified as Dröste and the officer reaching out his hand has been identified as Fucker. as far as I know none of the noncommissioned officers have been identified. Since this was a while back ago some new information might have been discovered, perhaps Paddy know something more about this photo? Has the original photo been located? The text to the photo mentions six SS-Unterführer who used panzerfausts, does anyone know what the text actually says and where's the sixth noncommissioned officer?

Best regards/ Daniel
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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 03 Apr 2004 12:46

Connected to this discussion this might be of interest:

viewtopic.php?t=46551

Best regards/ Daniel

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Post by General » 03 Apr 2004 13:14


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Post by Paddy Keating » 03 Apr 2004 14:47

The officer standing to the right has been identified as Droste and the officer reaching out his hand has been identified as Fucker.


The officer extending his hand to congratulate one of the NCOs is SS-Hauptsturmführer F u c k e r (name spaced to avoid bad language filter), commander of SS-Jagdverband Mitte. The officer in the early pattern jump smock is not SS-Ostuf Werner Dröste. It is SS-Ostuf "Macki" Markus, OC of 3./SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 600. The photo was taken during the fierce fighting around Grabow in the Schwedt bridgehead early in February 1945.

PK

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 03 Apr 2004 14:55

Thanks for the correction Paddy,

have you been able to locate the photo at any archives? It would be interesting to know what the text says and if it's possible to identify any of the noncommissioned officers.

Best regards/ Daniel

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Post by Tom Houlihan » 03 Apr 2004 15:20

Paddy Keating wrote:The officer extending his hand to congratulate one of the NCOs is SS-Hauptsturmführer F u c k e r (name spaced to avoid bad language filter), commander of SS-Jagdverband Mitte.


Paddy, do you happen to know if Hstuf F is the same one who used to be in 6.SS-Nord?

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Post by Paddy Keating » 03 Apr 2004 16:12

Offhand, I do not know if F u c k e r was previously with 6./Nord but I know a man in Norway - two men, in fact - who will probably be able to tell us. I will drop him an e-mail today.

General wrote:See this website: http://www.wssob.com/500abtfsj.html


Sorry to be harsh but there are so many inaccuracies in this resumé that correcting them here would require rewriting rather than editing. That said, it is a difficult unit to research if one lacks the contacts.

PK

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Post by John P. Moore » 03 Apr 2004 18:29

Karl F u c k e r was a Ustuf. in the 1./SS-Aufkl.Abt. "Nord" in December 1941 and remained with "Nord" until February 1943, a fact that Prosper Keating would know if he ever gets around to purchasing a copy of my "Führerliste der Waffen-SS" publication.

F u c k e r was possibly the operator of a tour bus company in Europe post-war. I noticed this bus parked outside a castle in Germany several years ago.
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Post by Tom Houlihan » 03 Apr 2004 21:18

Thanks, John! If I hadn't just dragged my carcass out of bed when I saw that, I would have gone and looked at my copy, and probably found the same thing! My first thought was just a picture to go with the name!

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Post by Paddy Keating » 04 Apr 2004 01:30

John! You so-and-so! I just spilled my coffee all over the desk! LOL! Too funny. I wonder if F u c k e r does tours of the United Kingdom. Thanks for the nudge about the "Führerliste der Waffen-SS". I suppose that I really ought to buy it. I've just been...well...ummm...staring vacantly through windows trying to avoid getting down to serious work. You know how it is!

Best regards,

PK

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Post by pimberg » 04 Apr 2004 07:48

Karl Fucker wrote a book about his life - published over 10 years ago. It is titled: "Ein Leben im Spiegel der Jagd - im Grünen und Grauen Rock".

Needless to say he didn't run a tour company (great picture John) but worked as a construction engineer in his native Austria.

Fucker died in July 1999 (Wiener Neustadt).

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