Festung Dünkirchen

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Gerst
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Festung Dünkirchen

Post by Gerst » 15 Jun 2005 04:03

My father was traveling to Paris in August, 1944 to link up with his assigned unit, the 49th Infantry Division. He did link up with elements of the unit but ended up in Dunkirk in September, 1944 with the Canadian army in hot pursuit.

I have found at least one French book about the city (wartime) and the diary of Admiral Frisius, the commander of the Festung, but I have little else. May dad was there from September, 1944 to the end of the war - the Allies never captured the city. Does anyone have information about Festung Dünkirchen, the units there, photos? I am working on my dad's memoirs and I need some help.

Background - My father was a career soldier, a member of the 100,000 man army. He joined when he was 20, in 1924. He was in the 12th infantry regiment ( rank of stabsfeldwebel) until 1937 when he went to school and became a finance officer - Beamten (Heeresverwaltung). He was assigned to the XI army corps and then in 1939, the XXX Armeekorps, where he remained until late 1943. He served in France, the Balkans, Greece, the Ukraine, the Crimea, Leningrad, Stalingrad, and the defensive battles of 1942-43 with Armeeabteilung Fretter-Pico. He was wounded twice and survived almost 3 years in French POW camps. I was three when I first met him. He died in 1977. He was a Solat to the end. I am his son, trying to honor his memory. I need your help to do so.

Gerst

jopaerya
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Post by jopaerya » 15 Jun 2005 12:06

Hi Gerst

Here some general info on the Festung Dünkirchen

Heer 279 Officiere 1603 U.O. 6190 Mann mostly from the 49th- and 226th Division and the H.K.A.A. 1244
Marine 42 Officiere 346 U.O. 1355 Mann mostly from the M.A.A 204 , 2 Raumboot Flotille , 35 Minensuch Flotille
Luftwaffe 18 Officiere 144 U.O. 519 Mann mostly from the Schwere Flak Abteilung 252 , Leichte Flak Abt. 415 and 765

128 Rohre ab 7,5 cm
Seefront Marine 8 Heer 8
Landfront Marine 27 Heer 89
105 Granatwerfer
22 K.W.K.
52 Pak
96 Flak

l.MG 476
s.MG 259
M.P. 225
Panzerfaust 1975
Ofenrohr (Bazoeka) 205

If you want more specific info just e-mail me
bunker@zeelandnet.nl


Regards Jos

op3
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Hi Gerst

Post by op3 » 15 Jun 2005 13:42

and 18.Mar-Kraftfahr-Abt

Best regards

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Auseklis
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Post by Auseklis » 16 Jun 2005 07:56

There was a tv-documentary about the end of Dünkirchen on french satelite tv (TV-5) about 2-3 weeks ago.
Sorry, I did not capture it. Maybe someone else?

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Auseklis
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Post by Auseklis » 22 Jun 2005 14:43

Found it:

DUNKERQUE, DERNIÈRE FORTERESSE D'HITLER

Depuis la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, le 8 mai 1945, la guerre est devenue pour les téléspectateurs français une donnée virtuelle. Or, de 1940 à 1945, elle fut omniprésente sur le sol français. La ville de Dunkerque est d'une des villes françaises ayant subi le plus durement les ravages de la guerre. Elle a été la plus longuement soumise à l'occupation allemande, la plus massivement détruite, la plus tardivement libérée. Si Dunkerque a su se reconstruire et retrouver l'énergie qui était la sienne, son martyr ne doit pas être oublié...

· Auteur / Réalisateur : Jean-François Delassus, 2005
· Auteurs : Yves Le Maner et Patrick Oddone
· Pays : France

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Glynwed
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Post by Glynwed » 22 Jun 2005 16:01

The main body of Allied troops were Czechoslovak independent tank brigade (commander Brigade Generel Alois Liška) aquipped mainly with Cromwell tanks.

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Gerst
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Czechs at Dunkirk

Post by Gerst » 22 Jun 2005 16:15

Thanks. I got a lot of information from a Czech website about the Czech unit and from Canadian after-action reports.

Gerst

Michi
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Post by Michi » 24 Jun 2005 02:48

A quote from a Canadian military magazine:
Defense of Dunkirk

Canadians know of the heroic defense of Dunkirk against the Germans in 1940, but how many have heard of the heroic defense of Dunkirk against the Canadians in 1944-45? When the Canadian army swept by the port city of Dunkirk, scene of the evacuation of the British Army four years earlier, it tried and failed to capture the port from the remaining Germans. Konteradmiral Friedrich Frisius put together a scratch force of 15 000 men (10.884 soldiers capitulated) made up of the 226th Infantry Division and assorted personnel, particularly from fractured Kriegsmarine units. Opposing them were men from the Czech Independent Armoured Brigade Group under the command of the Canadian 1st Army. Although totally surrounded, Konteradmiral Frisius launched a raiding operation codenamed "Blücher" on 5th April 1945, gaining ground and holding it before the surrender in May.
The defense of Dunkirk was a signal achievement; it just wan't ours. As far as reporting is concerned, this Canadian military failure is completely unknown to most Canadians.



Vizeadmiral Friedrich FRISIUS

15 September 1944-9 May 1945:
Fortress Commandant Dunkirk, France.

Upon the Allied breakout from Normandy, Adolf Hitler ordered the French Atlantic and Channel coast ports to be held as “fortresses” to deny their use to the Allies and tie down enemy troops. Although the Canadian 1st Army cleared the Pas-de-Calais region of France and liberated the Channel ports of Le Havre, Dieppe, Boulogne, and Calais, the port of Dunkirk proved a much more stubborn obstacle. In early September 1944, the Anglo-Canadians completed the landward containment of the German garrison at Dunkirk. Prior to the containment, the majority of the German 226th Infantry Division had withdrawn into the Dunkirk perimeter and, along with Kriegsmarine and Army coastal artillery and other support units formed the heart of the fortress garrison. Under the command of Vizeadmiral Frisius, Fortress Dunkirk held out isolated and under siege from the landward side for the rest of the war.
On 8-9 October 1944, the Czechoslovak Independent Armored Brigade Group, commanded by General Alois Liška and subordinated to the 1st Canadian Army, arrived at the Dunkirk perimeter and took over from the British as the operational controlling element of the containment forces for the rest of the war.
On 5 April 1945, Frisius launched Operation “Blücher,” a raid in force against the Canadian and Czech positions around his perimeter. The raid so surprised the British command that it blew all the bridges over the canals in the area near the town and 25 miles away. Although the Allies counterattacked under heavy air cover, they failed to dislodge the Germans from their newly established positions.
On 9 May 1945—the formal capitulation of Germany—Vizeadmiral Frisius surrendered Fortress Dunkirk to General Liška at Wormhoudt.


MfG Michi

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Gerst
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Dunkirk

Post by Gerst » 24 Jun 2005 15:06

Thanks. That's one of the first sources I located.

Gerst

Tom Peters
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Re: Festung Dünkirchen

Post by Tom Peters » 06 Mar 2011 22:21

Does anyone have a reference I can quote ? Either the Canadian magazine article or the Frisius book ?

thanks,

Mad Dog

Pervijze
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Re: Festung Dünkirchen

Post by Pervijze » 28 Dec 2011 14:46

Hello,

I found your topic while I'm also doing research about the German soldiers that were taken POW on the 9th of May 1945. I know after they were taken POW they had to go on foot from Dunkirk to the Brugge area, a distance from about 60 kilometers. That was two days later, on May 11.
During this march they passed through the small village of Pervijze, the place I'm doing all kinds of research about. In fact I have some photos from that day taken in Pervijze.
Now I would like to ask you if your father ever mentioned that march after he was taken POW. Do you have knowledge of existing photos from that day or do you know anything else about this march and what happened after they arrived at the end of this 60 kilometers?

Best regards
Herman Declerck from Belgium
http://www.pervijze.be

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Gerst
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Re: Festung Dünkirchen

Post by Gerst » 28 Dec 2011 20:40

Only the enlisted men were marched to Belgium. The officers were placed in the local prison and were then moved by train to a POW camp on the Ile de Re in the Bay of Biscay. My dad was an officer.

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