Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

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Re: Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

Post by tigre » 24 Mar 2010 20:31

Hello to all :D; a little details on this subject.................

Amphibious operations in the Eastern Front - Beowulf II.

The capture of Tallin (Reval) on August 28 of 1941 and the conquest of the western coast of Estonia prepared the way for the conquest of the Islands of Muhu (Moon), Saarema (Ösel) and Hiiuma (Dagö). Initially two plans had been foreseen to carry out this operation; Beowulf I (jumping off from the north of Curlandia, assembling troops and means in Roja and Ventpils to seize the islands advancing by the south and southwest) and Beowulf II (jumping off from the western coast of Estonia, crossing the Straits between the continent and Muhu from Virtsu in order to seize the islands from the east). But as a fast conquest of these islands were not needed, the crossing from Estonian was safer and the disembarkation in the Eastern coasts of the islands seemed easier, was decided to execute the last of the before mentioned plans (Beowulf II).

The ground and the enemy.

Generally speaking, the islands are flat with a few dunes whose height vary between about 160 feet (around 53 meters) and 226 feet (74.5 meters) and covered by coniferous. A small part of the surface was only worked; the rest of the land was unusable, marshy with pastures and dispersed woods. Muhu and Saarema were interconnected by an embankment of about five kilometers in length. The fog that covered the Baltic Sea, except in the months of summer could make difficult the operations.

It was considered that the Soviets had around 20,000 men in the islands, with half of them deployed on the well defended western coast of Saarema and the rest in the Eastern coast of Saarema, Hiiuma and Muhu; these forces would count with 15 batteries of heavy caliber as coastal defense. The garrison was well fed and equipped comprising mostly navy riflemen and coastal defense artillery. The unique aerodrome of importance was located in Möonuste (Saarema) whereas in Papisaare (western coast of Saarema) there was a great sea and air station.

Source: USAF Historical Studies Nº 153. The German Air Force Against Russia 1941. Generalleutnant Hermann Plocher.
http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/ks ... g-nord.htm
Historia de la 61 División de Infantería Alemana.
Fotoalbum + Kriegsmarine Erprobungsverband Ostsee Riga bei eBay_de 1918-1945 (endet 21_12_09 192008 MEZ)_archivos

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 30 Mar 2010 17:12

Anyone here have a idea of the cargo capacity of these ports? That is what might their peace time daily or monthly intake might be?

A related question is what sort of effort did the Germans make to use these ports for supply delivery to Army Group North?

thanks

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Re: Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

Post by tigre » 31 Mar 2010 16:13

Hello to all :D; Carl your question remains open. A little more.................

Amphibious operations in the Eastern Front - Beowulf II.

German forces.

The Army (Heer).

The XXXXII AK, which included the 61 ID and the 217 ID, had to seize the Baltic Islands. While the 217 ID would carry out the secondary roll in order to assure the coast, to provide air defense in the crossing points and to conquer the island of Kessu, the 61 ID would employ all its regiments in the main assault.

Before the operation, the latter division, had to assemble all its troops along the highway Lihula - Virtsu and the Reconnaissance Detachment (reinforced) in Saastana, all ready to embark. The intention was to disembark with the mass of the troops in three places Lalli, Kantsi and Tusti in the east coast of Muhu; the Reconnaissance Detachment (reinforced) would land in Nömmküla in the North coast of Muhu and attack on the embankment Muhu - Saarema.

Source: USAF Historical Studies Nº 153. The German Air Force Against Russia 1941. Generalleutnant Hermann Plocher.
http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/ks ... g-nord.htm
Historia de la 61 División de Infantería Alemana.
Fotoalbum + Kriegsmarine Erprobungsverband Ostsee Riga bei eBay_de 1918-1945 (endet 21_12_09 192008 MEZ)_archivos

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

Post by tigre » 08 Apr 2010 00:12

Hello to all :D; a little more.................

Amphibious operations in the Eastern Front - Beowulf II.

German forces.

Kriegsmarine.

The Kriegsmarine gathered all the transport units under the command of the Commander of Mine-sweeper ships North (Führer der Minensuchboote Nord), Kapitän zur See Kurt Böhmer in the ports of Parnu and Riga. Other naval forces for diversionary activities were assembled in Liepaja (Libau), Ventspil and Turku (Finland) under control of the Commander of 2º Torpedo boats Flotilla, Korvetten Kapitän Heinrich Erdmann and the Commander of the torpedo boats Kapitän z. See Hans Bütow. The Kriegsmarine had planned three demonstrations:

Operation South Wind (Südwind): simulating a landing in the area of Kuresaare and the Fettel Bay.

Operation West Wind (Westwind): simulating a landing in the coast west of Saarema.

Operation North Wind (Nordwind): simulating an attack from the coast of Finland.

Luftwaffe.

The Luftwaffe meanwhile was take part in the operation with elements of 1º Aerial Fleet which established the Commando of Luftwaffe “B” under control of Generalmajor v Wuelisch which counted on the following forces:

The Commando of the Luftwaffe of the Baltic Sea (Oberst v. Wild) with the 806 Coastal Group (Ju-88), three squadrons of the 125 Reconnaissance group, the I. Group of KG 77 (Ju-88), the II. Group of ZG 26 (Me-110), an available squadron of the Group of Replacement and Training of JG 54 (Me-109) and since September 21 the 506 Coastal Group (Ju-88).

The Commando of the 10 Antiaircraft Regiment (three light batteries and three heavy ones).

The 10 Signal Regiment of the Luftwaffe.

Source: USAF Historical Studies Nº 153. The German Air Force Against Russia 1941. Generalleutnant Hermann Plocher.
http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/ks ... g-nord.htm
Historia de la 61 División de Infantería Alemana.
Fotoalbum + Kriegsmarine Erprobungsverband Ostsee Riga bei eBay_de 1918-1945 (endet 21_12_09 192008 MEZ)_archivos

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

Post by tigre » 15 Apr 2010 01:04

Hello to all :D; a little more.................

Amphibious operations in the Eastern Front - Beowulf II.

Development of the operation.

Subsidiary landings and amphibious demonstrations.

During the 08 and 09 of Sep of 1941, the 217 ID launched surprise attacks on the weakly manned islands of Hobu and Vormsi which were conquered, just like the island of Kessu, on September 10 of 1941 by elements of the 61 ID. In that way it had been eliminated the threat on the flank on the part of Soviet naval forces coming from the north. The meteorological conditions limited the air support during the operations.

On September 12 of 1941, the air groups were gathered in the assigned aerodromes to furnish support to the operation and the antiaircraft artillery was deployed to protect the aerodromes and the congested port of Pärnu.

On September 13 of 1941, the Kriegsmarine carried out the predicted amphibious demonstrations. Three separated convoys approached towards the northern, southern and western coasts of the Island of Saarema to deceive the Soviets about disembarkations in those places.

The Operation “Nordwind” was executed by Finn naval forces and on September 13 of 1941, during its return the ship “Ilmarinen” hit a mine and it sank.

Source: USAF Historical Studies Nº 153. The German Air Force Against Russia 1941. Generalleutnant Hermann Plocher.
http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/ks ... g-nord.htm
Historia de la 61 División de Infantería Alemana.
Fotoalbum + Kriegsmarine Erprobungsverband Ostsee Riga bei eBay_de 1918-1945 (endet 21_12_09 192008 MEZ)_archivos

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

Post by tigre » 22 Apr 2010 01:41

Hello to all :D; a little more.................

Amphibious operations in the Eastern Front - Beowulf II.

Development of the operation.

Main assault.

The details of the amphibious operation were established in the HQ of the 61 ID on September 13 of 1941; there the Commander of the XXXXII AK and the Commanders responsible for the Air Force and Navy were present also. As the Army Corps established to disembark by surprise and considering the subsidiary operations already conducted, the 61 ID requested to carry out the previous landing at dawn, which was granted. When the meeting finished it was setting out the beginning of the Operation Beowulf II on the following day, on September 14 of 1941. The landing in Muhu would take place at 04:50 hours with previous preparation of artillery fire and an aerial bombing to clear seven strips in the minefields throughout the coastline.

The 61 ID had as its disposal the following forces: IR 389 (of the 217 ID), Pi Rgt Stab 680 with the Pi Btl 660 and Pi Btl 217; Bau-Btl 100; 4. /Bau-Btl 683; 658 Brückenkolonne B and Sturmbootkommando 904, 905 and 906. Support of artillery with Artilleriekommandeur 114 with Art-Rgt Stab 609 and Schw Art Abt 637 (210 mm), Schw Art Abt 511 (Mot) howitzers 150 mm, Schw Art Abt 4 36 (guns 100 mm), Schw Art Abt 536, Schw Art Abt IV. /AR 217 (horse-drawn), Bb Abt 24 and Is./Flak 111; in addition Heereskustenbatterie 509 (150 mm) and 512 (120 mm) and one battery belonging to the Kriegsmarine with to two pieces of 100 mm.

Source: USAF Historical Studies Nº 153. The German Air Force Against Russia 1941. Generalleutnant Hermann Plocher.
http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/ks ... g-nord.htm
Historia de la 61 División de Infantería Alemana.
Fotoalbum + Kriegsmarine Erprobungsverband Ostsee Riga bei eBay_de 1918-1945 (endet 21_12_09 192008 MEZ)_archivos

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

Post by tigre » 28 Apr 2010 22:34

Hello to all :D; a little more.................

Amphibious operations in the Eastern Front - Beowulf II.

Development of the operation.

Main assault.

1º Wave.

On the following day the first wave with troops of IR 151 of the 61 ID started off from the continent in 180 assault boats in the direction of Muhu; about 15 minutes before the landing the artillery unleashed its fire and the strafing and aerial bombing began. The first wave landed between 05:00 and 05:30 hours delayed by fog, drizzles and strong hostile coastal artillery fire.

The 1. /IR 151 had landed outside the planned strip due to a bearing error, reason why the I./IR 151 had to establish the bridgehead just by two companies; the 2. /IR 151 held the 50 meters of depth beachhead and also managed to put out of action several enemy positions on the flank thus allowed the landing of the second wave; Oberleutnant Zonewitz was decorated with the Knight’s Cross for this action.

2º Wave.

The second wave was received with fire of antiaircraft arms, machine guns and airplanes which attacked the assault boats; the Commander of the II. /IR 151 Oberstleutnant Driedger was seriously hurt. This wave disembarked in the beachhead at 07:50 hours and by 12:55 hours the attack had seized the field positions in Kuivastu continuing soon towards the south.

3º Wave.

Out of 90 assault boats still they were about 50 of them in operation when around noon began the transport of the third wave. Thus it began to arrive at the shoreline the mountain howitzers of the 7. /AR the 161 and finally the infantry companies could count on direct support of artillery in the island.

In the afternoon hours and at dusk still arrived the troops of the III. /IR 162 and of the I./IR 162 which which were engaged on the right against Tusti. Thus the division had established a small bridgehead of about 6 kilometers in length which extended from Kuru to Voiküla.

Source: USAF Historical Studies Nº 153. The German Air Force Against Russia 1941. Generalleutnant Hermann Plocher.
http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/ks ... g-nord.htm
Historia de la 61 División de Infantería Alemana.
Fotoalbum + Kriegsmarine Erprobungsverband Ostsee Riga bei eBay_de 1918-1945 (endet 21_12_09 192008 MEZ)_archivos

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

Post by tigre » 07 May 2010 03:53

Hello to all :D; a little more.................

Amphibious operations in the Eastern Front - Beowulf II.

Development of the operation.

The Aufkl. Abt 161.

Around 15:00 hours, the AA 161 reported that it had been able to establish a bridgehead, surprising weak Russian resistance in the North coast of Muhu and was moving in South direction. All the vehicles of the Detachment had been disembarked by dusk. At that moment the radfahrschw. of Leutnant Tackenberg, as vanguard of the Detachment, which marched from Nommküla had reached the crossroad of Liiva - Muhu where it connected with elements of IR 162. By the performance in the lead of the Unit, its Commander Oberstleutnant v. Frantzius, was awarded the Knight’s Cross.

The commando raid against the coastal artillery battery of Kübassaare had failed. A third of the assigned company had managed to disembark but the other two thirds were delayed by heavy sea and errors in its bearing. At daylight the boats were repelled with cannon fire.

Source: USAF Historical Studies Nº 153. The German Air Force Against Russia 1941. Generalleutnant Hermann Plocher.
http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/ks ... g-nord.htm
Historia de la 61 División de Infantería Alemana.
Fotoalbum + Kriegsmarine Erprobungsverband Ostsee Riga bei eBay_de 1918-1945 (endet 21_12_09 192008 MEZ)_archivos

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

Post by tigre » 12 May 2010 22:22

Hello to all :D; a little more.................

Amphibious operations in the Eastern Front - Beowulf II.

Development of the operation.

15 of September of 1941.

On September 15 of 1941, Oberst Melzer received the following order: to take the control from all the forces of the Division which had already landed and to seize of the causeway which linked the Islands of Saarema (Ösel) and Muhu (Moon). At 10:00 hours began the convergent strike on the assigned target. In the evening a report arrived from the air reconnaissance indicating that there were no substantial Soviet forces deployed on the east coast of Saarema nearby the embankment, reason why Oberst Melzer had the impression that could take the isthmus between both islands on the following day.

16 of September of 1941.

In the morning the I./IR 151 rejected the enemy before it towards the Northeast, and it opened the way for the II. /IR 151 which advanced immediately. At 11:00 hours the vanguard of the battalion, the 6. /IR 151 with the artillery observers of the 7. /AR 161 crossed the causeway and the Commander of the II. /IR 151, Hauptmann Dr. Pankow was mentioned in official official notices of the Wehrmacht, being later decorated with the Knight’s Cross. The Division followed by the isthmus of about 4 kilometers in length counting with the invaluable air support of the heavy fighter Me-110 and bombers Ju-88 and by dusk had established a bridgehead on the line Orinomme - Ariste - Poide. During the night it also followed the IR 162.

Source: USAF Historical Studies Nº 153. The German Air Force Against Russia 1941. Generalleutnant Hermann Plocher.
http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/ks ... g-nord.htm
Historia de la 61 División de Infantería Alemana.
Fotoalbum + Kriegsmarine Erprobungsverband Ostsee Riga bei eBay_de 1918-1945 (endet 21_12_09 192008 MEZ)_archivos

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

Post by tigre » 20 May 2010 00:25

Hello to all :D; a little more.................

Amphibious operations in the Eastern Front - Beowulf II.

Development of the operation.

17 of September of 1941.

On the following day, 17 of September of 1941, the bridgehead had been widened to the whole of the island with a depth of about 12 kilometers; the crossing towards the island of Saarema had been successful. The 61 ID continued the attack from this bridgehead with the AA 161 on the North coast, then the IR 176; the IR 151 in central sector and the IR 162 to the south.

On September 18 of 1941, it was conquered the coastal artillery battery of Kübasaare and were captured 400 Soviet sailors; it could not be taken on September 14 by the Operation Benesch. In this day it was ferried the bulk of the AR 161.

In the following days the advance continued without interruption until at dusk of the 20 of September of 1941, the IR 151 together with the IR 162 were around 5 kilometers of Arensburg.

Source: USAF Historical Studies Nº 153. The German Air Force Against Russia 1941. Generalleutnant Hermann Plocher.
http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/ks ... g-nord.htm
Historia de la 61 División de Infantería Alemana.
Fotoalbum + Kriegsmarine Erprobungsverband Ostsee Riga bei eBay_de 1918-1945 (endet 21_12_09 192008 MEZ)_archivos

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

Post by tigre » 26 May 2010 22:57

Hello to all :D; a little more.................

Amphibious operations in the Eastern Front - Beowulf II.

Development of the operation.

On September 21 of 1941 after one short but intense fights the regiments entered within the capital of the Island of Ösel. That day, General v. Wühlisch landed in the CP of Oberst Melzer in order to congratulate the troops by its achievements. The Luftwaffe resupplied the ground forces in the island by means of a glider Me-321 “Gigant” dragged by two Ju-52. But the island of Ösel was not free of enemy troops yet.

The most difficult fights still were about to come. On September 24 of 1941 the IR 162 managed to penetrate the forward lines of resistance on the North end of the Peninsula of Sborbe; in the occasion the Commander of the 162 I./ IR Maj. Weber gained the Knight’s Cross. During the following days the enemy counterattacked vigorously.

On September 25 of 1941 fell in action Oberleutnant Schroeder (Aide of IR 162) and Leutnant Börger of the 13. / IR 162.

On September 27 of 1941 the IR 162 resumed the attack and broke the Soviet resistance with the support of the 7. /AR 161 which destroyed by means of direct shots 11 fortifications built with earth and a buried tank; here fell Leutnant Dafner (2. / IR 162). By dusk IR 162 was released by the IR 151 (reinforced with the III. / IR 176).

Source: USAF Historical Studies Nº 153. The German Air Force Against Russia 1941. Generalleutnant Hermann Plocher.
http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/ks ... g-nord.htm
Historia de la 61 División de Infantería Alemana.
Fotoalbum + Kriegsmarine Erprobungsverband Ostsee Riga bei eBay_de 1918-1945 (endet 21_12_09 192008 MEZ)_archivos

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Last edited by tigre on 27 May 2010 02:50, edited 1 time in total.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 27 May 2010 02:13

tigre...thanks for presenting this information. I am starting to gain a sense of German amphibious operations. To early to drawn conclusions. It appears the bulk of these operations were in Spetember 1941 & later. Is this your impression?

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Re: Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

Post by tigre » 28 May 2010 21:24

Hello Carl :D; I agree with you.....next I'm looking for Unternehmen "Blücher" an amphibious coast to coast operation across the Strait of Kertsch carried out by German and Rumanian troops. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

Post by tigre » 02 Jun 2010 19:16

Hello to all :D; a little more.................

Amphibious operations in the Eastern Front - Beowulf II.

Development of the operation.

On September 28 and 29 of 1941, the attack continued at good rate hence the line Marise - Anseküla could be reached, but once there the enemy resistance stiffened. The terrain was well organized, the Soviet ground-attack airplanes were added to the terrestrial fight and heavy batteries shot from the island of Abruka (conquered by the Pi Btl 660 only on October 03 of 1941). Groups of dispersed Soviet soldiers had been infiltrated behind the back of the German battalions; in these fights fell the Commander of the III. / IR 176, Maj Wolff and Leutnant Funk (9. / IR 176). The light cruisers “Leipzig” and “Emden” carried out naval gunfire in support of the operations.

01 of October of 1941.

With strong support of artillery, naval gunfire and air support (Ju-88 airplanes) at dusk of this day it was managed to broke in into the third line of defense. In the combats against the casemates distinguished himself Gefreiter Schulz of the Pi Btl 161 and was decorated with the Knight’s Cross.

Source: USAF Historical Studies Nº 153. The German Air Force Against Russia 1941. Generalleutnant Hermann Plocher.
http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/ks ... g-nord.htm
Historia de la 61 División de Infantería Alemana.
Fotoalbum + Kriegsmarine Erprobungsverband Ostsee Riga bei eBay_de 1918-1945 (endet 21_12_09 192008 MEZ)_archivos

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Amphibious Assaults in the Eastern front

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 02 Jun 2010 22:13

Tigre... is the documents you have read, is there any indcation why the Germans did not use amphibious operations in the Baltic earlier, in June or July?

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