291. Infanterie-Division in Russia.

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291. Infanterie-Division in Russia.

Post by tigre » 13 Aug 2006 14:04

Hello to all folks, here goes some info about the fights of the "Elch Kopf" division at the start of Barbarossa.

The 291. Infanterie-Division in the Baltic States and Ingria.

On jun 13 the regiments received the attack order; on jun 21 came the code word: “Düsseldorf”, the attack had been set for jun 22 at 03:05 hours. The 291. ID under Gen.Maj. Herzog (Ia: Major im Generalstab v. Roeder) was directly under orders of the German 18 Army’s commanding officer, Gen.Oberst v. Küchler. The 11/IR 504 was detached as security for the Army’s HQ.

The attack’s direction was due north meanwhile the neighbour to the right, the 61. ID belonging to the XXVI. AK should attack toward northeast. The division would go losing contact toward its right.

The 291. ID reinforced with the following formations: 402 Radfahr-Btl., two Navy Assault Battalions, one Anti aircraft battery of 20 mm (self propelled), 633 heavy Artillery Group, one battery of heavy mortars (21 cm) from the 637 heavy artillery Group, Navy Artillery Group 530, one Anti aircraft Group (two batteries of 2 cm and one of 88) and one armored train would attack towards north as independent division, so a gap would go opening with the XXVI. Army Corps attacking towards the northeast.

During the night of 21 - 22 June 1941, the assault elements of the reinforced Division moved into their reconnoitered positions in readiness with the IR 504 right (first objective Krottingen), IR 505 centre and IR 506 left along the coast.

When the assault was launched the Russian troops were surprised and rejected of their advanced positions located on the border.

The IR 505 (Col Lohmeyer) constituted the main effort and by nightfall had reached Schoden after break the enemy resistance at Darbenai. A bridgehead was established on the border river between Latvia and Lithuania.

On jun 23 1941 the advanced detachment reached Prekuln, moving on 70 kilometers from the jump off position in one and a half day. At Prekuln, Col Lohmeyer with the IR 505 turned West heading towards the first great objective, Libau, and by afternoon on jun 24 1941 took all around position at Grobin.

The city itself was well secured by two lakes located on its sides and the only access toward it was through one isthmus of 3 kilometers wide. A quick “coup de main” was therefore out of question.

As for the Soviets troops deployment: the 67 Rifle Division with two battalions of the 56 Rifle Regiment and the 281 Rifle Regiment was holding Libau while the 114 Rifle Regiment reinforced with one Battalion of the 56 Rifle Regiment was defending the coast sector on the section Kolgasrago - Pavilosta.

Source: Operations Summary of the staff of the 27th Army. Tsamo, folio 325.

The assault on the city of Libau began on jun 25 at 01:30 hours but soon stalled in front of the fortified position in the isthmus, hence the attack was called off. The city was encircled and the Division was deployed as follows: to the north nearby the coast the IR 506; adjoining, the IR 504 up to the road Grobin - Durben and to the south the IR 505.

On 27 Jun the fight reached its peak when the Soviets attempted a break out which they did along the coastal road, losing 7 tanks and 43 trucks; another group fled on the "Red Road" leading north, there the Artillery cooperated decidedly, even the 10./ AR 291(OLt Guckel) fought in its positions as infantry. But in doing so the Soviet lost all its vehicles, heavy equipment and guns. On the same day the Navy troops and the IR 505 broke into the south of Libau and the next day 28 jun 1941 the city was seized after stuborn resistence in urban environment. The enemy will was broken with fire support furnished by infantry cannons firing at close range, mortars and heavy artillery. Oberst Lohmeyer won the RK after that.

Thereon the 291. ID was brought forward through Curland and on jul 9 had been assembled at Riga.

Source: Historia de la 291. División de Infantería Alemana. Werner CONZE. Cap III. Círculo Militar. Buenos Aires. 1956.

More follows ASAP. Cheers. Tigre
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Post by scarecrow » 13 Aug 2006 14:29

great piece of information tigre :D
looking forward to reading the rest

Greetings from Luxembourg :) Cédric

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291. Infanterie-Division in Russia

Post by tigre » 17 Aug 2006 23:23

Hello folks, a little more about the 291. ID

Pernau Jul - Aug 1941. (First Part)

On Jul 08, Fellin and Pernau were taken by advanced detachments of the German XXVI AK. The 61. ID was employed for the attack over Fellin toward north and also it was ordered that the ID 291 should advance swiftly over Pernau in order to reconnoiter from there securing, at the same time, the German 18 Army’s left flank.

On 14/15 Jul, the IR 506 (Oberst Gurran) was launched onwards with quickness by means of the rail road Riga-Rujen in order to secure Pernau and later with parts of it to press forward reconnoitering toward Werder on the sea cost and Lihula inland.

Nevertheless the III./ IR 506 ( Krause ??) in charge of the task before mentioned withdrew due to the enemy pressure, but at least could maintain a security line around the city (Pernau) untill the bulk of the division arrived. The Estonian inhabitans supplied the Germans with valuable information and cooperated in the reconnaisance tasks.

The 291. ID finally could occupy, from 20 Jul onwards, several strong points with its three regiments deployed over a large sector of roughly 70 kilometers. The sector stretched from Pernau to Turgel, where was deployed the adjoining division (217. ID). During ten days the unit carried out combat and reconnaissance patrols in a difficult wooded land.

On 01 Aug the division succeded in routing the enemy formations, however was retained one day untill the attacks carried out by the 61. ID and 254. ID east of Turgel forced the Soviets’s withdrawal from the west of that city too.

Source: Historia de la 291 División de Infantería Alemana. Werner CONZE. Cap III. Círculo Militar. Buenos Aires. 1956.


The second part will follow ASAP. Cheers. Tigre.
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291. Infanterie-Division Pernau Jul - Aug 1941

Post by tigre » 21 Aug 2006 14:17

Hello to all, the second part.

Pernau Jul - Aug 1941. (2º Part)

On aug 03, the 291. ID started the march toward the northeast, over Weissenstein, boosting the attack launched by the adjoining division to the right. Before do so the IR 506 (Oberst Gurran) should break the enemy resistance at Kadrina by means of hard fights, suffering great number of casualties. In that opportunity the 7./IR 506 (OLt Pasternack) did a great work and after the breakthrough at once moved close up to Wesenberg blocking the enemy movement toward the north and east of the city so avoiding any organized resistance there. The city of Wesenberg was occupied the next day, 07 Aug, by elements of the IR 506. OLt Pasternack earned the RK for this action.

One advance detachment under Major Schluter (II./IR 506) moved up to Kunda, blasting the bridges located there, since the whole division should turn towards Reval. However that very afternoon it was ordered that the new goals would be now Narwa and Leningrad instead of Reval. Only one infantry regiment (IR 504 - Oberst Hippler) remained behind at Pernau and was employed later toward Reval.

Meanwhile the IR 504 was employed from Pernau toward Reval, the others two regiments moved forward; the division should carried out frontal attacks over restricted spaces with the sea on its left and a large swampy area on its right; on this area advanced slowly the 93. ID.

From aug 8 to aug 16, the unit advanced by leaps, taking turns hard fights and swift movements.

During aug 10 and 11 the advanced stalled in front of Russian field fortifications located at the stream of Purtse, supporting by artillery and aerial fire. The IR 505 (Oberst Lohmeyer) surpassed the fortified positions from the south, routing the enemy which suffered a great number of casualties.

After that, Oberst Lohmeyer by own initiative, pulled the division ahead with his detachment taking Narwa in a daring assault and established a bridge head on the other bank of the river; meanwhile the ObLt Weyel, commander of the 14./ IR 506, took the city of Hungerburg on the Narwa river mouth with one advance guard.

Regards. Tigre.

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291. Infanterie-Division - Baltic States 1941

Post by tigre » 25 Aug 2006 19:39

Hello to all here goes the story of the IR 504.

The IR 504, reinforced with the I./ AR 291 between Pernau and Reval - Aug 1941.

The IR 504 (Oberst Hippler) had reached the area Pernau - Sindi and was employed here along the line Andru - Nurme - Sauna - Kula - Sindi, against the enemy.

The 11./IR 504 (OLt Kobrich) reinforced with the 3. Platoon of the 14./IR 504 (Feldwebel Zimmermann) was deployed at the cross road Elbu - Are ( 15 kilometers due north of Pernau) without contact with the enemy.

Patrols detached from the 11./IR 504 verified enemy troops at the villages of Paarnau - Jaagupi and Uduvere. A Patrol (1 squad) sent to reconnoiter there was annihilated. A Platoon of the 11. Company could only recover the comrades’s corpses horribly mutilated.

On Jul 31 the III. / IR 504 (Major Pruskowski) less the 10. Company, carried out the assaults over Paarnau - Jaagupi and Uduvere. After marching during the night via Are heading north up to Tabria, then west through a wooded and swampy area the battalion moved into their reconnoitered positions in readiness south of Uduvere. After a short fire support furnished by the 3./ AR 291and 13./ IR 504 (Rother ??) and a short fight were taken Jaagupi by the 11./ IR 504 and Uduvere by the 9./ IR 504. The Russian troops retreated to the north of that villages and after three or four hours they fled leaving behind a buss, a car, two motorcicles and one light tank. In the following days the advance guards moved forward carrying out tasks as combat patrols.

On Aug 19 the IR 504 (reinforced) split up in two shock groups; one of them, I./ IR 504 (OberstLt Mittelstedt) reinforced, should advance along the road Pernau - Kibla - Ristl, the other II./ IR 504 (OberstLt Haarbrucker ??) and III/ IR 504 (Major Pruskowski) along the road Pernau - Jaagupi - Maarjama. The movement was hurried by means of captures bikes and one Army Transport Company .

On the first day of march (Aug 20) as the advance followed a ground previously reconnoitered by shock platoons, little contact with the enemy was reported. The advance guard detached by the I./ IR 504 under OLt Jeske, reached by nightfall on Aug 20 the area of Kirbla and the II/ IR 504 the area to the north of the fork road at Libatse.

Source: Historia de la 291 División de Infantería Alemana. Werner CONZE. Cap III. Círculo Militar. Buenos Aires. 1956.

Regards. Tigre.
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291. Infanterie-Division - Baltic States 1941

Post by tigre » 27 Aug 2006 16:11

The IR 504, reinforced with the I./ AR 291 between Pernau and Reval - aug 1941. Second part.

On aug 21 the III./ IR 504 after a short fire fight advanced up to both sides of the fork; meanwhile the I./ IR 504 sought out to cross the stream of Kasari east of Kirbla but was driven back by fire of machine guns and mortars shooting from fortified positions (well camouflaged). After several hours one group seized a foothold on the enemy river bank; with the support furnished by infantry cannons the bridge head could be quickly enlarged. Olt Jeske fell leading his troops during the river crossing. In the meantime the II./ IR 504 had reached the area of Pikkula. There OLt Utesch was shot down by a wounded russian soldier.

At dawn the II./ IR 504 attacked toward Konovere but soon the assault stalled in front of the russian fortified positions due to the well directed enemy fire. To avoid great casualties in the river Paardu crossing, the III./ IR 504 (less the 9. Company) crossed it to the northeast of Aravene, the position should be swept away from the flank. When the 11./ IR 504 was moved forward was seen the assault would be carried out over coverless ground (almost 200 meters up to the objective) so the Battalion Commander (Major Pruskowski) moved the unit toward the north in order to attack the russian positions from the rear, in doing so the battalion was attacked and encircled. Nevertheless the II./ IR 504 could now established a bridge head on the far shore of the river Paardu. By means of strongs attacks the enemy positions were seized from the rear, also the enemy attacking from the north was rejected vigorously. The II./ IR 504 advanced through the wooded land and by nightfall reached Konovere. Meanwhile the I./ IR 504 after swept away one russian battalion, which was detrained at the station of Risti, proceeded toward the north.

Source: Historia de la 291 División de Infantería Alemana. Werner CONZE. Cap III. Círculo Militar. Buenos Aires. 1956.

More follows. Regards. Tigre

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Post by tigre » 01 Sep 2006 19:36

The IR 504, reinforced with the I./ AR 291 between Pernau and Reval - Aug 1941. Third part.

On Aug 23, when the advance guard of the I./ IR 504 tried to attack toward Partli, was fired on, counterattacked and rejected. While the Soviets were pursuing the advanced guard, they crashed head on with the bulk of the German forces moving forward, and were annihilated.

In the reconnaissance of the III./ IR 504’s readiness area, fell the 12. Company’s Commanding Officer, Olt Count Lehndorf. The 9. Company’s Commanding Officer, Olt Schutte, was wounded. Short afterward the III./ IR 504 attacked with the 9. Company ahead under Lt. Schnewitz’s orders. The 12. Company was commanded by Lt Wolf. The 1. Platoon of the 9. Company (Ofw. Zimmermann), reached, by bounds, through the undestroyed bridge at Konovere, the north river bank; although it suffered several casualties in the wooded land. Nevertheless, the enemy positions were taken by the following companies. Late in the morning, the battalion reached Maarjama and the wood located 3 kilometers to the north. The enemy, let the first groups approach untill open the fire. After a hard fight with strong fire support furnished by infantry weapons, assault guns, one AA canon of 20 mm and the 3./ AR 291 that had been placed in fire position shortly after, the resistance was smashed. The Battalion took an all round position untill the next morning.

The II./ IR 504 proceeded the march on Aug 24 and by afternoon had reached the area located 2 or 3 kilometers south of Partli. Meanwhile the I./ IR 504 after a good fire support, attacked the enemy positions located at the cross road of Partli. The breakthrough and conquest of the fortified positions was accomplished after hard fights in the trenchs with the support furnished by the heavy weapons, the Stug battery and one 20 mm’s antiaircraft gun. The Stug battery commander, Olt Geissler earned the RK.

The II./ IR 504 after overcome little fights with enemy remnants came in the I. Battalion’s help.

The III./ IR 504 reached without enemy contact, via Vaimosa - Hiletse - Jaami the area of Partli by nightfall.

Source: Historia de la 291 División de Infantería Alemana. Werner CONZE. Cap III. Círculo Militar. Buenos Aires. 1956.

More follows. Cheers. Tigre.

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291. Infanterie-Division - Baltic States 1941

Post by tigre » 07 Sep 2006 00:21

Hello folks, the last part.

The IR 504, reinforced with the I/ AR 291 between Pernau and Reval - Aug 1941. Four part.

In the morning of Aug 25, the I. And II./ IR 504 advanced toward Reval. The III./ IR 504 did receive the special task of advance via Tapi and Keila toward Baltisch Port. Short after Keila the battalion knocked enemy positions strongly manned. After a fire preparation the enemy was attacked and beated; then the russian withdrew, leaving behind several killed and wounded. Without incidents the battalion marched through Keila and took an all round position to the west of the town in a wooded land. The I. and II. Battalions advanced and after overcome hard resistance reached the line Nomme - Jarve yet on Aug 25.

The III./ IR 504 advanced on Aug 26 on Baltisch Port, after breaking light enemy resistance at the cross road Klooga - Klooga Rand reached the coast where met an enemy position strongly organized with antiaircraft batteries (west of the cross road before mentioned). As the Combat Group Pruskowski (III./ IR 504) could not match this thread, surpassed the enemy, covering its maneuver with the 11./ IR 504. Meanwhile the I. and II./ IR 504 should fight hardly for every meter of ground at the heights located west of Nomme.

On Aug 27 the III./ IR 504 reinforced (less the 11. Company) advanced toward Reval along the coast’s road, in order to attack the enemy’s flank which was withstanding the I. and II. Battalions’s assaults. South of Rannamoisa the advance guard point, 2. Platoon of 9./ IR 504 under Ofw Dannenberg, was strongly fired on with rifles and machine guns. The Combat Group could not take this well constructed positions and the foe tried to envelop the battalion’s left flank but this was avoided due to the fire support furnished by the heavy weapons and artillery. Lt Donders of the 3./ AR 291 was wounded while was fighting as infantry soldier on the first line. Due to the rain, darkness and unknow situation the III./ IR 504 moved back roughly 3 kilometers and took an all round position there.

On Aug 28, after a rainy night, the III./ IR 504 renewed its assault and under the fire furnished by the support weapons (assault guns, anti aircraft guns and heavy guns) with shouts of “Hurra” the enemy positions were taken. The I. and II. Battalions also overwhelmed the last positions before Reval and reached the city which saluted with joy its freedom.

Yet the same day the III. Battalion was entrucked and employed as security force in the area of Loikula, against the enemy which was pressed on from the insel of Osel.


Source: Historia de la 291 División de Infantería Alemana. Werner CONZE. Cap III. Círculo Militar. Buenos Aires. 1956.

It's all.Cheers. Tigre

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Post by whoareayou » 09 Sep 2006 15:11

hello,

Loikula seems to be the old russian name of a city where the III/ 504 moved after they took Reval ( see the articel aof tigr above) Does somebody knew the new name of the city.
I' ve got no old map an cant't find anything on the web.

Best regards Olaf

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Post by ronzarion » 13 Sep 2006 12:04

Thank you tigre for this information.

I presume the StuG bttr. mentioned (Aug 24) is the 3./StuG.Abt 185 and the RK recipient is Gottfried Geißler.

In regards to Loikula, I guess it is now called Laikula.

Btw there are excelent ref maps on rkkaww2.armchairgeneral.com:
Combat operations in Baltic region June 22 - July 10
Defensive operations on Gatchina (Krasnogvardeisk) direction Aug. 8-21
Fights for beachhead. Luga bay - Gatchina (Krasnogvardeisk) area Aug. 22 - Sep. 09

Best regards
Rnz

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291. Infanterie-Division - Baltic States 1941

Post by tigre » 13 Sep 2006 22:05

Hello ronzarion; thank you for those excellents maps and Olt Geissler info. Cheers. Tigre.

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291. Infanterie-Division in Russia 1941

Post by tigre » 03 Mar 2007 19:35

Hello to all people, after a bit of time I would like to add something more about this unit. Now the "Elchkopf" Division step on russian soil.....

To Leningrad Aug - Set 1941.

The bridgehead at Narwa was enlarged; the wooded land up to the Luga river was mopped up and at noon on Aug 22 1941, the II./ IR 506 (Maj Schluter) crossed the Luga river seizing Jurkino. There the Unit joined with the IR 1 (1. ID) which had advanced along the Luga’s right bank coming from Jamburg.

Now the fall was closing, so the nights were cold and the days rainy; the army striking force had dropped fast.

On Aug 23 1941, the IR 506 (Oberst Gurran) and IR 505 (Oberst Lohmeyer) jumped off across the Luga river towards Michajlowka and Krikowo, which was seized on Aug 25 1941; in the huge swampy woods between Luga and Pilowo (reached on Aug 28 1941) then began the painful struggle without observation for the divisional heavy weapons and the artillery, especially on the banks of the Gluchaja and Tararaika streams. Next day, Aug 29 1941, followed the assault on the Kotly heights, always with the north flank coverless.

On Set 05 1941, the IR 504 (Oberst Hippler) at last joined the bulk of the division and finally the “Elchkopf” Division was halted on Aug 09/10 1941, in front of the well prepared and fortified positions between Wyssozkoje and Ropscha.

On Set 11 1941, the attackers (1. ID to the right and the 291. ID to the lelft) could breach the enemy defenses; that day the IR 505 seized and wiped out 155 reinforced pillboxes taking 500 POWs.

On Set 12 1941, new orders, the advance road was not that towards Leningrad, the division was to turn off, first to the north and then to the northwest; Hitler had ordered that the city should be surrounded instead of seized.

The 291. ID, together with the 1 ID and the 254. ID were to turn back and attack the hostile forces deployed to the north (Oranienbaum pocket), which were threatening the march road and the German left flank.

Source: Historia de la 291 División de Infantería Alemana. Werner CONZE. Cap III. Círculo Militar. Buenos Aires. 1956.

Oranienbaum Pocket follows ASAP. Cheers. Tigre.
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291. Infanterie-Division in Russia 1941

Post by tigre » 10 Mar 2007 00:35

Hello to all, at last the fights in Oranienbaum 1941.....

Oranienbaum Pocket.

Nevertheless all its efforts, the enemy could not withstand the german advance towards the coast and while the 1. ID reached the shore at Strelna and then attacked towards Peterhof, the 291 ID was to attack towards the northwest (south of Peterhof) and then seize the heights south and southeast of Oranienbaum.

On Set 20 the attack went under way; the IR 505 pressed forward and with its last striking force launched an assault against the key ground nearby the village of Kostino; meanwhile the IR 506 was advancing behind in a difficult situation with its right wing coverless because the 1 ID was advancing slowly as it was engaged in hard streets fights in and around Strelna.

Meanwhile the soviets had counterattacked and entered in Kostino pressing on against the heights nearby, but the IR 505, could withstand the assault and re-occupied the objective nevertheless the russian charged with heavy tanks. The reserve, the IR 504, had been employed meanwhile, and its right wing was impulsed ahead.

On Set 24, after heavy aerial attacks, the Agakuli’s heights were stormed and taken. On Set 25, the IR 504, attacked Tomusi successfully but later the village was left to the enmy due to its conquest was not needed now in the new defensive scheme .

The division took defensive positions south of Oranienbaum in the sector Lewdusi - Agakuli - Tujusi.

The russian tried hard to break through on the first days of Oct, but all its attempts were rejected; on Oct 05 the division destroyed 22 hostile tanks in front of its positions. The enemy also carried out an amphibious operation trying to breach the 1 ID’s front in conjuction with one attack against the 58 ID at Urizk coming from the Leningrad sector but without success, the static war had began and the Oranienbaum Pocket remained as a signal of reciprocal weakness.

Source: Historia de la 291 División de Infantería Alemana. Werner CONZE. Cap III. Círculo Militar. Buenos Aires. 1956.

Its all for the time being. Whishing a nice week end for all of you.Cheers. Tigre.
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Re: 291. Infanterie-Division in Russia

Post by Miroslav Morozov » 05 Nov 2009 11:37

Dear tigre!

Thank you for very interesting info!
I'm Russian researcher, who collect all info regarding Libau defence. I have quite a lot of documents connected with the soviet Navy and Kriegsmarine, but unfortunately I almost haven't any dates about 291. Infanterie-Division in this battle. Could you help me with scans of pages from Conze's book regarding battle for Libau? If you are interesting of I could support you with some Kriegsmarine docs (land unit), which took part in this action.
Thank you in advance.

My mail is red-sub@yandex.ru

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Re: 291. Infanterie-Division in Russia

Post by tigre » 06 Nov 2009 23:38

Hello Miroslav Morozov :D; glad to greet you.

I could support you with some Kriegsmarine docs (land unit), which took part in this action


It would be fully appreciated. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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