Division "Brandenburg" Legionaire units

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Freikorps, Reichswehr, Austrian Bundesheer, Heer, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Fallschirmjäger and the other Luftwaffe ground forces. Hosted by Christoph Awender.
User avatar
Jayhawker
Member
Posts: 13
Joined: 20 Mar 2004 22:24
Location: Missouri, USA

Division "Brandenburg" Legionaire units

Post by Jayhawker » 31 Dec 2005 06:02

Could anyone elaborate on the following two subunits of Div. BR in 1944:

Leg. Kp. Oberwaltersdorf &
Sonderkommando Kirchner

These units appear on a listing of names within NARA Microfilm T315/Roll 2112 that at the moment I'm just scanning through. I understand only a little German :cry: so I have to laboriously translate the material.

Larry D.
Member
Posts: 4108
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Post by Larry D. » 31 Dec 2005 15:28

Unless you eventually find the answer in the microfilm, you may have to start plowing your way through the 10 or so books on "Brandenburg". Do you have Spaeter and Kurowski? The problem is the German penchant for referring informally to units by the name of their commander, instead of consistently using the official designation.

User avatar
Jayhawker
Member
Posts: 13
Joined: 20 Mar 2004 22:24
Location: Missouri, USA

Brandenburg Legionare units

Post by Jayhawker » 01 Jan 2006 04:06

No, unfortunately I don't own Spaeter's "Die Brandenburgers" though I'm trying to obtain a copy. I have the Stackpole version(cheaper) of Franz Kurowski's "Global Missions" though I saw somewhere upon this forum that the actual German version is 2-volumes-is this due to more pictures or is there also additional text. Otherwise I have Brockdorff, Werner "Geheimkommandos" and Sepp de Giampietro's "Das falsche Opfer" (his account of actions while serving in 8 Kp/II Bn in Balkans(1941) & Russia(1941-2).

Larry D.
Member
Posts: 4108
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Post by Larry D. » 01 Jan 2006 13:39

When you have finished the applicable microfilms and studied all of the books, and you still lust for more, you might try a trip to Archives II at College Park. I spent six weeks there over a two-year period in the late 'eighties researching the Abwehr. There are dozens of postwar Allied interrogations of "Brandenburg" personnel that might be of interest. "Brandenburg" was a primary intelligence target in that 1945-47 time frame and I must have counted 50 or so interrogations, and that wasn't all of them.

User avatar
Jayhawker
Member
Posts: 13
Joined: 20 Mar 2004 22:24
Location: Missouri, USA

Post by Jayhawker » 01 Jan 2006 18:43

Thank you for the tip-by chance do you have the record number/group, etc.? Do you know if they might mail, for a fee, copies of the documents? Also, in an earlier post, you mentioned approx. 10 books, would you please mind listing the ones I haven't already listed? I can think of James Lucas' "Kommando", the one by Lefreve(?), Spaeter's GD History volume III, I think there might also be one pertaining to the KJ-Abt.

Since you mentioned studying the Abwehr, a question related to BR unit. Kurowski's book discusses the Arab Brigade-was this unit not so much a BR unit, but like in Vietnam, a unit trained by BR personal who then acted as advisors?

Have a great New Year and thank you much for you information.

Larry D.
Member
Posts: 4108
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Post by Larry D. » 01 Jan 2006 19:30

Thank you for the tip-by chance do you have the record number/group, etc.? Do you know if they might mail, for a fee, copies of the documents? Also, in an earlier post, you mentioned approx. 10 books, would you please mind listing the ones I haven't already listed? I can think of James Lucas' "Kommando", the one by Lefreve(?), Spaeter's GD History volume III, I think there might also be one pertaining to the KJ-Abt.

Since you mentioned studying the Abwehr, a question related to BR unit. Kurowski's book discusses the Arab Brigade-was this unit not so much a BR unit, but like in Vietnam, a unit trained by BR personal who then acted as advisors?

Have a great New Year and thank you much for you information.
(1) NARA: RG 165 and RG 319 were the main ones, but "Brandenburg" interrogations appear in several other record groups, too. They do copy documents and mail them, but they will not locate them for you. So that means you would probably still have to go there.

(2) Here are the books:

Brandenburg, Abwehr and Related Books

BASSETT, Richard. Hitler’s Spy Chief: The Wilhelm Canaris Mystery. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2005. 352p. [The latest biography and said to bring a great deal of new information out in the open]. $21.75 on Amazon.

BENTZIEN, Hans. Division Brandenburg: Die Rangers von Admiral Canaris. [Hans Bentzien may be a nom d’ plume for Franz Kurowski].

BERTHOLD, Willi. Die Männer der Division Brandenburg.

BROCKDORFF, Werner. Geheimkommandos des Zweiten Weltkriegs: Geschichte und Einsätze der Brandenburger, der englischen Commandos und SAS-Einheiten, der amerikanischen Rangers und sowjetischer Geheimdienste.

BUCHHEIT, Gert. Der Deutsche Geheimdienst: Geschichte der militärischen Abwehr. Munich, 1966.

CAVALERI, Leo. Das 2. Regiment der Division Brandenburg.

ESHEL, David. Elite Fighting Forces. New York: Arco, 1984. 208p. [Some coverage of Abwehr II units and the SS-Jägerverbände].

GURREY, Donald. Across the Lines: Axis Intelligence and Sabotage Operations. Tunbridge Wells: Parapress, 1994.

HEYDORN, Volker Detlef. Nachrichtennahaufklärung (Ost) und sowjetrussisches Heeresfunkwesen bis 1945. Stuttgart: Rombach Verlag, 1985.

HÖHNE, Heinz. Canaris. New York, 1979.

HÖHNE, Heinz. Der Krieg im Dunkeln: Macht und Einfluss der deutschen und russischen Geheimdienste. Munich, 1985.

INFIELD, Glenn. Skorzeny: Hitler’s Commando. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1981.

LeFEVRE, Eric. Brandenburg Division: Commandos of the Reich.

LUCAS, James. Kommando: German Special Forces of World War Two.

KESSLER, Leo. Kommando: Hitler’s Special Forces in the Second World War.

KUROWSKI, Franz. Brandenburgers: Global Mission. (Translated by David Johnson). The first detailed account in English of this highly secret Special Commando unit formed by the Germans and organized and operated by the Abwehr under Admiral Canaris during WW 2. From a small beginning as a special battalion with numerous detachments, they soon grow to a division sized unit by war's end. They served in every theater of the war, many times far behind Allied line including Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans, Russia, France and more. 1997. New hard bound, laminated illustrated cover, 6 x 9, glossy page stock, , 305 pp, numerous illus, bibliog, maps. US$45.00. [To be pub. 10 Aug 05 by Stackpole and Amazon will have for $13.57.

KUROWSKI, Franz. Deutsche Kommandotrupps 1939-1945: Die “Brandenburger” und Abwehr im weltweiten Einsatz. Band 1 and Band 2.

LEVERKUEHN, Paul. German Military Intelligence. New York: Praeger, 1954. 209p. D810.S7 L4.

PAINE, Lauran. German Military Intelligence in World War II: The Abwehr. New York: Stein and Day, 1984. 199p. D810.S7 P348.

PIEKALKIEWICZ, Janusz. Spione, Agenten, Soldaten: geheime Kommandos im 2. Weltkrieg. Munich: Herbig, 1988. ISBN: 3-7766-1527-3. 528p. 856 illustrations.

REILE, Oscar. Geheime Ostfront: Die Deutschen im Osten. Munich, 1965. [also as: Geheimfront Ost, Munich, 1967? See also: Der deutsche Geheimdienst im II Weltkrieg – Ostfront: Die Abwehr im Kampf mit den Geheimdiensten im Osten (Augsburg 1989) and Der deutsche Geheimdienst im II. Weltkrieg – Westfront: Der Kampf der Abwehr im westlichen Operationsgebiet, in England und Nordafrika].

SCHELLENBERG, Walter. Aufzeichnungen. Wiesbaden and Munich, 1979.

SPAETER, Helmuth. Die Brandenburger: eine deutsche Kommandotruppe – z.b.V. 800. 1991. 449p. A few photos and sketch maps. DM 44.00.

[UNITED STATES]. German Military Intelligence, 1939-1945. Frederick (MD): University Publications of America, 1984. ISBN: 0-89093-543-2. 320p. [This is the official 1946 study compiled by a joint U.S., British and Canadian staff]. D810.S7 G45.

WARNER, Philip. Secret Forces of World War II. Fredericksburg (VA): Scarborough House, 1991. [Limited coverage of Brandenburg and other Abwehr units].

WESTWELL, Ian and Chris Ellis. Brandenburgers: The Third Reich’s Special Forces. Spearhead 13. 2003. 96p. Color and b/w photos. Card cover. € 21,95.

(3) Arab Brigade: there is information on this right here on AHF. Go to the sub-forum on collaborator units and do a Search for it. Also look under the following names:

Dt.-Arabisches Lehr-Abt. III./Sonderverband 287;
Btle. Algerien, Marokko, Tunesien I, Tunesien II;
Dt.-Arabisches Infanterie-Btle. 845, II./845;
Arabisches Bau-Btl.;
Arabisches Fallschirmjäger-Kp.;
Ersatz-Kp. Döllersheim

User avatar
Jayhawker
Member
Posts: 13
Joined: 20 Mar 2004 22:24
Location: Missouri, USA

Post by Jayhawker » 02 Jan 2006 01:48

Thank you Larry D.;

In the books you listed a price for Spaeter's Die Brandenburgers"-do you know where one can obtain a copy?

Never heard of Leo Cavaleri's "Das 2. Regiment der Division Brandenburg"-I tried looking on Amazon, but no luck-could you also possibly direct me to a bookdealer who carries this volume.

Thank you very much for your reply and time.

Larry D.
Member
Posts: 4108
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Post by Larry D. » 02 Jan 2006 14:06

Here is where you need to go to search for books:

http://www.abebooks.com/
http://www.sfb.at/

--Larry

User avatar
logibear64
Member
Posts: 365
Joined: 05 Aug 2004 16:34
Location: Centreville, VA

Post by logibear64 » 12 Jan 2006 01:13

National Archives records group 319 contains records of the US Army Counter Intelligence Corps. In these records there is a lengthy investigation of the Brandenburg Division. This investigation was the result of an arrest of three former Brandenburg officers caught illegally crossing from Austria into Germany in 1946. Two of the men were former Brandenbergers the other man was ex-SS Jagdverbände. One man had on his person two address books containing names (some cryptic) of Brandenberger personnel. The investigators refered to the books as a roster. The arrest of these men lead the CiC to investigate whether these men were part of a plot join with other former Abwehr and Brandenburg personnel to conduct subversive activities against the occupying powers.
The investigation was called “Operation Brandy.” The file contains tons of historical information on the Abwehr, SS Jagdverband and of course the Brandenburg division. Also there are interrogations of ex-Brandenburgers. Some of the material is also found in RG 159 that Larry refers too. It is a fascinating report. I have copied one folder but there are two more I need to review.
As with most CiC reports of this nature the “bogeyman” is Skorzeny.
Phil

cassius
Member
Posts: 13
Joined: 19 Nov 2008 14:02

Re: Brandenburg Division Legionaire units

Post by cassius » 20 Nov 2008 23:15

How does one get access to Operation Brandy files?
Thanks

clancy_fan
Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 16 Feb 2010 14:25

Re: Brandenburg Division Legionaire units

Post by clancy_fan » 17 Feb 2010 12:49

logibear64 wrote:National Archives records group 319 contains records of the US Army Counter Intelligence Corps. In these records there is a lengthy investigation of the Brandenburg Division. This investigation was the result of an arrest of three former Brandenburg officers caught illegally crossing from Austria into Germany in 1946. Two of the men were former Brandenbergers the other man was ex-SS Jagdverbände. One man had on his person two address books containing names (some cryptic) of Brandenberger personnel. The investigators refered to the books as a roster. The arrest of these men lead the CiC to investigate whether these men were part of a plot join with other former Abwehr and Brandenburg personnel to conduct subversive activities against the occupying powers.
The investigation was called “Operation Brandy.” The file contains tons of historical information on the Abwehr, SS Jagdverband and of course the Brandenburg division. Also there are interrogations of ex-Brandenburgers. Some of the material is also found in RG 159 that Larry refers too. It is a fascinating report. I have copied one folder but there are two more I need to review.
As with most CiC reports of this nature the “bogeyman” is Skorzeny.
Phil
Dear Logibear,

Your reseach regarding the Brandenburger is very interessting for me as I write my doctoral about the Amt Ausland / Abwehr (Canaris). Please feel free to mail my @ [email protected].

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 10162
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Brandenburg Division Legionaire units

Post by Sid Guttridge » 17 Feb 2010 13:54

Hi LarryD,

Is there any way to sift the wheat from the chaff with those Brandenburger titles?

Some of the stories about the Brandenburgers seem greatly overhyped (such as their belated seizure of Caucasus oil fields the Red Army had been ordered to abandon and had already sabotaged), their supposed raising of a large Arab force to oppose the British invasion of Iraq from Trans-Jordan (British sources seem completely unaware of its existence) and a reported diamond heist in South Africa (which again the relevant British and South African sources seem completely unaware of and which was beyond the range of any Luftwaffe aircraft supposedly employed in extracting the team).

Another example is found in the book "Assault from Within" in which it is claimed that Brandenburgers using Tiger tanks (in 1941!) to play a key role in the capture of Odessa. The Romanians, who actually occupied Odessa, agaion seem completely unaware of any Brandenberger presence!

Similarly, the total debacle of the Brandenburger descent on Otopeni airfield in Romania in late August 1944 is frequently misrepresented as an assault operation. In fact it was already a Luftwaffe night fighter airfield.

It strikes me that the very secrecy surrounding real Brandenburger operations and their remoteness has allowed a lot of fiction to be marketed as fact. Would you recommend any particular titles as reliable military history?

Cheers,

Sid.

Larry D.
Member
Posts: 4108
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Re: Brandenburg Division Legionaire units

Post by Larry D. » 17 Feb 2010 14:25

Hi Sid,

Don't know as I have only read a couple of them and that was many, many years ago. Almost all of the published material on this subject was written to produce a book that sold well and made money for the author and publisher, hence the hype based mainly on hearsay and old wives' tales. To answer your question, I guess I would pick out the several that seem to be scholarly efforts and skip the rest. Best yet, go to the archives like logibear and I have done and dig through the documents. A comprehensive, scholarly history of the Abwehr and the Brandenburgers has yet to be written, although the David Kahn Hitler's Spies book was certainly a step in the right direction.

Best,

Larry

Ken S.
Member
Posts: 1372
Joined: 14 Feb 2006 09:30
Location: Kanada

Re: Division "Brandenburg" Legionaire units

Post by Ken S. » 09 Mar 2016 07:00

I'm wondering what sort of reception this book received when it was originally published?
Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi LarryD,
Another example is found in the book "Assault from Within" in which it is claimed that Brandenburgers using Tiger tanks (in 1941!) to play a key role in the capture of Odessa. The Romanians, who actually occupied Odessa, agaion seem completely unaware of any Brandenberger presence!

Return to “Heer, Waffen-SS & Fallschirmjäger”