The 17. SS “Götz von Berlichingen” (PA) War Journal
offensive is on! Our leaders, using carefully hoarded supplies and
reinforcements plus timing, have started the drive to push the Allies out of the
war in the west so we can turn our full attention to the advancing Red menace in
the east. Members present for the attack or joining in support at Ft. Indiantown
Gap this January 28-29, 2005 were:
Oberschutze Robert Brenneman
Oberschutze Allen Brenneman
Schutze George S. Skrapits
Schutze Rkt. Chris Karr
Koch Steve Karr
…And joining us from our sunny West Coast detachment, our beloved
leader, Obersturmfuhrer Kurt Swartley.
moved into the barracks area in the days preceding the attack and settled in.
Our bunkmates were Soldaten from the 9th WSS Hohenstaufen who were to
be our partners in attacking the Yankee dogs. It was a pleasure to be serving
with them as usual.
units had moved into the assembly area and there was time to visit Freunden in
these groups while perusing the supply area looking for items of necessary
equipment and clothing. The evenings were spent in a small café set up nearby,
run by female helpers of the Waffen SS and Luftwaffe. Kaffee, Tea and rarely
seen sweets were served while the 17th relaxed in a quiet atmosphere.
The idea of a war going on seemed far away – for a few hours, at least.
A recon on
the morning of Freitag was cut short because of the weather and not finding any
Tommies or Amis. The slick roads and soft snow hiding rocks created more
headaches with several Landsers going down with sprains and broken bones. These
were casualties we could ill afford. One member of the 9th WSS was
taken to a Krankenhaus with a dislocated elbow! Unfortunately, our own Sanitätsman,
Bill Reinhart, is still recuperating back in Deutschland or he would have been
here mending wounds. Get better soon, Wilhelm!
evening, our much-adored Untersturmfuhrer Slepetz arrived and he and
Obersturmfuhrer Swartley gathered the unit for a small meeting. Basically, dates
for future training sessions were laid out and a small pep talk was given.
Obersturmfuhrer Swartley related tales from his front section and how they
defeated the Amis with the help of heavy panzers like a Tiger! The meeting ended
with Untersturmfuhrer Slepetz stating that he will be pulled from the unit at
times with other leadership duties but feels the 17th members are
more than capable of handling themselves in a scrap. And besides, the genius of
our Kleine Unterscharfuhrer is there to guide them! (Insert snickers and laughs
some needed sleep was a hard task with some of the new replacements staying up
late trying to gather their courage from a bottle. Not so with the Alte Hase of
came and us Soldaten donned winter clothing and checked equipment and weapons
while Morganessen was wolfed down. Because of the need for help in the rear
assembly areas, only five GvB members were put in today’s attack. They were:
Oberschutze Allen Brenneman
Schutze George S. Skrapits
group hooked up with the 9th WSS Hohenstaufen and marched to the Opel
Blitz trucks to be dropped off at the front. The weather was clear and cold with
no signs of Jabos in the skies.
job of the 17th upon arriving at our rally point was to make a small
recon of our flank to locate a Luftwaffe unit. Rottenfuhrer Knauss and
Oberschutze Allen Brenneman took point as usual with Unterscharfuhrer Person in
the middle and Sturmann Helm and Schutze Skrapits watching our backside. No
Luftwaffe unit was found. Herr Goring was as good on the ground as he is in the
air. Reporting our results, we were then ordered up a steep hill to cover a
reaching the top, all covered I sweat, no Amis were observed and we then radioed
back. From down the mountain we were ordered to link back up with the main
group. This was the situation much of the morning: march and stop. No firing was
heard, not even from far away. Did the Allies simply melt away?
commander then had us form a skirmish line and march to a distant clearing. The
17th GvB was ordered to stay with him and protect him and a staff
officer. He wanted Soldaten that he trusted.
At a group
of logs we halted a bit to rest and call in our position. We formed a protective
ring around the officers without needing to be told and our sharp eyes scanned
clearing, we watched a group of Deutsche Soldaten checking out a number of
Yankees who had surrendered. The WSS commander had a bad feeling about the
situation and this was shared by Rottenfuhrer Knauss so we watched from afar.
enough, an Ami column was seen going around the clearing and turning to attack
from the west while from the east came a surge of enemy Soldaten yelling and
firing. Time for action! Schutze Skrapits and Sturmann Helm went to cover as
Rottenfuhrer Knauss and Untersturmfuhrer person tried to flank the attack coming
from the east. Gewehrs started heating up as round after round was poured into
the enemy. Sturmann Helm picked off one Yank who tried sneaking up on
Unterscharfuhrer Person. Rottenfuhrer Knauss got close enough to take out a few
with his Pistole 38.
this, the Amis tightened their noose threatening to wipe us out! The order for
withdrawal was made and off we scrambled through a section of woods where the
Yanks hadn’t surrounded us yet. Oberschutze Allen Brenneman led our mad dash
with Sturmann helm keeping back and picking off any Yanks who tried to follow.
breath, we made it to a road and then followed it up a hill to the top, knocking
out a Yank sniper hiding there. There we took up positions to defend ourselves.
We numbered only about thirty Manner against a force of 100+ Amis with vehicles,
but we weren’t going down without a fight. “That’s why we wear the
runes!” one Soldat was heard to exclaim.
minutes slowly ticked by and no Allied column. What happened? Did they get
behind us or bypass us? The WSS commander was able to reach HQ by radio and soon
we got our answer. The Yanks were simply too cold and tired to keep going after
us so they pulled out! We were saved!
came to march back to the pick-up point. All us Soldaten were tired and worn out
but we held our heads high as we reached the trucks. As we loaded into the
vehicles, a Kubelwagen with none other than General Sepp Dietrich came through
and gave us congrats on today’s attack. He stated that the main thrust was
going well. The Allies were being beaten back on a wide front. Us Landsers
relished the news as the vehicles took us back to our barracks.
Untersturmfuhrer Slepetz told us to quickly wash up and get ready for an awards
ceremony. Uniforms were quickly brushed up and dress belts were polished.
GvB lined up with the 9th Hohenstaufen as their commander and a
colonel came in. Several wound badges, assault badges and promotions were handed
out. Officer’s candidate rank was given to Oberscharfuhrer Rich Moran of the 9th
for his devotion and hard work. The crowning moment came when Rottenfuhrer
Knauss and Oberschutze Allen Brenneman were ordered to step from the ranks. Each
was then awarded the Iron Cross Second Class for going beyond the call of duty
and for actions at the last Odessa campaign. As these coveted awards were pinned
on the Soldats’ chests, Untersturmfuhrer Slepetz and Unterscharfuhrer Person
beamed with pride.
being dismissed, we then began tearing down our bumnks and gathered equipment
together for the ride back to homebase. Another job well done by the 17th
Götz von Berlichingen!
March 11-12 – Mini-Gap – Operation Nordwind
April 23-24 – Torrance, PA
June 3-5 – Reading, PA Airshow
9-11 – Odessa, NY
events are sure to follow. These are the current ones. Bis Später!
– The new unit website address is: http://17thwssgvb.tripod.com
Go see it, it’s awesome