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Issue Number 30

The 17. SS “Götz von Berlichingen” (PA) War Journal



After our heroic winter offensive in the Ardennes, another attack was needed to stabilize the lines, thus Operation “Nordwund”. This produced some good results, but now Churchill’s and Roosevelt’s gangsters are beginning to push back. Members present at this defense were:

Untersturmfuhrer Dwayne Slepetz                   Oberschutze Marc Kawalsky

Unterscharfuhrer Bill Person                           Schutze George S. Skrapits

Rottenfuhrer Randy Knauss                             Schutze Rkt. Chris Karr

Oberschutze Robert Brenneman                     Schutze Rkt. Doug Perdick     

Oberschutze Allen Brenneman                        Koch Steve Karr

Koch Steve Karr had decided that his services were better needed on the front so he joined as a rifleman. We also bid a hearty Wilkommen to Schutze Rekrut Perdick who joined us in defense of the homeland.

A training base was used as the assembly point and all Soldaten made it there in good time. The weather promised to be a mixture of good and bad which always aids the defenders. We chatted with Freunden in other units, especially the 9th WSS Hohenstaufen with whom we would be fighting alongside as usual. An evening of light entertainment went by before we drifted off to catch as much sleep as possible. As usual, there were a few Soldaten who felt that they needed alcohol to bolster any courage they had. Not so in the 17th GvB!

Dawn finally started peeking out and it was out of bed and off to work! Untersturmfuhrer Slepetz went and gathered information on defensive arrangements while Unterscharfuhrer Person got the men ready. Schutze Rkt. Perdick was helped into his equipment and given pointers under the experienced eye of Oberschutze Kawalsky. Schutze Rkt. Chris Karr made final adjustments on his 98k-ZF41 scope combination that he “acquired” and would be acting as the unit sharpshooter. Schutze Skrapits and the two Brennemans were ready with Robert Brenneman fingering his Mauser, anxious to use it against the enemy. Rottenfuhrer Knauss stood quietly by taking in the whole situation. All Soldaten lined up outside and were marched to the gathering area.

Other units present were Grossdeutschland, 12th WSS Hitler Jugend, 2nd WSS Deutschland, a Gebirgsjager unit, Fallschirmjagers, and some miscellaneous Heer units. Transports were found to be in short supply so the 17th was packed into an Opal Blitz truck while Untersturmfuhrer Slepetz and Unterscharfuhrer Person rode in style in the Hohenstaufen’s halftrack! It was an impressive sight watching the convoy move out guided by the Feldgendarmie. Even after five years of war, we could field an impressive array of firepower.

After a short trip through fields and woods, past forward artillery positions, us Landsers climbed off the vehicles and waited for orders. Sounds of battle rumbled in the near distance. The Amis and Tommies were up early and spoiling for a fight. The 17th was ordered to set up a defensive line on a knoll across a creek giving support to a Pak gun and an MG-42 nest. A recon was needed and Rottenfuhrer Knauss and Oberschutze Allen Brenneman were called up. Rottenfuhrer Knauss took Rkt. Perdick along to gain experience and they all scurried up a road towards the enemy. The rest of us settled in.

Soon, groups of Brits and Yankees could be seen coming down a hill towards the knoll. Schutze Rkt. Chris Karr started picking them off at a distance with his scoped gewehr and soon we all joined in. The Ami flanking movement was held up by the Hohenstaufen’s scout car with support while the Tommies attacked the MG-42 and us in a frontal assault. Didn’t they learn anything from the First World War? The Spandau buzz-sawed through belt after belt while us riflemen picked off the stragglers. The Brits were determined to take their objective and got close enough for Oberschutze Kawalsky to use his Pistole 38.

After this engagement lasted a while, Unterscharfuhrer Person ordered the unit back to a better position and threw smoke to cover our withdrawal. “GvB” pulled out in good order, met up with the recon party, and hurried to new defenses on the slope of a hill.

We got set up in a classic L-shaped ambush and cleared a field of fire. Of course, this was when the 17th was given new orders to go and cover the right flank. Oberschutze Kawalsky was mad! He still wanted more Tommies in his sights, but orders were orders.

As we moved to the right flank, a radio call from Untersturmfuhrer Slepetz came through. He told us that the left flank was threatened and needed us there! The overall WSS commander wanted the GvB there for he knew that we would contain the threat. Arriving at the left flank, Oberscharfuhrer Moran of the 9th WSS fitted us in. It had become colder and a snow squall came through. The attacking Amis looked more like ghosts darting through the trees. Us Landsers weren’t scared though.

The crescendo of rifle and automatic weapons fire soon reached a peak as we sought to contain these gangsters. Oberscharfuhrer Moran screamed for a counter-attack and the 17th charged into the fray, decimating the Yankees.

The 17th then took cover by a road after hearing sounds of vehicles. An American jeep came up the road, oblivious to the fact that all his Kameraden were dead and gone. Rottenfuhrer Knauss and Oberschutze Kawalsky finished it off with Handgranaten.

After things calmed down, we met up with our beloved Untersturmfuhrer Slepetz for a quick rest and some good Lebensmittel. Schutze Rkt. Perdick was noticed eating some crunchy American candy called “Crackerjack”. He said he was polite when he took it from the Yank’s backpack! Untersturmfuhrer relayed to us in great detail the adventure he had with the Amis near the half-track and how he went around behind them and blasted them with his Machinenpistole!

After the rest, the 17th then marched out to a forward section of the woods where the Gebirgs and the Fallschirmjagers were still engaged with the enemy. We passed a point where the Tommies were seen in the distance defending an area that had an outhouse standing there by itself. Apparently, these “gentlemen” had their priorities in order!

Us Soldaten reached the sector where we were needed and while the 12th WSS flanked around, we engaged a small unit of Yanks. Shots were exchanged but the Yanks didn’t seem to want to go through some thick stickerbushes to press the attack and they simply melted away.

This basically signaled the end of the day’s engagement so us Landsers stuffed ourselves again into the 9th’s vehicles for a welcome ride home rather than the usual weary trudge. Despite some setbacks, we held our own today. With Spring approaching, the enemy is sure to have new plans for attacking our homeland. The 17th “GvB” will be ready!


After-Action Report

April 23-24 – Torrance, PA

April 30 – Pottsville, PA

May 14 - Camp Smith, NY (Vince event)

June 3-5 – Reading, PA Airshow

September 9-11 – Odessa, NY


Bis Später!