The 17. SS “Götz von Berlichingen”
(PA) War Journal
of offensive operations is in the air! This is the chance to get back at the
Allies for threatening our homeland and our loved ones. Members present for this
great attack were:
Marc Schneider (a.k.a.
Rottenfuhrer Randy Knauss
Schutze George Skrapits
Sturmann Jim Helm
Schutze Chris Karr
Oberschutze Allen Brenneman
Schutze Steve Karr
Schutze Doug Perdick
And joining us from the West
Schutze Brandon Hall
Our beloved Untersturmfuhrer
Dwayne Slepetz, after many exhaustive months at the front, had been granted
extended leave to head home for some well-deserved rest.
The weather changed from cold to mild temperatures with no snow to hamper
supply traffic. Unfortunately, this was “Jabo weather” and we all had to be
on guard while making this journey to the assembly area. The drone of Allied
aircraft was heard overhead the whole time. The vaunted Luftwaffe, of course,
was nowhere to be seen.
With all gear stowed away, us Soldaten checked the supply buildings to
locate essential equipment and luxuries. Schutze Chris Karr had made several
contacts and brought many “goodies” along for us and others. In fact, he had
so many items that he enlisted the help of Obershutze Kawalsky and Schutze Steve
Karr to inventory some of the more expensive items.
As evening came, GvB members visited the Canteen, a nearby Belgian café,
and Freunden in other units. We were also treated to a rare sight – a
torchlight ceremony of an honor guard detachment saluting fallen Kameraden in
the Prussian tradition. Many of us had not seen such a ceremony since before the
war. All stood proud on hearing “Salute to the Colors” played over the
When the supply buildings shut down for the night, Uscha. Person had all
members line up in the barracks for our yearly ceremony. The following Soldaten
were give promotions:
Randy Knauss – to Unterscharfuhrer
Allen Brenneman – to Rottenfuhrer
Marc Kawalsky – to Sturmann
Chris Karr – to Oberschutze
Schutze Perdick was
recognized on having achieved full member status and the privilege of wearing
the “Götz von Berlichingen” cufftitle.
following were then awarded decorations or certificates:
Randy Knauss – the Feuerwerker
specialty badge for achieving NCO status and showing proof of certification as a
firearm instructor and trainer in the law enforcement profession.
Robert Brenneman – the SA Military
Sports badge for outstanding dedication to the unit.
Ralph Preston – The Austrian or
Czech Annexation medal for completing three cross-country trips to attend
Afterwards, we started to settle in for the night. We listened to stories
told by some of us who helped yesterday in probing the Allied lines for weak
spots. Sturmann Helm related some of the close calls he had and Rttf. Brenneman
mentioned he set down his newly issued large binoculars by a tree and forgot
them there! They were probably some Amis’ prize souvenir by now!
We were told that tomorrow the attack would be centered on the probed
areas. Helm and Allen Brenneman both agreed that the enemy positions were good
and camouflaged and it might be a difficult time. Uscha. Person saw to it that
everyone had enough Patronen to fight the Amis and equipment and clothing were
in order. The 17th GvB then tried to get some sleep. Some unit below
us loudly celebrated to bolster their courage up.
Morgan came all too quickly and we readied for battle. The weather was
mild for this time of year so no bulky winter gear was necessary. Uscha. Knauss
was ordered to assemble the Männer outside next to a detachment of the 9th
WSS Hohenstaufen who we would be supporting. Lastwagens were boarded and off we
After a short bumpy ride all Soldaten offloaded and formed up by a road.
A quick call to attention was made and none other than Sepp Dietrich made a
quick troop inspection before going off and leading the attack! Our leaders were
bringing in the best we had to push this allied menace back.
17th GvB and others then moved out towards the front. Foxholes and
barricades were soon discovered and Rttf. Brenneman said that this was the area
they probed before. The Allies had abandoned their positions during the night.
Rttf. Brenneman asked to leave for a bit then came back shortly with his
binoculars! They were right where he left them.
Our commanders figured that the Allies might be back and we should hold
here. Us Soldaten spread out and went about improving the defenses. Oberschutze
Robert Brenneman solidly held the left flank while Schutze Perdick backed us up
with the firepower of his G-43. Ustuf. Slepetz’s MP-40 was sorely missed! Scha.
Preston and Schutze Hall took a forward position. Schutze Skrapits eagerly
waited for targets.
A wave of small arms fire erupted and a short time later, the Amis were
back! We hunkered down and started trading rifle fire. Uscha. Knauss calmly
sighted and fired his Mauser as Schutze Perdick cranked out groups of shots. Out
of the blue, a British Bren Gun Carrier made its way across the clearing towards
us! A fine time not to have Strm. Kawalsky’s Panzerschreck or some rifle
grenades around! The Carrier slowly waddled forward while the Amis behind it
fired away. Some Soldaten pulled out while the rest held. Schutze Skrapits
noticed that Soldaten behind us were firing the other way – we were being hit
from both sides. The 17th hung on despite the odds.
Suddenly, the Yanks tired out and pulled back. No stomach for further
losses, we concluded. This gave us time to regroup by traveling down a road to
set up a new position. The Yankee dogs and Tommies then came at us again.
Gewehrs heated up as they took their toll on the enemy. Uscha. Moran was seen
helping an MG-42 crew in directing fire. The action grew furious with orders
being barked out, Soldaten moving and firing, and the screams of the wounded
were heard. The enemy got so close at one point that pistols were employed.
Our “tactical withdrawal” got us out of danger but kept the Allied
menace from advancing any further. The battle ended in a draw as the Lastwagens
returned us to the assembly barracks.
As we gathered out things to pack and head for home, us Kameraden were
glad that the Amis and Tommies were stopped at least for a bit but saddened that
no advance could be made. Maybe our commanders have something else in mind in
the near future? The 17th GvB Aufklärungs Abteilung 17 would be