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    Die Eiserne Faust

Nummer #38          17. SS “Götz von Berlichingen” Abteilung KriegNachrichten

 

Kameraden!

Since the Allies’ great landings in Normandy a short time ago, the fighting has been constant and heavy. Due to the valiant efforts by the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS, the Allies have made little forward progress except to get themselves caught in the hedgerow country of northern France. This was the setting for the battles held at Odessa, NY on September 7-10, 2006. Members making it to the fray were:

Scharfuhrer Bill Person                            Oberschutze Bob Brenneman                 

Unterscharfuhrer Randy Knauss               Oberschutze Doug Perdick

Rottenfuhrer Allen Brenneman                Küche Steve Karr      

Sturmann Marc Schneider                       Schutze Rekrut Chris Herr

Oberschutze Chris Karr                             Schutze Rekrut Ryan Crawford

                                                                 Schutze Rekrut Wil Heffelfinger

            The weather cooperated and so did the Jabos in allowing us to get camped close to the front lines. We decided to form most of our Zeltbahns into one large tent - which took some effort with Oberschutze Perdick’s ranting. A Gebirgsjager mountain tent made up the other shelter thanks to Oberschutze Chris Karr and his quartermaster skills.

            After our Feldkirche was set up and Küche Karr had Essen happily bubbling away, us Soldaten explored the campgrounds to look for Freunden in other units and to check supply stores. Schutze Rkt. Heffelfinger was able to locate some necessary items while Schutze Rkt. Crawford looked content in his sharp new uniform.

            Other units that pulled in were the 1st WSS LAH, 9th WSS Hohenstaufen, 10th WSS Freundsberg, Grossdeutschland, Hochsgebirgsgruppe Groth, 15th Panzer, A Fallschirmjager unit, and the dreaded Kettenhunds (Polizei).

Evening came as kameraden sat by the fire talking. No sounds of war rumbled on the horizon but we knew that the Allies were close. Ike and Monty for sure had something up their sleeves for us!

            Morgen finally came and we stirred out of our bedding to get breakfast. Oberschutze Bob Brenneman warmed up to his big mug of Kaffee while talking to Rttf. Allen Brenneman and Strm. Schneider.

            Uscha. Knauss had decided that we all needed to brush up on our skills at patrolling, therefore we kitted up, minus Stahlhelms, to practice in the woods just outside camp. Here, under Uscha. Knauss’ expert tutelage, us Soldaten learned the proper way to search a trail, move a patrol at intersections and curves in the road, and conduct an ambush. These lessons would prove valuable in the coming skirmishes.

            After lunch, the news came that the Allies were making their move! A large patrol was seen heading into a hedgerow group to the east of us. GvB, Freundsberg, and the 15th Panzer were ordered to push them back. A 222 armored car from Hohenstaufen would support us.

            The 17th disembarked from Lastwagens and loaded up. We then took point to locate the Ami patrol. At one break, Scha. Person had some Soldaten take positions while others, including Rttf. Allen Brenneman scouted ahead. Oberschutze Perdick used this opportunity to set up an antipersonnel mine as ambush. The armored car came up forward to help. Schutze Rkt. Crawford sat eager to put a Yank in his sights.

            A few Amis were seen scurrying about but no concentrated force. 15th Panzer moved forward to work their way ahead more. Their Leutnant conferred with us and mixed his Männer with us in support. They seemed to be a very capable group.

            Shots rang out! Here came the Yanks! However, they did not get far when the 20mm cannon from the car opened up. This didn’t seem like a well-led patrol. The Amis tried going around the sides of the road but Gewehr fire held them back. After trading fire for awhile, our whole group moved up to wipe the Yankee dogs out. Strm. Schneider and Oberschutze Bob Brenneman snuck up on a stubborn bottleneck, wiping them out to free up the advance. The few remaining Amis then retreated back to their lines. The hedgerow was ours!

            “GvB” then proudly got back to report on their actions and to get a well deserved dinner. Our commanders told us that a night action was going to be done to lay mines in front of the Yanks and Tommies to stop any of their probes from coming through. Scha. Person, Oberschutze Perdick and Schutze Rkt. Crawford volunteered.

            Due to a miscommunication, our little group was late in getting out though the full moon made our trek easier. Unfortunately, it also made it easier for the enemy to see us. Our trio made it to the correct location but no minelayers were located.

            Footsteps! Friend or foe? Our group jumped off the road into a muddy ditch and reeds to find out. Weapons and flare pistols were readied just in case. The first soldiers moved by our position. One of them wheezed in exhaustion and another admonished him, saying the Airborne doesn’t quit. Yankees! Several large groups passed by only a few feet from us hunkering down in the reeds. One false move and surely there would be no chance for us!

            After the Yank patrol moved by, we put our hearts back down into our chests and decided to move back and report our findings. Flashes of gunfire further down seemed to indicate that this patrol had run into our minelayers. We made it back to camp and told everyone how close we had gotten to a real live Ami! The rest of “GvB” settled in to get some rest for the main battle that surely was coming tomorrow.

            Morning came and we quickly ate and suited up for action. At the commander’s briefing it was learned that the Allies were here in strength and would try to advance through our sector. Two battle groups would cover the valley. The 17th would be among the troops defending the hill where our heavy mortars would be.

            Uscha. Knauss had the men assembled and lined up behind the 1st LAH. The trek up the hill in the morning heat reminded many of us of training camp days. There was more than enough protection for the mortars, so our unit redeployed to a forward position in the woods by a PAK cannon. “GvB” would be this line’s eyes and ears. Rttf. Allen Brenneman used his large binoculars to check for enemy movement while Schutze Rkt. Heffelfinger readied his Gewehr.

An hour went by and all was quite except for an occasional sniper shot. Scha. Person started to check on his Soldaten again when he saw a man running towards him. A Yank! Cries of alarm went up and the battle was on. A Ranger unit had come up and hit us from behind. A typical Ami sneaky maneuver.

Rekrut Herr had seen the enemy moving up and took aim with his Mauser, but ended up with a stuck, dud round. Minister Speer would hear of this! Uscha. Knauss and Rttf. Allen Brenneman went around the Ami skirmish line to disrupt it. Uscha. Knauss nailed two resistance fighters who must have guided the Yanks to us. Both of our brave Soldaten made it back to us.

Bullets started to fly thick around the treeline. Out heavy mortars lent support, but had to be careful of not hitting us. Strm. Schneider teamed up with Scha. Person in loading and firing rifle grenades. Both witnessed a loud mouthed Yank who tried to throw a Stielgranate back, only to be cut down by more grenades and the PAK cannon. He must have thought that he was the American movie star, John Wayne!

The battle was fierce and we held the tree line, thanks to reinforcements from groups like Hochsgebirgs Groth and other mountain troops. Rkt. Heffelfinger kept the Yankee dogs at bay next to the cannon, but his Mauser was hot from all the rounds fired. Oberschutze Perdick found an excellent position at a stone mound and wreaked havoc.

After some time, the Amis retreated back as they were unable to take anymore casualties. The PAK gun crew were wounded but managed to keep firing. Us Soldaten stayed just inside the woods figuring that the Jabos would soon appear to help out the Ami advance but none came.

After a break, Uscha. Knauss led the men on a scouting party to disrupt any new Allied attacks. The recon training paid off as we snuck up on a Tommy unit starting to attack and wiped them out. Rkt. Crawford said later that he saw a lot of surprised looks on their faces!

The time had come, our commanders decided, to take this opportunity for us to go on the offensive and gain some ground. “GvB” paired up with the 1st LAH and Uscha. Moran and moved down through the woods and swamps, isolating and picking off small pockets of Amis. Our units succeeded in making it all the way to an area below a tiny French village.

A few Yanks were seen coming down to investigate. Strm. Schneider, Obershutze Perdick and Scha. Person ran to a heap of ground to head them off while the rest continued to the village by way of a culvert.

The culvert stopped short of a barn on the village outskirts and open ground and a determined band of Brits blocked the way. Our units got close enough for Rkt. Herr to note what color eyes the enemy had, however the attack was then called off for our commanders figured that we had advanced far enough.

Thus began the long trek back to basecamp for our weary Soldaten. Oberschutze Bob Brenneman still wanted to get some more Allies. If only the rest of us had that spunk!

Back at camp, gear was taken off and mess kits were pulled out and we lined up to grab some of the excellent chow Küche Karr had been cooking all day for us. Roast pork, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and dessert all helped to satisfy our appetite after a full day of fighting. We heard that a lot of other units had to make due with some type of goulash made from rhubarb (or was it rutabagas?). Hats off to Küche Steve Karr for his scrounging abilities!

After-Action Report

After the event, a small meeting was held and some promotions and awards were given out: 

Upcoming events:

 

Götz Heil!