The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

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RichTO90
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Re: The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

Post by RichTO90 » 02 Jun 2011 21:11

Larry D. wrote:Thanks for the thoughts, Rich. Actually, Winter Springs is a 'burb of Mousetown, but that's just as far from D.C. as Sarasota so it's the same thing.
I know Larry, my Aunt and Uncle lived in WP for years, although she now has an Orlando address. I was being facetious. :lol:
I used to spend 3 to 4 weeks each summer at NARA from 1979 to 1989 when all the records were either downtown at 8th and Pennsylvania or out at the Suitland Federal Records Center. I've only been to College Park once, and than was in October 2002.
I wonder if I ever ran into you? I used to do my research work at Suitland FRC when I first worked for Trevor 1987-1991. Remember Vicky Washington? She is still a legend with some at Archives II. :lol:
There should be a lot more ULTRA decrypts on the forces in Normandy in the BNA HW 5 material in London, including intercepts to and from III. Flakkorps and its units. Routine reports such as Batterie and Abteilung weapon types and strength would be included in these. Reports of this sort were not considered ungent or important enough to forward to the Allied commands in the field so they have never seen the light of day until very recently when HW 5 was finally opened to researchers.

L.
Yeah, I keep on trying to convince my girlfriend that a really cool vacation would be her shopping in London while I do research...for some reason that never seems to fly. So I haven't been back since 2006. I did pull some great samples of stuff out of HW, but didn't have time for a full survey. Have you looked at the original Intelligence Histories that are in them (IIRC in HW 2)? Good consolidated information, but like all such the really neat details are missing in some cases. Also, ISTR that the ULTRA Sunsets were held in the old Archives building, I got to use some of them for the Ardennes Database around 1990 and could only view them in a secure cage even then (which was kind of cool), so I'm not sure what is available now in Archives II that may duplicate what is in Kew (there is more of that than you might realize - a lot of US operational records from the ETO are available in microfilm at Kew and vice versa at NARA).

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

Larry D.
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Re: The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

Post by Larry D. » 03 Jun 2011 01:06

I wonder if I ever ran into you? I used to do my research work at Suitland FRC when I first worked for Trevor 1987-1991. Remember Vicky Washington? She is still a legend with some at Archives II.
Amy Schmidt and Bill Lewis were my main contacts at Suitland, but I do remember Vicky. It's entirely possible that we could have been slaving away in the big, open, first floor research reading room at Suitland at the same time. I can still remember where the photocopiers were located in the room. Downtown I usually dealt with George Wagner (he retired about 1984), John Taylor, Harry Reilly, Tim Mulligan and several others. Taylor was the Archives' icon, of course. He worked there something like 60 years, 1946 - 2006. As you noted, everything in W 10 was in cages. Taylor let me ride one or two floors up on the elevator and carry boxes from RG 226 (OSI/CIA) down to the 10 W "reading room" cage. Same procedure for the RG 457 (NSA) material, including the Sunsets.
I did pull some great samples of stuff out of HW, but didn't have time for a full survey. Have you looked at the original Intelligence Histories that are in them (IIRC in HW 2)? Good consolidated information, but like all such the really neat details are missing in some cases. Also, ISTR that the ULTRA Sunsets were held in the old Archives building......
Copies of the HW 2 postwar histories are in RG 38 at College Park. NSA did not turn those over to the Archives until just after the move to College Park in 1996. I sampled a couple of dozen pages from two different ones and found them shorn of small unit identifications, but nevertheless magnificient in content and just right for the interested general researcher focused on the broader picture gleaned from ULTRA.

I didn't mean to imply that I had been using HW 5 at Kew, Rich. I've been relying on HW 5 hand-me-downs forwarded by a good friend in Montgomery, Alabama, who is getting selected decrypts digitally photographed by a U.K. colleague. These are as close as I will ever get to them as an extended research trip to London is no longer possible due to old age medical issues. So I envy your proximity to this treasure trove even though you haven't had much opportunity to exploit it either!

Best,

Larry

Tom Peters
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Re: The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

Post by Tom Peters » 03 Jun 2011 03:37

Before anything else I say, I should add my thanks to those people who who take time to help us relative newcomers. Martin, Larry, Rich, and others are not obligated in the slightest to help us, but their dedication to the hobby helps us all.

Not that I can add much to what has been said, but there might be the possibility of finding small pieces of info on III Flak corps from the US G-2 records for the time period. I have found that in most of the corps level G-2 material, you will come across POW interview, which often give insights as to the size, nature and armament of various German units. YMMV, of course. Unfortunately, the only way to get this material is to go there or try to order it from NARA.

I have been trying to collect more and more of this type of info, but NARA hasnt bothered to answer any order requests in the last 6 months......

Mad Dog

RichTO90
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Re: The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

Post by RichTO90 » 03 Jun 2011 04:22

Tom Peters wrote:Not that I can add much to what has been said, but there might be the possibility of finding small pieces of info on III Flak corps from the US G-2 records for the time period. I have found that in most of the corps level G-2 material, you will come across POW interview, which often give insights as to the size, nature and armament of various German units. YMMV, of course. Unfortunately, the only way to get this material is to go there or try to order it from NARA.
The problem is from what I have been able to tell from PW unit IDs recorded in the Corps G-2 records, at least for the US forces there were few LW Flak personnel captured until quite late in the campaign. I know the 90th ID recorded some 545 including from what I believe were Flakkampfgruppen of III Flak-Korps, but all after 1 August.
I have been trying to collect more and more of this type of info, but NARA hasnt bothered to answer any order requests in the last 6 months......

Mad Dog
Budget cutbacks... :roll: :x

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

Tom Peters
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Re: The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

Post by Tom Peters » 03 Jun 2011 06:38

I can see budget cutbacks being a problem, but until about 6 months ago, it worked exactly as its supposed to. Send a request in, get a letter 10 days layer. Now, nothing at all.

Tomorrow, I am going to try and phone one of two archivists I have had contact with. I cant think of anything else to do since I wont be able to go back for a few months.

Mad Dog

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Piet Duits
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Re: The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

Post by Piet Duits » 07 Jun 2011 19:03

Guys,

This ULTRA-thing has cought my attention. Is it only Luftwaffe material that has been kept in Kew, or HW 5 (whatever that is), or does it contain material for the OB West troops (besides Lw) too?

I have always wondered where Dugdale found his material, and perhaps it was here. Very interesting.
Please, share your thoughts!

Piet

Luft 76
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Re: The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

Post by Luft 76 » 07 Jun 2011 19:22

About redesignation of units incorporated in III.Flakkorps, I can add that both le., gem. or Flak Regt. became officialy first "sturm" Abt. or Regt. in mid june, and were renamed .../Flak Sturm Regt.1, 2, 3 or 4 in mid july, only. I own 4 personnal papers (Sb or Wp) of differents units who clarly show that.
So it is not surprising to see the old designation during june or even july 44, even if the units were officialy subordinated to the Flak Korps since march or april, and definitivly absorbed by him during the sommer.
Note also that according to Oberst Kistowski, chief of Flak Sturm Regt. 1 (MS P-156), gem. Flak Abt. 266 seems to have been involved in St. Lô area, only. He doesn't give any mention of Cherbourg. What is your source about destruction of 5. and 6. battr. in Cherbourg ?

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Re: The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

Post by Larry D. » 07 Jun 2011 19:54

I have gem.Flak-Abt. 266(v) at Versailles in April and May 1944 with 5. Battr. detached at Caen-Carpiquet. I have seen nothing that shows batteries in Cherbourg. Here is the Flak in and around Cherbourg. The list is incomplete and the dates shown are when the units are known to have been there, but they could have been there before and after the date shown as well. Further, it does not necessarily mean the entire Abteilung listed was there; it could have been just a detached battery or two from the Abteilung. The information is all from German sources:

Cherbourger Flakartillerie:
Stab/Flak-Rgt. 30 (1941 – Jun 44); gem.Flak-Abt. 152 (Mar 43 – Jun 44); gem.Flak-Abt. 153 (May-Jun 44); Flakscheinw.Abt. 298 (1943-44); elements of schw.Flak-Abt. 344 (Jan 43); gem.Flak-Abt. 653 (Apr-Jun 44); le.Flak-Abt. 835 (spring 42 – Jun 44); one battery from le.Flak-Abt. 873 (Jun 44)?; le.Flak-Abt. 931 (1943 – Jun 44); elements of le.Res.Flak-Abt. 981 (Aug 41); elements of le.Flak-Abt. 996 (1943 – Apr 44); Feld-Flakinstandsetzungswerkstatt 10/WF (1942-44); Flak-Waffenwerkstatt (o) 9/VII (1943-44); Flak-Geräteausgabestelle 10/WF (mot) (1942-44); Flak-Trsp.Bttr. 67/XI (Dec 42); Flak-Trsp.Bttr. 70/XVII (1942 – Jun 44).

L.

RichTO90
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Re: The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

Post by RichTO90 » 07 Jun 2011 19:57

Luft 76 wrote:About redesignation of units incorporated in III.Flakkorps, I can add that both le., gem. or Flak Regt. became officialy first "sturm" Abt. or Regt. in mid june, and were renamed .../Flak Sturm Regt.1, 2, 3 or 4 in mid july, only. I own 4 personnal papers (Sb or Wp) of differents units who clarly show that.
So it is not surprising to see the old designation during june or even july 44, even if the units were officialy subordinated to the Flak Korps since march or april, and definitivly absorbed by him during the sommer.
Quite, but I may not have made that clear. Of course even though the official designations changed the use of the new designations remained variable and has caused some confusion. It appears that the abteilungen kept their old designations in regular use for the most part. But that is pretty typical for a lot of militaries; unit designations tend to become sacrosanct and sometimes soldiers consider it a slight when they are changed - the US Army's 1st and 2nd Dragoons hated being redesignated as "Cavalry" (they though cavalry were beneath them) and some old sweats continued to wear their dragoon orange piping as late as Gettysburg, three years later. :D
Note also that according to Oberst Kistowski, chief of Flak Sturm Regt. 1 (MS P-156), gem. Flak Abt. 266 seems to have been involved in St. Lô area, only. He doesn't give any mention of Cherbourg. What is your source about destruction of 5. and 6. battr. in Cherbourg ?
http://www.ww2.dk/ground/flak/abt/gem266.html

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

Luft 76
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Re: The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

Post by Luft 76 » 09 Jun 2011 20:55

OK, but I would be very curious (but only curious !) to know what is the exact german source of M. Holm. It is sure that some men succeeded to escape from "Cherbourg pocket". I have at least one example.

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Re: The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

Post by Larry D. » 09 Jun 2011 23:43

Luft 76 wrote:OK, but I would be very curious (but only curious !) to know what is the exact german source of M. Holm. It is sure that some men succeeded to escape from "Cherbourg pocket". I have at least one example.
Michael Holm used the Flak-Lagekarten in BA-MA Freiburg RL 40/Kart. These run monthly from 1 Nov 43 to 1 Dec 44 and these were the only source he used for that time period. I have no doubt the data is accurate, provided he copied it correctly. It simply says 5. u.6./gem.Flak-Abt. 266 were detached and assigned to Flak-Rgt. 30 during May and June 1944. It does not say definitively that the two batteries were in Cherbourg. Flak-Rgt. 30 had its Stab in Cherbourg but it was responsible for Flak defenses over the entire Cotentin Peninsula. Therefore, lacking other evidence, it is possible that they were used elsewhere in the Cotentin and not necessarily in Cherbourg. They were light batteries and could have been used to defend the landing ground at Lessay or bridges, rail and road junctions south of Cherbourg, etc. It is also possible that they were delayed and never arrived in Cotentin or that they were in the Cotentin on 6 June 1944 but were able to escape south before U.S. forces sealed off the Peninsula.

L.

RichTO90
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Re: The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

Post by RichTO90 » 10 Jun 2011 00:33

Larry D. wrote:It simply says 5. u.6./gem.Flak-Abt. 266 were detached and assigned to Flak-Rgt. 30 during May and June 1944. It does not say definitively that the two batteries were in Cherbourg. Flak-Rgt. 30 had its Stab in Cherbourg but it was responsible for Flak defenses over the entire Cotentin Peninsula.
Good catch Larry! What was throwing me - and driving the assumption - was that they appear for both 1 June and 1 July with Flak-Regt. 30 in "Cherbourg" and then no further specific mention. It is quite as likely that they escaped and rejoined as did many other units in "Cherbourg". It may be confirmation that they still had 1.-6. Batterie by the time of the Ardennes Offensive and I can find no indication that new batteries were raised for it between 1 July and then. So I am going to go with the assumption that they were in the Cotentin, but got out.

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

Larry D.
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Re: The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

Post by Larry D. » 10 Jun 2011 00:40

Good analysis, Rich! That's very likely the way it came down.

Best,

Larry

Luft 76
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Re: The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

Post by Luft 76 » 10 Jun 2011 21:30

Thanks for your additions. If the two 5. u. 6. battr./266 were still mentionend as attached to Flak Regt. 30 on 1. july, it means that both succeeded to escape of Cotentin peninsula because Cherbourg was taken on 26 june.
And it is quite sure that 6. batterie did still existed in december 44. How and why : I don't know.

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Manuferey
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Re: The actual organization of III. Flak-Korps Normandy

Post by Manuferey » 12 Jun 2011 12:50

Luft 76 wrote:Thanks for your additions. If the two 5. u. 6. battr./266 were still mentionend as attached to Flak Regt. 30 on 1. july, it means that both succeeded to escape of Cotentin peninsula because Cherbourg was taken on 26 june.
Not necessarily: some German units resisted in the Cap de La Hague peninsula, west of Cherbourg, until the morning of July 1st. 3,000 Germans were taken prisonners that day. And among the weapons captured in this peninsula by the Americans were ten 20 mm guns, most probably light Flak guns, and thus, possibly from from 5. or 6. battery.

And official dissolutions of units came some time after their actual capture or destruction. That would apply to Flak-Regt 30 as well.
Luft 76 wrote:And it is quite sure that 6. batterie did still existed in december 44. How and why : I don't know.
The original 5. and 6. batteries could still have been destroyed in Cherbourg. However, since the rest of gem. Flak Abt. 266 was not destroyed, the Germans could have reformed a 5. and 6. battery to match the KStN. Many German units were reformed after heavy losses on the Russian front or in the Falaise Gap.

Emmanuel

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