Fortress of St. Malo 1944

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34 ID
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Fortress of St. Malo 1944

Post by 34 ID » 10 Feb 2006 15:17


my grandfather was a Member of 343. ID /IR 582.
On the one hand I got the information he was captured on 14-Aug-1944 around the St. Malo-Area.
On the other hand I´ve heard that 343. ID was defending the Fortress of Brest.

Any suggestions what parts of the german army were exactly defending St. Malo?


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Brest and St Maló - aug 1944

Post by tigre » 11 Feb 2006 00:04

Hello 34 ID, here goes what I could get.

Saint Malo: a heterogeneous mixture of alarm and combat troops, numbering twelve thousand and including remnants of the 77th Infantry Division, held inner and outer rings of prepared defenses. The inner perimeter was a rough semicircle about ten miles long which faced southeast and was located about two and one half miles from the center of the port. It bounded a zone of strongpoints which extended throughout the St. Malo area. The inner defense area included the c i t y of St. Malo and the suburbs of Parame, St. Sevard and, west of the Rance River, Dinard.

The outer perimeter was a s e r i e s of strongpoints concentrically positioned six miles beyond the inner ring. The Americans attacked i n division strength on 5 August and, a f t e r overcoming moderate resistance , pierced it, Passing through two gaps southeast of St. Malo, the attackers reached the inner defense perimeter by noon of the following day. From 6 August until 14 August three infantry regiments moved slowly through the defense belt , encountering heavy f i r e from specially constructed fortifications and well developed strongpoints in prominent buildings. While most of the city and surrounding villages had been cleared by 15 August, a center of resistance remained in German hands, This was a citadel of ancient construction on a promontory opposite the city of St. Malo. Thoroughly modernized and equipped to withstand both bombardment and siege, it held out until 17 August.

Source: "Doctrine for a defense of a major urban population center by division and larger units". Chap III - THE BATTLES FOR THE BRITTANY FORTRESSES. Sawyer, Richards - Maj US Army - 1964.

Brest:The peninsulas of Crozon and Dalouse were placed under the 343d Static Division commander with the majority of the troops being from his division.
General Ramcke centered his interest on the city and its surrounding defenses . The city had two reduced paratroop regiments (2nd FJD) and a few elements of the 266th Infantry Division. However, there were over 12,500 German personnel assigned to the Port of Brest that were no longer being used in their normal duties. The following units were represented:

15 th Antiaircraft Regiment.
1161s t Army Artillery Battalion.
803d Naval Antiaircraft Battalion.
805th Naval Antiaircraft Battalion.
6th Blockade Breaker Flotiller Band.
9th Submarine Flotiller.
11st Naval Combat Company.
Harbor Company Brest.
Harbor Protection Company Brest.
Harbor Guard Company.
Artillery Arsenal Company.
811th Naval Antiaircraft Battalion.
Crew of the naval tanker, Sprechern
4th Naval Combat Battalion.

Source: "A proposed doctrine for the attack of a build-up area by a road division". Chap II. Hampton, wade. Maj US Army. 1966.

Regards. Tigre.
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IR 582

Post by tigre » 12 Feb 2006 05:29

Hello 34 ID, however the IR 582 does not belongs to the 343 ID, it was part of the 319 ID instead (deployed in the Channel Islands - Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark).

The 343. I.D (OOB as end of may 1944):

Commander - Gen. Lt. Rauch

I a - Oberst i.G. Kogard
Oberst Baumann (after 18 August)
Major Heitsch (after 25 August)

The 951. Grenadier-Rgt. Oberst Baumann

The 952. Grenadier-Rgt. Oberst Poerster

The 998. Grenadier-Rgt. Oberstlt. Jaeger, later Oberstlt. Schwind.

The 343. Artillery-Rgt. Oberst Sermersheim.

The 343. Pionier-Batl. Hauptmann v. Straub

The 343. Nachrichten-Abtlg. Major Roehsler

Supply Services Major Aich

Commander of the Brest Fortress Oberst v.d. Mosel.


Cheers. Tigre.

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Post by jopaerya » 12 Feb 2006 11:00

Hello All

If the Infanterie Regiment 582 is correct
it could be troops from the Channel Islands
helping in the battle of St Malo.
In august 1944 there were +/_ 50 troops
shipped from the C.I. to St Malo to help with
anti-tank fighting .

Source = Festung St Malo from H. Sakkers

Regards Jos

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Post by Kingfish » 16 Feb 2006 17:16

Some elements of 2nd FJ and 266th ID were also present at St. Malo. In addition, during the attack on Dinard the US 121st infantry's 3rd battalion was cut off behind the German lines, and was repeatedly attacked by German armor. As far as I can tell the only German armor in the area was the 341st StuG Brigade.

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Post by Jeremiah29 » 26 May 2007 12:40

I'm new member and maybe can I help 34 ID about his grandfather...
Either he was member of 319.ID / GR.582 or... member of 343.ID / GR.852 (not GR.952 like Tiger said ...sorry !)

343.ID (May 1944) Generalleutnant Erwin Rauch PC at Landerneau (E. Brest)
- GR.851 Oberst Baumann PC at Lesneven (N.E. Brest)
- GR.852 Oberst Förster PC at Saint-Renan (N.O. Brest)
- GR.898 Oberstleutnant Jäger PC at Telgruc (Crozon Peninsula)

On 2-august, KG Spang (commander of 266.ID) is create by XXV.AK for trying to stop US forces (6th Armored Division).
On 3-august, General Spang take command of forces aroud Dinan (South Saint-Malo) :
- KG Wittenberg (commander of Dinan sector)
- KG Rolschewski (III./FJR.7 and 3./FAR.2 from 2.FJD)
- 1220.Sicherung-Abteilung
This same day, some units rejoin KG Spang near Dinan :
- II./GR.896 from 265.ID
- 10./AR.265
- I./GR.852 (Unit from 343.ID, I./GR.852 was transfer to Saint-Nazaire on 6-july)

On 5-august, KG Spang is disolve et majority of units rejoin remnants of 77.ID and Fallschirmjägere of I./FJR.2 in the fortress of Saint-Malo.
Forces of Saint-Malo / Dinard : (about 12 000 men)
- Remnants of 77.ID (Oberst Rudolf Bacherer)
- III./GR.897 from 266.ID (without 11./GR.897)
- I./GR.852 from 343.ID
- Ost-Bat.602
- 10./AR.265
- elements from 2.FJD (Major Ernst Rolschweski)
- I./FJR.2 (Major Finzel)
- III./FJR.7 (Hauptmann Brungartner)
- 3./FAR.2 (Hauptmann Käse)
- 1220.Sicherung-abteilung
- elements from StuG.Brigade 341 (Hauptmann Bumm)
- elements from Festungsstammtruppen
- 912.le.Flak-abteilung
- 343.schw.Flak-abteilung
- MAA 608 (two battery at Cézembre and Grand-bé)
- HKAR 1266 ( 3 battery)
- 2.Vorpostenboot-flottille
- 46.Minensuch-Flottille

If your granfather was captured on 14-august, perhaps he was in the old city of Saint-Malo or in the old citadelle who surrender at this date.

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Post by Reader3000 » 26 May 2007 12:52

St Malo has a big old fortress with a high wall encircling the old town. Quite beautiful.

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Post by Kingfish » 26 May 2007 15:18

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Post by Jeremiah29 » 26 May 2007 16:36

Hello all
Thanks for the link, Kingfish, but I know this document and I'm not agree with all. :o
All german documents (like gliederung for exemple) indicate about 343.ID :
GR.851 : I. and II./GR.851 (the III./GR.851 leave the division on october 1943)
GR.852 : I., II. and III./GR.852
GR.898 : I., II. and III./GR.898 (since 19 july 1943)
II./Ost-Ausbildungs-Regiment Mitte (since january 1944)

I have a particular interest for 343.ID because this division took place in my region in early july 1943 between Plouescat and Telgruc (KVA B = Küsten Verteidigung Abschnitt B).

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Post by Andreas » 14 Aug 2007 15:46

An OT post was split out into the German vehicles section.

All the best


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Re: Fortress of St. Malo 1944

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 16 Oct 2022 06:12

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