By Michael Sharpe
The hot 'Spearhead' sequence is designed to examine the leading edge of battle, facing devices in a position to working thoroughly independently within the vanguard of conflict. every one quantity within the sequence examines the selected unit's origins and heritage, its business enterprise and order of conflict, its conflict heritage theatre by way of theatre, its insignia and its markings. additionally coated are biographies of crucial commanders of every unit. each one identify ends with an review of unit effectiveness - as visible by means of the unit itself, via its rivals and the sunshine of more moderen ancient learn. The books additionally contain an in depth reference part with a serious bibliography, an inventory of suitable museums and websites, information regarding reenactment teams and memorials. Authors of a couple of titles within the Spearhead sequence (2 Grossdeutschland, five Leibstandarte and nine Das Reich) Mike Sharpe and Brian Davies now tackle the key German mountain unit that observed motion in Greece, Crete, Russia and Italy. The elite department used to be shaped in autumn 1940 and used to be commanded by means of the charismatic Julius 'Papa' Ringel till 1944. It used to be established in Salzburg, Austria, even if the body of workers have been predominantly from Bavaria. shaped from the one centesimal Gebirgs Regiment, the 1st few months of its existence have been spent education within the Bavarian Alps earlier than it moved to the Balkans theatre, the place it performed a renowned position within the smashing of the Metaxas defence traces and the defeat of the Greek and Commonwealth protecting forces. It used to be selected because the air-landing component to XI Airborne Corps for Operation Merkur - the assault on Crete - the place it fought along the German paratroops coated in Spearhead four. It remained at the island as an profession strength till it used to be despatched to the Leningrad entrance in October 1941. in the course of that point the department was once used primarily as a 'fire brigade' for the 18th Armee, serving at numerous occasions at the Volchov entrance, close to Mga, close to Schlusselburg, and at the Neva close to Kolopino. In December 1943 the department used to be transferred to Italy below the regulate of tenth Armee. It exotic itself repeatedly battling up the 'leg' of the Italian mainland throughout the battles for the Gustav and Gothic defence strains. This was once the final Mountain department to struggle in excessive alpine terrain. On April 20, 1945, seven Gebirgsjager made an evening climb up the Northeast wall of Roc Belleface. Their raid succeeded in dislodging the French garrison's defences. After a few extra strive against activities, the department assembled for the final time and marched in complete order eastwards towards Milan. After battling with Italian Partisans in the course of their trip, they went into American captivity simply north of Turin. For all these drawn to army background, the hot 'Spearhead' sequence is a wonderful account of every of the person devices. Written via stated specialists within the topic, each one quantity is an in depth account of the advance and operational checklist of a few of the main recognized army devices in heritage.
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Additional info for 5th Gebirgsjager Division - Hitler's Mountain Warfare Specialists: Hitler's Mountain Warfare Specialists
At Mersing and Kluang The Hinge of Fate 63 there were sharp encounters, but again the decisive attack came on the west coast, where the two British battalions held Batu Pahat for five days. By then all direct exit was blocked, and the troops made their twenty miles retreat down the coast where two thousand men were taken off by the Navy on successive nights. Meanwhile strong reinforcements reached the Japanese. On January 15 a large convoy discharged two fresh divisions at Singora, whence they marched south upon Kluang, the centre of our line.
3. Although I cannot promise total destruction of Rommel, we have at least gained a very substantial success, which has already rid us of one serious danger and liberated important forces. At the same time the tremendous, unexpected resistance of Russia has given a considerable breathing-space, and it may be more, on the Levant-Caspian front. Thus we are able to move the 17th Indian Division and soon several other Indian infantry divisions previously assigned to the Levant-Caspian front, together with the 18th British and the 7th and 8th Australian Divisions, with substantial aircraft and some armoured forces, from the Middle to the Far Eastern theatre.
Our troops withdrew, and a front was formed again on the Slim River, with one brigade detached to the southwest to hold off a possible thrust from the rear. Only tired troops awaited the next inevitable attack; most of them had been continuously engaged for the past three weeks, and they could not withstand the violent blow which fell on them on January 7. The Japanese attacked in moonlight with tanks straight down the main road, and broke the line. Both brigades were thrown into confusion, and extricated themselves only after heavy loss.