By Michael Sharpe
The recent 'Spearhead' sequence is designed to examine the leading edge of struggle, facing devices able to working thoroughly independently within the vanguard of conflict. each one quantity within the sequence examines the selected unit's origins and background, its corporation and order of conflict, its conflict historical past theatre via theatre, its insignia and its markings. additionally coated are biographies of an important commanders of every unit. every one name ends with an overview of unit effectiveness - as visible by means of the unit itself, by way of its rivals and the sunshine of more moderen historic learn. The books additionally contain a close reference part with a serious bibliography, a list of correct museums and websites, information regarding reenactment teams and memorials. Authors of a few 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 through the charismatic Julius 'Papa' Ringel until eventually 1944. It used to be established in Salzburg, Austria, even if the team of workers have been predominantly from Bavaria. shaped from the one centesimal Gebirgs Regiment, the 1st few months of its lifestyles have been spent education within the Bavarian Alps earlier than it moved to the Balkans theatre, the place it performed a well-liked position within the smashing of the Metaxas defence strains and the defeat of the Greek and Commonwealth protecting forces. It was once selected because the air-landing section of 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 career strength till it was once despatched to the Leningrad entrance in October 1941. in the course of that point the department used to be 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 lower than the keep an eye on of tenth Armee. It extraordinary itself time and again combating up the 'leg' of the Italian mainland throughout the battles for the Gustav and Gothic defence traces. 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 wrestle activities, the department assembled for the final time and marched in complete order eastwards towards Milan. After struggling with with Italian Partisans in the course of their trip, they went into American captivity simply north of Turin. For all these attracted to army historical past, 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 list of a few of the main recognized army devices in heritage.
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Additional resources for 5th Gebirgsjager Division - Hitler's Mountain Warfare Specialists: Hitler's Mountain Warfare Specialists
This powerful weapon was more than a match for most German E-Boats, and had a rate of fire of 40rpm, with an effective range out to 6,000 yards. Other weapons While many MGBs and SGBs carried torpedoes, these weapons are covered in detail in the Osprey companion volume to this publication, British Motor Torpedo Boat, 1939-45. Suffice to say that both 18in and 21 in torpedoes were carried, depending on vessel type and availability. Similarly, mines and depth charges were used too, but although the latter weapon was sometimes used offensively during Coastal Forces actions, neither was really a main form of offensive weapon.
The Bibliography contains a number of excellent books that provide vivid accounts of MGB actions, written by those who took part in them. The following brief accounts of actions, however, give a flavour of what it was like to go into battle at 30 knots, sitting on top of a petrol tank, protected from enemy tracer by a thin layer of plywood. In March 1941, a patrol of BPB MGBs left Felixstowe, in a failed attempt to intercept an enemy convoy. The action began on their way home, as recounted by Sub Lt Leaf RNVR, of the 6th M G B Flotilla: A Rolls Royce 2-pdr mounted in the stern of a Fairmile C MGB.
This scene shows an action that took place off the Tuscan coast, near the island of Giglio, b e t w e e n Dog Boats of the 56th M G B Flotilla and a well-armed German coastal c o n v o y consisting of F-Lighters and E-Boats. Thanks to their radar, the British a p p r o a c h e d unseen, c o m i n g up astern of the convoy. They attacked in line astern, w i t h MGB-657 leading, followed by MGB-658, MGB-663, MGB-659 and finally MGB-655. In this v i e w of the e n g a g e m e n t , the British have just o p e n e d fire on o n e of the F-Lighters, w h i c h is n o w blazing fiercely.
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