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Peter U
04-24-2011, 03:39 AM
A few days ago I was able to add this document to my collection, it is a 24 houre leave pass to visit Köln that was given to Feldwebel Helmut Wenzel just before the famous airborne assult on the Belgian fort Eben-Emael.
The leave pass was given on Wednesday April 24 1940, that is just 16 days before the day of the airborne assult.
The document is signed by Oblt Witzig.
Also notice that to indicate the unit the rather anonimous Feldpost number is used, that is because very strick security measures were taken to protect the airborne operations; even the airbase commanders of the Köln airfields weren't informed on the presence of the speciliazed units in their sector.
Another security measure was that Fj's didn't wear their jump badges on their uniform.

When the airborne operation started on May 10 1940, the glider of the unit commander (Wiztig) got a towing accident, Fldw Wenzel who was second in command took over the control of the assult unit and coordinated the attack until his CO landed several houres later.
Although Helmut Wenzel in fact lead the operation he never got any recognition for it from the German army, the KC's given for the operation where given to the two officers of the unit, one to Witzig who wasn't even present during the initial assult (the period the guns of the fort were taken out, actually the target of the entire operation) and the other one to Delica who did not take any leading initiave during the assult to say it politely (according to the Fj's he did hide himself in one of the bunkers on top of the fort); after the initial assult operations Helmut Wenzel also coordinated the defence during the Belgian counter attack, he got WIA while doing this.
Despite all this he just got the EKII & I just like all the other Fj's that participated in the airborne assult operations on the Albert canal and fort Eben-Emael.


This document was discovered by a German dealer in antique books, he found it in a book of patriotic poetry that belonged to the Wenzel family, in the book it was used as a bookmarker together with a theater ticket and the coupon of a money transfer from the same period.


A thread about his helmet:
http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php?478-Shot-through-Fj-helmet-(M38)

Another Fort Eben-Emael document set:
http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php?1396-Fort-Eben-Emael-WIA-ID-booklet


Cheers,
Peter