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Peter U
02-23-2013, 06:25 AM
Hello,


This is a new addition in my Soldbuch collection.

Georg Behm (°1916), a farmer from Wattenscheid is mobilized in August ’39; he is an Oberfußilier in the third company of IR22 of the 1st Infantry Division.
He participates in the Polish campaign and in May ’40 it is again “Blitzkrieg” for Georg Behm; initially IR22 marches through Belgium behind the 3th & 4thPz Div, the German tanks advance so fast that huge parts of the infantry can’t follow, but during the night of May 22 ’40 when they have just occupied the Belgian village Blargenies, they come in to contact with the French army.
Because of the swift advance of the German armored units several French Infantry unitshave been bypassed, the 10BCP (light infantry), 12RA (artillery) &III/158RI (infantry) find themselves surrounded in the Belgian town of Quevy and they decide to fight their way back to the frontline, the Maginot line fortress areas along the Belgian/French border.
The fighting between the retreating French forces and the Germans of IR22 duringthe night of May 22/23 is fierce; the CO of 12RA, colonel André is KIA while heis fighting as an infantry soldier, also the CO of the 10BCP, Carlier gets seriously wounded; despite heavy losses the French manage to breakthrough Blargenies; the next day the survivors will fight the battle for Thulin.
http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php?1486-Soldbuch-of-a-recon-NCO&highlight=IR469 (http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php?1486-Soldbuch-of-a-recon-NCO&highlight=IR469)
On May 24 IR22 gets the order to cross the river L’Escaut near the French hamlet Trith, just beneath Valenciennes, the French are still holding the bunker line between Wargnies and Curgies northeast of the marching route and they can thusobserve and even threat their assault.
The French defenders of Valenciennes are shaken but far from defeated; the Frenchhave dug themselves in the houses along the river and the attack is far from successful, there are many casualties; the German plan is way to optimistic, the troops of IR22 can only build very small and difficult to hold bridgeheads across the river and there is also the continues threat of a counter attack from the troops that are in the bunker line thus the divisional command decides to blow off the attack, they will first take out the bunkers but this isn’t a task for IR22 anymore, they will need some rest.
Georg Behm is one of the casualties of the failed attack, wounded in the upper leg,on June 5 ’40 he is admitted to a hospital in Kassel.
His wound must be rather serious because after one year he still is with his Ersatz unit; when he is fit enough for duty in an occupation unit he gets a transfer to the newly created IR721 of the 714ID that will be based in the always rowdy Yugoslavia, he will remain with this unit until the end of the war.
His unit will change names a couple of times, first to GR721 and then JR721 (114JD) but till September ’43 their mission will remain the same, fighting the partisans in the Balkan.
In January ’44 the 114th Jäger Division is transferred to Italy, theywill be fighting the allies in Rimini but also the Italian resistance that isactive behind the frontline.
On February 6 ’45 he gets the infamous “Bandenkampfabzeichen im Bronze” for participatingin 20 days of anti-partisan operations.
On April 28 ’45 he is taken POW by the US army in Como; during the Nuremberg trials the 114JD will be prosecuted for war crimes, such as the execution ofcivilians in the Italian villages Filetto Di Camarada and Gubbio.

Peter U
02-23-2013, 06:26 AM
.......................

Peter U
02-23-2013, 06:28 AM
A Google Earth image of L'Escaut river near Trith, the place where he was WIA on May 24 1940.

Peter U
02-23-2013, 06:29 AM
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandenkampfabzeichen

A Wiki page in German about the imfamous Bandenkampfabzeichen.

Sarge
02-24-2013, 05:42 AM
I know where there is an award doccument for the Bandenkampfabzeichen in bronze. He will not sell it. but I got a Xerox copy. Better than nothing.
Sarge

Hambone
02-24-2013, 09:38 PM
Even more outstanding than usual Peter. I've never seen an SB with the Bandenkampfabzeichen, probably never seen and original award document for one, and probably never seen an original badge. Outstanding. :thumbsup:

mjones
02-26-2013, 06:39 AM
Peter,
Outstanding. I had the opportunity to see one real bronze badge from am old collector in Harriburg, PA. Never saw any documents. Nice.
Mike