History 22/02/20 “Bradenburger”: how to fight the most dangerous saboteurs Hitler

“Bradenburger” were members of special units of the German forces in the 2nd World war and took part in covert operations throughout Eastern Europe, South Africa, Afghanistan, the middle East and the Caucasus. They usually consisted of collaborators and ethnic Germans, foreign nationals, subjected to these commandos. Initially, they served as a construction battalion of the Abwehr, at the end of the war, became a separate division.

“Friends of Germany” from Brandenburg

the Idea to create a special division “Bradenburger”, which will participate in covert operations on foreign territory, belonged to Hauptmann Theodor von Hippel. This was long before the beginning of the wars of conquest of the Wehrmacht in 1935. With this sentence he appealed to the relevant Department of the Reichswehr and was refused. A few years later he came to the reception to the head of military intelligence and counterintelligence in Nazi Germany, Wilhelm Canaris, which in the beginning were also against this initiative.

the Work in advance

As you know, by 1939, even before the outbreak of war with Poland, the German intelligence service, the Abwehr consisted of three sections. “First” was responsible for espionage and intelligence gathering, “the Second” – for sabotage and special units and “Third” for counterintelligence and competed with the security service of the SS (SD), headed by a brutal Reinhard Heydrich.

the Abwehr II von Hippel was head of special operations, so he had interest in what was happening in the Abwehr I, the Abwehr III and SD in. He had studied the works on the application of a commando in the African colonies of Germany in the 1st World war. Success, it turns out, the commanders that were used by the local residents when carrying out special assignments, and were engaged in intelligence and counterintelligence. At least in order to not blindly rely on the relevant intelligence agencies.

By this time von Hippel had already recruited a small group of ethnic Germans from the border regions of the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia and Silesia in Poland. These people not only knew the languages and traditions of their countries of residence, but also had the qualities of fighters and special operations. Their team in Hippel took only volunteers because they trusted their high spirit and courage. Soon of the German poles had formed a secret “Construction training company № 1”.

the First success

a few days before the invasion of the Wehrmacht in Poland, a group of 80 people “Construction training company № 1” has penetrated to the area of the special importance of the Railway junction in Katowice. They were posing as Polish railway workers, so as not to attract the attention of the Polish soldiers, who were preparing to repel the German army. When the Germans entered the territory of a neighboring state, “the people of Hippes” fraud seized a strategic object and even convinced the defenders of the “Katowice crossroads” to take a train and leave.

Then the operation went flawlessly, and German troops began to use the railway junction in their interests, the more all its rolling stock was in perfect working condition. However, other units of “Construction training company No. 1” was less fortunate: they failed to prevent the destruction of the bridges over the Vistula river at Dersau and Graudenz. Failed also capture tunnel Jablonka.

the Abwehr gave the nod

Despite these setbacks, the German high command was very vpechatlen results of the operations undertaken and agreed to expand and develop the concept of von Hippel. It took his supervisor Helmut Groscurth that by convincing Canaris, September 27, 1939, ordered the creation of a special part of saboteurs within the Abwehr II. At first it was called “friends (comrades) in Germany” – Deutsche Kompagnie, but this team was given the name “Brandenburger” in the namethe creation of the earth, where they were based. In the list of Wehrmacht the unit appeared normal training battalion No. 800.

To the West

the Germans could not afford to get bogged down in bloody fighting in the Netherlands and aims for its early surrender. Otherwise, the plan to defeat France could not bring result. To accomplish this mission was perfect Brandenburger that on the night of 9 may 1940 crossed the border into Holland. The target was a railway bridge in Gennep in the way of the 9th Panzer division, the only armoured formation involved in the invasion of the Netherlands.

the Group of seven “German prisoners” – in fact, Brandenburger – accompanied by two alleged Dutch guards arrived on the bridge 10 minutes before the planned attack. After the signal, they attacked the most powerful front guard post. In the back, where there was a post of remote undermining of the bridge, too, was captured by “Dutch”, who was the alleged aid of the defenders. Also commando Hippies prevented the opening of the gateway in Newport. During the 1st World war, we recall, the Belgians flooded the plain Icer that stopped the advance of Germany.

Brandenburger was a huge success in Western companies, and in the summer of 1940 they were ready to make a significant contribution to the imminent invasion of the United Kingdom. When this operation took place, they moved to Kenzie, where they began preparing for the plan “Barbarossa”.

the War in the Soviet Union

Brandenburger penetrated into our territory on 21 June 1941, the day before the beginning of operation “Barbarossa”. They wore the usual for these places, clothes. Despite the fact that each squad was headed by the special forces, fluent speaking Russian, they didn’t know the Soviet passwords. Because of this, the part of the saboteurs were captured by Soviet border guards, but a large part still penetrated to their positions.

They, for example, on 27 June 1941, managed to capture an important bridge in the Pripyat marshes. Brandenburger, disguised in the form krasnoarmicev, depicting an escape from the pursuing Germans, two trucks were able to enter the bridge and capture the post, which was the point of undermining structures. This was largely because the protection of the Christian in the spirit of the common mutual aid took pity on “exhausted and wounded soldiers of the red army”.

the Commander of Brandenburgers in the form of a senior NKVD officer threats to “rot of the head guard and his family in Siberia, they say, to blow up the bridge is absolutely impossible, as towards the enemy is the Red Army”, cut the wire, but was shot by a Soviet officer. However, the most important overpass, sandwiched between forests and swamps, were captured by the Wehrmacht. And this was a typical operation that allowed German troops to move quickly inside the vast country.

Brandenburger against Partizan

In October 1942, the number of Bradenburger made up of divisions, and their main task was the struggle against the Soviet partisans, who successfully fought against the invaders. Vigilantes constantly attacked the supply lines of the Wehrmacht, using the tactics of ambushes and hiding in the forests and swamps. But it was an obvious mistake to use Bradenburger part of the regular partisans, who were allegedly looking for “his” comrades.

These commandos were trained for offensive operations in the conditions of an inexperienced opponent. By this time, and the red army, and partisans easily calculated of Bradenburger even in appearance. And while having skills allowed them to achieve some success on this invisible front, the morale of the special forces fell. Suffering heavy losses, many of Brandenburgers were transferred to the special squad SS Colonel Otto Skorzeny, where it was finally broken.

Alexander Sitnikov

© Russian Seven

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