3RTR - 4th April 1945 - help debunking "fight against 2000 SS men"

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by sgbeuip, May 26, 2020.

  1. sgbeuip

    sgbeuip Member

    Is there any truth to it? 2000 men? This amount of troops would have surely been mentioned in the war diary, right? Checked the ones for the 3RTR and no mention of these incidents beside entry from the 5th:
    "0908 The ammo dump reported yesterday at 6201 [numbers mixed up? location was 6021] is now confirmed as an underground factory full of high explosives." (ESDELKAMP = ESPELKAMP)

    Someone would've made notes, right?
    Was this Corporal Sanders part of the British Forces? Really awarded a DSO?

    dml34 likes this.
  2. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    "Its real purpose was administrative support for the discreet recording and dismantling of a Nazi Atomic bomb factory."

    Complete fantasy.

    The Germans were at best doing preliminary experiments with fission. Granted it didn't help that the allies kept blowing up their facilities but they where never close to building even a single bomb.

    The US didn't have an atomic bomb factory until years after the war and was already years ahead when Germany collapsed.

    German nuclear weapons program - Wikipedia

    EDIT: Welcome to the forum, by the way. Hope I didn't come off too grumpy.
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  3. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Miss a mention of "Reichsflugscheiben" or the "Amber Room"

    To the facts:
    Espelkamp was home of a Heeres-Munitionsanstalt and one of only eight who had a filling system for poison gas. But it was never used

    The only SS-unit who operated V2 missiles was SS-Werfer Abteilung 500. Early April 45 the unit was disbanded in the Fallingbostel area and received conventional rocket projectors (Moaning Minnies) instead
    entry war diary:
    The Abteilung crossed the Elbe between Dömitz and Lauenburg (where they murdered three captured US pilots) and went to Berlin where it was largely destroyed

    And Dirk Finkemeier...oh my.....probably he´s a nice guy, but his ...errrm...."theories" about Espelkamp, Kammler, A-bombs and the like reminds of Charles Berlitz - to say it VERY polite
    He also states being observed by secret services as he knows THE TRUTH...ahem...
    S54, Lindele, sgbeuip and 1 other person like this.
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Last edited: May 27, 2020
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  5. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Major Tucker was the alleged DSO but he doesn't appear to be there either.
    sgbeuip and dbf like this.
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Badly writen article.

    I read this bit..

    Corporal Sanders volunteered to join No.1 Mobile Unit ROAC. It was a chance for excitement and his knowledge of German munitions made him a vital technician to T-force. For his conduct he was awarded the DSO, a medal only normally awarded to officers.
  7. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Ahh... I went with this bit:
  8. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    This article (if that’s what it is) belongs to the ‘Lancaster bomber seen on moon’ genre and it’s difficult to know where to start in terms of debunking as even the most superficial research will show it up for what it is: complete tosh! That’s not a dig at you sgbeuip, and a warm welcome to the forum!

    I’ll just make a few points:

    1. There were many war materiel plants and storage facilities in this area of Germany and most had parts of their processes shallow buried, but this was more for purposes of camouflage rather than protection. Minden, however, had a plant tunnelled into the eastern end of the Wiehengebirge ridge. All the plants were linked only by the national road and railway networks.

    2. Itdan has correctly described SS-Werfer Abteilung 500 and the function of the Heeresmunitionsansalt at Espelkamp so nothing else needs to be said regarding either.

    3. The only Waffen-SS unit of any size in this area of Germany was SS-Panzer-Grenadier Ausbildungs und Ersatz Bataillon 12 ‘Hitler Jugend’. However, this unit was not at Espelkamp but fought on the Weser defending the town of Leese 6 - 8 April.

    4. Just to the north of Leese concealed in the Hahnenberg forest was Kampfstoffabrik Leese, a plant producing chemicals for rocket fuel etc. It therefore seems that the author of the ‘article’ has conflated various elements of fact with elements of his imagination to come up with this fantasy account.

    5. Sean Longden’s history of T-Force (T-Force - The Forgotten Heroes of 1945, Constable & Robinson, 2009) mentions Espelkamp (p.133) but only to record that here the British found a newly-constructed chemical weapons production and shell-filling plant rather than the ordnance dump they expected. Oddly, he makes no mention of Cpl Sanders, 2000 SS or a nuclear bomb.

    6. I could go on but I’m getting bored with debunking as it is such a negative business.

    Sales plug. For those who are interested in events that took place in this area of Germany in April 1945, they are covered in my forthcoming book Theirs the Strife. The book is being published by Helion & Co and should have been on the streets now but sadly has been postponed due to Covid-associated issues. Hopefully it will be out this autumn.

    Best wishes to one and all
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  9. MarkN

    MarkN Banned

    Corporal Sanders was an American who, having won his DSO preventing the Nazi bomb, returned to the US promoted himself to Colonel and started selling cooked chicken pieces with chips.

    In other news, David Icke will be along shortly to explain the truth.
  10. sgbeuip

    sgbeuip Member

    From the newspaper a month ago a series about the end of world war 2:
    Taurus Pursuant likes this.
  11. sgbeuip

    sgbeuip Member

    Thanks a lot for the answers and the welcome to the forum, Dave55 :)
    I hope you can bear my english since it's my second language.

    For the german newspaper articles I can recommend deepl.com - really good results :)

    I wanted to avoid the name of XYZ because he is just so out of bounds regarding reputability and reliability of information. I grew up in Espelkamp and he is well known for his baseless exaggerations.

    There are enough reasons to worry about possible UXO etc. and serious research is continously getting overshadowed by "nuclear bombs everywhere". One of the newspaper articles regarding grenades: Granaten sind nicht scharf
    And this: Briten besetzten die Fabrik des Todes


    Huge battle against 2000 SS men?
    - British Forces found MUNA abandoned and got it handed over by MUNA doc Lingner (according to newspaper article)
    - War diary 3RTR doesnt support claim at all
    - at max. 1300 workers (not soldiers) "Blaue Wache" stand am Entreé

    5th April 1945
    "0908 The ammo dump reported yesterday at 6201 [numbers mixed up? location was 6021] is now confirmed as an underground factory full of high explosives." (ESDELKAMP = ESPELKAMP)
    - later never any substantial proof for it
    - a few different eye witness reports from different sources (german side: soldiers, workers, working MUNA women)
    Espelkamp Gestern & Heute: Junge Frauen mussten in der Muna arbeiten
    Muna-Erinnerungen nach 70 Jahren

    Corporal Sanders part of the British Forces? Major Tucker awarded a DSO for "Battle of Espelkamp"/s ?
    >>Here is what Keith Sanders wrote to me about Espelkamp:
    “My father was in the battle group which fought their way in through 2,000 SS defenders and captured the factory at 3.10 pm on Wednesday 4th April 1945. He was the source of the alarm, which led to “Operation Teardrop” by the USN 15/16 April sinking U-1235 and U-880, they missed U-857…. I have an IWM photo of him driving his little unit of RAOC ammunition technicians off a class40 raft on 24th March 1945. His boss Major Roy Tucker (standing rear on raft with greatcoat) was still alive (84) in 1998 for my father’s efforts he was awarded a DSO! Only awarded to officers, as lesser ranks are considered too stupid to ever merit such an accolade.”<<

    I think this says it all: "Oddly, he makes no mention of Cpl Sanders, 2000 SS or a nuclear bomb." Thank you JDKR - i had a really good laugh :D
  12. sgbeuip

    sgbeuip Member

    And a destroyed Tiger tank from there for your enjoyment :)
    Caption reads: "During the fights in Sudriede and Fang this Tiger tank of an SS unit was shot down, it burnt out. The few German forces could not withstand the oppressive superiority."
    Note: "few"

    Attached Files:

  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    That's a Panther not a Tiger.
    SDP likes this.
  14. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    That’s more like it! Good article and from what I know pretty accurate. The reference to Green Ring III ‘grenades’ in the penultimate paragraph should read ‘shells’ or ‘artillery rounds’. There is often confusion between the German word ‘granate’ (which can mean grenade or shell in English) and the English ‘grenade’ (hand-thrown (usually) explosive device). Not sure I would want to be in the vicinity of a thrown Tabun grenade!

    When I was stationed with the British Army in Minden we occasionally went to Espelkamp to swim in the town’s very good swimming pool. Now I know why we went a strange colour:whistle:
  15. sgbeuip

    sgbeuip Member

    Attached Files:

  16. sgbeuip

    sgbeuip Member

    The swimming pool was the MUNAs water source for fire extinguishing (Feuerlöschteich = fire extinguishing pond roughly) as you may know:
    170104-1738-21d2c69ba62ffbf1.jpg Capture111111231.PNG
    The building on the left still exists, just as the running track and the catholic church in the background.
  17. sgbeuip

    sgbeuip Member

    Vierter April - Dorfgemeinschaft Aktives Alt-Espelkamp

    German perspective of the day:
    (That's where i got the pic of the tank)

    "In the afternoon hours of April 4th our community was liberated by an Allied Battalion with tanks from the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment and infantrymen from the 4th King's Shropshire Light Infantry Regiment (8th Army Corps of the 2nd British Army).

    After the noise of battle was already heard in the midday hours from the direction of Levern, the British armoured forces rolled up the Osnabrücker Straße coming from Varlheide at about 4 pm. At that time Rahden was defended by an air force replacement battalion - they were armed with hand guns, machine guns and a few bazookas, some of them very young infantrymen, as well as some scattered Wehrmacht soldiers, and a few armoured vehicles, among them four Tiger tanks with their crews of one of the tank battalions of the 1st SS Panzer Division "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler". At 16.20 o'clock, according to the war diary of the 3rd RTR, gunfire is reported against the approaching British forces from the direction of Rahden (soldiers had dug in at the Hohenfelde/Bückendorf estate). Already in the open terrain the British battle tanks in the Sudriede and Im Fang were fought by infantry fire from positions in individual buildings. These buildings were immediately taken under fire by single advancing tanks. The estates of Kolbus, Bödecker, Kropp, Kaufmann and Tirren-Brettholle were in flames and partly destroyed. In Fang, near the Rose farm, one of the German Tiger tanks met its fate. It was hit and burnt out (long after the end of the war the wreck stood in the same place). The German forces were captured or set off in the direction of Bohn and the rear area. Afterwards, more Allied tanks with infantry on board cleared up in the course of the Lübbecker Straße in the southern half of Rahden and the battle continued, following the retreating German soldiers, into Rahden. A part of the 3rd RTR/4th KSLI Battlegroup was able to avoid Rahden without threatening its left flank south through the community of Espelkamp and advanced towards Tonnenheide. At 7.10 p.m., according to KTB, British reconnaissance forces were marched south to Espelkamp to explore the Mittwald forest there, but returned soon after. The Volkssturm, which was also supposed to be deployed in Espelkamp with anti-tank obstacles, did not get a chance at all. The men just stayed at home when they were called, which was certainly the best and wisest thought. Thus the fighting in Rahden and our rural community of Espelkamp, which was only directly affected in the northern area, came to an end on the evening of April 4. In the following days the Muna was also occupied. In the post-war years, initially called Espelkamp-Mittwald, it became the new town of Espelkamp. The old rural municipality Espelkamp was henceforth called Espelkamp-Altgemeinde (Old Espelkamp)."
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  18. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    I’m intrigued by the Tiger tanks, allegedly belonging to 1. SS-Panzerdivision. Notwithstanding the photograph being of a Panther, I have reservations about the Tigers. For this area and time, four Tigers would have represented a significant force yet they are unmentioned by either 3 RTR or 4 KSLI. Also, at this stage 1. SS-Panzerdivision was involved in Hungary, or withdrawing to Austria, and I am not aware of any elements of the division being in NW Germany. The only Tiger actions that I know about in the area are the counter-attack near Paderborn by the so-called Panzergruppe Paderborn, which took place 1 - 4 April, and the counter-attack on the Weser by Kampfgruppe Schulze 6 April.

    The destroyed Tiger at Fang and the mention of it being there long after the war is puzzling.
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  19. sgbeuip

    sgbeuip Member

  20. sgbeuip

    sgbeuip Member

    Addition to previous post: LAH Panther losses part 2, Aug.44

    "For sure Panthers were recovered, it does seem that at least 4 or 5 Panthers from Normandy survived and were used as training tanks at Rahden in Germany during the Autumn of 1944, wether these Panthers were long term repair jobs or managed to escape Normandy I can't say 100%, but SS-Pz.Rgt 1 did lose a lot of its tanks during July-August 1944."

    It's at least a hint.

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