Battle for the Teutoburger Ridge, April 1945.

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by JonDodson, May 17, 2016.

  1. stefan-s

    stefan-s New Member

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    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  2. JonDodson

    JonDodson Member

    Hi folks,

    just to apologise for leaving you in the lurch like that. Life has been very demanding of me during the last 12 months and i just haven't had the time (or energy) to continue my research. All in all one extremely 'slippery pole'. However i seem to at least have managed to sort my affairs to an extent that i can now return to the more pleasureable side of things. So now that i've had a bit of a cry i think there's no need to dwell on the matter further :) .

    I went back to the woods for the the first time last week. There are signs that others have been there in the meantime. So if you happen to be reading this i'd just like to say, that i wish that you'd clean up the mess that you've left behind you... in the future. Cheers.

    ltdan: Oberstleutnant Hans-Peter Knaust was obviously a very capable leader and tactician. Although i was aware of his participation in the events surrounding Hopsten und Dreierwalde i never connected him to battle in Ibbenbüren. Very interesting that. Thankyou. Having said that i can't seem to disconnect this from the enormous loss of young lives that occured during these 3 - 5 days and have mixed feelings about awarding him praise. No disrespect to you of course.

    stefan-s: Would you care to expand on your posting?

    Okey-dokey, see you all soon.

    Jon.
     
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  3. JonDodson

    JonDodson Member

    Hi folks,

    P1. A poor photograph of a poor photograph taken in 2006 at the inauguration of a memorial plinth and plaque dedicated to the fallen, at the site of the largest allied temporary burial site in Birgte. There are several veterans and relatives of the fallen present.

    P2. Brian Poole (whose brother-in-law fell during the first attack on the ridge) and Raymond Griffiths (90 yrs), from l to r. This photo was taken in the summer of 2016 after we had cut back the bushes and had a general tidy-up. Raymond was, I believe, the photographer in the first photograph – or maybe he’s in it, I can’t tell. What I do know is that he paid for plinth and plaque and organized its being built and the inauguration ceremony.

    Text Doc. Birgte Cemetery Roll Of Honour.

    On the evening of the 31.03.1945 Raymond and another private were ordered to set up a listening post in forward positions on the edge of the woods, near the main road. They did so, lying in shallow scrapes, having been told that they would be relieved at some point during the night ( I believe after an hour or so). Four or more hours later they decided to return to their coy position near the quarry between the Birgte bridge and the woods only to find that their ‘relief’ had fallen asleep and that they in turn had been forgotten about. You can imagine how they reacted to that. On the day of the Herefords attack, Raymond was LOB and thus survived to fight another day. Brian’s brother-in-law wasn’t as lucky.

    Jon.

    The Roll of Honour was compiled by Brian so any queries or questions would really have to be answered by him. I cannot help on that score and quite frankly everytime i look at that list it completely overwhelms me.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
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  4. JonDodson

    JonDodson Member

    What a pleasant surprise! After having been in the woods all day, dotting some i's and crossing some t's, i thought i'd check on the state of things at the memorial plaque. To my amazement a new, fresh poppy wreath had been put in place, apparently by the Normandy Veterans Association. That must have been sometime this summer, presumeably in June (?). Is there a way of finding out who was responsible? I would very much like to get in touch with them. Raymond and Brian would have been thrilled. I must send them an e-mail with the picture. What an incredible coincidence.

    P.S. Went back today. Added another hook, re-wired and re-hung last years wreath, wired and hung the 'new' wreath. Sorted.
     

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  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    As an aside

    ltdan: Oberstleutnant Hans-Peter Knaust was obviously a very capable leader and tactician. Although i was aware of his participation in the events surrounding Hopsten und Dreierwalde i never connected him to battle in Ibbenbüren. Very interesting that. Thankyou. Having said that i can't seem to disconnect this from the enormous loss of young lives that occured during these 3 - 5 days and have mixed feelings about awarding him praise. No disrespect to you of course.

    From my recollections of talking to my late friend "BR"nearly 20 years ago,he told me that Knast who led a contingent of officer cadets in the engagement wished to join the 3rd Mons Regiment. Association.

    Apparently there was not much enthusiasm among the 3rd Mons veterans for this.
     
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  6. JonDodson

    JonDodson Member

    Harry Ree: Raymonds motto is: I live in freedom, tolerance is the only way. He's quite right, it's just not as easy as it sounds. Even tolerant people have to protect themselves from the, ahm, how should i put it, 'self-righteous'. Oh, and his name's Knaust, my dear fellow. The word 'knast' is the german colloquial word for prison. Bit of a Freudian-slip that one :) . I'm sure your late friend BR would have enjoyed that. Very much, don't mention the war.

    Jon.
     
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Jon,

    Not a Freudian slip I can assure you....merely a lack of proficient proof reading on my part.

    "B" said the officer cadets put up a stiff resistance and from what was said, Knaust's force was put together as an ad hoc force... probably similar to the performance of the officer cadets from the Saumur Cavalry School who held up the Germans from crossing the Loire for a couple of days in June 1940.

    From "B" I got the impression that he never forgot this experience and remembered well the young men from the Black Country who had been drafted into the 3rd Mons with him and fell within sight of the end of hostilities.....that's what combatants remember....some are open with their experiences and can record it......others can be silent with the past.
     
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  8. Matthew powell

    Matthew powell New Member

    Hello Jon
    My grandfather was S.R Nash who you mentioned above, he was the Bren gunner in the 3 mons and wounded before Ted chapman won the VC I will print the pictures off to show him he will be very pleased, his memory is still sharp as ever so if you have any questions I will gladly pass them on for you.
     
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  9. JonDodson

    JonDodson Member

    Hi Matthew,

    now that is great news. Give him my best regards! Of course, i have a ton of questions... the 'biggy' would be to establish an exact location for Ted Chapman VC's defensive stand. I'll send you a PM to see if we can establish a more direct means of communication. This is beyond my wildest dreams. Your grandfather IS a war hero.

    Have to get back to work now.

    Jon.
     
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  10. JonDodson

    JonDodson Member

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  11. Matthew powell

    Matthew powell New Member

    I’m sure he will be able to point you in the right direction, I know he said he pushed bullet casings into the ground in the shape of a crucifix after he was shot as he didn’t think he would make it back. He would love to go back and find the spot so maybe we will have to arrange something :)
     
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  12. HA96

    HA96 Member

    Jonathan,
    viel Glueck.
    When I was a school boy in Hannover in the early 195tees, Teutoburger Wald had a different meaning to me - Hermans Denkmal and German history only.
    My teacher for history just jumped from the Romans and Greeks, via WW1 to 1950.
    He still made me a very keen history freak.
    Stefan.

    Stefan.
     
  13. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member

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