Fallschirmjager cavendish road 19 Mar 1944

Discussion in 'Italy' started by Barney7131, May 17, 2018.

  1. Barney7131

    Barney7131 New Member


    First ever post!

    I am trying to research the actions of a German Paratrooper unit (11th Regt) at Cavendish Road on the 19th Mar 1944. I am struggling with exactly what happened and the structure of the unit, I’ve been all over google but keep getting inconsistencies. If anyone can point me in the right direction I would be most grateful. The full name of the unit was the 11/4 Fallschrimjager Regt I guess that was 11th Regt of the 4th Division?
    HA96 likes this.
  2. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    If you follow the British system that would be 11th Battalion 4 Para Regt.

  3. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    I think that the German would have been ‘II./Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 4’ denoting the second battalion of the 4th Regiment.
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  4. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    It is probably 11./ FJR 4 - 11th company, Fallschirmjager Regiment 4. 11th company would have been part of the 3rd battalion. However, if he was an officer in the battalion staff his unit could be recorded as II./ FJR 4 as already mentioned.
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  5. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    A quick check in Cassino Then and Now shows that 11./ FJR was at Massa Albaneta on 19th March, with III./ HQ at Albaneta farm.
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  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  7. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    I would have to see the documentation but the companies are referenced by Arabic numerals and as the OP refers to an individual I would think it is more likely it is 11./ FJR 4. In personal documents this is how his attachment would have been recorded - look in any soldbuch or wehrpass to see or award documentation.

    II./ FJR 4 would have consisted of 5./FJR 4, 6./FJR 4, 7./FJR 4 and 8./ FJR 4. Regimental assets were referred to by kompanie I.e. 13./ FJR 4 and 14./ FJR 4 (infantry gun and anti tank companies respectively).

    At a regimental level you see Stabskomp./ FJR 4 (regimental staff company - equivalent to Brigade HQ). You will sometimes see Nachr. Zug./ FJR 4 or Pionier Zug./ FJR 4 (signals platon, engineer platoon although these are strictly part of the Stabskompanie.

    On personal documents you will see the battalion referenced (i.e. II./ FJR 4) usually only if the man is a battalion staff officer or a company commander. You may also see it if an enlisted man is an amber of battalion staff although this is more often seen as Stab./ FJR 4.
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  8. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    So a German Parachute Regiment is equivalent to a British Parachute Brigade. I'm not sure how reliable this gaming site is? According to them it was the "III Battalion, Fallschirmjäger Regiment 4" of the 1st Parachute Division (1. Fallschirmjäger Division) that were involved in the March 19th action on the Cavendish Road

    The Cavendish Road Tank Attack - Flames of War

    Regards ...
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  9. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    That site is correct. A German regiment was operationally the equivalent as a British Brigade or an American Regiment.

    The HQ of III./ FJR were located in Albaneta Farm and 11./ FJR 4 were part of the third battalion (9,10,11,12 kps). That matches with what has been discussed above.
  10. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    Just to be clear, I know nothing about the Cavendish Road action and didn’t mean to suggest that the second battalion participated. The widespread use of sans serif fonts can lead to confusion between Arabic and Roman numerals and I thought that this might have been where the OP’s confusion arose. I think that Gary’s post #7 explains the nomenclature well.
  11. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Checked out the site and they seem to have most of the detail right although I am not aware that bulldozers were ever part of the ad hoc force.

    The place to check is a book by the Kiwi author Ron Crosby. He wrote The Lost Opportunity which looked in great detail at how this diversionary attack around the back of the monastery was planned and executed.


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  12. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Fallchirmjäger Regiment 4 (FJR 4) (1st February 1944)
    Nachrichten Zug
    Kradschützen Zug
    Pionier Zug

    ! FJR 4 (Beyer)
    1-3 Jäger Kompanien
    4 Fallschirm-MG-Kompanie

    II FJR 4 (Hübner)

    5-7 Jäger Kompanien
    8 Fallschirm-MG-Kompanie

    III FJR 4 (Maier)
    9-11 Jäger Kompanien
    12 Fallschirm-MG-Kompanie

    13 Infanteriegeschütz Kompanie

    14 Panzerjäger Kompanie

    Nachschubkolonne (mot)

    (German Airborne Divisions : Mediterranean Theatre 1942-45 Bruce Quarrie Osprey Publishing)
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  13. Barney7131

    Barney7131 New Member

    Thanks for all the input, I am going to Cassio for a battle field tour next week and have to complete a study on the battle, seems the allies got a real bloody nose!
  14. Barney7131

    Barney7131 New Member

    Does that scale continue you up and down? i.e in that case is a German company the size of a Battalion? roughly how many soldiers would have been at the action on the 19 Mar 1944?

  15. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    No, a German Company would be analogous to a British or US Company. Roughly speaking the progression for German, British and US infantry units and formations, from smallest to Division, is;

    German infantry; Gruppe, Zug, Kompanie, Bataillon, Regiment, Division.
    British/Commonwealth Infantry is; Section, Platoon, Company, Battalion, Brigade, Division.
    US Infantry is; Squad, Platoon, Company, Battalion, Regiment, Division.

    Variations in nomenclature for armoured and artillery units is not considered in the above!

    There's very little left on authorised strengths for German Parachute units. The May 1944 Battalion was;

    Battalion HQ (including Signals and Train) - 138 all ranks
    MG Company - 205 all ranks
    Three Rifle Companies, each - 170 all ranks
    Total, Battalion - 853 all ranks

    That's for a full strength unit. After the attrition of an extended period in the line a Company of any type could easily be 40-50 men.


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