Wehrpass related to famous British raid

Discussion in 'WW2 Militaria' started by hucks216, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    As this is primarily a British & Commonwealth related site I don't tend to post much of my collection as I am a collector of German paperwork. However, as this example relates to the British I thought that I would share it.

    Just a little bit of background to the specific item - when a German registered for military service he would be issued a Wehrpass which he had to carry with him at all times. When he was actually called up in to the armed forces, at his training unit he would be issued a Soldbuch that was to be carried around instead and his Wehrpass would be handed in and kept at the Company or Battalion HQ. It would still follow him around from unit to unit but on a daily basis he wouldn't have it on his person.

    This Wehrpass belonged to Otto Fehse. He registered for military service at the recruiting office at Stendal on 21st April 1937. However, possibly due to his age or fitness levels he wasn't called up straight away but did begin military service in August 1939 but only served for a few months before being discharged. However by the end of 1940 he was recalled to serve and started to serve in the Landesschützen units, again possibly due to his age or fitness/medical status not being at the required levels for front line service.
    From early 1942 to late 1943 he served in Landesschützen-Btl's 746, 748 and Gren.Btl zbV 928, all three units being linked as one would be used to form the next. These units came under the command of the Military Commander in France and as with most Landesschützen units they would be used for internal security duties such as guarding military depots, railways and PoW Camps.
    It was while serving with Landesschützen-Btl 746 on 28th March 1942 that this soldier was caught up with one of the most famous raids of the war - Operation Chariot at St.Nazaire.

    As we know, the raid was a success but at a huge loss among the raiding Naval & Commando forces. In fact of the 622 men who set out on the raid only 228 managed to get back to the UK. But the objective of the raid was achieved and German casualties were in the region of 360 killed, most of them occurring when the charge exploded while the ship was swarming with Germans on the morning after the raid. For various actions during the raid 5 Victoria Crosses were won.

    It isn't often you see items to German troops caught up in the various raids, especially the well known ones, but there on Page 32 and dated for 28th March 1942 is the entry for the raid. It's impossible to say what Fehse's role was in the defense of St.Nazaire - maybe he fought against the Commando's, helped secure other areas of the port or rounded up PoW's but whatever his role if he was still in the vicinity of St.Nazaire the following day he would of heard the almighty explosion as the 4.25 tons of explosives that HMS Campbeltown carried blew up.

    FEHSE 002.jpg FEHSE 003.jpg FEHSE 007.jpg FEHSE 011b.jpg FEHSE 011c.jpg

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