Reichswald Riddle: Tactical Sign?

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by stolpi, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Found this rare picture of General Crerar in a Jeep on the internet. Bedee has already located the spot (Reichswald near Cleve).

    Does anyone know what the tactical sign on the wall of the house is? (could it be German)

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  2. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Only a guess but looks like a Parachute with FR so guessing Fallschirmjager?
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  3. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Hi Jonathan. Yes, it could be a German sign.

    Guy Hudson likes this.
  4. Bedee

    Bedee Well-Known Member

    A bit background about the German situation before February 1945,
    During the period 1944 - 1945 Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 16 and 21 and some others where in the area of Kleve, most of them East / South of Kleve.

    The 84 Infanterie-Division (8000 - 10000) was active in this area since September October 1944 recovering after Falaise, later supported By 2nd Fallschirmjäger-Regiment in this area.

    Lexikon der Wehrmacht - Fallschirm-Jäger-Regiment

    And here the LOGO of the 2. Fallschirmjäger-Division, so it makes sence. Maybe combination of lines. Maybe someone has another picture to proof.
    In the official documents, we cannot find this symbol.....
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
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  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The sign is metric and with Jonathan's comment I would say it is German.
  6. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    We've (or rather Bedee did) traced the location of the image: Donsbrüggen hard east of Cleve.

    The Jeep turns off from the main road to Cleve into a small sidelane, locally known as Schlucht. There is now a bus-stop at the spot where the truck was parked. The house on the corner (in the red circle) still exists; the tactical sign is German and probably is from a German Fallschirmjäger mortar unit that occupied the area in the fall of 1944. The mortar unit's HQ must have been established in the old farm at Schlucht no. 7. which is located some 50 meters from the main road near the forest's edge (photos courtesy Bedee)

    Donsbruggen a.jpg
    The house at the corner has not changed much in appearance, except for the plaster that has been removed.

    Donsbruggen b.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  7. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    My ancient copy of Theodor Hartmann's Wehrmacht Divisional Signs 1938-45 (Altmark Publishing 1970) would confirm that the sign belongs to 2. Fallschirmjaeger-Division, with the 'R' indicating Ramcke, the divisional commander (still used in the sign despite his being captured in Brest the previous September).
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  8. Bedee

    Bedee Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  9. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    One question remains: who was Crerar visiting here at Donsbrüggen ... the small road is a dead end. There must have been some kind of HQ unit over there ... and I assume it was Allied; the German Werfer unit HQ would already have vacated the area by then.

    Does anyone recognize the officer standing in the roadside next to the Jeep.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  10. Bedee

    Bedee Well-Known Member

    Looking at the winter jackets, my suggestion would be Canadian Generals. Brigade and up.
    Maybe you will find him in this document Canadian Generals during WWII
    stolpi likes this.
  11. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    3. LGen-Guy-Simonds--FM-Bernard-Montgomery--and-Gen-Henry-Crerar.jpg
    .... I sometimes wonder if this photograph somehow is related to the previous one.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
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