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Unit Name
Grenadier-Ersatz- und Ausbildungs-Bataillon (motorisiert) 60
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Commander (s)
Hauptmann Otto Schörken
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Estimated Strength
4 Infantry Companies
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Strength 28.09.44 : 13 Offr/52 NCOs/ 1090 soldiers
Date committed to Battle
21st September 1944
Hauptmann Otto Schörken
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Grenadier-Ersatz- und Ausbildungs-Bataillon (motorisiert) 60 was another training and replacement battalion sent from Germany to Arnhem in response to the emergency of Allied Parachute and Glider landings across Holland. The Battalion was responsible for the training and replacement of soldiers on behalf of their parent division; 116th Panzer Division. The battalion was under command of a Hauptmann Otto Schörken and was based in Rheine, Germany.

The battalion was told on the 19th September 1944 to move to Arnhem to assist in destroying the 1st British Airborne Division currently fighting in and around the city. It was over 1000 men strong which was broken into 4 infantry companies. Most of the men were trainees which had less than 6 weeks training. However the companies did have the odd veteran scattered throughout the companies to provide guidance to the young green soldiers.

The battalion moved out on the evening of the 19th but took two days to get to Arnhem. This was due to rail networks and roads being under constant allied bombardment and over watch that the battalion had to move by night. It arrived on the morning of the 21st September and was ordered immediately south across the recent recaptured of the Arnhem Bridge from the British Forces fighting there. The battalion was to be part of the Sperverband 'Harzer', a defensive blocking line, made up of any available units not currently fighting in Oosterbeek.

The defensive line was initially setup with the intent of holding the Allied advance from the south. The battalion took up initial position in Elden. However due to the Polish airborne drop at Driel on the afternoon of the 21st September, the line with extended to included the railway embankment which ran North South from the blown railway bridge. Grenadier-Ersatz- und Ausbildungs-Bataillon (motorisiert) 60 was moved from Elden to the railway embankment. During the advance, one of the companies came into contact with a Polish Patrol and they captured a Polish Officer Cadet. By nightfall they had moved into their new position. Their area of responsibility was the northern part of the railway embankment where the battalion flanked the Rhine in the north and a Fortress Machine Gun Battalion to their south.

A photo, taken by a Dutch SS Kriegsberichter - SS PK Reinsberg, of a German Mortar crew most likely belonging to Grenadier-Ersatz- und Ausbildungs-Bataillon (motorisiert) 60. It could be engaging Polish positions in the Betuwe in late September 1944.

On the 24th September 1944 the Allies attacked the railway embankment in the Grenadier-Ersatz- und Ausbildungs-Bataillon (motorisiert) 60 sector. The Germans lost the ground and had to withdrawal due to an enemy tank supporting the enemy infantry. A counter attack was organised which was to be led by the 2nd Company with the objective of retaking their old position. In support they had a Forward Observation Officer from a Flak unit that would provide artillery fire. Just moments before the attack, a German Assault Gun appeared which would also support the attack. Whilst the German Assault Gun concentrated on the enemy tank, the Grenadier-Ersatz- und Ausbildungs-Bataillon (motorisiert) 60 advanced behind a wall of artillery fire. However the enemy had dug themselves in on the embankment and the attack stalled. The FOO ordered his unit to change ammunition to air-burst and all of a sudden shells exploded above the enemy trenches. The attack continued and within minutes the Grenadier-Ersatz- und Ausbildungs-Bataillon (motorisiert) 60 had retaken their old positions.

On the 27th September 1944 the battalion was moved into reserve just south of Arnhem and replaced by a Naval Battalion. Whilst historically the Battle of Arnhem was over, the battalion continued to fight in the Betuwe until October. On the 7th October 1944, nearly half the battalion (600 men) were incorporated into the Grenadier Regiments of the 116th Panzer division whilst the remainder went to the divisional Armoured Field Replacement Battalion 146 located east of Düsseldorf. Hauptmann Otto Schörken was also posted to this unit to head up the Divisional NCO training school.



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