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Unit Name
'Wossowski Battalion' - Hermann Göring Training and Replacement Regiment
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Commander (s)
Oberleutnant Artur Wossowski (21.09.44†)
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Leutnant Niedermeyer
Estimated Strength
4 Infantry Companies (est. 600 men )
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Date committed to Battle
21st September 1944
Oberleutnant Artur Wossowski
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The Hermann Göring (HG) Training and Replacement Regiment was stationed in Holland and had the sole responsibility to feed trained replacements to its parent division - the Hermann Göring Parachute - Panzer Division. The HG Training and Replacement Regiment received a new commander on the 26th August 1944 as the Westfront was collapsing in France - Oberst Fritz Fullriede. Already a recipient of the Knights Cross from his time as a Kampfgruppe Commander in 5th Panzer Army in Africa he had seen action in Holland, France, Russia and Africa before taking command of this Regiment in August 1944.

Oberst Fritz Wilhelm Hermann Fullriede - Commander Hermann Göring (HG) Training and Replacement Regiment

The HG Training and Replacement Regiment was 12000 strong in August 1944 which was the equivalent size of a division. It has 3 battalions with specific training functions, a NCO Training Company as well as a number of Combat Groups (battalion size) who were responsible for coastal security. The Regiment and its functions according to Fullriede's post war report looked like this:

HG Training and Replacement Regiment - Strength 12000 men

I Battalion (1st - 5th Companies) - Responsible for training Infantry (Grenadier).

II Battalion (6th - 11th Companies) - Responsible for training Panzer, Panzer-Grenadier, Self-Propelled Artillery & Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Guns.

III Battalion (12th - 16th Batteries) - Responsible for training Flak and Artillery, Pioneer Company

29th NCO Training Company - Responsible for training NCOs.

Coastal Defense - Security duties

Battle Group Schlutius - (Unknown Unit Size)

Wossowski Battalion

Cherinow Battalion

Sommer Battalion

With the formation of the 1st Parachute Army under Generaloberst Student, the HG Training and Replacement Regiment came under its command on the 3rd of September. Unfortunately, and with protests from Oberst Fullriede, the unit did not fight as a Regiment but in piecemeal in various parts of Southern Holland.

As early as the 10th of September, elements of the Regiment were committed against the Allied advance in Southern Holland. However it was not until the true extend of the allied Parachute landings of 'Market Garden' was understood did the Regiment have to commit some of the Coastal Defence Battalions.

On orders of the Parachute Army HQ on the 18th September 1944, the Wossowski Battalion was withdrawn from Katwijk aan Zee on the coast and committed to Arnhem to combat against the British 1st Airborne Division. The battalion numbered around 600 men and was commanded by a Flak Officer Oberleutnant Artur Wossowski. The Battalion was serious lacking in transport and would make the journey to Arnhem on Bicycle. For fear of allied air attack the battalion initially moved by night but the urgency of the situation dictated they get to Arnhem as fast as possible.

The Battalion was placed under command of Kampfgruppe von Tettau and spend the night of the 19th on the Ede - Arnhem Road preparing for the next day's events. Ammunition and Weapons were prepared for the upcoming battle. The Wossowski Battalion was ordered on the 20th to clear a section of woods near Ginkel Heath which was suspected of holding enemy pockets of resistance. However they found nothing except the aftermath of the previous days battle. The battalion remounted their bicycles and moved along the Ede - Arnhem Road to Wolfheze.

By now Field Marshall Model has ordered all units fighting the 1st Airborne Division in the pocket at Oosterbeek to come under command of the 9th SS Panzer Division. The order of the next day was to concentrate all attacks on the pocket and eliminate the resistance as quickly as possible. The Wossowski Battalion was to be fed into the line and be part of the concentrated attacks of the 21st September 1944.

H Hour was set for 0800 on the 21st September 1944 and the Wossowski Battalion moved into position. It was clear the Battalion had no clear objectives but to find, engage and eliminate the enemy. During the form up one of the companies was hit in the flank by Machine Gun fire hitting the Grenadiers on their bicycles. This triggered the attack.

The Machine Gun fire came from B Company, 1st Borders who were defending the Westerbouwing Heights, a feature that overlooked the Driel Ferry. The whole Battalion attacked with support from Panzer Company 224. The 1st Borders opened up with everything they had inflicting very heavy causalities but the Wossowski Battalion still managed to overrun the forward position and the Westerbouwing Restaurant. The Battalion managed to drive the survivors from B Coy right off the hill. The 4 Renault tanks in  support advanced after the Borders heading towards the crossroads further to the East. However 3 were knocked out in quick succession by PIATs which halted the German attack.

The Company Commander of B Coy, 1st Borders rallied what was left of his troops in a counter-attack against the heights. The Germans returned with heavy fire causing further causalities. The British Company commander was wounded and captured, his company Sergeant-Major was killed as well as 2 platoon commanders. The Airborne company ceased to exist as a fighting force and the heights were still in German Hands.

However the success of the German attack also came at a high price for the Wossowski Battalion. By the end of the day, the Battalion commander (Wossowski) and all bar one of the company commanders were killed. Half of the battalion was either killed, wounded or captured.

 

 

Leutnant Felix Kozlowski (21.09.44†) - Company Commander

Leutnant Felix Kozlowski was born in March 1914 in Germany. He joined the Luftwaffe and was with Fliegerhorstkommandantur Langendiebach, Fliegerhorst Kompanie at the outbreak of the War. He was posted to Fliegerhorst Kompanie Gießen were he remained for the next 3 years. He was then posted to the Division 'Hermann Göring' on the 20.08.1943. Until Arnhem, it is unknown what duties Felix Kozlowski performed with this division but due to the lack of combat experience it is assumed it was a training role. However it is known from his photograph that he was awarded at least the Iron Cross 2nd Class.

Felix Kozlowski was killed in action, along with the Battalion Commander during the attack against B Company, 1st Borders who were defending the Westerbouwing Heights on the 21st September 1944. Felix Kozlowski was posthumously promoted to Oberleutnant and is buried at the German Military Cemetery in Ysselstein, Holland (Block: TB, Row: 1, Grave Number: 2).

 


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