Thursday, February 19, 2015
Festungs Schneidemühl redux
The battle for Schneidemühl began on 10 February when 1st Belorussian Front launched a powerful drive through eastern Pomerania toward the Baltic. Schneidemühl was astride the east-west and north-south lines of communication and had to be quickly taken. By 14 February the majority of the garrison had been overrun and destroyed, although a few small pockets held out until 17 February. “Festung” Schneidemühl fell after only a few days of fighting because the garrison consisted of overage and poorly equipped emergency units and school troops who were expected to hold out against an assault by a vastly superior force of combat-hardened Soviet tank units and accompanying infantry. German losses were high but I have never seen a listing of the numbers.
I do not believe there are any detailed English language accounts of the defense of Schneidemühl, but there are several in German and Russian
Festung Schneidemühl (per Tessin)
The Festungs-Kommandant was established on 12.10.1944. By 25.1.1945, the existing 4 Gneisenau-, 2 Alarm-, and 2 Volkssturm-Battalions were organized; and were then used to create the following units as part of the 11th Army on 8.2.1945:
Regiment Mentz I-II.
Regiment Bonin I-IV.
Regiment Möring I-II.,
Compare with the units mentioned by author Murawski in "Die Eroberung Pommerns":
4 Stellungs-Regiments: Bonin, Obermeier, Schwarzmeier and Sann.
Engaged according to the FpU:
Festungs-MG-Abteilung Schneidemühl I
Festungs-MG-Abteilung Schneidemühl II.
Also engaged (according to Murawski):
Bataillon (Heeresunteroffizierschulen) Kolberg, Eutin, Treptow
Bataillon Belgard, Anklam, Schneidemühl, Hannover, Feldherrnhalle
Marine-Bataillon (23. Schiffs-Stamm Abteilung) Deutsch - Krone
I./Artillerie-Lehr-Regiment 5 (Groß-Born)
Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung Graf Dohna (Wespe, Hummel).