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Royal
06-29-2004, 12:44 PM
The SS-Fallschirmjäger never fought in France. It is sometimes stated in histories of the French Resistance that SS paratroopers carried out a parachute assault in July 1944 against French partisan forces on the Vercors plateau in the French Alps where hundreds of partisans had created a stronghold from which they were mounting operations against the German occupiers. However, they were not Waffen-SS but Luftwaffe special forces from the secretive Kampfgeschwader 200. These para-trained commandos of II./KG 200 remain a little-known arm of Germany's WW2 parachute forces and were listed on II./KG 200's ORBAT as the 3rd Staffel.

CAG147 - can you substantiate this claim? I spent a year on attachment in the area and visited the site (and paraded at the annual memorial service). Every account I saw at the time claimed that the paratroopers were Waffen SS...

2RHPZ
06-29-2004, 02:13 PM
The SS-Fallschirmjäger never fought in France. It is sometimes stated in histories of the French Resistance that SS paratroopers carried out a parachute assault in July 1944 against French partisan forces on the Vercors plateau in the French Alps where hundreds of partisans had created a stronghold from which they were mounting operations against the German occupiers. However, they were not Waffen-SS but Luftwaffe special forces from the secretive Kampfgeschwader 200. These para-trained commandos of II./KG 200 remain a little-known arm of Germany's WW2 parachute forces and were listed on II./KG 200's ORBAT as the 3rd Staffel.

CAG147 - can you substantiate this claim? I spent a year on attachment in the area and visited the site (and paraded at the annual memorial service). Every account I saw at the time claimed that the paratroopers were Waffen SS...

Unfortunately I cannot. I quoted one German historian. I have called my friend recently, who is "a W-SS expert" and he would supports your point of view, although he is not 100% sure. I will work on it ... and maybe someone else contribute to this question ...

simple jumper
06-29-2004, 03:22 PM
I remember once seeing a picture of an SS officer with a para badge on his brest pocket...can anyone find one? I've been looking for a while for more proof they existed.

David Lehmann
06-29-2004, 04:43 PM
In June 1944 4,000 maquis members concentrated on the Vercors plateau in the foolish aim to held it like a fortified area. First a German Gebirgsdivision couldn't defeat them but then, end of July another assault with about 15,000 men, artillery support and the landing of gliders with soldiers from the Brandenburg division* defeated the defenders who had no supply and no support.
The French resistants had lost the desperate battle but mobilized important German forces. More than 600 French were killed and a little more than 100 Germans too. In reprisal, several villages (573 houses) have been burned, 200 civilians killed and 40 deported.

* In 1943, 180 French men formed the 8th company of the 3rd Regiment of the Brandenburg division. Often Engaged in Southern France, imitating resistants (with captured radios) they captured many equipments/weapons deliveries and proceeded to many arrests.
This company has also been engaged against the resistance in the Vercors battle. They organized the glider attack usually said as being a Waffen-SS attack but the French witnesses have probably taken the "Brandenburg" arm patch for a SS marking.

Regards,

David

2RHPZ
07-27-2004, 06:42 PM
Posted on Waffen-SS forum:


The SS Parachute Bn was larger than a Luftwaffe Para Bn, with almost 1100 men to the typical LW ORBAT of about 850 men. Roughly half the initial intake were disciplinary cases invited to volunteer to regain their honour on the battlefield, while many of the other volunteers were officers, NCOs and SS men who had problems of various kinds in their parent units. When initially formed in November 1943, SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 500 comprised:

Stab/SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 500 (HQ Coy)
Supply Coy
Motor Transport Pln
Signals Pln
Motorcycle Dispatch Section
Repair & Maintenance Pln
Parachute Equipment Maintenance Section
Legal Section (for handling the Disciplinary Soldiers)

1./SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 500
Rifle Pln
Rifle Pln
Rifle Pln
Signals Detachment

2./SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 500
Rifle Pln
Rifle Pln
Rifle Pln
Signals Detachment

3./SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 500
Rifle Pln
Rifle Pln
Rifle Pln
Signals Detachment

4. (schw)/SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 500 (4 (Heavy) Coy or “Support Coy”)
Heavy MG Pln (Four MGs)
Heavy Mortar Pln (Four 80mm mortars)
Light Artillery/Anti-Tank Pln (Four 75mm LG40s)
Flamethrower Pln

Feld-Ausbildungs-Kompanie (Field Training Coy)*

*Sometimes called Feld-Ausbildungs und Erstaz Kompanie

Each of the Rifle Platoons consisted of three rifle sections, three light MG detachments, three submachine-gun detachments and a mortar squad. What made the SS Para Bn different from its Luftwaffe counterparts was its totally self-contained, self-reliany nature. The SS Para Bn even had its very own training and replacement company. Where a Luftwaffe Para Bn HQ had 138 men on its ORBAT, the SS Para Bn had 267. Additionally, the SS Para Bn had over a hundred trucks and thirty motorcycles.

When reformed as SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 600 in November 1944, the Field Training & Replacement Company became the new 1st Coy. The new SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 600 came under the administrative control of Otto Skorzeny’s SS-Jagdverbände organisation at Friedenthal. During its eighteen months existence, an estimated 3500 men passed through the ranks of the SS Para Bn, which was all but annihilated four times, first at Drvar in May 1944 and then on the Eastern Front.