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I discussed these with Oscar a little bit already and he was kind enough to identify some of the individuals whom I did not know for me. I would like to ask Oscar, Ian (or anyone else who knows) to comment in greater detail as to whom is recognizable and where, when, why these were taken. Thanks !!

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8

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9

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Thanks for posting the photos, Eric. As I told you, they are quite a rarity. In my opinion, they are taken on 12 May 1940, due to the lack of badges, EKs and RKs, mainly, but also because of the bandage on the chin of the FJ in photo 8: it´┐Żs a trace of a recent wound... It seems that they are crossing the border between Holland and Germany or, perhaps, entering in K´┐Żln barracks (difficult to say for sure...). We have to bear in mind that the men of Stab. Koch were awarded the EKII on that day; the day after, the EKI (at least for the members of Granit. As Ian does know,there are certificates of the EKI dated on 15 or 18 May...); The RK, 16 May.
As for my initial doubt, namely, the identity of the officer saluting on photo #4, I´┐Żm most convinced that he´┐Żs Olt. Kiess.
Best regards. ´┐Żscar

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Another interesting thing: isn´┐Żt the car registration number, photo 8, a Dutch one?

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Thanks again Oscar for the additional information. As you can imagine, I am quite pleased to have the photos of Lt.Ringler (sMG Halbzug "Ringler"). There is a nice historical connection here to the von der RUHR documents. In addtion to the Dutch registration, I think the Dutch/Belgian helmets displayed on the back of the car is an interesting touch as well. Wasn't Ernst Greschza wounded somewhere on the right side of his head/face? I wonder if he could be in the back of this car because he's too drunk to walk? A stetch I know, but for some reason that thought came to my mind.

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Hi again, Eric. I don´┐Żt think he´┐Żs Grechza. Although the latter was also wounded, his chin was "safe". Enclosed is a photo belonging to the photo report made after the fall of the fort. Grechza is the guy on the right (with he bandage). Eddi Schmidt, Trupp 4, appears too. Besides, the face of the FJ in the car looks older than Grechza´┐Żs one.
Regards. ´┐Żscar

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You're right, that is definately NOT him. I just remembered that his head was injured somehow, and for some reason was thinking it was his face/chin. Hmmm, this one may be a tought nut to crack.

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Oscar, any thoughts on this one? Looks to be taken near block 1. Interesting with the M35 helmet (perhaps 4/155) and the 2 Belgian helmets. Is there a way to determine which of the 6 this might be bassed on the location, the other graves, etc? Of course I am hoping against hope that it could possibly be HB, but I am never that lucky.

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Hi Eric. I´┐Żm inclined to say that it´┐Żs not Bloc I, either the area close to Baraquement Graindorge, where B´┐Żgle died. Those traps/obstacles weren´┐Żt on the plateau of the fort (although there is a silhouette on the background which looks like the AA position near that point...). The photo rings me a bell, I think I´┐Żve seen it taken from the front side.
Maybe we´┐Żre seeing the grave of Uffz. Max Maier, Trupp 2, who died trying to cross the Albert Kanal in Kanne... Difficult to say.
Regards. ´┐Żscar

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The reason I was hesitant to think this might be Baraquement Graindorge is that I would have expected to see 2 paratrooper graves (Unger as well as HB) If there is a real chance that this could be HB, then that would be amazing.

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Well, it's not much but the helmet on foto 9 is Belgium for sure, and not Dutch.

Cheers

HugovD

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Awesome photo's. Love to see these period pic's. Thanks for sharing Wink Cool

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quote:
Originally posted by Eric Queen:
The reason I was hesitant to think this might be Baraquement Graindorge is that I would have expected to see 2 paratrooper graves (Unger as well as HB) If there is a real chance that this could be HB, then that would be amazing.


Eric, I keep on trying to find out any clue...
The same photo appears in Lhoest´┐Żs book, captioned as "trois tombes ´┐Ż l´┐Żombre des coupoles explos´┐Żes (...)". In fact, there are remains of a false "coupole" close to the graves. The caption is quite plausible, because the fallen members of Granit during the fighting on the plateau were buried at the north side of the fort, where the false coupoles were located. However, as I commented before, the photo shows "odd traces" that have nothing to do with the north side of the fort... Those post/poles, by instance, weren´┐Żt located on the plateau.
On the other hand, there was another false cupole outside the fort (the so called "objective 32", near the Bloc O1 ("objective 34"). The Fallschirmj´┐Żger didn´┐Żt "focused on" these targets... Although the landscape of your photo seems to be more connected with this "outer" area (Bloc 01 together with the "objective 32"), in this case, the false cupola shouldn´┐Żt be destroyed (as Lhoest´┐Żs book shows... In fact, it can be seen undamaged at the Bloc 1 today).
In short, I think that the graves are not located on the plateau, but in a rather accesible place (the presence of the posts and civilians may support this hypothesis). It´┐Żs likely that the place is Kanne or the outer side of the fort...
Best regards. ´┐Żscar

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Thanks Oscar. Any guesses at all as to whose grave this could be if it were indeed taken outside the fort near objective 32? How many of the 6 were killed in close proximity to each other like B´┐Żgle and Unger? Would you concur that you would expect to see 2 paratrooper graves near Baraquement Graindorge or would this not necessarily be the case? I guess we will never know for sure.

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Hello Eric,

These photographs are simply outstanding! Thank you very much for sharing them with us.

Photographs Nos. 1 an 2: Looking from left to right we can see Hauptmann Walter Koch and Oberleutnant Rudolf Witzig.

Photograph No. 3: Looking from left to right we can see Oberleutnant Rudolf Witzig, Hauptmann Walter Koch and Oberleutnant Gustav Altmann.

Photograph No. 4: Looking from left to right we can see Oberleutnant Otto Zierach, Obleutnant Gustav Altmann, Oberleutnant Rudolf Witzig, Hauptmann Walter Koch and Oberleutnant Walter Kiess.

Photographs No. 5: Looking from left to right we can see Hauptmann Walter Koch and Oberleutnant Rudolf Witzig.

Photographs Nos. 6 and 7 I believe show Leutnant Helmut Ringler.

More later,

Best wishes,

Ian

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Giday Eric,

My initial thoughts are that the photograph has nothing to do with Sturmgruppe Granit and the fall of Eben Emael.

It is my belief, based upon photographs I have seen, that the Fallschirmj´┐Żger of Sturmgruppe Eisen, including Oberj´┐Żger Max Maier (Truppe 2, Sturmgruppe Granit), were buried in a mass grave.

I have several photographs that show the graves of Falschirmj´┐Żger of Sturmgruppe Stahl. I believe that the eight fallen members of this group were buried in separae graves together in one row not far from the Veldwezelt bridge.

However, photographs that I have of the graves of Fallschirmj´┐Żger of Sturmgruppe Beton suggest that they were buried at or close to where they fell. For example, one photograph I have shows two graves close to the Vroenhoven bridge.

Bearing all of the above in mind, it is my guess that the photograph above shows the grave of one of the fallen Fallschirmj´┐Żger of Sturmgruppe Beton.

What do you think Oscar?

Best wishes,

Ian

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Giday everyone,

Oscar posted a photograph of Eddi Schmidt standing beside a wounded Fallschirmj´┐Żger of Sturmgruppe Granit. A copy of this same photograph can be found on page 37 of the book, "Fort Eben Emael", by Simon Dunstan.

Dunstan suggests that the wounded Fallschirmj´┐Żger is Ernst Grechza and that the bandages may be covering injuries that were inflicted by Wenzel's fists. However, as Dunstan states, there is no evidence that suggests that Grechza was wounded.

Bearing the above in mind, I am wondering whether the wounded Fallchirmj´┐Żger might be Franz Janowski, whose nose was injured by an exploding granade. In addition, I believe that it is possible Janowski may have also got something in one of his eyes, such as dirt or blood, and wherein his eyes were bandaged in order to keep them closed, (reminds me of when I had my nose brocken playing hockey). What do others think?

Best wishes,


Ian

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Hi Ian!
As for the graves, one thing seems to be clear: they are located outside the fort. The presence of the Heer soldier together with the Fallschirmj´┐Żger is a sign that they might belong both to Kanne and Vroenhoven. Furthermore, it´┐Żs very likely that the elevation on the right side of the photo is the border of the dith of the "Albert Kanal". As you point out, some Fallschirmj´┐Żger were buried close to the bridge in Vroenhoven (as far as I know, there were several close to the west bank, right to the south of the bridge...). It´┐Żs also known - as you say - that 7 of the 8 fallen in Veldwezelt were buried in a row, together with a Belgian soldier, at the west side of the channel near the "Nicolaes restaurant", blown by "Trupp Ellersiek". As we could discuss weeks ago, the other Fallschirmj´┐Żger casualty might well be Von der Ruhr (although killed in Hees...). The German war grave service made some faults in this regard; the case of Kanne is illustrative of it: it seems that every dead body found into the borders of the community of Kanne was reported as belonging to Vroenhoven. There was no community of Kanne for the official records! But this issue is another tale...
Let´┐Żs get to the point: The Belgian pression against the Fallschirmj´┐Żger holding Vroenhoven was very high. At 12:50, the first Heer units reinforced the bridge. At 18:30 the Belgian tried to destroy the bridge with artillery fire. Heer and Fallschirmj´┐Żger soldiers fighting hand to hand...
Regards. ´┐Żscar

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As for the identity of Grechza, you´┐Żre right, there is no official evidence of his wound. However the face of the man appearing with Schmidt has the features of Grechza´┐Żs one. In this regard, I can recall a photo sold by Eric in WAF. It depicted Grechza before the war (perhaps, Fr´┐Żdenthal in October 1938?), wearing the Heer uniform... I´┐Żve compared two of them and they have the same lips and nose. Of course, this method has evident limits, and is no a concluding proof.
Many Fallschirmj´┐Żger, at least amongst "Granit" team, were wounded as a consequence of the blasts, debris, etc... The bandage put while being still "in the fighting" - so to speak - may be too spectacular comparing with the real seriousness of the wound itself. In this regards, there is a photo in Lhoest´┐Żs book: it shows the members of Granit, lead by Witzig and Delica, going by Kanne through Maastricht. Although the photo has no good quality, some Fallschirmj´┐Żger can be clearly seen wearing bandages (Wenzel...)
Janowski can be seen in the famous photo taken in K´┐Żln right after the arrival from Eben Emael-Maastricht, on 12 May. His uniform and gear arrangement is quite different from the wounded FJ... Besides, I can find no similar look between them.
Best regards. ´┐Żscar

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Thanks again gentlemen for your imput. I may return this photo to the seller as I bought it under the assumption (based on the sellers description) that it was of the fort.

Here is another interesting one. "Belg. besatzung Fort Eben Emael wurden abgefuhrt" written on the reverse.

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hello

I don't now if you reconaise this picture, we see here the 5 graves from team "Granit".


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quote:
Originally posted by FEE2006:
hello

I don't now if you reconaise this picture, we see here the 5 graves from team "Granit".


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The helmet second from the right(when watching the picture) seems to me to be a Belgium helmet and not a FJ-one. I've enlarged the picture and am pritty sure it's a Belgium one.

Cheers

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They are Belgian graves, indeed. In fact, they were located at Bloc 1 (on the right side, facing Bloc 6).
Regards. ´┐Żscar

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what is the reason to put 5 Belgian graves at the entrance of the fort?
On 10 and 11 may there are 25 killed belgian soldiers and they are together with the German fallschirmjaegers buried in one massgrave in the proximity from Bloc V.

yves


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I'm allways willing to learn. And when we're talking Fallshirmjager even more willing. However, if you tell me that Belgium and German KIA were burried together in 1 massgrave. No way.

Maybe the German would have burried the Belgium KIA, maybe, because most of the time they didn't or had POW's put there killed buddys in grave's. That happened many time in Holland. But the Germans took good care of there own, and I've never heard they put there own in grave's with the other side. Never, ever.

So 25 Belgium KIA and german KIA in one grave.......
Cheers,


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