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August 1944

Page Created
November 15th, 2022
Last Updated
July 13th, 2024
Special Forces Operations in August 1944
August 24th, 1944 – September 1st, 1944
Brandenburg Relief of Bucharest
In August 1944, an operation involving two companies from Fallschirmjäger-Battalion Brandenburg and two companies from Brandenburg’s 3rd Regiment aims to execute the “Relief of Bucharest” in Romania. The primary objective is to rescue two generals and their troops surrounded by pro-Soviet Romanian forces in the city.

On August 24th, 1944, the operation begins with Brandenburg Fallschirmjäger capturing Bucharest’s Otopeni Airport around midday. They hold the airport until 19:00, allowing additional soldiers to arrive by Me 323 Gigant aircraft. By 21:00, the airport and encircled German Headquarters are under German control. Negotiations with some Romanian factions still loyal to the Germans result in assurances of safe passage to the Yugoslav border for German forces in and around Bucharest.

On September 1st, 1944, the cooperation unravels as the departing German column, guarded by Brandenburg forces, is betrayed by the Romanians and handed over to the Soviets. Only a few, if any, Brandenburg soldiers survive Soviet captivity. The operation’s outcome significantly reduces the strength of Fallschirmjäger-Battalion Brandenburg, cutting its Order of Battle by half.
August 25th, 1944 – August 26th, 1944
Operation Rumford
No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando
Operation Rumford. Five men Belgian No. 4 Troop of No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando under command of Lieutenant W. Dauppe, Hunt class destroyer H.M.S. Albrighton. Their mission is to capture the Isle of Yeu, France.

The assault force is taken to the Isle of Yeu by the H.M.S. Albrighton under command of Lieutenant J.J.S. Hooker. Lance-Corporal Legand lands the party ashore. After interrogating a local, the assault force finds out that the Germans have abandoned the isle taking their battery of 75 mm guns with them.
On the return journey HMS Albrighton intercepts and captures two trawlers carrying 22 Germans who claim to have murdered their officers and are fleeing to Spain. The Germans were taken prisoner and trawlers sunk by the H.M.S. Albrighton.

August 31st, 1944 – October 1st, 1944
Unternehmen Landfried
SS-Jäger-Bataillon 502
Unternehmen Landfried. Three troops of twenty-five men of SS-Jäger-Bataillon 502 under command of SS-Obersturmführer Walter Girg. Their mission is to distribute weapons among civilians and establish a defensive line between Temesburg and Kronstadt to stop the Russian and Romanian advance. However, the equipment is defective, and the situation on the ground changes, rendering the original mission impossible.

Girg arranges a new mission with his men and recruits German Romanians from SS-Frontleitstelle Vienna. They fly to Neuburg and meet with SS-General Pfleps, who approves their plans. The mission involves three reconnaissance and sabotage groups operating in different areas. They are to avoid direct contact with the enemy, gather intelligence from the population, and report via wireless telegraphy (W/T).

Each group is equipped with uniforms resembling Allied paratroopers and carries essential supplies, including weapons, explosives, maps, and rations. They cross the Hungarian border without encountering enemy units and march towards their designated areas. Girg’s group faces a skirmish with a Russian unit but manages to escape. They observe the Russian army’s advance and mark it on their maps.

Later, they travel by train toward the front near Schaerszburg and move close to the Russian columns. They arrive in Nades, a Romanian depot, and pose as Romanian stragglers. However, their true identity is discovered, and they are captured by the Russians. Girg escapes but sustains injuries. He reports to the German lines, providing valuable intelligence about the Russian intentions.

Another group, the Eastern troop, successfully rescues stranded German soldiers and destroys the water mains in Kronstadt. The West troop gathers reconnaissance information in the Klausburg area. Throughout the mission, the casualty rate is around 40%.
Some of the mission’s men, previously left behind in Romania, join a W/T intelligence group operating in the region in March 1945. They had been declared missing in action since October 1944.