Kampfgruppe Walther and Panzerbrigade 107
Writers: Jack Didden en Maarten Swarts
This book tells the story of Kampfgruppe Walther and Panzerbrigade 107. We have managed to unearth much new material on this relatively unknown battle group. The battle froup first saw action on 11 September 1944 after the British Guards Division captured the bridge at Lommel/Neerpelt, nicknamed Joe’s Bridge. In a bid to first annihilate the bridgehead and then block any further Allied advance an improvised battle group was formed under Fallschirmjäger colonel Erich Walther. The group eventually consisted of soldiers from all services, Fallschirmjäger; Luftwaffe, regular army and SS. This book tells the story day by day. After the failed counterattack at Neerpelt Kampfgruppe Walther fought against the Americans and British during Operation Market Garden. From early October it was engaged in a series of bloody battles in the Peel marshes before Walther relinquished command and the eponymous battle group ceased to exist. During its brief period of existence it fought the US 101st Airborne Division, the US 7th Armoured Division, the British 3rd Division and the Guards and 11th Armoured Divisions. All of the engagements are dealt with from both sides and in minute detail. The story culminates in the Battle for Overloon. Here some of the toughest fighting since Normandy took place and Allied and German casualties were horrendous. We have found that the existing literature about this period is at best incomplete and at worst false. Some of the key questions that are answered are: where was the first tank engagement in the Netherlands in 1944? Why did Panzerbrigade 107 fail to take Son and Veghel? What was the impact on Market Garden? Why did the Second Tactival Air Force not intervene? Over 450 pictures, most of them never published before, documents and full-colour maps illustrate the text.
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