Pionierkommandeur LXXXIX Armeekorps

(September 1942 - June 1944)

Activity report for the period September - December 1942

 

This staff section was given 3 main tasks:

  • establishing the basis for the execution of the Winterausbauprogramm, ordered by the Führer, in cooperation with the fortress engineers

  • speeding up the comencement of the fortification work by all possible means.

  • pushing the execution of the fortification work with all available forces

Permanent fortifications

 

On 1 September 1942 the following labour and material Schwerpunkte were determined: Middelburg  (KVA A1), Zeebrugge and Breskens (KVA A2) and Oostende (KVA A3)

On 6 October 1942, after several changes, a total of 1089 permanent bunkers (ständige Anlagen) were allocated to the corps: 609 for KVA A1 and 480 for KVA A2 (KVA A3 was at this point still part of the LXXXII Armeekorps)

On 22 November 1942 the number of bunkers was cut by more than 55% to 605 permanent bunkers for the corps area (including KVA A3). The allocated numbers were now as follows:

  • KVA A1: 245 bunkers

    • 120 bunkers for Arbeitsschwerpunkt Vlissingen

    • 125 bunkers for the freie Küste

  • KVA A2: 200 bunkers

    • 40 bunkers for Arbeitsschwerpunkt Breskens

    • 160 bunker for freie Küste

  • KVA A3: 160 bunkers

    • 60 bunkers for Arbeitsschwerpunkt Ostende

    • 100 bunkers for the freie Küste

However, on 16 December 1942 the numbers were again changed for KVA A1: 60 bunkers were transferred from the freie Küste to the Verteidigungsbereich Vlissingen. This new situation is reflected below:

  • KVA A1: 245 bunkers

    • 180 bunkers for Arbeitsschwerpunkt Vlissingen

    • 65 bunker for the freie Küste

  • KVA A2: 200 bunkers

    • 40 bunkers for Arbeitsschwerpunkt Breskens

    • 160 bunker for freie Küste

  • KVA A3: 160 bunkers

    • 60 bunkers for Arbeitsschwerpunkt Ostende

    • 100 bunkers for the freie Küste

The Winterausbauprogramm was to be completed on 1 May 1943.

On 25 December 1942 the following progress had been made:

Planned Under construction Finished
KVA A1 139 40 33
KVA A2 231 71 95
KVA A3 297 85 111

 

Panzerstützpunkte

 

On 2 October 1942 the first armoured parts arrived, as well as the order for the building of Panzerstützpunkte. The following strongpoints were given the status of Panzerstützpunkt: Stp Nettelbeck (in the Verteidigungsbereich Vlissingen) in KVA A1, Stp Breskens (in StpGr Breskens) and Stp Fischereihafen (in StpGr Zeebrügge) in KVA A2 and Stp Ostende (in StpGr Ostende) in KVA A3.

 

Field and reinforced field fortifications

 

The construction of these forifications was slowed down by the change in divisions in the coastal sectors and by supply shortages of building materials and material for the construction of obstacles.

The best progress was made in KVA A3. Officers of the other sectors visited the former sector to learn from the progress made.

On 30 December 1942 the following 5cm Kampfwagenkanone had been built in: 43 in KVA A1, 34 in KVA A2 and 30 in KVA A3.

 

Use of RAD troops

 

The RAD-units promised for the middle of March 1943 have been divided as follows:

  • KVA A1: 2 Gruppen with 12 Abteilungen

  • KVA A2: 1 Gruppe with 6 Abteilungen

  • KVA A3: 1 Gruppe with 6 Abteilungen

Mine-laying activities

 

When KVA A3 was taken over on 13 November 1942 only a single minefield had been laid in this sector.

On 29 December 1942 the following numbers of mines had been laid:

 

T-Minen S-Minen Behelsminen Panzerminen
KVA A1 4160 675 189 1916
KVA A2 1739 1699 1307 3244
KVA A3 396 and multiple minefields prepared

Pionierkommandeure

The following officers assumed the role of Pionierkommandeur in this period: Major Burghard (22/11 to 20/12/1942), Hauptmann Seyfert (20/12 to 23/1/1943) and Major Zimmermann (from 23/1/1943).

Activity report for the period January - April 1943

Permanent fortifications

In the first quarter of 1943 the Winterausbauprogramm was continued in conjunction with the Festungspionierstab 12. In this period the following amounts of concrete (m³) were poured and the following number of labourers committed:

KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 TOTAL
Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers
January 8248 3422 22031 4852 25613 5396 55892 13670
February 7730 3345 9542 4897 21002 5917 38274 14159
March 18774 6211 33834 3290 25701 5929 78309 15430
TOTAL 34752 4326
on average
65407 4346
on average
72316 5747
on average
172475 14419
on average

The decrease of m³ concrete poured in February was attributed to a supply shortage of gravel and cement.

For the permanent bunkers to be completed before 1 May 1943 the situation was the following:

Planned Under construction Finished
KVA A1 237 78 92
KVA A2 329 90 156
KVA A3 344 98 188

Also at the end of March the Festungspionierstab 12 had moved to Antwerp and now acted as adiviser and official organisation in charge of permanent fortification in the corps area.

Semi-permanent fortifications

The construction of semi-permanent fortifications was continued in this period. Until 25 April 1943 the situation was the following:

In use Under construction
KVA A1 1139 33
KVA A2 2056 37
KVA A3 492 11

The storm of 8 May 1943 was said to have caused considerable damage. Barbed wire defences had been washed away or compressed over many kilometrees. In aadition, single bunkers in the dunes had water infiltrate underneath them and had ended up on the beach. Meanwhile, the majority of the obstacles had been repaired and reinforced. Also, where possible, the dunes were reconstructed and concrete walls were to be constructed to protect constructions still at risk.

Mine-laying activities

Minefields in the sectors were considerably strengthened. The following numbers of mines had been laid:

T-Minen S-Minen Behelsminen Frz. Panzerminen Schützenminen
KVA A1 9006 2683 - 9357 4839
KVA A2 10795 3329 4587 11647 3917
KVA A3 2420 576 443 552 -

The bad results in KVA A3 were attibuted to the fact that the division did not possess an engineer battalion. The only unit available, 3/Reservepionierbattalion 4 did not suffice, all the more since it had had to give off 71 soldiers recently, as a result of which it had been very weakened.

Defensive flamethrowers

  KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3
Available 345 304 325
of which built in 218 203 175
Available 3-fold combat allocation 190 223 175

Bridges

In mid-April Pionierbataillin 165 had finished a 24t-ferry across the Walcheren Canal in Nieuw Abeele. Construction work was still continuing on an 24t- ship bridge, 1km northesat of Middelburg, completion of which was planned for mid-May.

Reserve bridges - wood

In order to be able to quickly repair bridgess destroyed or damaged by enemy action, a start had been made with storing reserve wooden beams near selected bridges. Thus far, the wood had only partially been delivered by the AOK 15.and no steel parts had yet arrived.

Stopping lines

The following stopping lines: 1) Terneuzen Canal - river Lys and 2) Schelde. Relevant documents had been transferred from the LXXXII AK in February, which had initiated these actions. For no 1 the plans had been drafted and troops from the 712 ID and the OFK Gent had been alllocated. As for no 2 plans were being drawn up at the time.

RAD

The RAD groups which had arrived at the beginning of March had been allocated as follows: KVA A1 (Gruppen XI/XIII), KVA A2 (Gruppe XIII), KVA A3 (Gruppe XVI).These grouips were subordinated to the Festungspionierabschnittsgruppe and available to the divisions only for the construction of field fortifications.

Pionierkommandeure

The engineer commander in this period was Major Zimmermann. The fact that only 1 officer was available was a subject of criticism expressed towards the higher headquarters. Since the administrative workload had greatly increased, only a few inspection trips had been possible.

Activity report for the period April - May 1943

Permanent fortifications

The construction programme was continued in cooperation with the Festungspionierstab 12. In April-May 1943 the following amounts of concrete (m³) were poured and the following number of labourers committed:

KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 TOTAL
Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers
April 31508 6366 43799 3550 40169 5830 115476 15746
May 18552 6155 22000 2969 31110 6798 71662 15922
TOTAL 50060 65799 71279 187138

The drop in activity in May was attributed to the prioritisation of earthing up and camouflaging existing constructions.

Semi-permanent and field fortifications

The construction was continued in this period.until 25 May 1943 the troops had done the following:

In use Under construction
KVA A1 1981 301
KVA A2 2970 121
KVA A3 503 10
Antwerpen 716 46

Mine-laying activities

Minefields in the sectors were considerably strengthened. The following numbers of mines had been laid until 29 May 1943:

  T-Minen S-Minen Schü-Minen Beh. Minen frz. Pz-M engl. Pz M holl. Pz M
KVA A1 11054 2701 12436 - 8832 - -
KVA A2 17127 3334 7172 4783 8865 2956 -
KVA A3 2564 576 759 443 441 - 552

Defensive flamethrowers

The installation of defensive flamethrowers made very good progress:

  KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3
Available 345 303 325
of which built in 336 303 199
Available 3-fold combat allocation 245 253 175

Bridges

The emergency bridge (Ausweichsbrücke) Main across the Walcheren Canal , +/- 1km northeast of Middelburg has been finished. It can carry weights up to 24t and is 4m wide.

Blocking lines (Sperrlinien)

The recce for the second blocking liine (Schelde) was concluded, while the drawing up of blocking plans was still in progress.

Pionierkommandeure

As a result of the complainet that only one officer was available (Major Zimmermann) Hauptmann Schmidt was allocated for a period of 4 months as Hilfsoffizier. The latter came from the Pionierersatzbataillon 86. Further, the 712 ID sent Hauptmann Polster to work on the blocking lines. Finally, Techn. Insp (Pi) Klotz was allocated to the 171 RD as administrator of the engineer park in Jabbeke and adviser for pionier equipment.

Activity report for June 1943


Permanent fortifications

The construction programme was continued in cooperation with the
Festungspionierstab 12. In June 1943 the following amounts of concrete (m³) were poured and the following number of labourers comitted:


  KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 TOTAL
  Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers
June 21198 5489 12186 2292 23632 4590 57016 12371

Semi-permanent and field fortifications

The construction was continued in this period..Until 25 June 1943 the troops had done the following:

In use Under construction
KVA A1 1962 254
KVA A2 3445 127
KVA A3 506 8
Antwerpen 741 41

Mine-laying activities

Minefields in the sectors were considerably strengthened. The following numbers of mines had been laid until 29 June 1943:

  T-Minen S-Minen Schü-Minen Beh. Minen frz. Pz-M engl. Pz M holl. Pz M
KVA A1 12430 2646 13649 - 8832 - -
KVA A2 19465 3514 10744 6811 8943 2995 -
KVA A3 2564 576 4175 443 441 - 552

Defensive flamethrowers

The installation of defensive flamethrowers made very good progress:

  KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3
Available 342 303 323
of which built in 333 303 265
Available 3-fold combat allocation 245 295 323

Locks

The repair activities to the two damaged locks of the port of Vlissingen, a result of the air attack on 13 June, are ongoing.

Training

On the request of the Abschnitt Antwerpen and for purposes of engineer training the road blocking obstacles of the sector will be put at the disposal of Hauptmann Schmidt for a period of 4 weeks (albeit for only four days a week). Further, personnel were sent to the Pionierbataillon 19 (L) to aid in the spreading of engineer-technical knowledge to this division. Finally, 13 men from the Pionierbataillon 712 were allocated to the Abschnitt Antwerpen for the constructuion of mine obstacles at the Stp Scheldetunnel
.

Inspection visits

In the period 1-3 June 1943 KVA A1/A2 were inspected by the Armeepionierführer, Oberst Ziebe and the Stopi.

In the period January to June 1943 the following permanent bunker numbers were built in the area of the LXXXIX Armeekorps:


Activity report for July 1943

Permanent fortifications

The construction programme was continued in cooperation with the Festungspionierstab 12. In July 1943 the following amounts of concrete (m³) were poured and the following number of labourers committed:


  KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 TOTAL
  Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers
July 19103 4319 7650 1684 15967 4225 42720 10228

Field fortifications

The construction was continued in this period..Until 25 July 1943 the troops had done the following:

Completed In use Under construction
KVA A1 2295 1679 218
KVA A2 3658 3640 145
KVA A3 619 589 5
Antwerpen 850 767 49

Minefields

Minefields in the sectors were considerably strengthened. The following numbers of mines had been laid until 29 July 1943:

  T-Minen S-Minen Schü-Minen Beh. Minen frz. Pz-M engl. Pz M holl. Pz M
KVA A1 12953 3082 13649 - 8452 - -
KVA A2 24294 3515 10915 11424 8949 2995 5
KVA A3 2753 576 5457 443 441 1310 552
Antwerpen 1000 - - - - - -

Defensive flamethrowers

The installation of defensive flamethrowers in July was as follows:

  KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3
Available 342 303 323
of which built in 333 303 323
Available 3-fold combat allocation 245 295 323

Locks

The temporary repair activities to the two damaged locks of the port of Vlissingen, a result of the air attack on 13 June, were finished and the locks could be used again for ships with a maximum width of 18 metres. Further repair work is impossible, due to the lack of requested spare parts and personnel.

Engineer-technical advice and support

At the request of the Abschnitt Antwerpen Hauptmann Schmidt was to be continue advising the Abschnitt on the use of roadblocks for a further 2 weeks (wthough with a maximum of three days/week) In addition, a company of the Pionierbataillon 80 was commandered to the 171 Reservedivision for mine-laying duties. However, this unit was pulled out together with the Reichsgrenadierdivision Hoch- und Deutschmeister on account of the latter division leaving the area.

Inspection visits

On 22 July 1943 the most important Seebauwwerke and inland nagivation locks in the KVA A2/3 were inspected.
On 24 July 1943 there was a Stopi-meeting with the Armeepionierführer. Issued discussed included Sperrlinien, inundations, map of positions and mine-laying.

Activity report for August 1943

Permanent fortifications

The construction programme was continued in cooperation with the Festungspionierstab 12. In August 1943 the following amounts of concrete (m³) were poured and the following number of labourers comitted:


  KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 Antwerpen TOTAL
  Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers
August 6735 3355 5565 1397 14353 1993 1200 201 27853 6946

Field fortifications

The construction was continued in this period..Until 31 August 1943 the troops had done the following:

In use Under construction
KVA A1 1797 290
KVA A2 2183* 205
KVA A3 2790** 134
Antwerpen 946 168
 * The lower number compared to the previous month derived from the fact that Schützenlöcher and ammunition niches were no longer counted.
 ** Thus far the division had only reported Vf constructions. The new number also counts field constructions.

Mine-laying activities

Minefields in the sectors were considerably strengthened. The following numbers of mines had been laid until 29 August 1943:

  T-Minen S-Minen Schü-Minen Beh. Minen frz. Pz-M engl. Pz M holl. Pz M
KVA A1 16650 2083 15442 - 8452 - -
KVA A2 28322 3515 10973 13968 8949 2995 -
KVA A3 2753 576 8191 443 441 - 552
Antwerpen 1561 300 - - - - -

Defensive flamethrowers

The installation of defensive flamethrowers in this period was as follows:

  KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3
Available 342 303 323
of which built in 342 241 323
Available 3-fold combat allocation 342 296 323

Engineer-technical advice and support

Hauptmann
Schmidt continies to be at the disposal of the Abschnitt Antwerpen (see above).

Inspection visits

On 4 August 1943 a demonstration of the use of Rollbomben was held in Boulogne.
On 9 August 1943 the Sperrlinie Terneuzen-Kanal-Lys was inspection with the OFK Gent
On 17 August 1943 crossing possibilities between Walcheren and South-Beveland were inspected with Major Schmidt of the Pionierbataillon 19 (L)
On 24 August 1943 measures taken for the locls at Nieuwpoort were inspected.
On 26 August 1943 locks were inspected in the KVA A1 with Kriegsverawltungsrat Hilpert
On 31 August 1943 a crossing exercise with 4t-Flosssäckfähre was held (see also 17/8)

Activity report for September-October 1943


Permanent fortifications

The construction programme was continued in cooperation with the
Festungspionierstab 12. In September-October 1943 the following amounts of concrete (m³) were poured and the following number of labourers comitted:


  KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 Antwerpen TOTAL
  Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers
Sept
Oct
7575 (Sept)
8115 (Oct)
3054 (Sept)
2739 (Oct)
5377 (Sept)
4905 (Oct)
1299 (Sept)
1494 (Oct)
7763 (Sept)
7556 (Oct)
2504 (Sept)
2891 (Oct)
3513 (Sept)
477 (Oct)
201 (Sept)
201 (Oct)
24228
21053
7058
7325

Field fortifications

The construction was continued in this period..Until 31 October 1943 the troops had done the following:

  In use (Sept/Oct) Under construction (Sept/Oct)
KVA A1 1981/2202 279/280
KVA A2 2436/2654 214/217
KVA A3 3526/3779 230/214
Antwerpen 1063/1114 159/172

Mine-laying activities

Minefields in the sectors were considerably strengthened. The following numbers of mines had been laid until 29 October 1943:

  T-Minen S-Minen Schü-Minen Beh. Minen frz. Pz-M engl. Pz M holl. Pz M
KVA A1 22148 3083 17391 - 8524 - -
KVA A2 41747 4616 12414 19085 8949 2995 520
KVA A3 9962 752 16401 862 441 - 116
Antwerpen 1562 288 - - - - -

Defensive flamethrowers

The installation of defensive flamethrouwers in this period was as follows:


KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 Antwerpen
Available 343 303 323 68
of which built in 342 249 323 60
Available 3-fold combat allocation 342 303 323 68

Engineer-technical advice

Hauptmann Schmidt continues to be at the disposal of the Abschnitt Antwerpen for at least one day a week.

Training

Training courses were held in Nieuwpoort and Antwerpen for the training of the platoons of Wasserbaupioniere established by the Kommandeur der Festungssammtruppen.

Inspection visits

Major Zimmermann

1 September 1943
: Gent-Latem - talks with Kommandeur Pionierbataillon 242
7 September 1943: Stp Flugplatz (KVA A2) - experimental firing at various types of trenches
16 September 1943: inspection of crossing sites between Walcheren and South Beveland
17 September 1943: inspection of locks in Nieuwpoort, Oostende and Blankenberge
25 September 1943; Stopi-meeting in Tourcoing with the Armeepionierführer
27 September 1943: crossing exercise South Beveland-Walcheren
28 September 1943: South Beveland: inspection of bridges at the South Beveland canal
4 October 1943: KVAA2- participation in officer meeting at StpGr Breskens

6 October 1943: Oostende - particpation in Planspiel inundations
8 October 1943: with I/Sicherungsregiment 16 - inspection of resistance nests at Schelde estuary
10 October 1943: meeting in Brussels with Militärverwaltungsrat Hilpert
14 October 1943: bridge construction exercises in all divisional sectors
15/18/21 October 1943: Nieuwpoort- locks training course
23-24 October 1943: corps area - accompaniment of Generalleutnant Kanzler, General der Pioniere bei Heeresgruppe D and Oberst Lehnert, Armeepionierführer.
28-29 October 1943: mine-clearing exercises in all divisional sectors

Hauptmann Schmidt

7/14/21/28 September
: Abschnitt Antwerpen - inspection of mine-laying, obstacles, AT-ditches. Advice on engineer-technical issues. Decision on position of AT-ditch.
1/4 October 1943: KVA A3: inspection of reserve bridging wood
5 October 1943: Abschnitt Antwerpen: inspection of blocking constructons at the outer defence line (street obstacles and AT-ditches)
7 October 1943: KVA A2 - same as 1 October
8 October 1943: KVA A1 - same as 1 October
11 October 1943: inspection of security measures for railway bridges, reserve bridging wood and strongpoints
12 October 1943: Abschnitt Antwerpen - inspection of completed blocking obstacles
14 October 1943: KVA A2 - inspection of strongpoints
15 October 1943: KVA A1 - same
16 October 1943: KVA A3 - same + inspection of security measures for railway bridges
20 October 1943: Abschnitt Antwerpen - advice on and inspection of obstacles under construction

Activity report for November-December 1943


The construction programme was continued in cooperation with the Festungspionierstab 12. In November-December 1943 the following amounts of concrete (m³) were poured and the following number of labourers comitted:


  KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 Antwerpen TOTAL
  Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers
Nov
Dec
2555
7092
3140
2077
8136
11795
1420
979
5973
2027
2649
2424
990
-
138
125
17654
20914
7347
5605

Field fortifications

The construction was continued in this period..Until 31 December 1943 the troops had done the following:

  In use (Nov/Dec) Under construction (Nov/Dec)
KVA A1 2344/2485 241/256
KVA A2 2677/2704 243/253
KVA A3 4375/4611 225/266
Antwerpen 1220/1288 105/84
Mine-laying activities

Minefields in the sectors were considerably strengthened. The following numbers of mines had been laid until 31 December 1943:

  T-Minen S-Minen Schü-Minen Beh. Minen frz. Pz-M engl. Pz M holl. Pz M
KVA A1 23103 3045 17648 - 8941 - -
KVA A2 46438 5842 17518 20478 8949 2995 520
KVA A3 9954 682 18039 862 441 - 116
Antwerpen 3935 288 300 - - - -

Defensive flamethrowers


The installation of defensive flamethrowers in this period was as follows:
  KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 Antwerpen
Available 341 303 323 68
of which built in 341 260 323 60
Available 3-fold combat allocation 341 303 323 68

Engineer-technical advice

Hauptmann Schmidt continues to be at the disposal of the Abschnitt Antwerpen.

Inspection visits

Major Zimmermann

23 November 1943
: KVA A1 - meeting with Ausbaustab and Pionierbataillon
25 November 1943: KVA A3 - talks with Ia and inspection visit 2. Stellung
27-29 November 1943: all KVAs - inspection visit 2. Stellung with Armeepionierführer
7-9 December 1943: Tourcoing - Stopi-meeting
10 December 1943: KVA A1 - Meeting with pionierbataillon and Divisionskommandeur
16 December 1943: Abschnitt Hulst-Axel - inspection visit of Pakständen with Pionierbataillon 19

Hauptmann Schmidt

2/9/17/24/30 November 1943: Abschnitt Antwerpen - inspection of construction activitoes for AT-ditch and engineer-technical advice
5 November 1943: meeting with Armeepionierfûhrer on construction of 2. Stellung
10 November 1943: Hulst - inspection of construction activities
16/22 November 1943: Brussels - material procurement (Militärbefehlshaber)
19 November 1943:  meeting at Armeepionierführer 15 on inundation matters
2 December 1943: Hulst - engineer-technical advice on construction
3 December 1943: Brussels - material procurement (Militärbefehlshaber)
8/14/21/27 December 1943: Abschnitt Antwerpen - engineer-technical advice
9 December 1943: meeting at Militärbefehlshaber (Militärverwaltungsrat Hilbert) on inundation matters
17 December 1943: KVA A1 - discussion and execution of labour use ofc Belgian companies in Holland
20 December 1943: meeting with Militärbefehlshaber (Brussels) on payment of Belgian labour in Holland

Hauptmann Polster

17 November 1943: Gent - information to OFK Gent on 3 demolition objects on the Schelde-Sperrlinie
19 November 1943: Abschnitt Antwerpen - tracing of new line of AT-ditch at Scheldetunnel
26 November 1943: Abschnitt Antwerpen - control of mining troop at Scheldetunnel for the operation of clearing a mine line and the mine explosions involved
2 December 1943: Abschnitt Antwerpen - handing over of blocking instruction to OFK Gent, inspection of ammunition for the Schelde blocking line at the ammunition depot in Oostakker and inspection visit to mining troop at Scheldetunnel in Antwerp
14 December 1943: Gent - meeting at OFK 570 concerning blocking lines and inspection of blocking constructions in Gent and Deinze
15 December 1943: Jabbeke - meeting with the commander of 3/Reservepionierbataillon 4 on the mining of houses and mine maps.
21 December 1943: KVA A1 - with Armeepionierführer at 19 LwFd and Pionierbataillon
23 December 1943: Stp Scheldetunnel - information to the demolition troop at the pedestrian tunnel

Activity report for January, February and March 1944



Permanent fortifications


The construction programme was continued in cooperation with the Festungspionierstab 12. In this period the following amounts of cpncrete (m³) were poured and the following number of labourers committed:

KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 Antwerpen TOTAL
Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers
January 4779 2550 6715 1847 933 8659 0 400 12427 13546
February 4767 5228 5650 2408 4792 12106 338 400 15547 20142
March 5938 5902 12000 2834 11594 11890 240 400 29772 21026
TOTAL 15484   24365   17319   578   57746  

Field fortifications

The construction was continued in this period..Until the end of the month mentioned the troops had completed/started the following:constructions

In use Under construction
January February March January February March
KVA A1 2567 2808 2904 258 312 307
KVA A2 2907 3076 3471 313 371 344
KVA A3 4716 4848 5254 332 371 368
Antwerpen 1281 1374 1499 112 109 164

Mine-laying activities

Minefields in the sectors were considerably strengthened. The following numbers of mines had been laid until the end of March 1944

  Panzerminen Schützenminen TOTAL
KVA A1 45236 38142 83378
KVA A2 73151 67469 140620
KVA A3 39465 48895 88360
Antwerpen 6538 7032 13570
TOTAL 164390 161538 3259

On 10 February 1944 the laying of Minengrossfelder (large minefields) was started. In these large minefields the following mines had been laid until the end of 29 March 1944:
  Panzerminen Schützenminen TOTAL
KVA A1 13712 16945 30657
KVA A2 14781 17986 32767
KVA A3 25070 24774 49844
Antwerpen 2603 6744 9347
TOTAL 56166 66449 122615

Defensive flamethrowers

The installation of defensive flamethrowers made very good progress:
  KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 Antwerpen
Available 332 328 348 68
of which built in 332 286 339 60
Available 4-fold combat allocation 332 303 325 68

Beach obstacles

The construction of beach obstacles was started early in February 1944. On 31 March 1944 the following obstacles had been completed:

  Length Depth
KVA A1 1105m 70 m deep (full)
10986m 20m deep
KVA A2 11200m 10m deep
KVA A3 5926m 120m deep
7614m 50m deep

Engineer-technical advice

Hauptmann Schmidt is at the disposal of the KVA Antwerpen as engineer-technical adviser for half a day every day.

The report also gives an overview of dury trips undertaken by the officers of the engineer section. These are interesting in the sense that they also inform us on ongoing engineer activities at the times mentioned. Below a selection can be found:

Major Halfmann

On 8 January 1944 Halfmann went to Heist-Zeebrugge, where he took part in inundation trials with salt water in Zeebrugge.
On 28 January 1944 Halfmann travelled to Terneuzen for an inspection of the Sturmbootzug Terneuzen
.
On 2-3 February 1944 Halfmann visited the divisions and engineer batallions in the KVA A1/A2 for discussions on mines, fortification, bridging, engineer equipment and inspection of inundation measures
On 14-15 February 1944 Halfmann visited the divisions and engineer batallions in the KVA A2/A3 for discussions on mines, fortification, bridging, engineer equipment and inspection of inundation measures
On 15 February 1944 Halfmann took part in discussions with the Wassersachberabeiter of the AOK15 in Dunkirk.
On 20 and 25 February 1944 Halfmann spent time in the KVAs to discuss mining, beach obstacles, bridging, prepations for discussions and inundation issues.
On 2 March 1944 Halfmann took part in in an engineer meeting at the Armeepionierführer
.
On 11 March 1944 Halfmann was in the KVA A1 for discussion with the division and the engineer batallion regarding the use of mines and reserve bridges.
On 13 March 1944 Halfmann was in Hulst-Axel-Sassing (Sas-van-Gent?) to check constructions for an inundation
On 17-18 March 1944 Halfmann spent time in the KVA A2/A3 to discuss supply and planning of mines, Brückenkolonne B832, inundation measures and blocking measures
On 20 March 1944 Halfmann took part in discussions with the navy at the Armeepionierführer regarding sal-water inundation issues.
On 31 March 1944 Halfmann had discussions with the Seekommandant Südholland  and the Hafenkommandant Vlissingen as well as with Direktor Gerlach of the Wasserbevollmächtigten Rotterdam in Vlissingen reharding salt-water inundation and port destruction.

Hauptmann Schmidt

This officer gave engineer-technical advive in Antwerp on 4, 10, 18 and 24 January 1944
On 6 January 1944 he took part in discussion regarding inundations
On 8 January 1944 Schmidt went to Heist-Zeebrugge, where he took part in inundation trials with salt water in Zeebrugge.
On 11 January 1944 Schmidt took part in discussion with the Wassersachberabeiter in Brugge
On 12 January 1944 Schmidt attented the inundation trials along the Lys (Leie) canal.
On 21 January 1944 Schlidt attended a meeting at the Armeepionierführer regadring inundation issues.
On 22 and 31 January Schmidt was in Gent to oversee construction of the Ausweichgefechtsstand.
In February 1944 Schmidt spent 2 days each week in Antwerp as engineer-technical adviser and Wassersachberabeiter in the Abschnitt Antwerpen
.
In March 1944 Schmidt spent half days  in Antwerp as engineer-technical adviser in the Abschnitt Antwerpen. He also inspected the watter constructions in Sassing (Sas-van Gent?) and the constructioon of the Ausweichgefechtsstand Gent
.

Hauptmann Polster

On 7 January 1944 Polster was in Brussels for diocuments regarding the Meuse blocking line (Sperrlinie).
In the period 12-15 January 1944 Polster was in Brussels, Tourcoing, Mons (Kreiskommandantur) and Nancy (Transportkommandantur) for diocuments regarding the Meuse blocking line (Sperrlinie).He returned via Sedan-Charleville-Dinant-Namur and Liège for bridge recces.
On 9 February 1944 Polster was in Mechelen, Dendermonde and Lokeren for bridge and ferry recces across the rivers Rupel, Durme and Nete.
On 3-4 March 1944 Polster drove to Sluis and Veurne for mining issues in the sectors
In the period 21-23 March 1944 Polster drove to Ribecourt to attend a presentation of the new Kugeltreibminen in the Munitionslager Adler
.

Sachbearbeitergebiet für Wasserwesen (Feldwebel Ruschenburg)(selection)

6 January 1944: inundation trial in Zeebrugge
12 January 1944: particpation in inundation trails in Heist-Leie (Mys) canal
22 and 26 January 1944: order to divisions for fresh-water inundations
1 February 1944: start of fresh-water inundations by closing sea locks
6 February 1944: summarizing corps order for inundations
9 February 1944: start of fresh-water inundations in the Abschnitt Antwerpen
19 February 1944: order for the inundation with Schelde water
22 February 1944: order for the additional inundation of CH and Leo (north of the Leopold cana) and the Verdämmung of the Leopold Canal.
23 February 1944: order for inundations in the Antwerp-Terneuzen sector
1 March 1944: the inundations around Westkapelle are no longer fed.
2 March 1944; recce of inundation possibilities on North-Beveland
6 March 1944: recce in Dutch-Flanders
21 March 1944: order on the changing of inundation measures in view of economic consequences
30 March 1944: Verdämmung (barraging) of Leopold canal near Platheule ready. Start of inundation.

Personalle Besetzung

Major Halfmann (since early January 1944), Hauptmann Schmidt (Hilfsoffizier beim Stopi), Hauptmann Polster (Bearbeitung von Minen- und Sperrangelegenheiten), Technischer Inspektor Klotz (administrator of the Pionierpark Jabbeke and adviser on engineer equipment), Feldwebel Eggert (Geschäftszimmer), Schirrmeister (P) Zander, 1 Zeichner, Feldwebel Ruschenburg (Sachbearbeiter für Wasserwesen
), 1 Unteroffizier and 1 Mann (Zeichner)

Activity report for April-May 1944

Permanent fortifications

The construction programme was continued in cooperation with the Festungspionierstab 12. In this period the following amounts of cpncrete (m³) were poured and the following number of labourers committed:

KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 Antwerpen TOTAL
Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers
April 13204 2369 15080 1821 24485 5400 200 70 52969 9690
May 5240 1978 3860 1272 7460 4541 200 60 16760 7851

Field fortifications

The construction was continued in this period..Until the end of the period mentioned the troops had completed/started the following:constructions

In use Under construction
KVA A1 2968 345
KVA A2 3735 336
KVA A3 5518 383
Antwerpen 1658 156

Mine-laying activities

Minefields in the sectors were considerably strengthened. The following numbers of mines had been laid until the end of May 1944

Panzerminen Schützenminen 27 er Granate Unter 27 cm TOTAL
KVA A1 55415 40957 - 868 97240
KVA A2 98897 73053 - 270 172220
KVA A3 76216 63574 205 2787 142782
Antwerpen 9758 7032 - - 16790
TOTAL 240286 184616 205 3925 429032

Defensive flamethrowers

The installation of defensive flamethrowers had reached the following situation at the end of this period:
KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 Antwerpen
Available 332 327 348 68
of which built in 332 291 327 68
Available 4-fold combat allocation 332 327 348 68

Beach obstacles

The construction of beach obstacles was started early in February 1944. Until 31 May 1944 the following obstacles had been completed (more than 70m deep)
Length
KVA A1 5028m
KVA A2 15025m
KVA A3 11237m
Placed anri-air landing poles

In the period April - May (wiith situation on 26 May 1944) the following number of poles had been placed:
Number Attached mines/grenades
KVA A1 210485 -
KVA A2 271745 -
KVA A3 185452 659
Antwerpen 285420 -
19 LwFd 227816 -
TOTAL 1180918 659

Engineer-technical advice

Hauptmann Schmidt was again at the disposal of the KVA Antwerpen for half a day each day as engineer-technical consultant (month of April)

Major Halfmann

On 1 April 1944 Halfmann travelled to the OFK Gent and the 712ID for talks on the deployment on the Landespionierkompanien 529 and 531
.
On 3 April 1944 Halfmann travelled to Axel-Hulst for the start of the damming of ? (Beginn des Staues Sassing
)
On 5 April 1944 talks were held in Gent (with the OFK and the HVD) concerning inundation measures
On 6 April 1944 talks were wheld with the Ia Generalkommando concerning the delineation and construction of the Landfront
.
On 7 April 1944 Halfmann travelled to Hulst (inundation), Sint-Laureins and Maldegem.
On 8 April 1944 visits were made to Brugge (Landespionierkompanie 529), Platheule, Sluis (Pionierbataillon 712), the 712 ID, Oostende-Nieuwpoort, Gistel, Jabbeke-Gent (Landespionierkompanie 531
)
On 15 April 1944 Halfmann and the Chef des Stabes travelled to Tourcoing for talks with the Armeepionierführer and Festungspionierkommandeur).
On 18 April 1944 Halfmann travelled to the KVA A1 (Westkapelle) and the Pionierbataillon 9
.
On 22 April 1944 Halfmann travelled to the KVA A3 (Jabbeke, Diksmuiden-Nieuwpoort-Oostende-Sluis (inundation measures and beach obstacles)
On 23 April 1944 approval was given for various inundations with salt water
On 25 April 1944 Halfmann travelled to Jabbeke for talks with Inspektor Klotz and the OT concerning the final choice of the model of Nusskracker
.
On 1 May 1944 Halfmann again travelled to Jabbeke concerning the Nusskrackerminen System Klotz and also to the Pionierbataillon 148 and Gent.
On 4 May 1944 Halfmann travelled to the KVA A1: Middelburg, division (Reservepionierbataillon 9), K-Sperren und Nusskrackerminen, and the reserve bridge in Middelburg
On 9 May 1944 Halfmann travelled to the KVA A1 (Westkapelle: mining) and had talks with the Seekommandant Südholland in Vlissingen
On 11 and 12 May 1944 Halfmann travelled to the KVA A2/3: Gent, Jabbeke, Diksmuide, De Panne, Oostende-Brussel-Gent. At 9.30pm the Siebelfähre 101 of the Sturmbootzug Terneuzen was lost at sea while laying KMA-mines.
On 16 May 1944 Halfmann travelled to Gent-Jabbeke-Oostende-Hulst-Oostburg-Stroobrug-Sint-Laureins-Gent (beach obstacles and inundations)
On 17 May 1944 talks were held in Tourcoing concerning the final choice for the model of Nusskrackerminen
.
On 26 May 1944 a visit was made to Gent (OFK cincerning the Landespionierkompanie 531) and Ausweichgefechtsstand.

Hauptmann Polster

In the period 11-15 April 1944 Polster travelled to the Pionierschule Angers and took part in an offiver training course on light weight carriers (Goliath).
On 24-25 April 1944 Polster travelled to Jabbeke-Gistel-De Panne-Oostende-Sluis to inspect beach obstacles.
On 28 April 1944 Polster travveled to the Militärbefehlshaber, Abteilung Steine und Erde, Halk und Mauersteinbeschaffung
.
In the period 19-27 May 1944 Polster was transferred to Jabbeke for trials with the nutcrackermines and for the inspection of work on beach obstacles and consultancy.

Feldwebel Ruschenburg

On 3 April 1944 the Auslassbauwerk Sassing was completed and the inundation of the Sperrriegel Axel-Hulst was commenced.
On 5 April 1944 Ruschenburg had talks with the Militärbefehlshaber and the OFK concerning improvements to the water provision from the canals for agricultural purposes. On 6 April these walks were continued with the Belgian civilian authorities.
On 7 April 1944 the order calender for emergency inundations was submitted to the AOK 15.
On 13 April 1944 the inundations between Nieuwpoort and Oostende were restricted in the south. Inundations in the KVA A3 were inspected. Finally, talks were held with the Hafenkommandant Oostende concerning destruction measures.
On 15 April 1944 the AOK 15 approved additional inundations with salt water.
On 19 April 1944 talks were held with the AOK and the OFK concerning evacuation and damming operations.
On 20 April 1944 salt water inundation exercises were held.
On 25-26 April 1944 Ruschenburg travelled to the KVA A2 to decide on Stauziele
.
On 2-3 May 1944 Ruschenburg travelled to Gent and Gistel to discuss the raising of locks in Gent and the spreading of Schelde water.
On 17 May 1944 talks were held with the Generalkommando LXXXII in Ghyvelde concerning boundary issues with respect to inundations.
On 18 May 1944 talks were held with the OFK in Gent concerning Eindämmungsarbeiten between Pervijze en Gistel.
On 23 May 1944 an inundation attempt was made through the sea locks at Heist.
On 25 May 1944 Ruscheburg travelled to Gent and Nieuwpoort to discuss the conversion and raising of the railway bridge in Nieuwpoort

Personnel

 

Major Halfmann (since January 1944), Hauptmann Schmidt (Hilfsoffizier), Hauptmann Polster (Sperrlinien- und Minenangelegenheiten), Techn. Inspekt. Klotz (Verwalter Pionierparks Jabbeke und Berater von Pioniergerät), Feldwebel Eggert (with Feldwebel Triphahn as replacement), Unteroffizier Tempes, Schirrmeister Zander, 1 Zeichner, Feldwebel Ruschenburg (Sachberabeiter für Wasserwesen) and 1 Unteroffizier and 1 Mann (Zeichner)



Activity report for June 1944

Permanent fortifications

The construction programme was continued in cooperation with the Festungspionierstab 12. In this period the following amounts of cpncrete (m³) were poured and the following number of labourers committed:


KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 Antwerpen TOTAL
Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers Concrete m³ Labourers
June 1975 1162 2110 826 5296 2603 0 15 9380 4606

Mine-laying activities

Minefields in the sectors were considerably strengthened. The following numbers of mines had been laid until the end of June 1944

  Panzerminen Schützenminen 27 er Granate Unter 27 cm TOTAL
KVA A1 58517 53706 375 2968 115566
KVA A2 105449 86664 1628 3360 197101
KVA A3 81432 82568 1244 4913 170157
Antwerpen 10286 7032 - - 17318
TOTAL 255684 229970 3247 11241 500142

Defensive flamethrowers

The installation of defensive flamethrowers had reached the following situation at the end of this period:
  KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 Antwerpen
Available 332 327 348 68
of which built in 332 291 327 66
Available 4-fold combat allocation 332 327 348 68

Beach obstacles

The construction of beach obstacles was started early in February 1944. On 31 June 1944 the following obstacles had been completed:
  Length Depth
KVA A1 6228m 80m deep (full)
35027m 30-70m (full)
KVA A2 21000m 95m deep (full)
  14000m -
KVA A3 14412m 120m deep (full)
31874m 73m deep

Placed anri-air landing poles

In the period from the end of May until the end of June 1944 (with situation on 28 June 1944) the following number of poles had been placed:
  Number Attached mines/grenades
KVA A1 394800 1119
KVA A2 678000 750
KVA A3 490000 1338
Antwerpen 481390 -
TOTAL 20441990 3207

Oberst Kienast

On 22 June 1944 Oberst Kienast travelled with Major Halfmann to Dendermonde to discuss the development of the ferry location with the company Cornelis.Also, the beach obstacles in De Haan were inspected, as well as the measures taken to destroy the ports of Oostende and Blankenberge.Finally, talks were held with the 48ID and the 712ID (and the respective engineer batallions) on mine and water obstacles.
On 25 June 1944 talks were held with the Hafenkommandant Antwerpen and planned port destructions were inspected.
On 26 June 1944 obstacles and destructions were inspected in the ports of Nieuwpoort, Oostende, Blankenberge and Zeebrugge.and talks were held with the Hafenkommandanten at Nieuwpoort and Oostende, as well as with the engineer commanders of the 48ID and the 712ID
.
On 29 June 1944 talks were held on blocking measures with the 165RD, 48ID and the commanders of the Reservepionierbataillon 9 and the engineer batallions of the 70ID, 48ID and the 363ID
.

Major Halfmann

On 2 June 1944 this officer drove to Middelburg -Westkapelle-Hansweert-Vlissingen and discussed the dyke blocking at Westkapelle and held talks with the Hafenkommandant Vlissingen
.
On 10 June 1944 Halfmann made a recce of ferry locations in Antwerp
On 22 June 1944 Halfmann travelled with Kienast to the KVA A1/A2, the ferry crossing at Dendermonde, the Pionierpark Jabbeke, the 48ID
, Oostende-Zeebrugge and the 712ID.
On 25 June 1944 talks were held concerning the ferry crossing at Hemiksem with Feldwevel Ruschenburg and the company Sleeckx.
On 26 June 1944 Halfmann and Ruschenburg drove to Brussels, meeting with Baurat Schröder and Hoffmann of the Militärbefehlshaber, Baugruppe, Abteilung Wege to discuss the iron supplies for the ferries.
On 27 June 1944 talks were held with respect to the crossing site at Hemiksem
On 29 June 1944 Halfmann drove with Kienast to Middelburg for talks on dyke damage and dyke construction with Oberregierungsrat Kiel. There were also discussions with the engineer batallions 712 and .363 on the use of obstacles (Sperreinsatz
)
On 30 June 1944 Halfmann drove to Gent (Ausweichgefechtsstand Waarschoot???), Jabbeke-Gistel (48ID), Nieuwpoort (port destruction), Oostende (blocking positions and AT-ditch), Blankenberge (port destruction) and Zeebrugge-Gent (ferries, company Cornelis).

Hauptmann Polster

On 3 June 1944 Polster travelled to Brussel for talks with the Landstrassenbevollmächtigter  with the Militärbefehlshaber.A recce together with the Stopak was made of roads and bridges in Dendermonde, San van Gent, Zelzate, Sluiskil en Terneuzen
On 5 June 1944 Brugge was visited with resoect to the takeover of building materials from the 19 LwFd and for talks with the Landungspionierkompanie
.
On 8 June 1944 the minefields laid in front of the Abschnitt Antwerpen were inspected.
On 11 June 1944 a recce was made of crossing sites across the Schelde river between Antwerpen and Dendermonde
On 12 June 1944 talks were held with building companies concerning crossing sites in Hoboken and Hemiksem.
On 13 June 1944 talks were held with a construction company in Dendermonde concerning crossing sites
On 15 June 1944 checks were made of the construction sites at the ferry crossings at Hemiksem and Dendermonde
On 16 June 1944 talks were held with the Kommandeur Pionierlandungsbataillon  and Baurat Baumann of the Kriegsmarinedienststelle concerning the construction of ferries. Breskens and Terneuzen were also viisted to discuss beachn obstacles and to hold talks with the Sturmbootzug
.
On 17 June 1944 the ferry construction sites at Dendermonde were inspected.
On 19 June 1944 the ferry 487 was inspected and a visit was made to the Werftbaustab.
On 20 June 1944 a visit was made to Hemiksem concerning building materials for Hemiksem and talks were held with the Konstruktionsbüro of the Werftbaustab
.
On 21 June 1944 a recce was made of the carrying capacity of the bridges along the road Heist-op-den-Berg-Dendermonde-Mechelen-Lokeren.
On 22 June 1944 talks were held with the company Cornelius in Dendermonde
On 26 June 1944 talks were held with the Hafenkommandant Antwerpen, after which the port objects to be planned for destruction were visited.
On 27 June 1944 the ferry crossing at Hemiksem and the brickworks at Burcht were visited
On 28 June 1944 several construction companies were visited in Antwerp in respect of new construction work to be allocated.

Feldwebel Ruschenburg

On 5 June 1944 there was an order concerning an inundation with salt water to the south of Blankenberge

Activities of the Korpspionierpark Jabbeke in June 1944

In the period 1-30 June 1944 the Korpspionierpark
:
  • produced 250 mock guns (170 for the KVA A1, 50 for the KVA A2 and 30 for the KVA A3)
  • produced 1100 Betonr¨hrenminen for the sectors
  • produced 400 cubic metres of timber for the KVAA3 and transported this to the saw mill
  • made operational flamethrowers, searchlights and articicial smoke generators
  • produced 1 Brückenschiff (bridging ship) of 24 tons for the KVA A3
  • trialled various models of underwater mines
  • divided 84 Goliaths over the coastal defence sectors
  • divided various fortification construction materials over the sectors

In the period 1-30 June 1944 the following equipment was tested:

From 5 to 8 June 1944: static pioneer equipment and Brücko B in KVA A1.

Proposals were made for K-Sperren in various locations

Grom 10 to 14 June 1944: flamethrowers and serachlights in the KVA A3

From 22 to 26 June 1944: detonators of Nusskrackerminen in the KVA A3 and proposals for changes

 

Personnel

 

Oberst Kienast (since June 1944), Major Halfmann (since January 1944), Hauptmann Schmidt (Hilfsoffizier), Hauptmann Polster (Sperrlinien- und Minenangelegenheiten), Techn. Inspekt. Klotz (Verwalter Pionierparks Jabbeke und Berater von Pioniergerät), Unteroffiziere Tempesn Sturm and Otto, Schirrmeister Zander, 1 Zeichner, Feldwebel Ruschenburg (Sachberabeiter für Wasserwesen) and 1 Unteroffizier and 1 Mann (Zeichner)