This is a wooden officers map plotting board. These were used by officers in t e field and throughout the whole Second World War on all front, to make notes or draw on maps in the field. It is made of wood and has when openend both on the left and right side the original celluloid intertior straps present. On the right side is metallic closing device. Ont he front is a brown leather “normal” map case affixed. On top is written in black “KDR” (Kommandeur -> designation for a commander from division down to battalion).
The map is stamped on the inside with: Panzer-Brigade 107 KDR.
Panzerbrigade 107 was founded on July 28, 1944 at Milau training ground in Wehrkreis I from the remains of the 25th Panzergrenadier Division destroyed at Heeresgruppe Mitte. The vast majority of personnel came from replacement units. The Panzerabteilung 2107 was created from the remains of Panzerabteilung 125 and Reserve-Panzerabteilung 8, among others. The Staff of the brigade and the Panzergrenadier battalion 2107 were created from remnants of the 25th Panzergrenadier Division.
The German Panzerbrigade 107 was a German Panzerbrigade of the Wehrmacht during World War II. The brigade was only deployed in the Peel in the autumn of 1944, during Operation Market Garden and the Battle of Overloon.
More background and information on this unit can be found on: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzerbrigade_107
Even better is that there is in pencil and Sütterlin handwritting, written a name on the lower righ interior. It reads: Leutnant Gortz, Fulda, [… …]. There is an unknown grave attributed to a Gortz on the Find-a-grave website for the Ysselsteyn cemetary:
This Gortz died on 31 oktober 1944, which fits in with the period the Panzerbrigade 107 was fighting in the area. However, more research needs to be done as there is not much information on this Gortz. The name is not a very common one and this is the only one that could possibly be the owner. A reason for thinking this is the right Gortz, is that only a handfull of members of the Panzerbrigade 107 ultimately survived the attacks in the Netherlands and it seems unlikely that this Gortz survived the battles.
Inside the wooden map is a cardboard folder, containing a number of maps of:
- Les Pieuz
- Russland/Leningrad (Truppenausgabe)
- Russische Beutekarte (on the back of the above card)
- Stadtplan von Douai
A very rare item related to the war in the south of the Netherlands. The condition is used, but not abused, firmly made, opens and closes correct.
More on the unit’s history and actions:
From September 15, 1944, the brigade, although intended for the Eastern Front, was moved by rail to OB West. The brigade was to be deployed in the counterattack of the 5th Panzer Army in the area around Épinal. However, the brigade was diverted to Venlo-Roermond. There the brigade with its main parts was unloaded on the evening of September 18, 1944 and on September 19 the unloading was completed. That same day, the brigade marched under constant air attacks across the Maas to the Zuid-Willemsvaart. The reason was an attack order from the 86th Army Corps dated September 18, 1944. This was contrary to the promise to deploy the brigade in its entirety.
The brigade moved to Son via Helmond and attacked the right flank of the British 2nd Army advancing towards Nijmegen and Arnhem. All attacks in the autumn of 1944 were aimed at this long right flank. The British tried to replace the bridge over the Wilhelmina Canal, which had been blown up by German troops, with a war bridge. The brigade attempted to reach this bridge on September 19, but was unsuccessful. However, the brigade did manage to keep the bridge and road under fire, delaying the British advance. On September 20, 1944, under pressure from American counter-attacks, the brigade had to give up its hold on Son and divert 3 kilometers to the east, to Nuenen. Due to lack of fuel, some tanks had to be blown up.
On the evening of September 21, 1944, the brigade was ordered to move to Bakel. She was to take part in an attack by Kampfgruppe Walther. In addition to the brigade, this included an SS ad hoc infantry battalion, a replacement battalion, an artillery abteilung and an anti-aircraft abteilung. Kampfgruppe Walther’s task was to interrupt the British advance route from Eindhoven to Nijmegen at Veghel on the Zuid-Willemsvaart, thus establishing a link with the German 59th Infantry Division, which was attacking from the west. This would cut through the British corridor. The operation was similar to that of the brigade against the bridge of Son, but now the losses were much greater. In foggy weather, the attack of the Kampfgruppe with the brigade followed on the morning of September 22, 1944 to the southern edge of Veghel. There the attack stalled under deadly enemy anti-tank and artillery fire. Once again the brigade had the objective in sight, controlled the advance of the British 2nd Army and forced it to regroup its troops. It slowed down the British advance, but failed to stop it.
The brigade attacked twice more. The first time in the night of September 22 to 23, the second time on September 23. The attacks repeatedly bogged down on the strengthening Allies, with great losses of men and material. The commander of the Panzerabteilung 2107, Major von Plüskow, fell in battle. After the third attack, the enemy launched a tank counterattack. The commander of Panzergrenadier Battalion 2107, Captain Wild was also killed. Finally, on the afternoon of 23 September, the brigade was forced to go on the defensive. New airborne landings reinforced the Allies and forced the brigade to withdraw 6 to 10 kilometers to the southeast in the evening and defended itself there against the pursuing enemy on 24 September 1944.
Due to the losses on 23 September 1944, the brigade was so weakened that it did not undertake any further activities to interrupt the British advance. The brigade went back another 6 kilometers to Gemert and took up a defensive position around this place, but was not attacked there. Further developments were marked by the arrival of strong allied troops. They pushed the German troops so far from their main road of advance that it was beyond their reach. The brigade advanced to Overloon on 25 September 1944 to protect the left wing of the Kampfgruppe against the danger of encirclement. Having lost a third of its personnel and many officers, the brigade needed a break in the fighting for reorganization and repairs. However, this was not granted to her. The order for a new mission reached the brigade already during the march. The target was the area around Oploo. There the brigade had to take up a defensive position around the place, as part of a larger barrage that reached as far as the Meuse. The enemy was to be expected from the north and northwest.
On September 27, the attack of the US 7th Armored Division began, which took place with great superiority in personnel, weapons and ammunition. The brigade had to counterattack several times. On September 29, Oploo was lost. The new position was now at Overloon. On 30 September the brigade had a strength of 1975 men, with 19 Panthers, 7 Jagdpanzers and Flakpanzers and 133 half-tracks. An American breakthrough to the north of the village was blocked on 1 October 1944 in a counter-attack by Panzergrenadier Battalion 2107, again with heavy losses of their own. The brigade suffered increasingly from the patchy deployment of its troops during the heavy fighting around Overloon.
On October 12, 1944, the Panzergrenadiers were completely thrown into battle once more. Only seven men returned from this on October 16, 1944, the rest were wounded or killed. The Panzergrenadier battalion had suffered the most in these battles. In the second half of October 1944, the battalion received personnel replacements in a resting position east of the Meuse, but the battalion redeployed before the end of October; this time, however, in a secondary line in the Reichswald and without contact with the enemy. Moreover, the scattered use of the separate brigade parts in the defensive battle around Overloon and after its fall around the bridgehead of Venlo created a mess that could hardly be unraveled. On 31 October the brigade still had a strength of 1977 men, 11 Panthers, 8 Jagdpanzers and Flakpanzers and 134 half-tracks. Finally, on November 4, 1944, the parts of the brigade were withdrawn from the bridgehead of Venlo, collected and transferred to Kaldenkirchen east of the Maas. They reached the Baumholder training ground by rail.
Panzerbrigade 107 was disbanded on 7 November 1944 at Training Ground Baumholder to re-establish the 25th Panzergrenadier Division. Staff and Pz.Gren.Btl. Staf and I./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 119, the Pz.Abt. became Pz.Abt. 5 of this division.