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Tzulscha

Met the former C.O. of Kampfgruppe "Lindemann"

522 posts in this topic

This is a very awesome thread! Any chance you could ask Maj Lindemann about his uncle, being Captain of the Bismark, and stories, etc, which have been passed down? Also, anything to do with his missions in the Tiger tank? (For a History class at school :D)

Thanks heaps,

Tomba

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I'm currently re-reading Hans von Luck's "Panzer Commander" again. He happens to mention that there were no Waffen-SS or even SS administrative personell in the North African Theater.

*Shrugs*

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They were? I don't recall any Waffen SS divisions being there' date=' might have to dig up some info.[/quote']

Im sure I read that Waffen-SS troops and administrative officials (though not en-mass) were in Africa attached to Rommels forces.

I could be wrong

*shrugs*

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Hey guys, Lindemann wandered in this afternoon to collect his book on Hans Rudel (the Stuka driver), so I have some fresh answers to all yer questions. :D

For those guys that asked, unfortunately he never met Von Luck or Knappe or Carius, although he is certainly familiar with them. He has a copy of Von Lucks book he said, so I'm sure he's read it.

Aismov, when I asked about Col. Kriebel, he said yes he met him a few times. As Rommel needed, units were transferred between 15th and 21st Panzer and Lindemann met him a few times at briefings. He said he hadn't read Kriebels book because he hadn't heard about it, but he is going to look for a copy.

His Kreigschule was in fact at Potsdam and afterwards at Doberitz (you German guys don't give any crap about my spelling, I got no umlauts!). What year was Knappe at Potsdam?

Wolf326, when I asked about strafing planes killing tanks, he said he'd never seen any rifle calibre stuff penetrate. He said that they did sweat air attacks though. Planes would spray mg fire around to keep the tanks buttoned up and infantry under cover until the fighter-bombers could drop bombs on 'em. If they were moving, the tankers would just keep moving if they could, the trucks and stuff would catch up later.

When the Brits got the 40mm armed Hurricanes, that really made the tankers sweat. Even if it wouldn't penetrate everything it could certainly break track if the pilots got good hits. (Brit pilots were trained to 'walk' their rounds into a target. It wasted a good bit of ammo though and a lot of pilots didn't like doing it that way.)

He said they really didn't see a lot of enemy air though. The DAK spent a lot of time in the deep desert and you had to find them before you could attack them. When they did get discovered though it meant you were gonna get bombed and strafed just as hard as they could. Then all you could do was wait it out and try to move the unit under the cover of darkness. He did say that their SPAA saved them on more than one occaision. (I have a convoy story that I will relay a bit later.)

HTMD, he said he is from Franconia himself, (is that a county name?) He is still planning on heading home sometime soon, maybe you'll get a chance to meet him yourself!

Ok, I have more but I'm at work right now and it's just about time to close the store. I'll finish up when I get home!

Oh, my game guy just mentioned the his dad used to work with a guy who was a gunner on a German bomber. One of those someone who knows someone who knows someone things. I harrassed him for a name, I guess he's local, maybe I'll get to interview him! He was Russian front vet.

more in a bit! :)

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Ok, now where was I?

Oh yeah, the SS. Lindemann said there weren't any there that he knew of, so almost certainly, no combat SS in Afrika.

Tomba, when I first met Lindemann, the Bismark was the first thing I thought of. He has a collection (reprints mostly) of news articles and photos from the Bismark. I'll have to confess that I've been concentrating on Maj. Lindemanns personal story though, since that one is first hand. I can say that he is quite proud of his Uncle Erich!

Ok Strukt, I think you got the most questions here, or at least the ones that will take longest to answer, so I saved you for last. ;)

Earlier in this thread I said that Lindemanns turret number was 112. This was incorrect, that number appeared on a PzIV that he was assigned to before he got his Tiger.

Markings on his Tiger were DAK palm on glacis left of drivers viewport, balkenkreuz on hull side, midway along. Turret numbers were 111 in black with a white outline. On the back of the turret on the "rummelbox" (not sure how to actually spell the word he said but it was pronounced 'roomelbachs', can one of you German guys help me out with that?), anyway, on the equipment box mounted on the back of the turret, was stenciled KG-N in black, all caps, no outline. KG-N stands for "Kampf Gruppe Nord" and refers to the Gruppen formed by Rommel for the battle of Kasserine pass. This is the gruppe known to the men of that KG as "Kampfgruppe Lindemann". It was a fairly common practice to name a gruppe after it's commander. I have also seen the gruppe refered to as "KG-Gerd" as well.

After his capture (and I will deal with all this in more detail as I actually get on with writing his story), and since he was pretty severely wounded, he went first to the Tommies field hospital but was quickly moved on to a city (I think he said Constantine), from there he was shipped to New York (he was pretty doped up throughout this and he may have changed ships a couple times, hard to tell...). From New York he was shipped to Kansas City, (any KC guys tell me if there is a Hospital or something named "General Winders" there?) After recovering to the point of being releasable, he was sent to Camp Phillips in Kansas. He wasn't there long before someone pointed out that he was an officer and this was an enlisted POW camp, so, his next stop was Camp Carson which I believe was in Texas. There in Texas, he met up with other officers from his command for the first time in more than a year. Not only his fellow officers but every Tiger tank the the Americans had been able to drag there! "They wanted us to put together a running Tiger for them, but no one would co-operate." After some time in Texas, he and some other officers were moved to Camp Custer in Michigan. He was Ranking officer there and had a U-Boat exec as his second. That's where he was when the war ended.

He went home shortly after the war with Japan was concluded and returned here to Grand Rapids in 1953 where he has been pretty much ever since.

Obviously much more to all this, but I'll get it worked out in detail for you guys umm soon... :)

Oh, one last thing, it turns out that Major Lindemans birthday is Dec 10th 1919. In ten days he will be 86 and he's still pretty damn sharp!

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This must be the best thread these boards have ever had! There isn't too many WW2 veterans left. Good thing that people still get their stories documented.

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Oh bump and I agree, I am hanging on every last word and wanting more..

I wish I had a case of Hefe Weizen, 2 packs of smokes, a tape recorder, list of questions, and a table to sit down with Major Lindemann ...

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Tzulscha thank you so much for this thread and to Mr. Lindemann. Both of you win the internet for posting this thread.

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Thanks Tzu, interesting indeed. Any plans for the Major's birthday?

Look forward to reading your complete story as well.

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OK, here is another question that should be pretty simple, and not just related to the Tiger...

...how did the tank crews stay cool while inside their tanks in the desert, and how much water "on average" would they drink per day

...and was this water brought to them by supply trucks or did they attempt to utilize "natural" landscape water sources/features as much as possible to conserve the supply that the trucks/ships brought in.

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Wow awsome reading. You lucky bastid having a walking talking piece of history :) Just a small inquiry what awards did Major Lindemann earn before his capture in africa ? With 75 kills to his name it ranks fairly high against Michael Whittmans 138 before his demise in 1944.

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