Slovakian Fallschirmjägers

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by imalko, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    #1 imalko, Feb 7, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
    Impressed with success achieved by German paratroopers in early war years, Slovakian Ministry of National Defense (Ministerstvo Národnej Obrany - MNO) decided in early 1942 to form its own parachutist unit. First half of that year passed in creating and organizing a Parachutist Detachment within Flight school of Slovak Air Arms. Since this kind of unit didn’t exist in prewar Czechoslovak army all equipment needed to be obtained abroad. Germans initially showed little interest in Slovakian requests, so General Augustín Malár, Slovakian Military attache in Berlin, was authorized to start negotiations with Italian military circles regarding this matter. Only then Deutche Luftwaffemission im Slowakei (DLM), probably out of prestige, agreed to negotiate. Germans agreed to deliver parachutes, weapons, uniforms and other equipment to Slovakia and to train first group of Slovakian parachutist trainees in their schools. This men would then, upon their return to Slovakia, act as instructors in Parachutist Detachment.

    In June 1943 four Slovak trainees arrived to Fallschirmjägerschulle II in Wittstock-Dosse in Germany. These men were - natporučník Juraj Meško (future CO of Paraschutist Detachment), čatnik Ladislav Lenárt and cadets Jozef Lachký and Jozef Pisarčík. Their instructors were two German Unteroffiziers, veterans from Narvik and Crete. Fallschirmjägerschulle II had a complement of about 500 men with indoor and outdoor training facilities. TG 4 and TG 5 were stationed on the nearby airfield, with several types of transport aircraft - Do 23, Ju 52, He 111 and Me 323. After intensive three week training course and six jumps, Slovakian trainees received their Fallschirmjäger badges. The end of their training course was marked by a group jump from Me 323 together with German parachutists.

    With the return of Meško, Lenárt, Lachký and Pisarčík from Germany in mid July 1943, parachutist training in Slovakia finally commenced. Parachutist Detachment was invisioned as training and combat unit and formed out of volunteers from all branches of Slovakian army including several men already under training at Flight school. Training was conducted at boot camp in Banska Bystrica and at Tri Duby airfield. Parachutes, uniforms, helmets, weapons and other equipment of the unit were of German origin. Detachment could use jumping towers (constructed to the German specifications) and had one Ju 52 and two Heinkel He 111 aircraft of the Air Arms (VZ) at their disposal. First group jump of Slovakian paratroopers took place at Tri Duby on 15th October 1943 from He 111 (S-81) piloted by J.Hergott and V.Gruň. Aircraft took off four times on that day, so all members of the unit conducted one jump. Further jumps from altitudes of 250, 200, 180 and 150 meters fallowed. First parachutist training course officially ended on 30th October with group jump of the entire Detachment from both He 111s in the presence of president Tiso, Minister of Defense and representatives of the Air Arms command.

    On 1st February 1944 second parachutist trainig course commenced with 42 new trainees. Many of them were former members of Fast Division (Rýchla Divizia) and combat veterans from Caucasus and Crimea. Alongside everyday tasks, theory lessons and condition training, great emphasis was given to the infantry combat training. In February 1944 Paraschutist Detachment took part in Winter tactical manouver near Zvolen. On 14th March Detachment took part in the parade on the occasion of Slovakian independence day. In April unit was transferred to Zvolen. With intensive schedule of training jumps and tactical excersises during spring and summer of 1944, the second parachutist training course effectively ended in August.

    Parachutist Detachment (Padákový oddiel) now became fully operational combat unit with about 90 men. Plans of MNO to form further units of this type, including air infantry with the use of gliders, never came to fruition. In late August Slovak National uprising began in which this unit played a significant part joining the insurgents. It is a testimony to their excellent training and high devotion to duty that during two months of heavy fighting unit took only one fatal casualty. Involvement of Parachutist Detachment in Slovak National Uprising will be also covered in one of the future posts.

    Compiled by imalko
    Source of info and pictures: "Slovenske letectvo 1939-1944" Volume 2
     

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  2. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    #2 imalko, Feb 7, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
    Four Slovakian trainees took training course at Fallschirmjägerschulle II in Wittstock-Dosse in Germany in summer of 1943 - natporučnik Juraj Meško (left picture), cadets Jozef Lachký and Jozef Pisarčík and čatnik Ladislav Lenárt (right picture). Meško was to become commanding officer of "Padákový oddiel" (Parachutist Detachment) and led his unit into fierce combat during National Uprising in fall 1944.
     

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  3. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting Imalko! Thank you for sharing!:cool: :headbang:
     
  4. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    #4 imalko, Feb 7, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
    Few pictures of Slovakian Fallschirmjägers during training. The bottom picture was taken in February 1944 at Lieskovec near Zvolen during Winter Tactical Manouvers.
     

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  5. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    #5 imalko, Feb 7, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
    Slovak Air Arms operated two Heinkel He 111s (designated S-81 and S-82), which stood at the disposal of Parachutist Detachment and Flight School. Both aircraft were unarmed (machine guns and bomb bays removed) and adapted for transport and paratrooper training roles.
     

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  6. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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  7. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    Cheers Aaron. Glad you find this interesting. As mentioned before I'm still planing to post further info regarding the involvement of "Padákový oddiel" in the Uprising.
     
  8. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Wow Igor, that is extremely interesting, I can't wait for more!
     
  9. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    #9 imalko, Mar 6, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
    Few more pictures... (Source: "Slovenske letectvo 1939-1945" Vol 3)
     

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  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  11. tatko1953

    tatko1953 New Member

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    hi imalko - Jozef Lachky was my very best father - i send you a few photos - bye !
     
  12. tatko1953

    tatko1953 New Member

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    hi imalko - Jozef Lachky was my very best father - i send you a few photos - bye !
     

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  13. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    Ahoj!
    Wonderful pictures friend! Thank you very much for sharing, they make great addition to this thread! Have your father ever spoke to you about his experiences during WW2? Would be interesting to hear no doubt.

    And, by the way, welcome to the forum. :D
     
  14. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Vďaka Igor!

    I´ve never known and heard about this unit before...pretty interesting!
     
  15. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The one on the left - nice feet and leg position for PLF, the one on the right - "not so good"
     
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