What were the experiences of those involved?

A German soldier’s views about Stella Rossa (the partisan group operating in Monte Sole)

This is an extract from Im gleichen Schritt und Tritt,  an unofficial history of the 16th SS Panzer grenadier division written by the veterans themselves after the war with the clear intention of seeking to absolve themselves from any responsibility for what happened at Monte Sole. This letter was written by Michael (Mix) Herbst, who died in 1982.

 

Attacking the “Stella Rossa”, caused 1st Company heavy casualties. As far as I remember, 5 deaths and 16 wounded men. On the morning of 29th September, I was sent by Major Reder to 1st Company. I saw that combatants of the “Stella Rossa” were returning fire from an old cottage they were sheltering in. After the fight, I had to hand over the Stella Rossa’s daily orders (which were found in the cottage after the fight) to the leader of 1st Company. Their daily order said: ‘We are going to get attacked by several units this morning. Let the enemy come near to you, in order to cause as many casualties as possible.’ I remember the order precisely, because I was the one who took it to the GStd (Gefechtsstand - Headquarter).

Source: TruppenkameradenSchaft, Im gleichen Schritt und Tritt“, Dokumentation der 16. SS-Panzergrenadierdivision„Reichsführer-SS“, Muenchen, 1998