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Normandy Wehrpass - 91 (LL) Division. St. Mere-Eglise

Article about: Hi folks, I got this wehrpass a while ago but thought it would be a perfect time to share it with the forum! Hope you like it, Russ Gefreiter Heinrich Stahl Units:- 26/05/1943—09/09/1943..

  1. #1

    Default Normandy Wehrpass - 91 (LL) Division. St. Mere-Eglise

    Hi folks,

    I got this wehrpass a while ago but thought it would be a perfect time to share it with the forum!

    Hope you like it,


    Gefreiter Heinrich Stahl


    26/05/1943—09/09/1943..Stamm Kompanie./ Gebirgsjäger-Ersatz- und Ausbildungs-Bataillon 319.
    10/09/1943—21/11/1943.. 5(schw) Kompanie./ Gebirgsjäger-Ersatz- und Ausbildungs-Bataillon 319.
    22/11/1943—25/03/1944..9./ Grenadier-Regiment 1025.
    26/03/1944—12/06/1944..9./ Grenadier-Regiment 1057.
    Heinrich was killed in action on the 12/06/1944. Pont l'Abbé, Picauville, Normandie.

    Active Units:-

    9./ Grenadier-Regiment 1025 and 9./ Grenadier-Regiment 1057 part of the 91. (LL) Infanterie-Division.
    The 91. Luftlande was formed on January 15th, 1944, in Baumholder, Germany. Although a Heer (Army) unit despite its name (Luftlande standing roughly for Airmobile), it was created with the intended purpose of being entirely deployable by air. Its role was to be used as a follow-up unit during an air or seaborne assault: once the first wave of assault troops would have landed and secured an enemy airfield, such an airmobile division could be airlifted straight into the combat zone.
    To that effect, the division was stripped of most of a regular infantry division’s vehicles, had no supporting armour nor heavy Flak guns, and its artillery was made up of mountain guns, lighter but also of shorter range than their army counterparts. 91. Luftlande was first placed under the command of Generalleutnant Bruno Ortner, the latter was quickly replaced by Generalleutnant Wilhelm Falley.
    Yet, the division’s intended role was soon forgotten and the 91. Luftlande transferred to Reims, France, as a regular (although under-equipped) infantry division. In May, it was moved again, in Normandy this time, to defend the Sainte-Mère-Eglise sector.
    To bolster its strength, 91. Luftlande was given authority, before or after D-Day, over several independent units stationed in the area:
    6. Fallschirmjäger-Regiment, an oversized elite airborne regiment under the command of the stern Oberst von der Heydte.
    Panzer–Ausbildungs-und-Ersatz–Abteilung 100 (PzAuE 100), an armoured training battalion entirely equipped with French captured tanks (R-35, H-39, …), save for a few command Panzer III.
    StuG-Abteilung 902
    artillery batteries (many with captured Soviet guns)
    Therefore, 91. Luftlande went into battle as a motley assortment of regular grenadiers, elite paratroopers, trainees, French infantry tanks, StuG, Soviet gun-howitzers, …
    Wilhelm Falley, like many other high-ranking German officers, was in Rennes on June 5th, where a Kriegspiel had been taking place. Yet, unlike others, he didn’t take the opportunity to remain in the capital city of Britanny to enjoy a leisurely evening. Thus he was on his way back to his division’s HQ near Sainte-Mère-Eglise when waves after waves of planes flew over his head in the darkness, dropping American paratroopers all over Cotentin. Ordering his driver to speed up, Falley was only a few kilometers from his destination when at 1 AM, June 6th, his staff car fell into an ambush laid by First Lieutenant Brannen, 82nd Airborne. The car was riddled with bullets, crashing into a wall. Inside, Falley was dead: killed one hour into D-Day, he was among the very first German casualties and the first German general to be killed during the battle of Normandy.
    Despite Falley’s untimely death and his successor, Oberst Eugen König, not being appointed before June 7th (and only taking command on June 10th), the 91. Luftlande quickly reacted to the Allied invasion and identified the 82nd Airborne‘s main objective: Sainte-Mère-Eglise, which had fallen to the paratroopers near 5 AM. At first light on June 6th, 91. Luftlande‘s 1058. Grenadier-Regiment attacked the city from the North, while its 1057. supported by PzAuE 100‘s tanks did the same from the West, with von der Heydte’s Fallschirmjäger holding the South. Although the Northern pincer achieved some successes, the Germans failed in recapturing the strategic city.
    The Western pronged of the attack on Sainte-Mère was hampered by the fact that rear elements from 1057. Grenadier-Regiment were themselves attacked by other American paratroopers which had landed behind them and captured the bridges over the Merderet River, thus cutting the regiment in two.
    At 2 PM on June 6th, other elements from 1057. Grenadier-Regiment still on the Western bank attacked the bridge at La Fière, supported by a Panzer III and three R-35 & H-39 tanks from PzAuE 100. Yet, despite the Americans having only two bazooka teams as anti-tank defence, the 1057. lost its three Beutepanzers and failed again to recapture the key position.
    Such encounters took place all along the Merderet river’s crossings, all of them staunchly held by American paratroopers …
    After its failed counter-attacks on D-Day and the next days, 91. Luftlande went mostly on the defensive once the first American tanks from Utah Beach reached the paratroopers’ positions. The division, lightly equipped as it was, had its chance against the equally light paratroopers in the first hours of the operation, but that opportunity was now gone.
    While the 6. Fallschirmjäger was fighting in the South of the Cotentin Peninsula, the bulk of the 91. Luftlande was under increasing pressure from American troops pouring from Utah Beach and driving West toward Barneville, on the Cotentin’s opposite coast. When that city was captured on June 17th, the German troops in the Northern part of the peninsula, around Cherbourg, were completely sealed off from the South. And most of the 91. Luftlande among them.
    For the 91. Luftlande, things had started to get bad when, on June 9th, 2nd Armoured Division tanks had appeared along the Merderet River, thus ending any hope of recapturing the bridges by its own means. The next day, the 91. Luftlande‘s new commander, Eugen König, took command. At that moment, the division’s situation was already bleak, but it got worse three days later …
    In a most unusual manner, 82nd Airborne‘s paratroopers launched on June 13rd an offensive against the PzAuE 100‘s Beutepanzers, although unsupported by armour themselves. Men charging tanks. But in the bocage, it paid-off, and PzAuE 100 lost, destroyed or captured, about 15 of its tanks in that action. Its last functioning vehicle, a Panzer III, would be destroyed on June 19th near Prêtot, and the battalion itself dissolved on July 1st.
    Left without tanks, 91. Luftlande amalgamated elements from other destroyed units, including several Ost bataillonen, yet couldn’t be kept at divisional strength, especially regarding the infantry. On the other hand, it was quite heavy in artillery, with a wide array of gun types (including Soviet ones) and some 20 StuGs attached from StuG-Abteilung 902. Reduced to a mere battlegroup, it was itself attached to other divisions fighting a delaying action toward Cherbourg and surrendered with this city’s garrison on June 26th.

    Normandy Wehrpass - 91 (LL) Division. St. Mere-EgliseNormandy Wehrpass - 91 (LL) Division. St. Mere-EgliseNormandy Wehrpass - 91 (LL) Division. St. Mere-EgliseNormandy Wehrpass - 91 (LL) Division. St. Mere-EgliseNormandy Wehrpass - 91 (LL) Division. St. Mere-EgliseNormandy Wehrpass - 91 (LL) Division. St. Mere-EgliseNormandy Wehrpass - 91 (LL) Division. St. Mere-EgliseNormandy Wehrpass - 91 (LL) Division. St. Mere-Eglise

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  3. #2


    Hi Russ.

    Great write up and I agree the timing is perfect to post this.

    I had a search for information about Heinrich but unfortunately I couldn't find a casualty card for him and couldn't find him on the Volksbund either.

    On page 20 it shows he was trained on the Karabiner 98k rifle, the Pistole 08 (Luger) and the 8 cm Granatwerfer 34 (8 cm GrW 34).

    8 cm Granatwerfer 34 - Wikipedia

    Kind regards,


  4. #3


    Very nice Wehrpaß Russg and a timely post.

  5. #4


    Great Wehpass and piece of history , excellent post .
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  6. #5
    TWS is offline


    Very nice Wehrpaß. I once owned a Waffenrock to an NCO of the divisional signal battalion, but I'd moved it on years back.

    Here's an interesting video about the death of Wilhelm Falley.
    The First German General Killed in the Battle of Normandy | History Traveler Episode 199 - YouTube
    Former U.S. Army Tanker.
    "Best job I ever had."

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