Exceptional Soldbuch for FJ Franz Borde
Borde was born on into a catholic family on the 11.3.1923 in the area of Leitmeritz (Modern day: Litoměřice, in CZ).
Borde was enlisted, and issued a Soldbuch on the 10.4.1942 in Canitz, with Flieger Ausb Rgt 61 – the unit was dedicated to training Luftwaffe recruits. Borde would spend some time in Braunschweig and Plantlünne on various airbases before being reassigned to:
5 Kompanie, Fallschrimjäger Regiment 11 (under 4 FJD) on the 28.12.1943
Borde would take part in the Anzio battle in January and February 1944 – Some info on the unit during the battle:
On January 22nd 1944, because of the Allied landing on both sides of Nettuno, the order was received by the Kampfgruppe (Combat Group) to immediately send a battalion to Albano. The priority task for the combat group was to secure the deployment of their own forces in the Albano area by blocking the access roads. The Hauber battalion on the right wing of the combat group made the first contact with the enemy. The left wing is formed by the Kleye battalion, which on January 23 connected with the Schönfeld Combat Group of the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division. But on January 25th the connection is lost again when parts of the 1st British Infantry Division threw the combat groups back from Aprilia.
On January 29, the open left flank of the Kleye battalion was hit by an attack with 30 tanks, which broke in on both sides of the gravel road to the northwest. With the support of heavy flak and the closed 14./FschJ-Rgt 11 deployed for anti-tank defence. The enemy advance is halted on January 30th at the Fosso di Vallelata. Sometime around here, Borde was wounded with a bullet and was removed from the frontline, sent back to Germany on a Medical Train and was awarded then Black Wounds Badge).
After recovery (June 2nd 1944) Borde would join his old company again, who had been fighting bitterly with over 200 combat days at this stage of the war.
Around the Via Appia, the regiment withdrew to Rome and across the Tiber. The catchment position north of Rome could not be held for long, it goes back along the Via Cassia. In the coming weeks the regiment was be pushed back to Pienza, where the Americans were then held up for two days. At the end of June and for most of July the division held positions at Siena and Poggibonsi. At the end of July, the HKL runs hard south of Florence.
When all German units withdrew to the Green Line (Futa Pass) in mid-September. The regiment is deployed directly at the Futa Pass and has the pass road and the pass height west of Firenzuola in its sector. In the morning hours of September 26th, enemy mountain troops broke into the 1st and 2nd battalions. The break in the line was sealed off, but the regiment was later withdrawn.
Borde was awarded by this stage of the war an Iron Cross Second Class for bravery (18.8.1944).
The Regiment then entered winter positions south and south-east of Bologna, were the division held up the Allies for a long time. At the end of January the regiment was relocated further east from its positions south of Bologna and moved to a new defensive position near Faenza. The main front line runs along the Senio through a wide, open valley. The regiment was withdrawn from Faenza at Imola.
For the winter battles Borde was awarded the Air Force Ground Assault Badge (23.11.1944).
On April 10, the long-awaited Allied offensive begins in northern Italy. With only two battalions, the regiment had to fight its way back over Medicina and Budrio. But on April 18, 1945, after two days of holding out in the canal position near Medicina, the order to change position came too late. Between the I. / FschJRgt 11 and the II./ FschJRgt 12, the enemy managed a deep break-in in the morning hours of April 19. Cordoned off with heavy losses, and the regiment must continue to fight back. Since the crossings over the Po to the northwest of Ferrara have been destroyed, almost all heavy weapons are lost when crossing, which makes a sustainable defence on the north bank impossible.
On the 10.4.1045 – Borde was now with 9 Kompaine, Fallschrimjäger Regiment 30.
From April 17, 1945, the regiment deployed against the Russian units advancing southwards on both sides of the Traisen to the west of Vienna near St. Pölten. On April 20, 1945 the association fought in the line Echenau – Buchberg – Nordrant Traisen – Wiesenfeld. Parts of the 1st Battalion were trapped on the Buchberg, but were able to break through in the night of April 23 to the own formations in new defensive positions to the west of Traisen on the Tarschenberg. The second battalion of the regiment was also engaged in heavy fighting with Russian infantry and tank units around Wiesenfeld. On April 23, the positions of the regiment on both sides of Marktl were by the III. / Paratrooper Regiment 28 west and the II. / Parachute Regiment 29 east of the road reinforced. On September 27, 1945, the regiment was relieved and then relocated to the area west of Freiland in order to move into a resting position. The regiment was reorganized and marched north at the beginning of May 1945 in order to join the 10th Paratrooper Division near Brno. After all rail connections on the north side of the Danube were interrupted, the regiment marched through the Wachau on foot. On May 9, 1945 it was captured by the Americans near Grein – Perg – Pergarten, but was extradited to the Red Army after a few days.
Borde was again wounded this time by a piece of shrapnel, he entered a hospital only on the 20.5.1945, likely as he made his way to the Allied forces as not to be captured by the Soviet Army. On the front page of his Soldbuch is a note in English, ‘Farm Hand’…
For the Summer of 1944 – Full Tropical clothing and a FJ Helmet, spade, and K98 Rifle.
For the winter of 1944/1945 – Full Winter Clothing including a Winter Camo Jacket!
Entries to note:
There is a Merkblatt for Sexually Transmitted Diseases – issued by the 1st Jagddivision. Warning soldiers of the effects of excessive drinking and having sexual relations. There is also a warning on the affects of chemical warfare. As well as a permit to carry a weapon in Occupied Holland with the local police numbers.
This is an exceptional Soldbuch, that seen the full brunt of the war in Italy in some of its most famous battlefields. These do not come up in the open market often!