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 MUNSTER GARRISON 1946

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JPW
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PostSubject: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   19/7/2013, 12:40

As many longstanding members of this site will know Cuxhaven Steve and I are involved in a joint project to research and record the early days of BAOR (we have been at it for almost four years now)

Following a tip off by one of my German Contacts I recently visited the National Archives at Kew to search out a document concerning Barrack naming policy in the early months of BAOR. I expected to find perhaps twenty, at best fifty, names. To my astonishment over 100 names/locations were listed, some very familiar, some previously unknown to me and there were some obvious gaps. Steve and I will be comparing notes and ultimately I expect to have identified over 200 locations/barrack names. Far too many to list at present but the relevant amendments will be posted on the Main Pages once we can access them.

However one particular Garrison stood out. I thought I was fairly familiar with Munster having lived in the area in the mid 50s as a schoolboy and returning later as a serving soldier.

The Barrack names Nelson, Portsmouth, Winterbourne and York were very familiar.

The absence of Oxford Barracks (the former Luftwaffe Herman Goering Kaserne was very surprising. The fact that Buller, Swinton and Waterloo are missing is easily explained. The former Munster Fliegerhorst was semi derelict and was then the site of a RASC controlled Petrol Depot and was not developed to provide additional barrack accommodation until after Munster was identified in the late 1940s as one of the longterm BAOR Garrisons with a complete Brigade plus Logistic units as resident units.

Similarly the weapon storage site at Handorf was probably named Simpson by the Americans.

Totally new to me are the names Aldershot (a FLAK Battalion site), Chatham ("The Dutch Barracks"), Marlborough (former Cavalry Kaserne), Chester "a hutted Camp", Plymouth (Old FLAK Kaserne) and Winchester "The Belgian Barracks") I am particularly interested in where the Belgian and Dutch Barracks were in 1945/46, according to my researches the Belgian Piron Brigade and Dutch Princess Irene were never stationed in Munster proper but where briefly in village locations in the surrounding countryside in Summer 1945

We do have a number of Contributors to this site who served in Munster over the years. I would be very interested to know whether any one can recall any of the British Barrack names mentioned in my penultimate paragraph


Last edited by JPW on 29/7/2013, 20:00; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   24/7/2013, 14:30

A huge thank you to Alan 8376 who has kindly sent me copies of the local German newspaper editions published to mark the departure of the Yorkshire Regiment from Munster and the end of the British Garrison

One includes a lengthy article with a map showing the former British Barracks, I need to study the detail but it looks as if I may be able to identify atleast one ,if not two, of the mystery Barracks I mentioned in my earlier contribution

Our Irish contributors may be amused to note that one of the photographs chosen to illustrate the article is of the Irish Guards St Patrick's Day Celebrations in Oxford Barracks in the late 1990's (they are all wearing Shamrock on their No1 Dress Hats). A second shows Prince Charles, dressed as Colonel of the Regiment, visiting the RDG in York Barracks in 2005
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   29/7/2013, 18:25

I was born in 1950 at Münster. As a German boy I was very interested in (foreign) cars, and so I knew the locations of the British barracks and married quarters quite well. While riding around on my bicycle I looked at all those Hillman Minx and Morris Minors and was quite fascinated. Once I even entered Oxford-Bks by an open back entrance and nobody stopped me (as a youth) on my bicycle.
As to the names you mention, I don`t know them from the 50s/6os. But I remember those "Nissen huts" on Hindenburgplatz (Schlossplatz) with the British Information Centre "Die Brücke" and an army coal depot. And the Globe Cinema at Servatiiplatz near the Main Station.
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   29/7/2013, 19:16

Deadleaf

Welcome and thank you for your contribution, which brought back personal memories of Munster in the mid 1950s. My family lived in Hamm at the time where there was only a small NAAFI Families Shop, we therefore, together with other families from the area, entitled to a monthly shopping trip to the main NAAFI Families Shop in Munster which as I remember was close to the Globe Cinema in the area of Munster HBF. In the 1960s both  facilities were moved out to new build premises in York Barracks in Gremmendorf

Going back to my earlier postings I am now pretty certain I have identified Cavalry Kaserne/Marlborough Barracks as Kurrasier Kaserne or von Einem Kavallerie Kaserne in the north west of the City. However in my time I cannot remember a British unit being based there. Can any of our other contributors remember one?

Equally puzzling is the Weissenburg Kaserne in the southern suburbs which the newspaper article claims was another British barracks (but gives no clue to the name). Again I am certain in my time (1960s) there was no British occupants. Study of the internet shows that the site has been rebuilt into high quality housing. Again any ideas what was the British name for the Barracks?
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   30/7/2013, 09:21

Some time ago I read an article about former German barracks in Münster (if you ask, sorry, I dont know where)
Winchester-Bks = former Schlieffenkaserne, later Landespolizeischule (Weseler Strasse)
Plymouth-Bks = former Artilleriekaserne (Grevener Strasse)
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   30/7/2013, 09:38

Deadleaf

Wunderbar!!
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   9/8/2013, 19:36

May I publicly thank Deadleaf (Detlef) who has now accurately identified the location of three of the mystery barracks.

He has also kindly offered to investigate the Weissenburg location

I need to double check facts but it would appear that the three mystery barracks (in the north west corner of the Stadt) were only used by the British Army for a relatively short time as transit accommodation in 1945/46 and subsequently as emergency accommodation for ethnic German civilian families displaced from the East who had to be permanently resettled in the Munster area.
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Goldmohur
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   10/8/2013, 15:48

I passed through Munster many times in my BAOR days en route to places like Soltau having staged at Haltern.

In more recent times I have been twice as a visitor. I was taken to Brauerei Pinkus Muller and was amused to find BAOR lads graffiti carved on tables and beams. www.pinkus.de - I could not recognise anything in the city but then I recalled to myself that my earlier transits had been brief and at dead of night or similar. As I drew near as a passenger in the recent times I was amused to find I could still recognise the Autobahn signs and recite to myself the next location that would appear.

Anyway its a pleasant and very interesting city these days.

I enjoyed reading the contributions to this tread.
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   22/8/2013, 06:56

Just read an interesting book about Displaced Persons in Munster and its district 1945 - 1951, very informative but in German.
In June 1945 there were twenty DP camps in the area (named V 1 to V 20), jointly run by the British army and UNRRA, just two of them were in former barracks (those later called York- and Portsmouth Bks). Years later, all the camps but Portsmouth had been closed, housing for those DPs who did not want to go back to their now communist countries was provided in Lincoln-, Colchester- and Plymouth-Bks on Grevener Strasse. Only in 1950 the administration of the last camp (Colchester) was handed over to German authorities. Lincoln was still used for British army purposes.

It may be of interest, that two units are mentioned which administered and guarded the camps in 1945: 124 and 125 LAA Regiments of 76 Anti-Aircraft Brigade
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   22/8/2013, 08:26

Quote :
It may be of interest, that two units are mentioned which administered and guarded the camps in 1945:  124 and 125 LAA Regiments of 76 Anti-Aircraft Brigade
Deadleaf

Thanks very much have the brigade listed as part of 3rd Infantry Division

May 45 - 76th Anti-Aircraft Brigade RA from 2nd Army – HQ Münster

120th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment RA Emsdetten west of Onsabrück

124th (Highland) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment RA Tollgate east of Munster

125th (Cameroonians) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment RA Nordwalde north of Münster

It appears the brigade was disbanded when the division returned to the UK in Jul 45 and 125 LAA moved to 15 AA Bde command 52nd (Lowland) Division will now included 124 LAA as well

Best regards
Steve
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   22/8/2013, 10:10

Steve

Tollgate is Telgte ?

Detlef
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   22/8/2013, 10:55

Deadleaf

Many thanks for your latest contribution. Very interesting and informative and a valuable addition to the Munster data bank.

A couple of comments. The Grevener Strasse Barracks were often referred to as Mariental by the British Army. I believe a number of them were used as a Transit Camp in 1945/Spring 1946 as a Transit Camp for British servicemen returning to the UK prior to discharge from the Armed Forces and return to civilian life. I have details of the military train timetable for this period which shows four long distance military trains leaving from Mariental not Munster HBF (destinations included Ostend, Brussels and the Hook of Holland). Interesting about the early use of York Barracks. Steve and I have the 5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards , a Tank Regiment, arriving in Spring 1946. Their Regimental History records that they were not impressed with their new accommodation compared to what they had left in Itzehoe.
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   22/8/2013, 11:21

Deadleaf wrote:
Steve

Tollgate is Telgte ?

Detlef
I think you're right Detlef.
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   22/8/2013, 12:25

Deadleaf wrote:
Steve

Tollgate is Telgte ?

Detlef


Another example of the British Army mispelling German place names. It adds to the challenge of Steve and my researches into the War Diaries of the period.
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   22/8/2013, 15:10

For what it's worth, when we were stationed in Munster we called it "Telgate".

Typical squaddies !
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   22/8/2013, 16:14

[quote="steve"

125th (Cameroonians) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment RA Nordwalde north of Münster

Best regards
Steve[/quote]

While we're Nit Picking, I believe that the above should be 125th (Cameronians) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment RA.Suspect Suspect 
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   22/8/2013, 19:22

No problem gents it is not "nit picking" at all...many thanks for the updates...JPW and myself have come across some very bad spelling in our research...remember "history is a mystery and only as good as those wrote it down"...keep up the good work
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   22/8/2013, 19:37

All you've got to do now is placate some highly offended LAA gunners from the Cameroons. afro Sad 
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   8/10/2013, 11:08

1. Aldershot Flak batallion site

There were lots of Flak (Anti-Aircraft) Batteries in and around Muenster (handled by those poor high school students) These small sites were probably not used in 1946. But a batallion should have used a bigger site i.e. barracks. You were surprised that Oxford was not mentioned. So my conclusion would be: Aldershot and Oxford are the same, later renamed by new occupants. Another proof would be that H.-Goering-Kaserne was inhabited by Luftwaffen-Flakartillerie.

2. Winchester Bks (in my opinion Schlieffen-Kas. Weseler Strasse)

On the 29th of May 1945 the Belgian Piron Brigade started the (military) occupation of the districts Kreis Beckum and Kreis Lüdinghausen, just south of Muenster. As they were living in small castles, hotels, schools etc. they might have been looking for proper baracks, especially for storing and repairing the vehicles. And as these were probably not available in this rural area, I suppose they reached out to Muenster and took the barracks furthest south, easily reachable by the roads B235/B35 (now).
The Landespolizeischule started in the barrack only in 1949.

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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   9/10/2013, 11:03

Deadleave

Thank you very much for your latest contribution

I too have some more information which I would like your opinion on before publishing on this site, I will contact you privately
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   10/10/2013, 08:56

With my research of Iserlohn can confirm the former Flak Kaserne there was named Aldershot Barracks by HQ 1 Corps District (in 1905 known as Aldershot Army Corps) a huge complex pre WW2 the top of a hill was removed to achieve this Aldershot Barracks
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   13/10/2013, 13:01

Hello,

I tried to advertise a German web link, listing Wehrmacht locations/baracks.
But do not seem to be allowed to.

Kind regards,

MB aka Mike the Fritz
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   13/10/2013, 17:28

Mike

Thank you for the suggestion

A number of us have found German Language sites listing German/NATO Barracks In almost every case there is very little reference to the Hitler era origins and names quoted are usually those used by the Bundeswehr.
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PostSubject: Re: MUNSTER GARRISON 1946   20/10/2013, 20:12

Research into the subject has been very much a team effort with Deadleaf, Steve and Alan8376 all actively involved as well as useful prompts from other members of this site.

There have been some very significant developments in the past couple of weeks. The original February 1945 HQ BAOR document gave Grid References for a number of the key locations but these did not translate into credible data using the known maps. Steve however has found a 1945 version of a map originally produced from RAF photo reconnaissance flights in Autumn 1944 which does match up with the HQ BAOR document and compliments information provided by Deadleaf.

As a result we have details of 15 Barrack locations used by the British Army over the years as well as another three possibilities. Still to be confirmed is the details of the deployment of the British Anti Aircraft Brigade who were initially responsible for Occupational Duties in Kreis/Stadt Munster from Summer 1945 onwards.

This information is too large and complex to publish on the Forum but will be included in the revised Location pages off the original data base once we can access these pages. If anyone is particularly interested I will happily send them a copy of my working notes via a pm

A few essential points.
1. Aldershot/ Flak and Oxford/Herman Goering were indeed the same barracks
2. Winchester Barracks was not Schliefen Kaserne but the southern most of the five Barracks strung along the Grevenerstrasse (these included the Lincoln and Nelson Barracks of later years)
3. Mention was also made of a "Hutted Camp". Originally this was thought to be the old Race Course to the south of the city which was used to hold British, French and Russian POW in World War One. This has now been discounted and the actual site identified in what is now Gievenbek in the northwest suburbs of the modern city.

Finally a humourous aside. There is documentary evidence to show that in the early years the British often referred to the Grevenerstrasse Barracks as Marienthal (in much same way that Buller, Swinton and Waterloo were known as the Loddenheide complex in later years). Marienthal was actually the name of the local Mental Hospital and a common local insult was to say "do you come from Marienthal?"
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