After the airborne assault of Crete in 1941, where Hitler used the deployment of Fallschirmjagers in order to capture the island under the codename Operation Mercury, various remaining Fallschirmjager units were regrouped to form a brigade under the command of Oberst Hermann-Bernhard Ramcke. The newly formed brigade was planned to be involved in Operation Hercules; the invasion of Malta but plans were cancelled. The brigade named Fallschirmjager-Brigade Afrika was set to be deployed in North Afrika to support the Deutches Afrika Korps (DAK) under the command of Erwin Rommel.
In April 1942 the brigade was renamed Fallschirmjager-Brigade Ramcke taking the name of it's commander. Three months later in July 1942 the brigade arrived in North Afrika acting as a counter attack against the Special Air Service (SAS) which had previously been carrying out a successful campaign against German forces in Africa. Ramcke's brigade next took part in the DAK assault towards the Suez Canal, in this assault they fought alongside the DAK and the Italian 25th Infantry Division Bologna. The brigade fought as British troops strengthened the town El Alamein.
The brigade was then also used in the Second Battle of El Alamein, which resulted in the withdrawal of the remaining German troops, the division became cut off and trapped behind enemy lines. On November 3 1942 the division began to march west in the hope of joining up with the rest of the retreating German troops, in the process it is estimated around 450 of the brigade died due to lack of supply from the German High Command. A few days later on the night of the 6th November 1942 the brigade stumbled across a British 8th Army supply convoy, which consisted of a large number of transportation vehicles and included much needed supplies such as food, tobacco. water and fuel. The brigade captured the convoy without firing a shot then continued heading west where they met the remainder of the axis forces, in total they had travelled over 200 miles in order to link up with them.
The brigade was transported to Tunisia for rest and renamed Luftwaffen-Jager-Brigade 1. With the allied forces pressing on Tunisia the brigade was sent back to the front line. Ramcke the commander of the brigade was transferred back to Europe and Major Hans Kroh took command of the Brigade. The brigade was involved in heavy fighting in and around the mountainous terrain of Southern Tunisia. In May 1943 the Panzer-Armee Afrika collapsed, surrendering to the Allies, as a result of this the Brigade ceased fighting.
One of the veterans of the brigade Friedrich August Von der Heydte went on to command Fallschirmjager Regiment 6 near the town of Carentan in the Normandy campaign of 1944. Ramcke took command of the defence of Brest where he managed to hold out till 20 September 1944; he was responsible for the evacuation of over 40,000 civilians from the town.
Name: Heinz Link
Place of Birth: Düsseldorf
Date of Birth: 10.01.1921
Name: Karl Weiss
Alias: 'Alte Hase'
Place of Birth: Detmold, Lippe
Date of Birth: 07.04.1896
Name: Hans Falkner
Branch: Kleinwaffen und
Place of Birth: Bremen
Date of Birth: 01.06.1923
Name: Ludwig Heinrich
Place of Birth: Wurzbürg
Date of Birth: 25.03.1904
Private First Class
Uniform and Equipment
Basic Uniform for North Africa
M41 Tropical Field Cap or Side Cap
Tropical tan German shirt (Long/Short sleeved) or Heer grey combat shirt
Ramcke Brigade patch (Right sleeve of the tunic and tropical shirt)
Tropical tan German tunic
Tropical tan German trousers
Fallschirmjager 2nd Pattern front lace jump boots or Tropical Low boot
Our unit was formed in 2014 by Oberfeldwebel Weiss and Obergefreiter Link; after portraying Fallschirmjager for numerous years as part of the European theatre of war, it was decided to change to portray the war in North Africa which isn't as well represented at re-enactment events. Our members searched for a particular unit in which to focus our research and impression on and decided upon the portrayal of Ramcke Brigade. At current our group are one of only two known re-enactment groups in the world that portray Ramcke Brigade with the other group being located in Australia. This is a very good reason for us to continue to portray this unit. Please feel free to have a look at this page to learn more about Ramcke Brigade and its part in the Second World War. If you are interested in getting into re-enactment why not contact us by email by clicking on the button below to see how you too can get involved in this hobby.
Additional Uniform for North Africa
M38/M40 Fallschirmjager steel helmet
Green/Grey or Splinter helmet cover
Tropenhelm (Luftwaffe tropical pith helmet)
Splinter B Fallschirmjager jump smock
Luftwaffe M40 Fliegerbluse
Tropical tan shorts
Opel Olympia OL38
This model of car was produced by Opel from 1937 - 1940 with production being halted during ww2 with the onslaught of heavy allied bombing raids over Germany. These vehicles were used in various roles throughout the war in particular as Staff Cars and Ambulances. With the shortage of vehicles and transport, these cars were used extensively on all fronts by axis forces, including in North Africa. This particular Opel Olympia is a working film prop that was used in 'Saving Private Ryan' and 'Singapore' and is available to book for events and can be hired for filming.
Name: Otto Lutz
Place of Birth: Hameln
Date of Birth: 08.02.1907
Our members at RAF Cosford for the 75th Anniversary of 238 SQN's deployment to North Africa.
Image courtesy of Kath Wood, Axis-Allied.
Name: Konrad Duden
Place of Birth: Lackhausen
Date of Birth: 10.03.1922
Name: Heini Shultz
Alias: 'Das Arsenal'
Place of Birth: Cologne
Date of Birth: 27.08.1915
Name: Deitmar Biefhoff
Place of Birth: Dresden
Date of Birth: 23.03.1906
Name: Walther Neuer
Place of Birth: Munich
Date of Birth: 12.06.1923
Name: Arthur Heise
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Fallschirmjäger Regiment 1 (FJR 1)
Our group members also portray Fallschirmjager Regiment 1 following their unit history through the various conflicts and battles such as Holland, Crete, Russia and Italy.
Our members holding the trophy after winning the award for Best Living History Group at the Ironbridge Gorge WW2 Weekend in May 2017.
As a unit we portray various roles and specialisations that were undertaken by members of Ramcke Brigade. Below is a list of some of the various roles we portray as part of recreating camp life. Please click on the individual unit roles to find out more about each one. (This section is currently under construction, please check back soon!).
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