Operation Landfried

land peace

'Landfried' was a German commando operation by three special forces groups of SS-Sturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny’s SS Jagdverband 'Mitte' (ex-SS Sonder Lehrgang zbV 'Friedenthal' and ex-502nd SS Jägerbataillon) to hold the key passes in the Romanian end of the Carpathian mountains at Braşov, Sibiu and Karlstadt, and to destroy nearby road and rail bridges (August/September 1944).

Designed to slow the Soviet advance and buy time for German troops and the ethnic Germans of Transylvania to escape westward into Hungary in the face of the advance into Romania of Marshal Sovetskogo Soyuza Rodion Ya. Malinovsky’s 2nd Ukrainian Front and Marshal Sovetskogo Soyuza Fyedor I. Tolbukhin’s 3rd Ukrainian Front, the operation was led by SS-Hauptsturmführer van Vessem, and comprised one full company, part of another company, and a transport element totalling some 300 men including 50 Dutchmen and Flemings as well as a few ethnic Germans from Hungary. The part-company comprised 105 men of SS-Untersturmführer Walter Girg’s 1st Kompanie of the SS Jagdverband 'Mitte', which operated behind the Soviet lines in the Carpathian mountains.

The group was finally located in the Braşov region, but was saved from capture by a German artillery bombardment, which allowed the men to escape back to the German lines. The intelligence that the groups obtained was very significant in the further prosecution of German operations on the Romanian front.