Rare Texel deathcard to Johann Eder KIA 6.4.1945 during Georgian uprising
Original deathcard to Obergefreiter Johann Eder was a German soldier killed in action during the infamous Georgian uprising of the island Texel. The Georgian ‘volunteers’ stationed a coastal battery on the Island, north of the Netherlands defending the North Sea.
Shortly after midnight on the night of 5–6 April 1945, the Georgians rose up and gained control of nearly the entire island. Approximately two hundred German soldiers were killed in the initial uprising, in their quarters or while standing guard, walking the roads of the island in groups or individually that night and the following day. Members of the Dutch resistance participated and assisted the Georgians. However, the rebellion hinged on an expected Allied landing which did not occur. Furthermore, the Georgians failed to secure the naval batteries on the southern and northern coasts of the island; the crews of these artillery installations were the only Germans still alive on the island.
A counterattack was ordered and the intact artillery batteries on the island began firing at sites where rebels were suspected to be. Approximately 2,000 riflemen of the 163rd Marine-Schützenregiment were deployed from the Dutch mainland. Over the next five weeks they re-took the island; fighting was particularly heavy in the northern part of the island at Eierland and around the lighthouse. The German troops then combed the length of the island for any remaining Georgian soldiers, while the Dutch inhabitants sought to hide them. The German commander of the 882nd battalion, Major Klaus Breitner, stated long after the war that the uprising was “treachery, nothing else;” the captured mutineers were ordered to dig their own graves, remove their German uniforms, and be executed.
During the rebellion, 565 Georgians, at least 812 Germans, and 120 residents of Texel were killed. The destruction was enormous; dozens of farms went up in flames, with damage later estimated at ten million guilders (US$3.77 million). The bloodshed lasted beyond the German capitulation in the Netherlands and Denmark on 5 May 1945 and even beyond Germany’s general surrender on 8 May 1945. The fighting continued until Canadian troops arrived 20 May 1945 to enforce the German surrender, and disarmed the remaining German troops.
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