“The units were badly mixed up, but it was mostly Cole’s outfit. We started to advance, and the Germans had us pinned down in an open field and the only place I could get to was a dead furrow, a deep ditch,” recalled Bowser. “They pinned us down there, and I was head to head to my squad leader, Sergeant [Robert E.] Pope, and I said, ‘What do we do now?’ He said, ‘I don’t know. Let’s have a smoke.’ So he lit a cigarette and tore it in two. My half was all soaking wet. And the first thing I can recall is that an order came down the line, all the way from Cole: ‘Fix bayonets.’ So we fixed bayonets, and on Cole’s command, ‘Everybody up and at ’em.’ And we went in. But the Germans didn’t stay to fight. They left. Then we kept driving into Carentan. To this day I don’t know whether we got credit for taking Carentan, or if the 506 (Parachute Infantry Regiment) did.”
After mid-1944, Fallschirmjäger were no longer trained as paratroops owing to the realities of the strategic situation, but retained the Fallschirmjäger honorific. Near the end of the war, the series of new Fallschirmjäger divisions extended to over a dozen, with a concomitant reduction in quality in the higher-numbered units of the series. Among these divisions was the 9th Fallschirmjäger Division, which was the final parachute division to be raised by Germany during World War II . The Russian army destroyed the division during the Battle of Berlin in April 1945. The Fallschirmjäger were issued specialist weapons such as the FG 42 and specially designed helmets.
This compass consists of a black or red-brown molded material such as bakelite, modeled after the P37 uniform button. Black was for RAF uniforms, red-brown for the Army. The button is ” (19,05 mm) diameter x ” (3,81 mm) thick. The periphery is rounded and the outer surface has a ” (1,02 mm) dimple in its center. A nickeled brass pin made of ” (1,27 mm) diameter wire passes through the center of the button from the outside surface, with the pin headed part being on the outside. The pin is formed into a closed loop on the back side.