The Lehr-Regiment Brandenburg z.b.V. 800 was formed on 1 June 1940 at Brandenburg an der Havel from the Bau-Lehr-Bataillon z.b.V. 800 (on order of OKH 1450/40 gKdos from 15 May 1940). It was subordinated directly to OKW / Amt Ausland/Abwehr.
The so-called “Brandenburger” (after the garrison) were the own troops of Admiral Canaris’ office [so-called “Haustruppe”] to perform commando-style combat operations, which were developed since the fall of 1939. The upsizing and re-organization to a regiment represented the preliminary end point of development of this rather new troops in the German military.

To explain the unit’s designation beside the popular name “Brandenburger” it was just the case that the number “800” was free and available and that the term “Bau-“ [construction] was choosen as a cover designation.

A Halbkompanie ("half company") from 13./Lehrregiment 800 Brandenburg z.b.V. under Oberleutnant von Koehnen was flown to North Africa from Catania in Italy on 14/15 November and then sent to Benghazi to shore up the defenses there.

Per 20 November 1942 the regiment was re-structured and renamed Sonderverband Brandenburg.

Commanders

Hauptmann Dr. Theodor von Hippel (10 Oct 1939 – 12 Oct 1940)
Major Hubertus von Aulock (12 Oct 1940 – end Oct 1940)
Oberstleutnant Paul Haehling von Lanzenauer (30 Nov 1940 – 20 Nov 1942)

Area of operations

1940 Maas, Waal bridges / Netherlands, Belgium
- Preparation for cancelled operations “Seelöwe” (England) and “Felix” (Gibraltar)
1941 Eisernes Tor (operation “Marita”) (II. Btl.)
- Dünaburg bridge
1941 North Africa
1942 Caucasus/Maikop (II. Btl.)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (4)
- Haut, [first name not listed], 12.07.1941 (059), Feldwebel, Bau-Lehr-Rgt. zbV 800 “Brandenburg”
- Hüller, Oskar, 05.10.1942 (1240), Leutnant, Halb-Kp.Fhr. 8./Lehr-Rgt. zbV 800 “Brandenburg”
- Knaak, Hans-Wolfram, 12.07.1941 (057), Oberleutnant, Chef 8./Bau-Lehr-Rgt. zbV 800 “Brandenburg”
- Werner, [first name not listed], 12.07.1941 (058), Oberfeldwebel, Bau-Lehr-Rgt. zbV 800 “Brandenburg”
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (7)
- Bansen, Hans-Gerhard, 09.07.1942, Oberleutnant d.R., 6./Lehr-Rgt. “Brandenburg” z.b.V. 800
- Hübschmann von, Edgar, 27.10.1942, Unteroffizier, 10./Lehr-Rgt. “Brandenburg” z.b.V. 800
- Klein, Karl, 05.06.1942, Leutnant d.R., 9./Lehr-Rgt. “Brandenburg” z.b.V. 800
- Oesterwitz, Karl-Heinz, 13.12.1942, Oberleutnant, 7./Lehr-Rgt. “Brandenburg” z.b.V. 800
- Pinckert, Gerhard, 09.04.1943, Hauptmann, 2./Lehr-Rgt. “Brandenburg” z.b.V. 800
- Slama, Dr. Walter, 10.01.1943, Leutnant, 7./Lehr-Rgt. “Brandenburg” z.b.V. 800
- Wolter, Dietrich, 12.03.1942, Leutnant d.R., 6./Lehr-Rgt. “Brandenburg” z.b.V. 800
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (2)
- Seuberlich, Hans-Erich, 19.11.1942, Leutnant, 5./Lehr-Rgt. “Brandenburg” z.b.V. 800
- Weber, Dr. Helmut, 16.10.1942, Stabsarzt, 8./Lehr-Rgt. “Brandenburg” z.b.V. 800
Holders of the Knight's Cross (7)
- Oakleaves
-- Grabert, Siegfried [320. EL] 06.11.1943 Hauptmann d.R. Chef 8./Lehr.Rgt „Brandenburg“ z.b.V. 800
- Knight’s Cross
-- Foelkersam Baron von, Adrian 14.09.1942 Leutnant d.R. Adjutant im Stab I./Lehr.Rgt z.b.V. 800 „Brandenburg“
-- Grabert, Siegfried 10.06.1941 Oberleutnant d.R. Führer eines Sonderkommandos des Bau.Lehr.Btl z.b.V. 800 „Brandenburg“
-- Knaak, Hans-Wolfram 03.11.1942 Oberleutnant Chef 8./Lehr.Rgt z.b.V. 800 „Brandenburg“
-- Lau, Werner 09.12.1942 Leutnant d.R. Zugführer i. d. 5./Lehr.Rgt z.b.V. 800 „Brandenburg“
-- Prochaska, Ernst 16.09.1942 Leutnant d.R. Führer 8./Lehr.Rgt z.b.V. 800 „Brandenburg“
-- Walther, Wilhelm 24.06.1940 Oberleutnant Stoßtruppführer i. d. 4./Bau.Lehr.Btl z.b.V. 800 „Brandenburg“
Holders of the Romanian Order of Michael the Brave, 3rd Class (Orden “Michael der Tapfere” III. Klasse) (1)
- Bansen, Hans, Königlichen Dekrets Nr. 907 / 31.03.1943, Leutnant, Lehr-Regiment “Brandenburg”

Order of Battle (1940)

Stab , Brandenburg an der Havel
Stabs(Lehr-)Kp, Brandenburg an der Havel [disb. dec 40]
I. Bataillon , Brandenburg a.d. Havel
- 1. – 4. Kp
II. Bataillon , Baden bei Wien
- 5. – 8. Kp
III. Bataillon , Aachen , later : Düren
- 9. – 12. Kp
Nachrichten-Kompanie

Order of Battle (1941)

Stab , Brandenburg an der Havel
I. Bataillon , Brandenburg a.d. Havel
- 1. – 4. Kp
II. Bataillon , Baden bei Wien
- 5. – 8. Kp
III. Bataillon , Aachen , later : Düren
- 9. – 12. Kp
- 13. – 17. Kp (distributed to II. and III. Btl.)
V. Bataillon
- 1. – 6. Kp
Nachrichten-Abteilung
- 1. – 3. Kp

Hauptmann Siegfried Grabert
grabert-siegfried
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3 0 Germany)

Sources used

Ultra intercepts
Bundesarchiv - "Die Brandenburger" Kommandotruppe und Frontverband
Helmuth Spaeter - Die Brandenburger
George Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1939-1945

Reference material on this unit

Will Borcher - Division Brandenburg
Franz Kurowski - The Brandenburgers: Global Mission
Eric Lefevre - Brandenburg Division: Commandos of the Reich
Helmuth Spaeter - Die Brandenburger
Helmuth Spaeter - The History of the Panzerkorps Grossdeutschland Vol 1-3

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