Battle of Fort Eben-Emael - Aftermath

Aftermath

The airborne assault on the three bridges and Fort Eben-Emael had been an overall success for the Fallschirmjäger of Sturmabteilung Koch; the artillery pieces possessed by Fort Eben-Emael had been disabled, and two of the three bridges designated to be captured by the sub-units of Sturmabteilung Koch had been captured before they could be destroyed. The capture of the bridges, and the neutralization of the artillery pieces in the Fort allowed infantry and armour from the 18th Army to bypass other Belgian defences and enter the heart of Belgium. In a post-war publication, General Kurt Student wrote of the operation, and the efforts of Group Granite in particular, that "It was a deed of exemplary daring and decisive significance I have studied the history of the last war and the battles on all fronts. But I have not been able to find anything among the host of brilliant actions—undertaken by friend or foe—that could be said to compare with the success achieved by Koch's Assault Group." A number of officers and non-commissioned officers were awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for their participation in the operation, including Lieutenant Rudolf Witzig who led the assault on Fort Eben-Emael in the absence of Koch. Sturmabteilung Koch was expanded after the end of Fall Gelb to become 1st Battalion of the newly formed 1st Airlanding Assault Regiment, which itself consisted of four battalions of Fallschirmjaeger trained as a gliderborne assault force. Hauptmann Koch was promoted to the rank of Major for his part in the operation and assumed command of the 1st Battalion.

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