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Kevin H

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Everything posted by Kevin H

  1. I think this is the only one I have. It has been posted before along with his Soldbuch but it is to future Generalmajor & DKiG holder Georg Seegers. The other signature on it is the future General der Panzertruppe and Oakleaves winner Mortimer von Kessel.
  2. Considering they have been sat in an archive since the end of WW-2 and are still there I'm not sure how they can be fakes.
  3. It's possible, or Ozuls. Have you been able to uncover a name from any sources?
  4. I would imagine that the Ersatz unit had access to them as the entries show this but whether they kept them or the Ersatz units had a liaison officer at the Wehrmeldeamt or not I have no idea. These items are covered a lot less than Wehrpässe and Soldbücher. As for how correctly were they filled out, that yours is missing entries pretty much answers the question. Just like the Wehrpass and Soldbuch you will always find examples that are lacking in details that should be present but have not been entered. I have one to a late war GD soldier. His last unit entered is Pz.Gren.Ers.Rgt GD in November 1944 but according to the Volksbund he is listed as missing in East Prussia in 1945 so he did make it to a front line GD unit but it was never entered (nor was the fact that he was missing) but I dare say the later the war the harder it was to get the paperwork squared up between units at the front and the offices back in Germany.
  5. I'd say that it is an 'O'. Is the rank Hauptmann which would indicate Wehrmacht or Polizei? Assuming Polizei with the SD link.
  6. Do you have images of the pages showing the relevant entries? I have a couple of these items but when they show the signature of a Kp-Chef etc it is of an Ersatz unit. As far as I am aware the Wehrstammbuch stayed at the Wehrmeldeamt and didn't follow the soldier around like the Wehrpass did.
  7. If anyone is interested in visiting a KZ there will be another short tour in May 2018. I have been on 4 such tours in the past 2 years (for the last one see the Mauthausen thread in this section) and really do recommend them. These tours are set up and run by a British researcher who lives in Prague, hence why all the tours start & end in that city, and due to their small size it has more of a friends on tour feel and thanks to his research you get a level of knowledge that you won't get from any official tour guide. These are the details of the next tour: You will need to fly in to Prague on the Monday 21st May and to give the tour as much time as possible in Poland flights home should be booked for Thursday 24th May. TUESDAY 22ND MAY We start as usual, in Prague. Our first stop will be at the former railway station and deportation point, now home to the memorial to the deported Czech Jews. Following this, we travel to Lidice, site of the massacre and destruction that was one of the major reprisals following the killing of Reinhard Heydrich. Then, we head north for a study of the unique camp-ghetto at Theresienstadt. After an evening meal, we continue north for an overnight stay in Poland. WEDNESDAY 23RD MAY Extensive study of the Groß-Rosen camp and quarry. Along with Mauthausen, the only camp officially categorised as a Level-III, i.e. the hardest conditions, KL. One of the former satellite camps will also be addressed after our visit to the Stammlager (main camp). Evening return to Prague. For those in the UK interested in going and can fly from Stansted the flight times for May 2018 are: On Monday 21st May Ryanair flights take off 0805 (arrival Prague 1100), 1405 (1700) and 2050 (2345) while Easyjet have one flight, taking off 1025 (1315). There are flights from other UK airports but I use Stansted so can only give details for that one. For Thursday 24th May, Ryanair flights returning to the UK take off from Prague 0640 (arrival Stansted 0740) and 1710 (1810) while Easyjet's single flight takes off at 1510 (1605). Ryanair flights as of today range from £54-58 RTN while Easyjet's cost £73. From Amsterdam the flights are by Easyjet and are currently ranging between 73-90 Euros So far three people have signed up for the tour, myself and two from The Netherlands and places are limited so if you are interested please let me know via PM soonest and I will put you in touch with the person organising it all. The more people that go the cheaper it is (the recent tour to Mauthausen cost in total approx £235 including flights). You will need to book your own flights and your hotel for the nights in Prague (but I can help with the hotel recommendation if required as I have used the same one for all the tours I have been on and it is just under £30 a night) but the transport for the tour and the hotel in Poland is sorted out by the tour organiser. On the Thursday, the time before your flight home is your own so if you want to you can visit the sites connected with Operation Anthropoid (the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich) and buildings connected with the German occupation including the SS Headquarters, Hradcany Castle etc or visit the Army Museum or even just wander the city streets taking in what is a beautiful city.
  8. 1./Flak-Abt 914 was lost in Tunisia when the German's surrendered there and it was reformed in Italy. zbV Batterie 1572 was just a temporary unit that was used to absorb surplus troops from units that were destroyed at the front and then absorbed in to other units that needed replacements. I can't find any information on the Alessandria units except that they were located in Italy.
  9. It's the Südetenland medal, hence the entry showing Süd. Erinnerungsmedaille. The number might just relate to the list relating to those who were entitled to it.
  10. Show us your Wehrmacht Ordnungstruppe IDs (Feldgendarmerie, Feldjäger, Geheime Feldpolizie, Streifendienst ...) - Show us your Wehrmacht Ordnungstruppe Documents ============================================================================================================= Here is a scarce Wehrpass to a member of the Geheime Feldpolizei. The duties of the GFP were many and included the investigation of threats to the state which included treason and espionage, preventing hostile intelligence, monitoring of the civil population and the monitoring of hostile propaganda - needless to say they were a feared organisation and were known to use brutal methods including the execution of hostages after interrogation. In the retreats of 1943/44 on the Eastern front the GFP were known to have executed 800 prisoners held in their prisons in Orel & Bryansk and which they couldn't (or wouldn't) evacuate. Needless to say, and especially in the East, the GFP conducted terror campaigns against Resistance networks and Jews, including deportations and executions. Although they did wear uniform at times (and were classed as Wehrmachtbeamte) the GFP were primarily a plain clothes organisation. The GFP were set-up in July 1939 and as can be seen in this WP, Gustav Nierhaus was a member of Geheime Feldpolizei Gruppe 560 from the very start and remained with this unit until April 1942 when health issues saw him depart. According to Lexikon Gruppe GFP 560 was assigned to the Western Front area of operations during the Polish Campaign of 1939 (and this is backed up by the first entry on the Campaign Pages). Here it stayed for the May 1940 Western Offensive but this time it was assigned to 6 Armee with which it stayed until 1943/44.
  11. As mentioned above, little remains of the Gusen camps and such remains are in direct relation to the number designation of the Gusen camps. Camp I has some of the original buildings still remaining but this is all that remains of Gusen II (that area on the left of the mock up above). It is believed to be all that remains of one of the SS Guard posts. The rest of the area is a housing area of St.Georgen. Prisoners here were used in the nearby tunnels to build armaments. And - finally - this memorial stone is all that remains of Gusen III. This camp was used as a bakery to provide bread for the other sub-camps in the area and while the conditions were still harsh it was a better camp to be in as there was access to food and warmth. Gusen III was the first of the Mauthausen area camps to be liberated and after it was liberated the US Army continued to use it and the prisoners to bake bread to help other inmates from the soon to be liberated camps in the area. The area of the camp is now a farmer's field.
  12. As mentioned above, only a few of the original buildings still exist and these photos show those structures. The first photo shows one of the buildings used as an SS Admin building and it sits just outside what would of been the perimeter wire. This photo shows what appears to be a very nice house and it is indeed a very nice looking house but in fact this used to be the camp entrance that has now become a family home. The second image shows what it looked like while it was in use as the camp entrance. Who knows what horrors went on inside. This photo shows another original building (the green coloured house), or rather shows the roof of it! This used to be the camp brothel so the hedges have probably been grown by post-war owners to deliberately hide the house from outsiders (like us!). This photo shows two of the original barrack blocks. And this building is now just a concrete shell but it used to be a rock crusher. The quarry is still in use so it wasn't possible to get any closer. In fact a few areas of the original camp area have been fenced off now.
  13. The crematoria at the memorial site isn't original to the site but it has been built on the same spot as the original one and is a focus of many memorial plaques and monuments. It is believed that 37,000 people were killed at the three Gusen sites. What is original to the memorial site is the excavation that uncovered the old camp pathway and over which the center sits.
  14. Near to Mauthausen were the three Gusen sub-camps. These are nowhere near as complete as Mauthausen, in fact in descending order from Gusen I to III each camp has less remaining then the last. Gusen I was in fact a big camp and again built near a quarry but there are now just a few original buildings left and some of these are being used as family homes. Gusen I has a memorial center and this is located on and around the site of the original crematoria and now sits in a housing area. The first photo shows a map indicating the location of Gusen I & II in relation to Mauthausen while the second image shows a mock-up of Gusen I & II (Gusen II is the little camp located to the left of the mock-up). The photos following that show the entrance to the small memorial area.
  15. In 1941 a group of Dutch Jews arrived at the camp and they received 'special treatment' from the Guards. They were made to run up and down the steps carrying large blocks of granite for 2 days. Many died during the torment but on the third day those that had survived joined hands and jumped over the quarry edge to their deaths below. The German's nicknamed them 'The Parachutists' and from then on decided to use this method to kill prisoners. And this didn't just mean Jews. In 1944 under the Commando Order the Germans sent 47 British, American & Dutch Commandos to Mauthausen. In just two days in September all 47 were murdered with their death certificates stating that they were killed 'while trying to escape'. In reality they had been sent to the quarry where they were set upon by the guards and forced to run with the granite blocks while being beaten. I won't use the eye-witness accounts here as it makes for gruesome reading but if you wish to read these please see here with the statements concerning the Allied PoW's being just past halfway - PoW at Mauthausen The photo here shows the main wall of the quarry and the spot where the prisoners were forced to jump from. The three markers seen at the bottom of the cliff is the memorial for 'The Parachutists'.
  16. One of the most notorious areas of Mauthausen and one that prisoners feared greatly was the quarry. Mauthausen was built right next to a large quarry (it can be seen to the left of the camp in the plan in the earlier post) and every day the prisoners assigned to work there were marched out of camp and descended the 168 steps to the quarry floor. One torture that the German's came up with was to force prisoners to walk and run up and down these steps, known as the 'Stairs of Death', with a 25-50-Kg granite block on their backs. The first photo shows the quarry as seen from just outside of the camp with the steps seen on the right. The second photo shows the bottom of those steps. In the summer the steps are open so visitors can walk up and down them but in the winter months they are closed off. The third photo shows prisoners walking up those very steps carrying the granite blocks. Needless to say, if a prisoner stumbled or fell they would be beaten to death, shot or worse - and there was indeed worse to come.
  17. The first photo here shows the start of a 'camp within a camp' and this was the Quarantine Camp where thousands died. The second photo shows the Hall of Names. In this room the German's originally stored dead bodies waiting to be burned but now it bears the name of all 81,000 people known to have died at Mauthausen or it's sub-camps including over 6,000 Spanish, over 1,000 Dutch and even British and American servicemen (more in a later post).
  18. Although it has been rebuilt post-war, Mauthausen did have its own gas chamber which was located under the Bunker and next to the Crematoria. The first photo shows the chamber while the second shows one of the ovens used to dispose of the bodies. The ashes were disposed of in many ways but one area was used just outside of the camp wire and which is now a memorial site.
  19. Just to the right of the gates on the outside of the camp was the Kommandantur from where the Camp Commandant ran the camp. Mauthausen only had two Commandants during its existence, Franz Zereis serving in that capacity from 1939 to 1945. The Kommandantur is located above the SS garages and in the first photo Zereis can be seen standing on the balcony. The second photo shows the same area but as viewed looking up from the garage area. The small outcrop that Zereis is standing in can be seen in the middle of the balcony on the second photo. While most of the buildings in the camp, especially the barrack blocks, have long since gone there are still some original structures including the Crematorium and Bunker. This plan shows the still existing buildings in red while the two photos show some of these buildings along the Appellplatz. The chimney belongs to the Crematoria while the building on the right with the barred windows was the cell block, the Bunker.
  20. A recent addition to the GD collection is this Soldbuch to a soldier in Kradschützen-Btl GD & Panzer-Aufklarungs-Abteilung GD. The photo is a post war addition. Even though when the photo edge is lifted it has 'Für Soldbuch' in pencil on the reverse the colour of the GD cyphers on his shoulderboards looks more pink then yellow, and due to the complete absence of stamps I'd say that the Soldbuch never had a photo inserted. He was awarded the Wound Badge in Black, Panzer Assault Badge in Bronze, Drivers Badge in Bronze and the EK II. He was also sent on leave with a Führergeschenk after the fighting at Facuti in Romania in May 1944.
  21. Latest offer is relevant to current events and covers Rhodesia. The cheapest on offer on Amazon is £27 but for sale here for just £9.99. THE EQUUS MEN: Rhodesia’s Mounted Infantry: The Grey’s Scouts 1896-1980 This work by accomplished military historian Alexandre Binda, former paymaster to the Grey's Scouts, tables the remarkable story of Rhodesia's mounted infantry, the Grey's Scouts. Working closely with the last commanding officer, squadron commanders and a whole host of regimental personalities, all of whom have given The Equus Men their unequivocal support Binda has enjoyed unparalled access to thousands of pages of archival documents and many hundreds of previously unpublished photographs. Here, he has traced the Grey's from their early origins in the Matabele Rebellion of 1896, where an ‘unassuming Englishman, the Honourable George Grey', found himself originating a body of horseman named the ‘Bulawayo Field Force', through to the formation of the Animal Transport Unit (ATU) which went on to become the Mounted Infantry Unit (MIU). With the skill of a practiced narrator, Binda takes the reader through these early days to the establishment of the Grey's Scouts in the Rhodesian Army order of battle in 1976. Deployed to great effect during the bitter Rhodesian Bush War of the late 1960s - 1970s, the mounted operations conducted by the Grey's are succinctly and clearly detailed. Some of the contacts related make for astonishing reads and with the lively, vibrant, text one can almost feel the steaming sweat of rider and mount; sense the pounding adrenaline; hear the thundering hooves as a fearful enemy is pursued to battle's inevitable conclusion.
  22. Kevin H

    Eric-Jan Bakker

    Sad to hear. RIP.
  23. Once again, some of the best research I have seen. Just as a cheap 'hole filler' I managed to buy a Soviet Berlin medal and citation last year even though I don't collect Soviet items. It was awarded to Guards Sergeant Aleksei Fyodorovich Derevy and the citation is signed by Guards Lt.Col Shurunov in his capacity of Commander 93rd Guards Ground Attack Air Regiment.