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Everything posted by Paulus_Gun

  1. Paulus_Gun

    Requests to Decrypt writing

    What I could make of it: Osten, den 16.II.43 Liebe Maria! Bin am Sonntag Abend angekommen. Gehe heute in die Stellung vor. Es rührt sich hier schon etwas. Vielleicht bist Du bald von mir erlöst. Hast Du meinen Brief von Berlin erhalten? Die Fahrt war endlos die Verpflegung ging. Sollte mir etwas passiere verkaufe ja die Briefmarken nicht. Die gehören dann Sepperl. Sonst weiß ich nichts von Bedeutung. Richte viele Grüße an Schwabing aus. Könne wahrscheinlich so schnell nicht mehr zum schreiben. Seid gekußt von mir Eues Sepp Hatt es Dich noch nicht gereut daßt mit mit gut geworden bist?
  2. Paulus_Gun

    Show us your Best of 2017 !

    Richard, just take a look at the back of one of the wedding pictures. You'll find a date on there which will probably answer the question. (for the others: I am the former owner)
  3. Paulus_Gun

    Show us your Best of 2017 !

    I was able to buy many nice items this year, but this extended grouping with ~400 letters was by far the best. He first served with the 58. ID on the Eastern Front from 1942 to 1944. After having recovered from a wound he was transferred to the 338. ID in France and surrendered in April 1945 in the Ruhr Pocket. He was a POW in south west France until December 1947. What makes his story (unfortunately) special is the fact that he lost his father during the war in November '44 and he committed suicide in September 1950. His SB can be seen here. It also includes a link to a summary of his life on WAF:
  4. Really an impressive group. The Feldpost letters are perhaps even more interesting than the Wehrpass itself! Let us know what he writes about his stay in the Netherland when you've read them.
  5. Really interesting to see that both boxes are the same model and in such great condition.
  6. And the last one is not a real grave, but a memorial erected by the Volksbund. He is still MIA in Russia like so many. He was a member of FJR1. This memorial stands at the relatively new graveyard of Kursk-Besedino. The photo (which is also my avatar) was taken at his family home in Mannheim.
  7. And a small entry of a death card. It is special to me, because he was killed really close to my hometown on the day the town itself was liberated. He was likely a member of the 256. VGD. As you can see he was buried near the town's church. He is now buried at the small town of Ysselsteyn: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sint-Petrus'-Bandenkerk_(Oisterwijk)
  8. This man was killed quite close to Fiedler on March 10th 1945. He was a member of Grenadier-Regiment 1226. What is special about this grouping is that the WASt sent his items to his parents (including his bloodstained Soldbuch and bottom part of the Erkennungsmarke) in 1948. He is buried in Mönchengladbach. There is also a photograph of his grave in the ~1960s-70s. You can see his presentation here (scroll down for an updated story): http://www.historicalwarmilitariaforum.com/topic/5387-bloody-kia-ruhr-pocket-obergefreiter-soldbuch/
  9. Nice topic. These are my entries. This man was a member of FJR16. He was KIA on March 1st 1945 in the Hochwald during Operation Blockbuster. As you can see his grave is very modest. There aren't even dates present. You can see his presentation here: http://www.historicalwarmilitariaforum.com/topic/11190-fjr16-kapelsche-veer-hochwald-kia-soldbuch/
  10. Thank you for your reply Bart. Today I have visited Wilhelm's grave in Kalkar. As you can see it is a modest grave with nothing but his name and grave number. It is a peaceful place with 243 German war graves, next to the civilian cemetary. In the second picture you can see his grave at the bottom of the picture.
  11. Hello all, today I would like to show this Soldbuch of Wilhelm Fiedler, who served at the less famous, yet very fierce battles of Kapelsche Veer in the Netherlands and the Hochwald Gap at the Rhine. Especially the Kapelsche Veer connection is very nice, as my paternal grandparents lived nearby during the war. I also want to thank Ian Jewison for helping me out with several units! Oberjäger Wilhelm Fiedler was born on April 9th 1921 in Schwaden, northern Bohemia. This makes Wilhelm a Sudeten German. His Soldbuch was opened on February 1st 1940. Before he joined the Luftwaffe he was a farmer. His service before the FJR16 Upon joining the Armed Forces he was assigned to the Flieger-Ausbildungs-Bataillon 26 in Heiligenhafen at the coast of Schleswig-Holstein until April 5th 1940. Then he was transferred to the Seefliegerhorstkompagnie Schleswig near the Danish border until July 15th 1942. On this airfield mostly seaplanes were stationed. From January 1st to January 27th 1942 he was hospitalised for an inguinal hernia (Leistenbruch). In March 1942 he was found suitable for flying airplanes and serving as an air radio operator. He was explicitly rejected for serving as an air gunner because of his height. He was then transferred to Kampfbeobachter-Anwärter-Bataillon 1 (Potential Combat Observer Candidate Battalion 1) on July 16th 1942 at Fliegerhorst-Kommandantur Reichenberg in Reichenberg, Posen (today Liberec in the Czech Republic) until June 12th 1943. This unit was part of the Flughafen-Bereichskommando 2/IV, which was renamed to 7/III in February 1943. In this unit he was trying to become an NCO combat observer and therefore became an Unteroffizier Anwärter on September 26th 1942. He was promoted to Unteroffizier der Reserve überplanmäβig (translated as unplanned, or ‘surplus of the establishment’ according to the ‘Manual of German Air Force Terminology – 1944’) on February 1st 1943. On June 1st 1943 he was promoted to Unteroffizier der Reserve planmäβig (translated as according to plan). It is unclear what his job was at this unit as an Unteroffizier der Reserve. He was then transferred to the Fernaufklärungsgeschwader 101 (Long Range Reconnaissance Wing 101 Training School) in Groβenhain in Sachsen, part of the same Flughafen-Bereichskommando 7/III. First he served there in the Beobachter-Anwärter-Kommando and afterwards in the Unteroffizier-Lehrkommando. At this unit he wanted to become a Fernaufklärer. For this someone had to complete two months of basic training, two-three months of Kampfbeobachter Anwärter, three months Beobachter and Aufklärungs training training. Last, three months of crew training at Fernaufklärungsgeschwader 101 and Ergänzungstruppe. As courses are registered in the Wehrpass, it is unclear whether he became either a Kampfbeobachter or a Fernaufklärer. He was not sent to a new unit associated with his profession, so it is possible that he failed, or that his unit was of little significance by late 1944. The Fernaufklärungsgeschwader 101 used the following aircraft: Arado Ar 96, Messerschmitt Bf 109, Bf 110, Bücker Bü 131, Bü 181, Junkers Ju 88, Ju 188 and the Messerschmitt Me 410. After going to his Ersatz unit in Frankfurt (Oder), he was transferred for a short while to the Fallschirm-Panzer-Zerstörer-Ausbildungs-Bataillon in Tangermünde near Stendal, from October 19th 1944 until his transfer to the 14./Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 16 of the 6. Fallschirmjäger-Division of Generalleutnant Plocher. However, it is likely that this training unit was actually in the Netherlands by this time, as the 6. FJD trained their new troops for several days to teach them certain skills in the region. This unit could give an indication about his function. Because of his transfer he became an Oberjäger.
  12. Very sad grouping. The man who wrote down his name clearly never heard of the name Otfried before. It is indeed possible that he died in December, but is also possible that he died in a hospital.
  13. Nevermind, I already found the answer in one of your links: they left the Netherlands on February 2nd!
  14. Thank you for those links Kevin! Some very detailed information about the FJR16. I did not read before that the FJR16 was already in Cleve at the start of Veritable. Interesting information. Now I wonder when they left the region around Kapelsche Veer, because Veritable started only one week later.
  15. I hope you guys learn from it and at the same time enjoy my contribution. I also appreciate any additional information. Best regards, Paul
  16. And now for the Soldbuch itself.
  17. Operation Veritable & Blockbuster - The Battle of Hochwald Gap On February 8th the Allies started operation Veritable near Groesbeek in their advance to Wesel at the Rhine. By choosing the north side of the Siegfried Line, the Allies hoped that they would face little resistance. Soon, however, they were proven wrong by the German troops who now had to defend their own soil. The FJR16 of Wilhelm was the first unit of the 6. FJD to be moved from the Netherlands to the road between Kleve and Kalkar on February 16th. Sometime later the other units of the 6. FJD arrived as well. Because of the enduring resistance by the Germans, the Allies started Operation Blockbuster on February 26th, a secondary operation of Veritable with the goal to reach Xanten. The same day the Allies attacked Kalkar with several dozen tanks at Kalkar Ridge and lost many, but were successful at capturing the town. In the meanwhile the 6. FJD retreated to the Hochwald near Uedem, awaiting the arrival of the Allies. The Allies tried to pass the forest on February 27th over the main road (in the so called Battle of Hochwald Gap) with 1000 primarily Canadian tanks, but were met with fierce resistance by the Germans hiding in the forest, as well as the remaining German tanks. Plocher later said that the Allies made a mistake to pass the main road instead of going around the forest, since he put up all his remaining defences there. In the Gap the Canadians and Germans faced a fierce six day tank battle, with the 6. FJD giving covering fire from the northern side of the road. After losing dozens of tanks in the first three days of the battle, the Allies decided to storm the forest on March 1st and continued to push until the forest was cleared on March 3rd. During the attack into the forest, both sides suffered many losses. It is very likely that Wilhelm died during this attack on March 1st, aged 23. The 6. FJD retreated to Xanten and defended the town until its capture on March 8th. After clearing the western side of the Rhine, the 6. FJD retreated to the Netherlands where it surrendered one month later. Wilhelm is buried in Kalkar. There are no recorded rewards. The Canadian 'Greatest Tank Battles' series made an episode about 'The Battle of Hochwald Gap'. It will probably get deleted soon for copyright, but it is currently on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feDHjcyH0FU
  18. The 6. FJD was formed in June 1944 in France. It was practically destroyed in August 1944. After their reformation, the FJR16 was split between FJR16 which was moved to the Netherlands with 6. FJD while FJR16 Ost was moved to the Eastern front as part of Fallschirm-Panzer-Division 1 Hermann Göring. Many new troops of the FJR16, just like Wilhelm, were surplus units from the Luftwaffe all over Germany. As the Luftwaffe lost many aircraft, many units were no longer operational and therefore moved to do their duty as infantry. In September 1944 the 6. FJD was refitted in north east Netherlands (in the region of Meppel, Coevorden and Assen) in 1944 after retreating from Belgium. After Market Garden it was mostly stationed in the area of Arnhem to Wageningen. Some small elements were even thrown into battle as part of Kampfgruppe Walther during Market Garden when they were still refitting. After Wilhelm had joined the unit in October 1940, they were slowly going downstream from the Waal and Meuse rivers, encountering several Allied troops along the way. By mid to late December, the 6. FJD arrived at Gameren, 50km southwest of Arnhem, south of the Waal river. The reason for this was to cross the Meuse river if the Battle of the Bulge turned in Germany’s favour. If that had happened, the 6. FJD would have moved towards Antwerpen in Belgium. To simplify the crossing of the Meuse river, the Germans wanted to create several bridgeheads south of the river. One of them at the small island of Kapelsche Veer near the small town of Capelle turned out to be a costly encounter between on the one side primarily the 6. FJD and on the other side British, Canadian, Polish and small portions of Norwegian troops. Furthermore, Generaloberst Student wanted to train the FJ troops in real combat situations and therefore this bridgehead was a good spot to rotate the troops of the 6. FJD. After a while, when it became evident that the Battle of the Bulge could not be won, Student and British general Crocker refused to give up at the Kapelsche Veer, much to the frustration of 6. FJD commander Plocher. The first two Polish attacks on December 30th to 31st and January 6th to 7th 1945 failed to reach the German positions. Special British and Norwegian troops attacked again in the night of January 13th to the 14th. This attempt also failed after they had almost reached the German positions. Several British veterans complained after the war that the Norwegians were too slow during this assault. By mid-January the 6. FJD, along with some smaller units, were the last troops that defended the area between Moerdijk and Wageningen (around 100km) because of the retreat of several divisions. A fourth, more extensive six days battle by primarily the Canadians followed on January 26th by attacking the island from multiple sides (including from the east at Waalwijk, south of Drongelen. The small town Drongelen was complete destroyed by the time the battle ended). This final attack included a crossing with canoes, which was supposed to happen under heavy smoke. Unfortunately for the Allies the wind blew the smoke the wrong way, which left the canoes exposed up to 50 metres from the German positions, causing dozens of Canadian deaths. Eventually the Allies shortly managed to push the German back to the other side of the Meuse river, but were driven away soon after themselves. At the same time, the Germans failed several times to bring reinforcements over the river, causing many deaths on their side. After six days on January 31st the German retreated voluntarily because of the worsening situation at other fronts. The 6. FJD lost during the Battle at Kapelsche Veer 243 men, of which 145 were killed, 64 wounded and 34 captured. The Allies also suffered hundreds of casualties. Of course it is not known whether Wilhelm was directly involved at Kapelsche Veer during any of the battles, because his unit was rotated constantly every few days. For Dutch members I can recommend 'Fall Braun/De Strijd om Kapelsche Veer 1944-1945' by D. L. Roitero. This is a Canadian newsreel about the Kapelsche Veer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0GY4OJkMWU
  19. Hello all, I would like this Soldbuch. What at first seems to be a very regular SB, actually ends with an incredible lucky story. Werner Lönnecke was born on August 29th 1924 in Düsseldorf. His Soldbuch was opened on August 24th 1942. His first field unit was the Infanterie- (Feldausbildungs-) Regiment 618, part of the 382. (Feldausbildungs-) Division (Heeresgruppe B). This unit was created from Reichsarbeitsdienst units, so it is likely that he enlisted or was conscripted through his RAD unit. His unit was stationed at Sumy in north east Ukraine by late 1942. On February 2nd 1943 he was hospitalised with digestive complaints and was released by the 19th. Afterwards he was given a fourteen day Genesungsurlaub, which meant that he travelled for the next month until late March, returning there on the 28th. His unit in the meanwhile was deployed on February 25th as part of 2. Armee, protecting the railway. By early October 1943 he was hospitalised again, this time for skin issues. He remained in several Lazaretts during this time, with his second being Tapiau near Königsberg and his last one Haus auf der Alb in Bad Urach (Baden-Württemberg). Afterwards he was given a Führerpaket. His Führerpaket included a Genesungsurlaub until December 11th. Directly afterwards, now part of Aufklarungsabteilung-Ersatz-Abteilung 9 (part of Division Nr. 433), he was given an Erholungsurlaub until December 30th. After his return he was part of a March Battalion of the 218. Infanterie-Division. Later he became member of its Schnelle Abteilung 218. Sometime earlier this division fought a hard campaign as one of the few units at Cholm. By the time Werner joined the unit, it was near the Baltic states, slowly retreating towards Kurland. By July 1944 he was with Nachrichten-Ersatz-Abteilung 3 in Potsdam. There are no entries why he was transferred back to Germany, but fact is that he became a Funker (officially on September 1st 1944) and therefore had to learn to some new techniques. He received an Einsatzurlaub until September 9th. Then he was transferred to Artillerie-Regiment 193 (part of 93. Infanterie-Division). By this time this unit was fighting at Riga and by January 1945, major parts of the unit were destroyed. On February 12th the division was transferred by sea from Libau in Latvia to Pillau at Königsberg. Königsberg was by this time cut off from the outside world and therefore Werner’s unit had to create a corridor to the city from Pillau. By early March the Germans succeeded to create this essential corridor, but it was at a high price. Afterwards his unit started to defend the city. In March 1945 at Polennen (today Kruglowo), Werner was badly wounded by what first seemed a bullet, but later turned out to be a grenade splinter in his back. As there probably were no more Lazaretts in the neighbourhood by this time, he had to stay at the army doctor of the Grenadier-Regiment 272. On April 9th 1945, Königsberg fell. Only Werner’s Samland Group remained, and therefore it was almost certain that he would soon be captured by the Soviets. As a wounded soldier, his only chance to escape was if he could get on one of the Lazarett ships at Pillau. On April 13th, the day of the Soviet offensive, Werner was moved from Tenkitten to Pillau (by the 17th the Soviets had reached Tenkitter Riegel). On April 15th, the ship Pretoria, a former cargo liner and since February 1945 functioning as a Lazarett ship, arrived. It had left Copenhagen for the last time on the 11th to save as many wounded and civilians as possible. Immediately after its arrival in the harbour, it came under attack by the Soviet Air Force. Several bombs barely missed the ship, but there were already several small fires going on. During this chaos Werner boarded the ship on a stretcher, and on the same day the damaged ship left the harbour and sailed towards Copenhagen. By April 25th the Pillau harbour had fallen into Soviet hands and therefore there were no more possibilities to leave the region for the remaining people. His remaining comrades were captured by the Soviets. By July 1945 he was back home in Düsseldorf. After the war he became a farmer.
  20. Paulus_Gun

    My Opa - Alfonse Skorski

    Looks like your grandfather isn't registered at the Volksbund. I could not find his entry. Could you show us his obituary?
  21. Hi all, this is one of my favourite passes (and the last one I can show unfortunately, hope you guys enjoy my passes!), because it really shows you what war is. This blood soaked Zweischrift Soldbuch belonged to Obergefreiter Hans Hengvoß who was KIA near Wesel aged 24 on 10.3.1945 in the Ruhr Pocket. In 1948 his father was given his Soldbuch along with his bottom Erkennungsmarke and other belongings like photographs in an envelope. Hengvoss was a very unlucky man, because next to his wound that killed him he was wounded at least two more times (in 1941 and 1944). There is also an early postwar photo of his grave included, on which his name is spelled wrong (his name is also misspelled at Volksbund). He is buried in Mönchengladbach. 11.10.1941: Black verwundetenabzeichen 5.8.1942: Ost medal 31.12.1943 Demjansk Shield Best regards, Paul
  22. Someone was kind enough to take some photographs of his grave in Mönchengladbach. So I wanted to share them here.
  23. A map of April 15th 1945. It shows his position: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Atlas_of_the_World_Battle_Fronts_in_Semimonthly_Phases_to_August_15_1945#/media/File:1945-04-15GerWW2BattlefrontAtlas.jpg