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Post your "Großdeutschland" related Soldbücher and Wehrpäße

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Last of Wollmann scans:

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The next ID I would like to share is a "Führer-Grenadier-Division" Soldbuch to a soldier by the name of Hermann Howeg.The Soldbuch is a replacement, issued on 2.November 1944 through the Genesenden-Batterie/Stu.Gesch.Ers.u.Ausb.Abt.200. On the inside front cover is a very nice photo of Howeg wearing a field gray wrap. You can clearly see that he wears the early style collar tabs which have had their metal Totenkopf removed, and while not very visible in the scan, also visible in the photo are the "200" marked slip-on tabs on Howeg's shoulder straps. You can also just make out the top of Howeg's GAB.

According to the entries on page 22, Howeg was awarded the eastern front medal in October 1942, the KVK.II with swords on 1.September 1943, the GAB on 17.July 1944 followed by the Iron Cross second class just 8 days later, and, on 12.October 1944, the back wound badge for shrapnel wounds he received around mid-September of the same year. All of these awards were received while Howeg was serving with Sturmgeschütz-Abt.226. My guess is that Howeg lost his Soldbuch when he was wounded and, after being released from hospital and upon his return to his training and replacement unit, was issued this replacement (just speculation of course). In late-January 1945 Howeg was transferred to 4.(Sturmgeschütz)Kompanie/"Führer-Grenadier-Division" and shortly after to the 5./Panzer-Abt."Führer-Grenadier-Division" which was outfitted with Panthers. As you can see from pages 6/7, on 4.Feb.1945 Howeg was issued black Sonderbekleidung. By late March 1945, after near-constant combat in and around Stargard, Lauban and Küstrin, the surviving companies had been consolidated and were fighting with a mix of Panthers, Jagdpanthers, Jagdpanzer IV L/70s, Panzer IVs, StuG.IIIs and StuG.IVs. In early April the "Führer-Grenadier-Division" was fighting in and around Vienna and by mid April was assembled in defensive positions northeast of Vienna, around Korneuburg and Leobendorf, just east of Stockerau where it remained until the end of the war. Notice that Howeg was issued a P38 on 5.May 1945 (!)

On 9.May 1945 the "FGD" surrendered to the US Army and four days later, on 13.May 1945, was handed over to the Russians.

Howeg went into Soviet captivity but it is not known to me whether or not he survived; he's not listed on the Volksbund website, however his Soldbuch surfaced out of a Soviet archive in the early 1990s so it's quite possible he passed away while imprisoned and his Soldbuch filed away after his death.

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Last of the Howeg scans:

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Nice thread Rob :) :love: :) .Your Soldbuch ist absolutly nice.Rare unit.I think you and Kevin can Post here some very very nice GD related Documents.Thanks for sharing

Seba

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Wehrpass to a Feldwebel in 5./Pz.Rgt GD. Willi Rahman joined the Heer pre-war and served initially with 1./Pz.Rgt 5 until he was released from service in October 1938. However just 10 months later in August 1939 he was called back to the service again and eventually found himself back with 1./Pz.Rgt 5. From there he went on to serve with Pz.Abt. 301, Pz.Rgt 201, Pz.Abt(F) 102 (which was a unit equipped with Flame Thrower tanks), Pz.Brigade 101 and Panzer Rgt 203. In early 1943 when Großdeutschland's Panzer Abt was upgraded to a regiment II/Pz.Rgt GD was established from Pz.Rgt 203. Rahmen initially served with the Stabs-Kompanie before going to 5 Kompanie, with which he met his death in Lithuania on 16th August 1944.

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Rahmen was awarded the Sudetenland Medal, EK II & I, PAB Silber & Ost Medal.

The two main signatures seen in the Wehrpass are those of Kurt Gierga on Pages 23 & 25 (RK & DKiG) who would go on to command s.Pz.Abt 509, and that of Leutnant Scheidler (Date Of Birth 20th April 1924).

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oh yes, nice thread we will have got here.

Maybe someone have soldbuch GD units wich was fighting in ostpreussen 45'?

Yes, I have a soldbuch to a soldier in GD killed on 5th February 1945 near Königsberg. I did a write up for it a while back so will post it here over the weekend.

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Nice thread Rob :) :love: :) .Your Soldbuch ist absolutly nice.Rare unit.I think you and Kevin can Post here some very very nice GD related Documents.Thanks for sharing

Seba

Thanks very much, Seba! I agree - it is a very difficult unit to find an ID to and I was extremely happy to be able to add this one to my collection.

Kevin, the Rahman Wehrpass is very nice with some impressive unit entries. Congrats on scoring that one and thanks for posting it!

Here's another one from my collection, a Soldbuch to a member of Panzer-Regiment "Brandenburg" who started out in Pz.Rgt.26 (Pz.Rgt.26 was officially re-designated Panzer-Regiment "Brandenburg" in January 1945). No awards listed unfortunately, but there's a nice portrait photo of Müller wearing a black wrap and on page 11 there's an entry which states he is cleared to serve in tropical climates which I think is very cool.

Some scans:

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The rest of the Müller scans:

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....

First up is a Soldbuch to Johann Wollmann, a member of Sturmgeschütz-Batterie "Großdeutschland" and it was issued on 27.June 1940 through leichte-Art.Ers.Abt.116. Wollmann served first in the Stabsbatterie/Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 192 which, on 07.Feb.1941, was renamed Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung "Großdeutschland."

Nice StuG GD soldbuch. I'm not sure as I can't quite make it out but I think that the second signature down on Page 3 is that of Hauptmann Adam (forename Helmut I believe) who commanded 2 Batterie at around this time and went on (again, I think) to command the Abteilung in a temporary basis before being killed on 1st December 1942 at Jegorje near Rzhev. Confusingly there was also another Helmut Adam in 2./StuG Abt GD but in 1944 who won the DKiG as an Oberleutnant.

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Last one from me tonight. A Wehrpass to Wilhelm Stumpf who joined the Heer just before the war and after serving with a supply unit he was assigned to 20./Infanterie-Rgt GD on 31st October 1940. This was the period after the Western Campaign when Großdeutschland was enlarged to 5 Battalions with 20 Kompanie being the Regiments Flak Kp.

As can be seen from the units page he remianed within GD's Flak organisation for the remainder of the war, spending the majority of it with 5./Heeres-Flak-Art.Abt GD.

The Campaign pages run from November 1940 to the middle of 1944 but unfortunately due to the type of paper used (which now feels like onion skin) and time elapsed it is very hard to make out the latter entries.

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Stumpf was a driver within 5 Batterie and earned the Ost Medal, KvK II Kl mit Schwertern & Drivers Badge in Gold. Along with the Wehrpass is Stumpf's citation for the Drivers Badge in Gold, but again it has faded with age and is hard to read.

Although the campaign pages end in mid-1944 Stumpf remained with GD until the end of the war and fought in East Prussia. Along with the Wehrpass and citation is a wound tag that shows he was evacuated from the east from the port at Pillau in April 1945.

Signatures within the set are:

Page 22 Middle - Hauptmann Weidemann who was the first commander of 20(Fla.)/IR GD.

Page 33 Top - Oberleutnant Karl Ruppersberg who won the DKiG & Ehrenblattspange.

Citation - Major von Dufring who was a long time commander of Heeres-Flak-Art-Abt GD.

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....

First up is a Soldbuch to Johann Wollmann, a member of Sturmgeschütz-Batterie "Großdeutschland" and it was issued on 27.June 1940 through leichte-Art.Ers.Abt.116. Wollmann served first in the Stabsbatterie/Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 192 which, on 07.Feb.1941, was renamed Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung "Großdeutschland."

Nice StuG GD soldbuch. I'm not sure as I can't quite make it out but I think that the second signature down on Page 3 is that of Hauptmann Adam (forename Helmut I believe) who commanded 2 Batterie at around this time and went on (again, I think) to command the Abteilung in a temporary basis before being killed on 1st December 1942 at Jegorje near Rzhev. Confusingly there was also another Helmut Adam in 2./StuG Abt GD but in 1944 who won the DKiG as an Oberleutnant.

Thanks, Kevin. I am quite happy with it :D And yes, that is the signature of Knights Cross recipient Helmut Adam:

http://www.ritterkreuztraeger-1939-45.de/Infanterie/A/Ad/Adam-Helmut.htm

Rob

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Here is a Soldbuch to a soldier who served in GD from early 1942 until his death in February 1945 in East Prussia.

Wilhelm Kiesswetter joined the military in 1942 at the age of 21 and his soldbuch was opened on 3rd February 1942 by 3(MG)Kp.Ers.Btl GD and it was with this training battalion that he underwent his basic training after which he was passed to 4./Feldersatz Btl GD before being assigned to 13./Infanterie Rgt GD 1 after Grossdeutschland had been reorganised from an Infanterie Rgt (mot.) to an Infanterie Division (mot.)
During his first spell in the front lines with GD, Kiesswetter was involved in the German summer offensive in 1942 when the newly established Infanterie Division (mot.) GD was assigned as flank protection for XXXXVIII Pz.Korps and which saw the division advance south to the Donets River and attack the area around Rasdorskaja before being taken out of the line and placed in OKH Reserve. The remainder of the year saw GD involved in the 2 major battles centered around Rzhev, the first in September-October 1942 and the second in November 1942 to January 1943 fighting against the Soviet winter offensive (Operation Mars) against Heeresgruppe Mitte which saw the division fight in piecemeal fashion and suffer massive casualties fighting in many sectors including in the Luchessa Valley, and which saw III/Gren.Rgt GD attached to 253 ID. It was during the fighting in the Luchessa Valley that Gren.Rgt GD lost its commander with Oberst Köhler being killed. Despite Russian penetrations of the salient the 9 Armee was able to defeat the Russian forces but it was at great cost in fighting men, particularly Grossdeutschland which was nearly destroyed. Kiesswetter received his first injury during this ferocious fighting. Although the entry on the Lazarett page shows that he entered Res.Laz. IX Warschau on the 9th December 1942 there is another entry that has the Feldpost Number for the ambulance unit 3./Kranken.Transport.Abt 503 dated for 1st December. He was admitted with shrapnel injuries.

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The injury sustained by Kiesswetter was serious enough to see him spend the first 6 months of 1943 in the Lazarett system. While spending time in 3 different lazarett’s Kiesswetter received 3 combat awards for the fighting he had been involved with in 1942, namely the EK II (backdated to 11 days after he entered the first lazarett at Warsaw), Black Wound Badge and the Infantry Assault Badge In Bronze – all three were awarded while in Res.Laz IV Karlsbad-Meierhöfen.

No doubt due to his injuries, Kiesswetter spent the remainder of 1943 in various training and replacement units of the Grossdeutschland organisation and so missed GD’s participation in the Battle Of Kursk and the heavy fighting around Krivoi Rog in the last months of the year.

The year 1944 started for Kiesswetter with a promotion to Unteroffizier before he was sent back to the front line, and was again assigned to III./Pz.Gren.Rgt GD sometime in February, although he went to the 12 Kompanie instead of his previous 13 Kp. At this time GD was in the area of Kirovograd in the Ukraine as a component of 8 Armee. Having defeated a Russian attempt to encircle 8 Armee in January 1944 the sector quietened down as the Russians went on the defensive which allowed GD to bring reinforcements forward and build up its numbers. It is reasonable to assume that it was during this period that Kiesswetter reached the front line again after a year absence. And it wasn’t long before he saw action as on the 8th March the Russians attacked Grossdeutschland head-on and was directed at the boundary between Füsilier Rgt GD & Pz.Gren.Rgt GD achieving a 5km penetration of the German frontline. Attack and counterattack followed over the next week as the division tried to buy time as it retreated into Romania. What was to follow in March and April was the well known fighting at Targul Frumos and Jassy where the GD Division dealt serious blows to the Russian attempts to advance through Romania, inflicting heavy losses on the Red Army including one audacious counterattack that broke through the Russian front and swept into the Russian assembly areas.

In Kiesswetter’s soldbuch is a slip showing the days he was awarded Close Combat Days and it was during the next phase that he was awarded 5 days, a good indication of how tough the fighting was. At the end of May 1944 the Russians had shifted their forces from the Targul Frumos area to an area north of Jassy looking for a weak point to attack. Pz.Gren.Div GD was ordered to an assembly area in the vicinity of Podul Iloaie and Letcani from where they attacked northward on 2nd June to sieze high ground and a series of key ridges that dominated the Prut Valley. Though they suffered heavy casualties at the hands of the Russian forces who could call on air support the men of GD reached their initial objectives, and the attack continued through the 5th June with GD seizing more key terrain. With the Russian counterattacks ceasing on the 7th June GD consolidated their positions and by the middle of June had handed over the hard won terrain to the Romanians so the division could move south behind the Romanian forces into counter attack positions.

On the 24th July 1944 GD was detached from 8 Armee and moved north to East Prussia where they went on the offensive into Lithuania and Latvia. But the Russian advance continued and GD found itself in defensive battles once again, this time attempting to stop the Russians breaking through to the Baltic coast. However on October 5th 1944 the Russian 1st Baltic Front launched an offensive against the German 3 Pz.Armee and within a few days the front had collapsed and the Russian forces were positioned to the north and south of Memel trapping a number of forces within the Memel Bridgehead. One of these forces was Grossdeutschland and it was during the defensive fighting in the bridgehead that Kiesswetter won the EK I on the 9th October followed by his 6th (and final) Close Combat Day at Klauspussen with him also receiving another wound that day, a splinter in his hand, but this time he remained with the men in the front line. As the German forces still held the port they were able to evacuate some forces and near the end of November GD were evacuated by boat to Königsberg where they moved to positions to rest and refit between Rastenburg andSensburg.

In November 1944 it was decided to establish a Panzerkorps Grossdeutschland and to assist with this formation GD surrendered both III Battalions from the Pz.Grenadier & Füsilier Regiments to the new formation as it was established between December 1944 and January 1945. Both III Btl’s were used to form Panzerkorps Füsilier Regiment Grossdeutschland with III/Pz.Gren.Rgt GD becoming the I Btl and Kiesswetter being assigned to the 5 (Gr.Wf.) Kp.

However when the Russians continued to thrust into East Prussia in early 1945 the only division sized unit able to be sent against them was GD and so it set off once more and even though it had recently been detached to form Pz.Kps.Füs.Rgt GD, the III./Pz.Gren.Rgt GD went with it. However nothing could stop the Russian advances and GD were forced to withdraw time and again until they were in an area to the southwest of Königsberg. Advancing through the recently established Russian lines surrounding the city a slender corridor was established into the city but it was during the heavy and desperate fighting in early February that Kiesswetter’s war was to finally end when he received further shrapnel injuries on the 5th February 1945 and despite reaching Feldlazarett(m) 25 he died at 1310.

Awards Received:

EK II

Wound Badge in Black

Infantry Assault Badge in Bronze

EK I

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This is just some images from a fairly large paperwork grouping that I was able to obtain earlier this year for an eventual Leutnant in Großdeutschland. The whole group consists of his dogtag, wartime soldbuch, citations, maps, a post-war soldbuch with additional slips, his PoW discharge paper, a British issued Ausweis and a photo of him in middle/old age. This is the project I have on the go at the moment so won't go into details or show all the entries etc as I will save that for when the research & write-up is complete. Unfortunately, of all his awards only 3 citations remain with the group, any others having left the group along time ago.

Werner Grünke was issued his soldbuch on 26th August 1939 and initially he served with Kav.Schtz.Rgt 8 before he joined 1.(Wach)/Führer-Begleit-Btl in November of that year. This Kompanie was responsible for the security of Adolf Hitler whenever he departed from FHQ, as well as being assigned to security duties for various foreign dignitaries. He remained with 1.(Wach)/FBB until October 1941 when he was assigned to 3.(MG) Kp.Ers.Btl Infanterie Rgt GD for training before joining 1./Infanterie Regiment Großdeutschland 1

As can be seen, the soldbuch has a great photo of Grünke clearly showing the GD cyphers on his shoulderboards and also just visible is the top of his IAB Bronze on his pocket.

Grünke remained with Infanterie-Regiment GD 1 (Grenadier Regiment GD) for approx 2 years before he spent time in hospital for injuries received in battle.

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Grünke spent most of 1944 in various convalescent, training & replacement units of GD before he was assigned a position on an officers training course in January 1945, being promoted to Leutnant on 30th January 1945. After a successful completion of the course he was once again reassigned to the training & replacement organisation of GD in March 1945 and in April 1945 he was assigned to Stab/Regiment Gruppe Wackernagel which was a battlegroup formed around long serving GD officer Klaus Wackernagel and attached to 15 Pz.Gren.Division. As such it was one of the very few Großdeutschland units that was committed to battle against Western forces, fighting against British forces in northwest Germany where he entered captivity.

Awards:

Westwall Medal

EK II

Ost Medal

IAB Bronze

Black Wound Badge

Close Combat Clasp in Bronze

EK I

Signatures so far identified in the group (not all are shown in the scans):

Citations -

IAB Bronze - Otto Köhler (DKiG & KIA 1st Dec 1942)

Wound Badge in Black - Kurt 'Kiki' Gehrke (RK, DKiG & KIA 24th Oct 1944)

EK II - Walter Hoernlein (RK + EL and DKiG)

Soldbuch -

Oberleutnant Gruss (FBB)

Oberleutnant Grundmann (FBB)

Lt Czayka (DKiG)

Oberleutnant Doege

Oberleutnant Bensinger

Oberleutnant Cabanis (KIA 30th Sept 1942)

Oberleutnant Heidermann (WIA 25th Nov 1942)

 

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A Wehrpass to someone who registered for military service in November 1940 and wasn't called into service until October 1941. After undergoing his basic military training with 4.(MG) Kp.Inf.Ers.Bt; (mot.) 53 he joined Großdeutschland in March 1942, joining 8./Infantry Regiment GD 2. This was a newly formed regiment and was established when GD was raised to the status of an Infanterie Division (mot.).
In September/October 1942 the Infantry regiments within GD were renamed with IR GD 2 becoming Füsilier Regiment GD.

Franz Thalhum would of seen a lot of fighting during his year with GD but he didn't receive any awards for his efforts. Between 16th-23rd February 1943 Großdeutschland was involved in fighting along the Byelgorod - Kharkov rail line during the see-saw fighting to defend the latter city. On 24th February GD was pulled out of the line for a rest and sent to Poltava, however Thalhum's luck ran out as on the day that GD was to pull out of the line he was killed in action near Kharkov.

Unfortunately I have not been able to identify either of the two signatures seen in the Wehrpass.

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Rob and Kevin.Thanks for sharing this absolut exellent und rare Documents.Kevin..your knowlege..Hut ab.

Seba

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A Soldbuch for another founding member of Infanterie-Regiment Großdeutschland. Unfortunately I don't know what unit he came from but the Soldbuch was issued on 26th October 1939 during the formation of GD and was issued by 13./Infanterie-Rgt GD. He would of fought during IR GD's baptism during the 1940 Western Campaign and during the heavy fighting at Stonne.
However having survived that, due to health issues Oswald Näser left Großdeutschland in mid-late 1941 and spent the rest of the war with various supply units based in Berlin. The only medal he received was a KvK II Kl mit Schwertern awarded on 3rd March 1941.

The only signature I have identified within the soldbuch is that of Oberleutnant von Massow who was 13 Kompanie-Chef for the Western Campaign in 1940 and is the second signture down on Page 23. von Massow was wounded at Stonne on 15th May 1940.
As can be seen, before von Massow there was another Kompanie-Chef with the rank of Hauptmann (signature seen at the bottom of Page 2 and at the top of Page 23) but I have not been able to identify who this might be from various sources. If anyone has any idea I'd appreciate the pointer.

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