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Post your "Großdeutschland" related Soldbücher and Wehrpäße

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Final one from me (until the next Pz.Rgt GD Soldbuch arrives in a few days time anyway).

Wehrpass to eventual Obergefreiter Werner Koch from Berlin who was just 17 when war was declared. In 1941 he entered military service and after his basic training he joined the ranks of Großdeutschland by being assigned to 5.(schw)/Infanterie-Regiment GD 2 in March 1942. During this time GD was undergoing an upgrade from Infanterie-Regiment (mot.) to Infanterie Division (mot.) and Infanterie-Regiment 2 was added to GD during this time.
In June 1942 GD took part in the major German summer offensive and fought its way across the Russian Steppe to the Don Bend enabling Heeresgruppe Süd to progress into the Caucasus. In August GD was then placed in reserve and moved to Smolensk whereupon it moved to the area of Rzhev where it would spend the rest of the year, engaged in heavy defensive fighting that cost the division alot of casualties. During this bitter fighting Koch was injured on the 23rd September 1942 and was evacuated from the front line. The injury must of been severe as he spent the remainder of 1942, the whole of 1943 and the first 5 months of 1944 in the GD replacement & training organisation including 11 months in a convalesence company and so missing such battles as Kharkov, Kursk, Jassy & Targul-Frumos.
Koch returned to front line duty in June 1944, being assigned to 14.(Pi.)/Pz.Füs.Rgt GD during the period of fighting in Lithuania & Latvia. Großdeutschland spent August 1944 advancing and then fighting defensively and it was during this heavy fighting that Werner Koch was killed on 24th August 1944 near Dobele (Doblen in German) in Latvia. He was originally buried in a war cemetery at Tauroggen but it would appear that the area was 'sanitised' at some point, no doubt either by the Heer as they withdrew or by the Russians as they advanced, and his body has not been recovered.

Unfortunately, Koch's Wehrpass doesn't show him having won any awards and his Campaign Pages only record a very basic entry for the fighting from June to August 1944.
Once again, I have not been able to identify the signature.

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

Seba

Thanks very much Seba and glad you enjoyed seeing them :)

Kevin - you have an extremely impressive collection of "Großdeutschland" IDs and thanks again for posting them.

Great to have all of these Soldbücher and Wehrpäße assembled here in one thread!! :thumbup:

Hopefully we'll see some more contributions!

Rob

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Hats off, most impressive GD Unit Soldbücher and Wehrpässe shared here! Thanks all for participating and showing this treasures.

/Bart

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Thanks for the comments guys. Strangely, collecting GD was never a 'core' interest but it seems that over the last few years I kept finding GD related paperwork and adding them to the collection until it is hard to deny that it is now a core theme. Up until last June I didn't have a single GD Soldbuch and in the past couldn't find one for love nor money but in the space of 14 months I've now obtained 5 to add to the 8 Wehrpasse and 9 citation sets I have acquired.

And this is the latest addition that was waiting for me when I got home from work this afternoon. Thanks to Nick for passing me the link to this which I had completely missed. As it is so new to the collection I haven't had a chance to dig into it but thought I'd might as well add it to the thread :)

It is the Soldbuch to Kurt Günter, born in November 1921 in Nürnberg and who joined the Heer in 1941. After basic training with Pz.Ers.Abt 25 he was assigned to 6./Pz.Rgt 203. When Großdeutschland was upgraded to a Panzer-Grenadier Division in early 1943, the II Btl of Pz.Rgt 203 was transferred over to GD to upgrade that formations Panzer Abteilung to a Regiment and became II./Pz.Rgt GD and as can be seen from Günter's unit page, he remained with 6 Kompnaie after the transfer. II/Pz.Rgt GD were equipped with Pz IV's.

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As can be seen, Günter was wounded in December/January 1942 during the period that Pz.Rgt 203 was serving with 18 Armee Heeresgruppe Nord.

Kurt Günter was killed in action on 17th March 1944 when during the retreat west towards Romania he was caught in an air attack by close support aircraft, most probably by Shturmovik aircraft, when a long column of retreating vehicles and personnel were bogged down in the muddy conditions. There is a note written on Page 14 of the SB mentioning his death during an air attack.

During his time in panzers, Günter was awarded the PAB Silber, Black Wound Badge & EK II.

Signatures in the Soldbuch identified so far (all of 6 Kompanie):

Hauptmann Wilhelm von Gottberg (Kompanie-Chef) - DKiG

Leutnant von Hattingberg

Leutnant Griese

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Thanks for the comments guys. Strangely, collecting GD was never a 'core' interest but it seems that over the last few years I kept finding GD related paperwork and adding them to the collection until it is hard to deny that it is now a core theme. Up until last June I didn't have a single GD Soldbuch and in the past couldn't find one for love nor money but in the space of 14 months I've now obtained 5 to add to the 8 Wehrpasse and 9 citation sets I have acquired.

Funny you should mention that Kevin as I was saying the same thing to another collector just a few days ago. I have been collecting Panzer and other AFV crew IDs for only six years, but in those six years I have seen less than half a dozen Großdeutschland Soldbücher offered for sale publicly. Then, all of a sudden as if out of nowhere, early last year some really great "GD" IDs start to pop up; I picked up four Panzer and StuG Soldbücher in less than twelve months! I guess the old saying "When it rains, it pours" really is true :thumbup:

And this is the latest addition that was waiting for me when I got home from work this afternoon. Thanks to Nick for passing me the link to this which I had completely missed. As it is so new to the collection I haven't had a chance to dig into it but thought I'd might as well add it to the thread :)

It is the Soldbuch to Kurt Günter, born in November 1921 in Nürnberg and who joined the Heer in 1941. After basic training with Pz.Ers.Abt 25 he was assigned to 6./Pz.Rgt 203. When Großdeutschland was upgraded to a Panzer-Grenadier Division in early 1943, the II Btl of Pz.Rgt 203 was transferred over to GD to upgrade that formations Panzer Abteilung to a Regiment and became II./Pz.Rgt GD and as can be seen from Günter's unit page, he remained with 6 Kompnaie after the transfer. II/Pz.Rgt GD were equipped with Pz IV's.

Good one, Kevin :thumbup: Barry showed this to me back when he first got it in - it is without any doubt a honest and untouched Panzer-Regiment Großdeutschland Soldbuch :thumbup: Volume 2 of Helmuth Spaeter's The History of the Panzerkorps Großdeutschland outlines the absolutely miserable conditions Günter and his comrades were stuck in when he was killed; it was like hell on earth.

Rob

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Here's part of a large group to Leutnant Anton Munding 8/Füsilier Rgt. "GD" later Kp Führer 2/Panzer Füsilier Rgt "GD".

I bought this from 3 separate people and I know there is still more i.e. his diary and photo album out there!

/Ian

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Here's part of a large group to Leutnant Anton Munding 8/Füsilier Rgt. "GD" later Kp Führer 2/Panzer Füsilier Rgt "GD".

I bought this from 3 separate people and I know there is still more i.e. his diary and photo album out there!

/Ian

Very nice Großdeutschland Officer grouping, Ian :thumbup:

Rob

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A few pictures of a soldbuch that belonged to a guy who bounced around the "GD" Division and ended up as a Soviet POW.

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A few pictures of a soldbuch that belonged to a guy who bounced around the "GD" Division and ended up as a Soviet POW.

A very nice example. I have a Wehrpass to a member of 4./Füs.Rgt GD that has the same signature as the two shown in the lower portion of Page 15 but dated 2 years earlier as an Oberleutnant. Any chance of a look at Page 3 please?

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Thanks Lee. I was hoping to be able to identify one of the other signatures for you but unfortunately I haven't been able to. My database for GD officers is lacking many Pz.Jäger.Abt GD names. Still, an outstanding item and good to see that he belonged to Stab/Pz.Jäger.Abt 643 that was used to form Pz.Jäger.Abt GD.

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And another Soldbuch to a member who served for the early years of the war with a Pionier unit that had strong links with Großdeutschland, fighting alongside each other at Stonne in France 1940 and again in the early days of the campaign in Russia (I believe) before it was actually absorbed into Großdeuschland in May 1942 to become Pi.Btl GD.
The Soldbuch is very very fragile and proved tricky to get decent scans from.

The Soldbuch was opened in August 1939 when Heinz Portau served with 1./Sturm-Pionier-Btl 43 with whom he would of fought in Poland in 1939 and at the crossing of the Meuse River and at Stonne in the Western Campaign in 1940 where GD suffered heavy casualties.
He would remain with Sturm-Pionier-Btl 43 through out the early stages of the Russian campaign and was awarded his Assault Badge in August 1941 for the summer fighting.

With the enlargement of Infanterie Rgt GD into a motorised infantry division, Sturm-Pionier-Btl 43 was absorbed into GD to form that units Pionier Battalion and as such his Soldbuch shows the unit entry on Page 4 from 1./Sturm-Pi.Btl 43 to 1./Pi.Btl GD.
However it appears that he didn't remain with Pi.Btl GD for very long as there is an entry on Page 3 showing his next unit of 3./Pi.Btl 754 and dated for the 1st October 1942. The interesting thing about this unit was that at that period it was in the vicinity of Stalingrad attached to the 76 Infanterie Division which I believe was fighting near Mamaev Kurgan.

In mid-December, i.e. after the Stalingrad Pocket had been formed and 6 Armee were trapped, Portau received schrapnel injuries so must of been flown out of the pocket as his future war service is recorded in the SB. However, strangely considering that he had left GD at some time in mid-1942, the Lazarett pages show an entry for Pi.Ers.Komp Großdeutschland - Cottbus dated for late December 1942/March 1943.

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The first image here is a poor scan (but the best obtained due to the condition of the SB) that shows the entry for 1./Pi.Btl GD.

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However it appears that he didn't remain with Pi.Btl GD for very long as there is an entry on Page 3 showing his next unit of 3./Pi.Btl 754 and dated for the 1st October 1942. The interesting thing about this unit was that at that period it was in the vicinity of Stalingrad attached to the 76 Infanterie Division which I believe was fighting near Mamaev Kurgan.

In mid-December, i.e. after the Stalingrad Pocket had been formed and 6 Armee were trapped, Portau received schrapnel injuries so must of been flown out of the pocket as his future war service is recorded in the SB. However, strangely considering that he had left GD at some time in mid-1942, the Lazarett pages show an entry for Pi.Ers.Komp Großdeutschland - Cottbus dated for late December 1942/March 1943.

Hi Kevin,

76.Inf.Div. was never deployed near Mamayev Kurgan. In early October 1942 it was holding part of the Nordriegel, the northern blocking position erected between the Don and Volga rivers.

I suppose the key to finding out about his Stalingrad wounding is Feldlazarett 652. Was this hospital inside the pocket? I'm not sure.

Really interesting Soldbuch and career!

Jason

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I suppose the key to finding out about his Stalingrad wounding is Feldlazarett 652. Was this hospital inside the pocket? I'm not sure.

Amazingly, just now, while looking for something else, I came across a list of German hospitals near Stalingrad on 27.11.1942. I'll post them here as they may be of some use to someone else in the future (all spellings in German, eg. Morosowskaja, not Morozovskaya):

Armee-San.-Kp. 2/542 as an HVP in Jarmakoff (60km north of Morosowskaja);

Armee-Feldlaz. 2/542 in Nowo-Tscherkassk;

Armee-Feldlaz. 4/592 in Ssulin;

Armee-Feldlaz. 608 in Lichoj;

Armee-Feldlaz. 642 in Tormossin;

Armee-Feldlaz. 642 in Morosowskaja;

Armee-Feldlaz. 666 in Nowo-Tscherkassk;

Armee-Feldlaz. 671 in Koksofen;

Kriegslaz. 2/541 in Tazinskaja;

L.Kr.Kriegslaz. 4/541 in Shirnhoff;

Kranken-Sammelstellen in Gumrak, Pitomnik, Jarskoj, Morosowskaja, Belaja-Kalitwa and Lichaja.

As you can see, Feldlazarett 652 is not mentioned. I'm not sure what this means. I'll keep my eye out for further info.

All the best,

Jason

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Thanks for the clarification Jason. It is a bit of a confusing SB to sort out as signes point to him being with Pi.Btl 754 from October 1942 but the lazarett entry which includes the GD entry seems to cast a shadow of doubt. At the time of the wounding GD were being bled white during the Russian Operation Mars near Rzhev so I think finding the location of the Lazarett could be the all important key to finding out where he was when he was wounded. Not only that but from a Feldlazarett what determined the Reserve Lazarett they were processed to? In late December 1942 he was in the Reserve Lazarett at Cholm which location wise would be nearer to someone injured fighting around Rzhev then Stalingrad but considering the scale of the casualties at both Rzhev and Stalingrad then who knows where they were sent when needs must. Unfortunately there seems to be very little out there with regards to Feldlazaretts etc.

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Latest addition to the GD collection arrived today and it is the Wehrpass to Erwin Claß who joined the Heer in 1941 and was eventually assigned to 12./Infanterie-Regiment Großdeutschland 2 in March 1942. Apart from a four month spell with the Ersatz units of GD between March & July 1943 he would remain with IR GD 2 (later renamed Panzer-Füsilier-Regiment GD when GD was established as a Panzer-Grenadier Division in 1943) until he died in September 1944.

Although the Wehrpass shows that Claß was highly decorated having won the IAB Bronze, EK II & I, Black Wound Badge and Close Combat Clasp in Bronze what the WP doesn't show is that Claß was also awarded the Ehrenblattspange (Honour Roll Clasp) posthumously on 27th November 1944 - just 2 months after his death in Latvia. Only 39 individuals in GD were awarded the clasp.
All literature (Ordensträger, Volksbund & even his grave marker) show his final rank as Unteroffizier but as can be seen by the final entry on page 22 he was actually promoted to Feldwebel on 1st September 1944 - probably confirmed and entered after his death when he WP was being closed out.

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The Wehrpass doesn't mention where in Latvia Claß died and the Volksbund has his place of death as being not listed, but along with the Wehrpass came 5 photos and four of those photos show various grave markers (including that of Erwin Claß) in a GD graveyard and by identifying some of the names and checking Volksbund it would appear that the graveyard belonged to HVPl (Heeresverbandplatz) Renge which happened to be occupied by 1. Sanitäts Kompanie GD at the time so it looks as though Claß's last moments were spent in the field dressing station of 1. Sanitäts Kp GD.

As the Ehrenblattspange was posthumously awarded it is possible that the Wehrpass was processed and returned to the family before anyone had a chance to enter the details.

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Latest addition to my GD collection is this fairly late-war Soldbuch, opened in February 1944 to Friedrich Schmidt. He saw combat initially with Pz.Grenadier Division GD until he was wounded in combat in August 1944. From there he served for a short time in the GD Ersatz und Ausbildungs organisation.

In 1944 a new sister division to GD was formed and soldiers serving in the Ers. u. Ausb GD units were used to form it and so Schmidt found himself assigned to the Pz.Füs.Btl of the Führer-Grenadier-Brigade (upgraded to a Division in January 1945) and fought against US forces in the Battle Of The Bulge. He was wounded again in March 1945.

During his time with GD he won three awards, the Wound Badge in Black, EK II & PAB Bronze.

I have seen the GD related signatures on Page 2, the top entry on Page 15 and the 2nd & 3rd signatures seen on Page 22 a number of times on GD related paperwork but I have as yet not been able to identify them.

As can be seen, the Soldbuch has a nice photo of Schmidt which shows the GD cyphers on both epaulettes.

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Nice one Kevin !

 

Fine "GD" pass-photo in it.

 

I really like those later war combat soldiers who served in the West - Battle of the Bulge and the later battles.

 

Thanks for showing.

 

Best regards

 

Eric-Jan

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