Cuff title L.P.G. General Göring and General Göring

Hello Collector friends

alomst time for another cuff title to speak about. It is connected with the beginning of the Fallschirmtruppe of the Luftwaffe. So lets go into it and I hope you like it.

cuff title L.P.G. General Göring on green fabric

Shortly after 31.01.1933, and the accession of Adolf Hitler to the position of Reichskanzler, Hermann Göring, at that time amongst other things also the Prussian Minister of the Interior, ordered the creation of a special Police unit, a unit which would stand loyal to the Führer and break any resistance to the young National Socialist movement. On 23.02.1933 Major of the Prussian Police Walther Wecke was entrusted with the command of this unit. Two days later Wecke reported the creation of his „Polizei-Abteilung zbV. “ with a strength of 14 Officers and 400 Men. The „Abteilung“ was initially based in the district of Kreuzberg (Berlin), in the former barracks of the Queen Augusta Grenadier Guards Regiment 4 and then in the barracks of the former Prussian Queen Elizabeth Grenadier Guards Regiment 3 in Charlottenburg.

Already on 02.03.1933, the „Abteilung“, more commonly called Polizei-Abteilung Wecke“ , was first used against political opponents in Berlin. It was mainly used to smash the KPD meetings and other workers‘ organizations, with the aim of eliminating the political opposition.

On 07.17.1933 the unit was renamed „Landespolizeigruppe zbV. Wecke, and thus was created the first country-wide „Landespolizeigruppe“ in Germany. On 17.09.1933 the „Gruppe“ was endowed by Hermann Göring with its own Standard, along with the words: „It is my intention to convert the Prussian police into a powerful weapon, similar to the Reichswehr, which I will hand over to the Führer, whenever we will fight our external enemies“.

Member of the L.P.G. General Göring with Police Uniform A

On 22.12.1933 the Gruppe was renamed again, this time as Landespolizeigruppe General Göring“. Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich-Wilhelm Jacoby, formerly adjutant of Göring in his capacity as Prussian Minister of the Interior and Reich Aviation Minister, took over command of the group on 06.06.1934. After the introduction of conscription on 16.03.1935, the „Polizeigruppe“ received the more military sounding title „Regiment General Göring“ .

In September 1935, Jacoby received from Göring the order to transfer the regiment to the Luftwaffe on the date 01.10.1935. Volunteers of the regiment would form the basis of a battalion of the future German paratroop units. At that time the regiment contained the following units:

Regimentsstabs

Musikkorps

I (Jäger) Bataillon /Regiment General Göring (späteres Fallschirmjäger-Bataillon)

II (Jäger) Bataillon /Regiment General Göring

13. Kradschützen-Kompanie/Regiment General Göring

15. Pionier-Kompanie/ Regiment General Göring

Reiterzug/ Regiment General Göring

Nachrichtenzug/ Regiment General Göring

 

 

Added later were:

III. (leichte) Flak-Abteilung/ Regiment General Göring (Autumn 1935)

14. Wach-Kompanie / Regiment General Göring (11.07.1936)

16. Wach-Kompanie / Regiment General Göring (01.04.1937)

In January 1936, one bataillon under Major Bruno Bräuer and the 15th company, moved to the military training grounds at Döberitz, where they received parachute training, while the rest of the regiment moved to Altengrabow to reorganize. On 21.08.1936 Major Walther von Axthelm took command.

Member of the L.P.G. General Göring with Luftwaffen Uniform

Later, during the 2nd World War the Hermann Göring units would be seen as a sort of elite, not only within the Air Force, but also within the entire Wehrmacht. This is partly due to the fact that the personnel, at least in the early years, were all volunteers. There were also high recruitment standards and physical training. However, the Hermann Göring units also offered the best opportunities for advancement. Also playing their part were factors such as accommodation in the new barracks in Reinickendorf, the most modern of all throughout the whole German Reich, to gain national and international recognition by the outwardly visible insignia of the white collar tabs and the cuff title „General Goering“, the possibility of being a bodyguard to Goering, and the comradeship within the regiment all provided enough reasons to wish to serve within this regiment.

By 01.10.1937 the regiment consisted of the following units:

Regimentsstabs
Nachrichtenzug

Musikkorps

I (schwere) Flak-Abteilung/Regiment General Göring (from II. (Jäger) Bataillon with:

Stab, Stabsbatterie, 1.-3. Batterie (8,8-cm) and 4. Batterie (3,7-cm)

II (leichte) Flak-Abteilung/Regiment General Göring (from III. (leichte) Flak-Abteilung with:

Stab, Stabsbatterie, 5.-7. Batterie (2-cm)

III. Wach-Bataillon/Regiment General Göring (from Reiterzug, 13. Kradschützen-Kompanie, 14. and 16. Wach-Kompanie with:

Stab, Nachrichtenzug, Reiterzug, 8. Kradschützen-Kompanie with Panzer-Spähzug (disbanded 01.11.1938), 9. and 10. Wach-Kompanie, from 01.04.1938 11. Wach-Kompanie

IV Fallschirmschützen-Bataillon/Regiment General Göring (from I./ (Jäger) and 15. Kp./Regiment General Göring) with:

Stab, Nachrichtenzug, 11.-13. Fallschirmschützen-Kompanie, 14. Fallschirmschützen-MG-Kompanie, 15. Fallschirm-Pionier-Kompanie

High decorated Fallschirmjäger

At the end of March 1938,  the IV. Bataillon and the 15th company left the regiment and formed the I./Fallschirm-Regiment 1. At about the same time, the regiment took part in the annexation of Austria and on 15.03.1938 paraded in front of Hitler. In October 1938, it participated in the invasion of the Sudetenland and on 15.03.1939 took part in the parade in Prague.

Due to the loss of parachute units, the breakdown of the regiment from 01.11.1938 was as follows :

Regimentsstab/Regiment General Göring with Musikkorps and Stabsbatterie

I (schwere) Flak-Abteilung/Regiment General Göring

II (leichte) Flak-Abteilung/Regiment General Göring

III. Scheinwerfer-Abteilung/Regiment General Göring

IV (leichte) Flak-Abteilung/Regiment General Göring

Wach-Bataillon/Regiment General Göring with Reiterzug and three Wach-Kompanien

Luftlande-Bataillon/Regiment General Göring (since Summer 1938 as Ausbildungseinheit, up to August 1939)

In the course of the Polish crisis, the regiment was mobilized on 15.8.1939 which resulted in the following restructuring of the Regiment:

Reiterzug became Reiterschwadron/Regiment General Göring

Formed from:

Reserve-Scheinwerfer-Abteilung/Regiment General Göring

Ersatz-Abteilung//Regiment General Göring

1 (schwere) Eisenbahn-Flak-Batterie

1 (leichte) Flak-Batterie as support unit for the Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe Göring, the Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and as air defence for the Führer Hauptquartier

cuff title General Göring

During the Polish campaign the majority of the regiment remained in the Berlin area to provide anti-aircraft protection and to protect the headquarters of Goering. Amongst other things in October 1939, a company participated in the victory parade in Warsaw.

With the end of the Polish campaign, at the end of October 1st., the III. and IV. Abteilung of the regiment moved in secret to the western front, where they were subordinated to anti-aircraft regiments. Only the II. Abteilung remained in the Berlin area where it would continue to provide part of the air raid protection of greater Berlin.

In early April 1940 a battalion, also known as “Einheit Kluge”, was formed from a Wach-Kompanie, a 2-cm-Flak-Battery (sf) and a newly established Kradschützen-Kompanie of the regiment all under the command of Major Kluge. This unit took part in operation „Weserübung, the occupation of Denmark and Norway. In Norway, it participated in the fighting between Oslo and Trondheim. The rest of the regiment secured the Rhineland on the Dutch border.

As from 10.05.1940, large parts of the regiment took part in the battles which followed in the West, capturing Brussels. These units were in this case used as „Kampfgruppen“, and the anti-aircraft units achieved very good results in the anti-tank role. After the armistice, the regiment was initially stationed for several weeks on the channel coast and then used for air defense in the Paris area. Towards the end of 1940, the regiment moved back to Germany and was once again part of the air defense of Berlin.

LW Soldier with cuff title General Göring

Before the beginning of the Balkan campaign the regiment moved to Romania, there to protect the major oil fields from enemy air raids. Then it moved in the early summer of 1941 to the River Bug at Sokal and remained there in readiness for the eastern campaign. After the fighting began, it distinguished itself in the fighting around Dubno and Kiev. By October 1941 the regiment had destroyed:

161 Aircraft

324 Tanks

45 Bunkers

167 Artillerie Guns

530 Machine Gun Positions

In the process more than 11,000 prisoners were taken. Up to this point four members of the regiment received the Knight`s cross and four members the german cross in Gold .

At the end of 1941, the regiment moved back to Germany to refresh, while a newly formed „Schützen-Bataillon“ remained in the east and took part in the defensive fighting there until April 1942.
In March 1942, Göring ordered the extension of the regiment to brigade level, and on 15.07.1942 the regiment was renamed as „Brigade Hermann Göring“.

Heinz Besecke who served in the Regiment General Göring and later in the Fallschirmjäger Regiment 1

Description    Cuff Title L.P.G. General Göring

The cuffband which consisted of dark green, Police uniform like badge-cloth was 3.2 cm wide and was in executed in “Frakturschrift” as follows:

  • For Officers the cuff title was hand embroidered in Aluminium thread and featured additional embroidery in the form of a 3mm wide Aluminium thread (Soutache) braid strip on the upper and lower edges of the cuff title.
  • Although similar in material and colour the version for enlisted ranks was additionally identified by having no edge strip.

Method of Wear:
The cuff title was worn on the “Tuchrock” just above the turned back cuff of the right sleeve. When worn by a soldier holding an appointment to the position of “Hauptfeldwebel” , it was attached  just above the sleeve rings indicating this status. Officers also wore the cuff title on the “Fliegerbluse” and the white summer tunic. It is evidenced by numerous photographs however, that the wearing of this cuff title was probably complied with less and less over the course of the war.

I like to thank Mr. Helmut Weitze, Hamburg and his Staff for helping me out with pictures of LPG cuff titles and also lot of collector friends who are all listed in my cuff title book: Göring units and Para units WW2

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Best

Sascha

 

 

Obergefreiter mit dem EK 1…..und einer Geschichte !

Hallo Freunde,

heute möchte ich hier beginnen und interessante Nachlässe vorstellen. Der Schwerpunkt liegt nicht nur bei den Orden und Papieren sonder auch bei der Geschichte oder der persönlichen Verbindung zu dem Soldaten. In diesem Falle hat mein Sammlerfreund „Walle“ diesen schönen Bericht erstellt und ich durfte den hier vorstellen. Also viel Spaß beim lesen !

 

Hallo Sammlerfreunde,

heute möchte ich euch mal ein für mich besonderes Konvolut vorstellen. Es handelt sich dabei um den Nachlass meines vor einigen Jahren verstorbenen Sammlerfreundes Werner Fuchs.

Porträt Werner Fuchs

Werner war ein Sammler und Herr der alten Schule. Ich habe viel Zeit mit ihm verbracht und er hat mir dabei sehr viel von seinen Erlebnissen an der Ostfront erzählt. Ich konnte ihn zu Zeiten, wo es ihm gesundheitlich noch gut ging, Gott sei Dank dazu bewegen, einige davon auch aufzuschreiben. Werner war ein Sammler der ersten Stunde und aktiv bei den Anfängen der Ordenskundlichen Magazinen wie INFO und OMM usw. beteiligt. Seine Art zu recherchieren und sich für Hintergründe zu Auszeichnungen zu interessieren und nicht nur für das blanke Metall oder Papier hat er an mich weitergereicht und dafür bin ich ihm sehr dankbar.

Soldbuch Werner Fuchs

Da er keine Kinder hatte (sein einziger Sohn starb mit 17 an Leukämie und wäre in meinem Alter gewesen) verfügte er, dass der militärische Nachlass von seinem Onkel und ihm an mich überging.

EK 2 und Ostmedaille Werner Fuchs

Diesen Nachlass möchte ich nun vorstellen. Interessant ist er vor allem deshalb, weil er eindringlich aufzeigt, was ein einzelnen ‚popliges‘ Verwundetenabzeichen ins schwarz für den Beliehenen an Schmerzen und Folgen beinhalten konnte.

Werner wurde am 16.6.1941 zum 3./Inf.Ers.Batl. 465 in Naumburg eingezogen. Nach der Ausbildung als MG-Schütze kam er im september 1941 im Rahmen der 36. ID beim 6./IR. 118 an die Ostfront.

Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse Werner Fuchs

Bis zu seiner ersten Verwundung am 7./8.8.1943 wurden Werner folgende Auszeichnungen verliehen:

– am 23.7.1942 die Ostmedaille (ausgefertigt am 22.09.1944 im Lazarett in Neumarkt)
– am 26.11.1942 das EK 2
– am 10.08.1943 das EK 1 als Ogfr.
– am 29.08.1943 das Verwundetenabzeichen in schwarz
– am 25.01.1944 das Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen in silber

Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen Werner Fuchs

Werner’s Auszeichnungen sind größtenteil im Original erhalten bis auf das EK 1. Dieses stammt von dem Ritterkreuzträger Hauptmann Sonntag, welcher in unmittelbarer Nachbarschaft von ihm wohnte und es ihm zu Lebzeiten als Erinnerung schenkte. Sein eigenes EK 1 hat er bei der Beerdigung seines Sohnes in dessen Sarg gelegt. Das Verwundetenabzeichen der 1. Form hat er im Lazarett bei einem anderen Verwundeten gegen sein eigenes getauscht, da es im besser gefallen hat
Werner hat nie wieder gedient und er sagte mir mal dass er nach dem Krieg Spaziergänge von einer Dauer von mehr als eine Stunde abgelehnt hatte, da er in Russland mehr als genug gelaufen war. Einen Garten wollte er nicht, da er mit dem Feldspaten soviel Erde bewegt hat, dass er keinen Spaten mehr anrührte.

VA schwarz Werner Fuchs

Trotzdem hat er sich als Ordensinteressierter seine Auszeichnungen auch in allen Varianten nach dem Ordensgesetz von 1957 anfertigen lassen.

Hier nun ein paar Zeitungsausschnitte, die Werner während des Krieges gesammelt hat und sein letzter Bericht, in dem er von der EK 1 – Verleihung berichtet.

 

„Wie ich das Eiserne Kreuz erster Klasse (EK 1) bekam:

In der großen Doppelschlacht von Kursk und Orel im Sommer 1943 waren wir im Nordabschnitt bei Orel in der 9. Armee (Generaloberst Model) Da mein Gruppenführer, Obergefreiter Günther Grünewald, für das Ritterkreuz zum Eisernen Kreuz vorgesehen war, mussten wir neben den normalen Einsätzen noch eine Reihe von Sondereinsätzen bestehen; für mich als MG-Schütze 1 ergaben sich dann noch zusätzliche Einzelaktionen.

Ein paar Tage vor meiner letzten Verwundung – am Samstag 8. August1943, früh 09.00 Uhr im Jelnabogen südl. von Smolensk – sagte mir Günther, dass er mich zum EK 1 eingegeben habe. Das freute mich, weckte aber keine allzu große Hoffnung.
Hatte ich doch im vorangegangenen Jahr 1942 wegen des EK 2 einige Enttäuschungen erlebt.

Ein Oberfeldwebel, der erst mein Zugführer und später Kompanietruppführer war, konnte mich nicht leiden und hat vermutlich die Eingaben immer wieder verschwinden lassen. Das ging soweit, dass mein damaligen Gruppenführer, Uffz. Walter
Leonhard noch aus dem Lazarett anfragte, ob das EK für den „alten“ Fuchs nun endlich eingetroffen sei. Auch der Kompaniechef der 5./118, der mich und den ich kannte, fragte mich bei einer Begegnung: „Hast du das EK endlich bekommen „ Wenn dir das deine Leute nicht geben, bekommst du eines von uns.“

Wahrscheinlich hat er aber kurz darauf mit meinem Kompaniechef, Hauptmann Matthiesen 6./118 sprechen können und die Sache kam ins Rollen. Verschwinden lassen ging da wohl nicht mehr. Einige Zeit später war ich dran mit Heimaturlaub und ging abends mit den Essensträgern zurück zum Tross, um am nächsten Früh ab Ghatsk mit dem Zug in Richtung Heimat abzudampfen.

EK 2, Walter & Henlein AV Werner Fuchs

Beim Tross angekommen, fragte mich der Spieß, Hauptfeldwebel Hirsch, wo ich mein EK habe, er hätte es doch vor einigen Tagen nach vorne geschickt. Hatte doch dieser Oberfeldwebel das Ding zurück behalten und mich ohne die Auszeichnung in Urlaub fahren lassen. Der Hauptfeldwebel schickte in der Nacht noch einen Melder zur Kompanie, ließ das EK holen und überreichte es mir noch in der Nacht.

Der Oberfeldwebel ist dann 2 Tage nach meiner Verwundung am 10.August 1943 gefallen. Kurz vorher sind wir uns noch mal begegnet, da war er ausgesprochen nett und freundlich. Vielleicht weil er wusste, dass ich zum EK 1 eingegeben war. Nach der Verwundung kam ich über die Lazarette Smolensk und Warschau ins Heimatlazarett nach Neumarkt in Schlesien.

Meinen Eltern hatte ich von der Verwundung (Schussbruch linker Oberarm mit Knochenmarkentzündung) geschrieben und auch von der Einreichung zum EK 1 berichtet. Was tat mein Vater ? Er schreibt an den Ersatztruppenteil nach Kaiserslautern und fragt an, ob etwas von der EK-Verleihung bekannt sei. Man höre und staune, der Ersatztruppenteil antwortete : „ Ja, es geht in den nächsten Tagen zum Reservelazarett Neumarkt zwecks Verleihung.“ Das hat mir mein Vater postwendend mitgeteilt. Seit der Verwundung waren mehrere Wochen vergangen, der Arm-Brustgips abgenommen und die Sache bis auf eine Fistel zum Abfluss des Eiters abgeheilt. Um keine Langeweile aufkommen zu lassen, hatte ich mich als Hilfskraft auf dem Hauptgeschäftszimmer beworben und war auch
angestellt worden.

Eines Tages teilte mir der Spieß grinsend mit, es gäbe heute Abend eine große Überraschung. Er dürfte aber nicht sagen, worum es geht. Informiert durch meinen Vater machte ich das Spiel mit. Abends gegen 17.00 Uhr gingen wir ins Büro des Chefarztes, Oberstabsarzt Dr. v. Tempsky. Ich meldete vorschriftsmäßig: „ Obergefreiter Fuchs wie befohlen zur Stelle „ Völlig unprogrammmäßig kam die Erwiderung:“ Ach sie sind das!“ Hatte ich doch einige Tage vorher Ausgangssperre bekommen, weil ich beim
Einsteigen nach Zapfenstreich über den Hasenstall erwischt worden war. Nun wurde es wieder dienstlich. Der Chef begann mit seiner Ansprache: „Ich habe die Ehre und Freude, Ihnen im Namen des Führers und Oberbefehlshaber der Wehrmacht für ihren tapferen Einsatz usw.,usw….“

Dabei wurde seine Stimme immer etwas leiser und brüchiger, die Augen wurden feucht und dann bekam ich die Urkunde und das Etui mit EK. Völlig überraschend fragte er dann : „ Was haben Sie da gemacht ?“

Darauf völlig unvorbereitet sagte ich im schönsten NS-Jargon : „ Ich habe einmal eine russische Kompanie allein vernichtet.“

Für diese dumme prahlerische Antwort schäme ich mich heute noch. Ich hätte sagen können, ich war bei Orel als MG-Schütze 1 eingesetzt. Oder um auf meine Einzelaktion zu kommen; Ich konnte einmal als MG-Schütze einen russischen Angriff in Kompaniestärke allein abwehren.

Nach Verlassen des Büros fragte ich den Spieß wegen des Verhaltens des Chefs: „ Was war jetzt los ?“ da sagte mir der Hauptfeldwebel: „ Sie sehen seinem in Stalingrad gefallenen Sohn zum Verwechseln ähnlich.“

Unten im Hauptgeschäftszimmer hatten sich inzwischen eine Menge Leute eingefunden. Die ganze Zahlmeisterei, Sekretärinnen und sonstiges Stammpersonal, einige Schwestern und Ärzte. Im Sommer 1943 war ein EK 1 an einen Mannschaftsdienstgrad immer noch etwas besonderes. Nun hatte ich die Schachtel und Urkunde in die Rocktasche gesteckt, setzte mich an meinen Schreibtisch und tat, als ob ich weiterarbeitete.

Stille im Raum, bis endlich einer fragte: „ Na, haben Sie es denn bekommen ?“ Da holte ich die Sachen raus und legte sie auf den Tisch. Das Etui wurde geöffnet und das gute Stück von Hand zu Hand gegeben und bestaunt. Das wird verständlich, wenn man bedenkt, dass von allen Anwesenden nur ein Oberzahlmeister ein Schutzwallabzeichen besaß.

Dann bin ich ins Teillazarett Oberschule gegangen, wo im Zeichensaal mein Schlafplatz war. Mit ein paar Flaschen Bier wurde hier das Stück begossen.

Groß Aufhebens machte allerdings hier keiner; die kamen ja alle von der Front. Das Bier war wichtiger ! “

Panzer Assault Badge Bronce 25 Juncker

 

Hi Friends, today I am very happy to present you an article which was written by a good friend who helped me to get this blog more intersting for you. Please enjoy !

 

Dear collectors

Today I would like to present another badge that is rarely seen: a bronze PAB „25“ made by the company of C.E. Juncker. Unlike the bronze PAB „25“ from JFS or from Gustav Brehmer which pop up from time to time only very few examples from Juncker are known to exist.

Panzergrenadiers after Combat

Numbered PABs were instituted on 22nd of June 1943 and Juncker examples – in contrast to their JFS and G.B. counterparts – are supposed to be the earliest awarded and actually worn pieces. At least this is what evidence shows based on groupings with documents.

Whereas numbered PABs in silver can be encountered quite often numbered bronze PABs are rare on their own. Why is this so?

If you look at the first grade – the PABs without numbers – the ratio beween existing examples in bronze and silver is roughly 1:1.

Panzer Assault Badge Bronce 25 by Juncker Front view

Now when it comes to the second grade (not to mention the third or even the fourth grade) the ratio changes considerably and is about 1:20 (estimated). This applies to single pieces. The ratio for PABs „25“ in groupings is more like 1:50.

The award criteria for a numbered PAB in bronze bring up the answer.

Solbuch Entry and PA Days from Sebastian`s Collection (2)

The exact regulations were not really dealt with in the literature up to now and on top of that there were several changes to them over the course of time. Thus it is not possible to provide any really precise information but generally speaking there were the following units that were eligible for awarding bronze PABs:

  • Aufklärungs-Abteilungen
  • Schützen-Regimenter
  • Panzergrenadier-Regimenter
  • Panzerspäh-Einheiten
Panzeraufklärer sdkfz 222 Africa

The first grade was won after taking part in at least three assaults on three different(!) days. For a second grade PAB a soldier had to take part in a minimum of 25 assaults on 25 different days. The day the crediting began was the 1st of July 1943. There were exceptions for those who were killed or got severely wounded and thus would not have a chance any more to take part in further combat. The required minimum for a second grade was 18 days in this case.

Russia, Kradschützen on the March 1942 / picture from the Bundesarchiv

Furthermore a certain amount of days could be credited generally for those who served in Russia or in Africa without interruption – depending on the length of time:

  • 10 days for 8 months of service
  • 15 days for 12 months of service
  • 25 days for 15 months of service

 

(cf. Klietmann 1991)

Solbuch Entry and PA Days from Sebastian`s Collection (1)

Unlike in panzer-units the soldiers in the units mentioned above had practically no real protection when engaged in combat. There were quite many guys serving in these units but it was a serious business and only very few were granted to fulfil the criteria for a higher grade…

 

Now back to the badge starting this thread:

It shows only slight traces of wear – the bronze finish is preserved extremely well and only the high points expose the base metal: zinc. All the typical production related traits are present that can be encountered on almost any other Juncker made award. The details are well pronounced and aesthetically pleasing. The whole badge has a certain depth which makes it look more substantial than any JFS or G.B made PAB.

Panzer Assault Badge Bronce 25 by Juncker Backview

When it comes to numbered Juncker badges there is also a certain variety among them. In this case the number shield is magnetic (it can be encountered unmagnetic as well) and soldered into the little box. Earliest examples feature a hole in this box intended for the number shield to be riveted rather than soldered. Apparently this idea was soon overruled.

The rivets which hold the tank in its place are made of aluminium and penetrating which means that they can be seen from both sides: obverse and reverse. They are correct in form and size.

PAB 25 Bronce in wear from Philippe de Bock`s Book The German Panzer Assault badge of World War II

The catch is made of round wire fixed to a round base plate whereas other examples may feature a flat wire catch. Everything is textbook (cf. De Bock 2009).

 

I bought this particular piece from a dealer at the show in Ulm last year. This is the only thing about it that I know for sure. What I don‘t know: who was the man who earned it? What happened to him? If it only could speak…

 

 

 

Bibliography:

De Bock, Philippe: The German Panzer Assault Badge of World War II, Pap Jay Publishing (Belgium) 2009

Klietmann, Kurt.-G.: Auszeichnungen des Deutschen Reiches 1936-1945, 6th ed., Stuttgart 1991

Big Thanks to collector friends who helped out with pictures and documentation but they like to stay in the shadow, what I understand !

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Best

Sascha

Cholm Shield / short M and long M

Hi Gentleman and a happy new year 2018. Hope you all found a good way into the New Year with you families and friends.

My first short M Cholmshield

Now it is time to go back to our hobby. For this posting I picked a combat award which has a long story. Not because it is ultra rare (well it is rare), but obviously it takes some time to get it.

Generalmajor Scheerer with zinc shield

But let`s start at the beginning.

Back in time when I was a young boy about twelve years old I sat together with my grandfather “Opa Walter” in his garden. He was an army veteran of the 30. Infantrie Division and fought on the eastern front. There he lost most of his right leg when he was wounded by a splinter.

Unknown foto book only for police units short M shield

He told me about that time only a little bit, because he got always very shaky talking about his years on the eastern front. But that day he explained when he was hit and at which place it happened. It was the fighting in the pocket of

First draft of Cholmshield

Demjansk where he was wounded and later on (luckily) taken out by a plane. In his estate there was not such a combat award as a Demjanskshield, no paperwork about the battle or any entry in his Soldbuch. Later on I found out more about the Demjansk battle and what happened there. That raised my interest on shields of World War II.

Starting my collection I tried to get the Demjanskshield

and that was not impossible. So I got more and more Information about shields and my shield collection grew.…..not so much were awarded….easy task I thought…..I was wrong.

Generalmarjor Scheerer and Rottwachtmeister Schlimmer

But I have to admit it must always be an award which fits in the own collection, so a nice one, better worn than unworn in a good condition. Narvik, Krim, Kuban, Demjansk came quick, Lappland has to be an estate (that way you get a little bit more proof that it “may” a war time piece), Lorient is nearly impossible to get one, Dünkirchen is more a cap badge than a shield….but if I could get one I would take it.

So you figure it out, it is the Cholmshield which was TOP of my list. Hard to get one in the version which was given to the fighters of the Cholm battle (so a short M version) in the condition 2+. Maybe not so hard for some of you, but with a small wallet it will take some time.

Document Cholmshield Hans Grewe

A good friend told me:”It takes time, but like a knights cross…. someday it will come to you”. In all the years I bought 4 Knight crosses from private (I kept only two of them), and also a paper grouping from a Cholm fighter….but never ever a Cholmshield for my collection.

One day before Christmas 2017 I checked my collection and also the drawer “I better put this grouping aside for later…..” I think everybody has such a drawer with things inside which are not your field of collection but toooooo nice to give it away….maybe later.

I found a grouping I could let go to raise some money for buying other things for my collection. Checking Christian von Eickes web shop Militaria Berlin I finally found THE Cholm shield I was looking for. The price was OK and we did a trade……and I got my first Cholmshield, short M, fabric backing condition 2+ !!!

Happy Christmas time for me!!!!

But after you read the whole story how I got mine, here is some more information to the Cholm mystery and maybe you can learn a little bit

History about the Cholm battle:

During the first week of December 1941 Marshall Zhukov launched Operation Typhoon and, in combination with appalling weather, pushed the invading Wehrmacht back from the gates of Moscow. In the North on the Southern Flank of Heeresgruppe Nord the German 16th Army reeled under the blow, conceding ground but not the two primary routes through the swamps covering the area between Seeliger See and Ilmen See. These routes ran through the towns of Demjansk and Cholm.

Iron Cross 1st class awarded in Cholm

At Cholm,  a force of just 5,500 men under the command of Generalmajor Theodor Scherer, though completely surrounded, held out for 105 days withstanding 100 infantry attacks (42 of which were supported by tanks). When the garrison was relieved, only 1,200 survivors remained. Throughout the ordeal the besieged men were supplied by air, and in the absence of heavy weapons, were supported by artillery 10 miles away in the main German lines. Following this epic battle Scherer was awarded a Knight’s Cross and his men were feted as heroes all over Germany.

These are the units which fought in the battle as follows:

  •  Parts of the 123. ID (Grenadier Regiment 416, Artillerie Regiment 123)
  • Parts of the 218. Infanterie Division (Stab Grenadier Regiment 386 with the 13 & 14 Kompanie Grenadier Regiment 386)
  • A „Fahrrad Bataillon“ from „Aufklärungs Abteilung 218“
  • The “Gebirgs Jagdkommando 8”
  • Parts of the Reserve Police Bataillon Cholm
  • A “Marine Kraftfahrer” Unit

Various other units or parts of units (mostly from stragglers) were present in the pocket as well.  During the course of the struggle, there was also an influx of a few new troops from parts of units flown in, as well as personnel attached to the K.G.z.b.V 172 (such as the glider pilots).  It is stated in the German literature that over 60 units where present in the pocket, varying in size from small to large.

Cholmfighter with Panzervernichter and Cholmshield

But let`s go back to the Cholm Shield itself. Who had the idea, how was it made and so on…

The basic Idea came from Generalmajor Theodor Scherer and the design was made by Polizei-Rottwachtmeister Schlimmer of the Reserve-Polizei-Bataillon Cholm. The draft was revised by Prof. Klein from Munich. He change the looking direction of the eagles head (if the shield is on the left sleeve of the jacket, the eagles head would look to the back, but Hitler liked it the other way, the eagle has to face the frontline…..) . He also changed the size of the shield.  The draft was as long as the Narvikshield, so he made it a little bit shorter.

All shields were hollow and slightly concave to better fit on the sleeve of the uniform. Different manufacturers used different metals in the manufacture of the shields, and they can be found in earlier stamped white iron versions, which are magnetic and later shields of zinc, both versions were washed in silver. A backing plate was attached to the shield, between these was placed a piece of colored fabric. On the backside we find short prongs and long prongs. Also there are shields with paper backing and fabric backing.

Very important for us collectors is to spot an original from a copy. Original Cholm shields are very expensive; buying a post war shield is terrible and a hard lesson for you and hard on your wallet.

So here you go with what the collector`s world found out and what is in parts written in different Magazines and Online Forums. We have three major differences:

Long M and short M of Cholmshield compared

1.  Cholm Shield magnetic with short M (this is the award type given to the troops)

2 . Cholm Shield made from zinc short M / dark surface and different shape of the fabric

3. Cholm Shield magnetic with long M / flaw in the swastika

I have to admit that are Cupal made shields out there but I am not so much into this cupal theory, so lets save that when the collectors world found out more.

If you look close to a number 1 Cholm shield you will notice some embossed errors, easy to spot. Under the wing and on the left side of the shield / edge.

Wing with flaws / edge with flaw on short M shields

If you look at the zinc version or number 2, after all the years the basic zinc material is dark and the fabric shows a different shape then number 1 and 3.

If you look close to a number 3 Cholm shield you will notice a flaw in the swastika. Right lower gap between the swastika arms there is something you can see.

Flaw in Swastika lower right on long M shields

Also to identify a copy is that you have to check the eagles head. Some eagles look like they have a helmet on….which is not good. On some copy shields the eagle claws are not crossed in the middle light they should. Copy`s very often don`t have the details like an original.   And……if the Price is very low you have to look twice……almost everyone knows that you pay for a good one 1800,- until 2800,- and more (depends on the condition). So if one is offered for 1000,- Euro and below, you warn signal has to go off and makes noise like hell.

I remember the Kassel fair in November 2017 where I was looking for a good one for my collection. I found some cheap copy`s (which are marked as postwar) but also a table where Cholm shield were offered for 1000,- Euro a piece in TOP condition. I did not make an effort to take it for an „in hand inspection“. They were fakes and the seller knew it but they tried to sell them……well, I won`t forget that.

Here are some original Cholmshields

 

And here are some BAD Cholmshield / FAKE Cholmshields

Buttom line my friends, try to remember these things when you buy a Cholm shield somewhere or buy at a trustworthy dealer. That way you will be happy all the way.

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