Dokumentengruppe Leutnant Hugo LUFT

Hallo Sammlerfreunde, heute möchte ich Euch einen kleinen aber feinen Nachlass vorstellen. Alles von eine Sammlerfreund zusammengesucht und mit Informationen hinterlegt.  

 

Der spätere Leutnant der Heeresflak-Artillerie Hugo LUFT aus Wuppertal, Jahrgang 1924, trat als 18-Jähriger am 17. Oktober 1942 in Hamm bei der Heeres-Flakartillerie-Ersatz-Abteilung 276 als Kanonier in die Wehrmacht ein. Zur Jahresmitte 1943 wurde LUFT als Ersatz zur 1. Batterie der Heeres-Flakartillerie-Abteilung 284 (motorisiert) an die Ostfront versetzt. Die Abteilung unterstand der 20. Panzer-Grenadier-Division und war im gleichen Jahr im Raum Orel, Brjansk, am Dnjepr und Shitomir im Einsatz. LUFT war per 1. September 1943 zum Unteroffiziersanwärter ernannt worden. Zur Jahresmitte 1944 ging er auf einen Unteroffizierslehrgang und wurde per 15. August 1944 zum ROB ernannt. Es folgte ein ROB-Vorbereitungslehrgang beim Ersatztruppenteil der Heeres-Flakartillerie-Ersatz-Abteilung 280 in Oksböl in Südjütland und per 1. Oktober 1944 die Beförderung zum Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier. Fahnenjunker LUFT wurde wenig später zur Teilnahme an dem 17. Fahnenjunker-Lehrgang beim Lehrstab IV der Schule für Fahnenjunker der Artillerie (Artillerieschule II) auf den Truppenübungsplatz Groß Born nach Hinterpommern kommandiert.

Gruppe Hugo LUFT_2.Fhr.Rgt. 4

Einsatz mit dem Fähnrich-Regiment 4 vom 25. Januar bis 12. Februar 1945

Am 20. Januar 1945 wurde das Stichwort „Gneisenau“ ausgegeben und damit sämtliche Truppenteile und Dienststellen des Ersatzheeres in Alarmbereitschaft versetzt nachdem erste russische Panzerspitzen Hinterpommern erreichten. Nachdem die Alarmierung der auf dem Truppenübungsplatz Groß Born liegenden Einheiten erfolgte wurden aus den fünf Lehrstäben der Schule für Fahnenjunker der Artillerie (Artillerieschule II) fünf sogenannte Fähnrich-Regimenter gebildet. Am frühen Morgen des 22. Januar 1945 wurden die Einsatzbefehle an die Fähnrich-Regimenter in den Lagern Linde und Westfalenhof ausgegeben. Die alarmierten Fähnrich-Regimenter waren unzureichend bewaffnet. Fahnenjunker LUFT wurde dem Fähnrich-Regiment 4 unter der Führung des späteren Ritterkreuzträger, Major Friedrich BUCHENAU zugeteilt und blieb zunächst als Reserve im Lager Linde. LUFT wurde der 2. Kompanie und damit dem I. Bataillon des Fähnrich-Regiments 4, dass durch Major ARNOLD geführt wurde zu geteilt.

Am Vormittag des 24. Januar 1945 erfolgte der erste Einsatzbefehl für das Fähnrich-Regiment 4 von Major BUCHENAU für den Raum ostwärts von Deutsch Krone, im Rahmen der Division „Deutsch Krone“ (Division „Märkisch Friedland“). Aufgrund der unklaren Lage ostwärts von Schneidemühl sollte die Pommernstellung ostwärts von Deutsch Krone durch das I. Bataillon/Fähnrich-Regiment 4 (Major ARNOLD) verstärkt werden. Während für Fahnenjunker LUFT nun der Einsatz begann blieben das II. Bataillon unter der Führung von Major ALIG und der Regimentsstab vorläufig in Groß Born zurück. Das I. Bataillon rückte in die Regelstellung jenseits des Legehnke- und Stabitz-Sees während sich der Regimentskommandeur Major BUCHENAU zusammen mit seinem Adjutanten Hauptmann STACH zum Empfang genauerer Befehle nach Deutsch Krone zum Divisionskommandeur der Division „Deutsch Krone“ (später in Division „Märkisch Friedland“ umbenannt) begaben.

Gramattenbrück 31.1.45

Seit dem 25. Januar 1945 verfolgte das I. Bataillon von Major ARNOLD in seinen Stellungen jenseits der Seenkette Lebehnke-Schmollen-Stabitz-See jede Feindbewegung mit größer Aufmerksamkeit. Am 31. Januar 1945 war die 2. Kompanie von Fahnenjunker LUFT am Kampf um Gramattenbrück beteiligt. Dieser Tag wurde LUFT als erster Sturm- und Nahkampftag bestätigt. Am 2. Februar 1945 wurde das I. Bataillon durch das II. Bataillon (Major ALIG) in seinen Stellungen im Bereich Schmollen- und Stabitz-See verstärkt. Das Fähnrich-Regiment konnte dem allgemeinen Druck der anstürmenden russischen Truppen wenig entgegensetzen und musste entlang der Straße zwischen Neugolz und Klausdorf zurückgehen. In der sogenannten Ritterkreuzstellung im Raum Klausdorf konnte das Regiment von Major BUCHENAU insbesondere am 7. und 8. Februar 1945 alle Angriffe abwehren. Während dieser Abwehrkämpfe erlitt das schlecht ausgerüstete Regiment hohe Verluste. In der Nacht zum 9. Februar 1945 musste das Regiment seine Stellungen infolge eines Durchbruchs beim linken und rechten Nachbarn aufgeben und sich zurückziehen, um nicht allmählich überflügelt zu werden. Am 10. Februar 1945 beteiligte sich Fahnenjunker LUFT mit dem I. Bataillon an Sturmangriffen auf Ludwigshorst und Eckartsberge, um dem zurückweichenden Regiment etwas Entlastung zu verschaffen. Während russische und polnische Truppen weiter von Norden auf die Straße Lüben – Appelwerder drückten, hatten diese bereits zum Vormarsch auf Märkisch Friedland angesetzt. Weil das I. Bataillon am 11. Februar 1945 am Vorwerk 3 km vor Lüben jeden Feindangriff trotze, konnte dem II. Bataillon der Rückzugsweg durch das Dorf Lüben offengehalten werden. Dieser 11. Februar 1945 wurde Fahnenjunker LUFT als Sturm- und Nahkampftag bestätigt. In Folge hoher Verluste wurden die Reste der Fähnrich-Regimenter der Schule für Fahnenjunker der Artillerie aus Groß Born aus der Front herausgelöst und im Raum Dramburg gesammelt.

Lüben, Ludwigshorst, Eckartsberge 11.-12.2.45

Aufgrund der Lageentwicklung im Raum Kallies, waren die versammelten Fahnenjunker im Raum Dramburg die nächstgelegenste greifbare Einsatzreserve. Zur Überbrückung einer Ablösung für einen mehrtägigen Einsatz bei der 402. Infanterie-Division erhielt Major BUCHENAU den Auftrag, aus den Fahnenjunkern ein Fähnrich-Regiment neu aufzustellen. Als Stamm diente Major BUCHENAU sein II. Bataillon (Major ALIG). Am 15. Februar 1945 wurden die restlichen Fahnenjunker für den Transport nach Böhmen auf den Truppenübungsplatz Kammwald bei Pilsen verladen. Auf dem Truppenübungsplatz Kammwald war zwischenzeitlich der neue Standort der Schule für Fahnenjunker der Artillerie in Rokizan untergekommen und am 20. Februar 1945 begann hier der 18. Fahnenjunker-Lehrgang. Der Transport der Fahnenjunker wurde ostwärts von Altdamm gestoppt und zunächst als Einsatzreserve zurückgehalten, als sich die Lage bei Bahn und Pyritz verschärfte. Der gestoppte Transport konnte nach wenigen Tagen seine Fahrt in Richtung Böhmen fortsetzen. Vermutlich war auch Fahnenjunker LUFT bei diesem Transport dabei und zog auf dem Truppenübungsplatz Kammwald mit dem Abwicklungsstab des Fähnrich-Regiments 4 im Ort Pschikositz unter.

Sturm- und Nahkampftage Fhj-Uffz Hugo LUFT_2.Fhr.Rgt. 4_31.1.-12.2.1945

Major BUCHENAU‘s Regiment kämpfte sich zusammen mit den Resten der 402. Infanterie-Division bis auf den Brückenkopf Pustschow – Dievenow an der Ostsee zurück, wo es eingeschlossen wurde. Sein Regiment konnte am 11. März 1945 aus dem Brückenkopf ausbrechen und wurde anschließend aufgelöst und auf den Truppenübungsplatz Kammwald verlegt. Am 19. März 1945 wurde Major BUCHENAU‘s Regiment wie folgt im Wehrmachtsbericht erwähnt: „Im Verband der auf dem Brückenkopf Dievenow durchgebrochenen Kräftegruppe hat das Fahnenjunker-Regiment der Artillerieschule II unter Führung von Major BUCHENAU in beispielhaftem Angriffsschwung mehrere starke Sperrriegel des Feindes durchbrochen und an entscheidender Stelle den sowjetischen Einschließungsring gesprengt.“ Für diesen Erfolg reichte ihn die Korpsgruppe „VON TETTAU“ zur Verleihung des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes ein, welches ihm als Major und Kommandeur des Fähnrichs-Regiments 4 am 28. März 1945 verliehen wurde. Ferner hat Major BUCHENAU für seinen Einsatz mit dem Fährich-Regiment 4 in Pommern u.a. die Anerkennungsurkunde, ein Panzervernichtungsabzeichen für Einzelkämpfer und die 1. Stufe der Nahkampfspange (Bronze) verliehen bekommen.

Besitzzeugnis Fhj-Uffz Hugo LUFT_2.Fhr.Rgt. 4_5.4.1945

Major BUCHENAU traf mit den Resten seines Regiments um den 25. März 1945 in Pschikositz ein. Anschließend wurde das Regiment aufgelöst, die Fahnenjunker am 5. April 1945 rückwirkend zum 1. April 1945 zu Leutnanten befördert und in die Führer-Reserve versetzt. Auch Fahnenjunker LUFT wurde zuerst zum Fahnenjunker-Wachtmeister und dann zum Leutnant befördert. Am gleichen Tag wurde ihm seine einzige Kriegsauszeichnung, das Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen in Silber für die Teilnahme an 3 anerkannten Sturmtagen in Gramattenbrück, Ludwigshorst – Eckartsberge und beim Vorwerk Lüben, durch den Regimentskommandeur Major BUCHENAU verleihen. Anschließend wurde er zur Führer-Reserve West versetzt. Auf dem Weg dorthin wurde am 8. April 1945 in Eger sein gesamtes Gepäck bei einem Bombenangriff auf dem Bahnhof vernichtet. LUFT hat den Krieg überlebt und ist im Mai 2018 in seiner Heimatstadt verstorben.

Sammlergruß

Sascha

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Copyright 2019 : Alle Rechte bei dem Verfasser Sascha Ulderup

Expensive Cardboard ;-)

 Happy new year to you all and may all your collector dreams come true 😉

After the dust of Kassel Fair settled down it is time to study again in our hobby.

Between X-Mas and new year I had some time to try out the You Tube possibilities. That way, I will try to make it more interesting for collectors and also for young collectors to come into our hobby. But I am just starting and there are a lot of things to think about. So if you like check that out and leave a feedback it would be very helpful. The first videos are in German language but I am working on English versions….so please be patient.

My Channel 

Reflecting all the things I saw at the Kassel fair I wondered about very expensive cardboard……

Yes, that’s right. Cardboard boxes which were used 70 years back to wrap or protect a medal case or a document is on one side hard to find and sometimes very expensive 😉

But I want to go deeper in a cardboard mytery because you might never see one in real nor bringing it into your collection.

Red Map Top Con (3)

Let’s go a few years back when I had the chance to buy my first Knight’s Cross Red Leather Folder or Knights’ Cross Map. As far as my information are right there should be only 420 Maps out there!!!

Here is the story:

A gentlemen called me and asked me if I want to buy a KC Map from a higher ranking officer of the Army. My hands got sweaty and I said that I am interested, depends on the price he asked for. The price was OK and he sent me pictures via Email. Nice Map, all how it should be an we made an appointment close to Hamburg. Two days before the meeting he called and asked if I like also the cardboard protection for it…..Well I told him that it would be just great to have it too. So I checked the net to get an idea how a cardboard for the KC Map looks like and what I have to check before I finally buy it.

Red Map Top Con (6)

The ”purchase” day came and I went all the way to Hamburg to meet the seller. It was a nice little restaurant were we had lunch and later on we were planning to make the deal in a room away from the guests.

He had a big bag where the “holy grail” was inside. Unpacking it I was disappointed. Yes, it was a nice KC Map in a good condition, but the cardboard was only a painters cardboard of the size where a  KC Map fits in.

Red Map Top Con (2)

Well, no problem. I bought the Map and brought it all home.

Nice one, pretty good condition and nice to have. But as you all know….you cannot keep everything. So I sold it a few years later. I told myself that I can`t keep one without the cardboard ;-))….had to let it go!

Red Map Top Con (4)

Scanning the net for nice KC Maps you can find one from time to time with the cardboard together. More expensive but very interesting to see. That time I asked myself if the cardboard cases are all made the same way, with the green corner protections and the writing on it……Yes they should all be the same.

Lucky me, a few months ago I got a big fat KC Map in my hand to study it and here you see what it looks like.

Red Map Top Con (9)

My plan was to give you all the measurements and the weight and so on and so on. But a good friend told me (and he is so right with is). If I give all the data, the forgers will start doing fake cardboard boxes for the Maps…..

So if a big Red Map is offered to you and it is in a cardboard, just drop me a line via email and I give the measurements to you. That way we can be sure you don’t get recycled crap in your hand.

But before come to the end the historical background to the Knights Crosses for you:

Red Map Top Con (5)

On March 10th, 1813, Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III established the Iron Cross as a temporary gallantry award for bestowal during times of war. Originally the Iron Cross was introduced in three grades with a Grand Cross intended for award to Senior Commanders for successfully leading troops in combat and the First and Second classes for award to all ranks for bravery or merit in action. The Iron Crosses were reinstituted by King Wilhelm I on July 19th, 1870 for award during the Franco-Prussian War and again on August 5th, 1914, by King Wilhelm II for award during WWI. On September 1st, 1939 Hitler once more reinstituted the Iron Cross series of awards in the First, Second and Grand Cross Classes and established the new Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. Hitler reserved the right to personally authorize bestowal of the Knight’s Cross and all ranks were eligible for the award. Originally the criteria for bestowal of the Knight’s Cross was outstanding personal bravery or decisive leadership in combat but this was later expanded to include personnel who had continually demonstrated exceptional acts of courage or an extremely high success rate on the battlefield. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was the most coveted award of the Third Reich period and those presented with it were elevated to the status of a national hero. In total it is estimated that roughly 7,360 Knight’s Crosses were awarded during WWII, a relatively small number when one considers the amount of troops fielded and the magnitude of the war. Due to the prestige of the award personnel who could afford it would opt to buy a jeweler’s copy for everyday wear with the actual award being put away for safe keeping. Of Note: The LDO, Leistungsgemeinschaft der Deutschen Ordenshersteller, (Administration of German Medal Manufacturers), began regulating the manufacture of German awards in March 1941 as a quality control agent for awards that were intended for retail sale and manufacturers were to use an assigned LDO, „L“, code on their products destined for retail sales. Awards that were to be bestowed by the government were also issued an official numerical government contract code known as a, Lieferantnummer, (Contractors Number), that was issued by the Präsidialkanzlei des Führers, (Presidential Council of the Führers), for formally approved manufacturers. The manufacturing firms that were licenced by both the Präsidialkanzlei des Führers and the LDO and would have used the same dies to stamp both the official issue and retail sales types of awards making them virtually indistinguishable from one another except for the markings. Regulations of November 1st, 1941 prohibited further manufacturing of the Knight’s Cross for retail sale. Of Note: On June 3rd, 1940 a higher echelon of the Knight’s Cross was established with the introduction of the Knight’s Cross with Oak-Leaves and on July 15th, 1941 an additional two higher grades of the Knight’s Cross with Oak-Leaves were introduced with the establishment of the Knight’s Cross with Oak-Leaves and Swords and the Knight’s Cross with Oak-Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Finally on December 29th, 1944 Hitler established the final grade of the Knight’s Cross with the Golden Oak-Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Also of Note: The Grand Cross of the Knight’s Cross was only awarded once to Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring and the Knight’s Cross with Golden Oak-Leaves, Swords and Diamonds was also only awarded once to Oberstleutnant Hans-Ulrich Rudel.

 

Franziska Kobell, the graphic artist whose calligraphy & gilding graced the Knight’s Cross documents.

 

Frieda Thiersch, the bookbinder who was responsible for the design & production of the folders, frames & cassettes for the Knight’s Cross documents, seen here holding a fine example of her craftmanship

 

Here we have also another example how the Maps were delivered, wrapped in protective paper and in the cardboard box. Picture came from Frank Scholz /Scholz Militaria. Thanks Frank !!

 

F. Scholz Militaria

F. Scholz Militaria

F. Scholz Militaria

F. Scholz Militaria

 

Finally I foud some pictures of Reporduction cardboards, so here you have an idea what they look like.

Reproduction 2

Reproduction 1

 

So all the bst and GOOD HUNTING !!

 

If you like what your read, give me a like on Facebook

Take care

Best

Sascha

 

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Copyright 2019 : Alle Rechte bei dem Verfasser Sascha Ulderup

Honor Roll Clasp of the Army and SS / Makers ?

Hi Gents,

winter time is coming and that is always the beginning of bringing your nose close to the books for research and reading interesting stuff about our hobby. I can tell you that the last three months were like a ride on I ship in stormy weather. Having a full time Job and besides starting a new business with my friend and partner Dennis is not so easy.

For those of you who are thinking about starting an Auction House with a real building where you can sit down and raise your hand to get something you are looking for, don’t do it……;-)

So much work and money to get it going…..incredible to tell you all the problems you can find on your way to the finish line. But if it works it will be somethings special.

From working on lights and electronics up to the right software for your frontend and backend is pure horror. Little things like getting somebody to work on you outside signs or get all the paperwork together in the local town hall making you crazy.

A really positive thing is that we found the best employee’s you can wish for. Finding people who love what they are doing is a pleasure to work with.

The workload and my duty time in the German Navy left not much time to study badges and write something about it on the BLOG.

About four weeks ago I wanted to do a special on the honor clasp of the army, but I did not find the time. Finally, I put the story of Feldwebels Theodor Kurpisz in the blog which was close to the topic honor roll clasps.

Enough wailing, let`s get it on.

I had the opportunity to look over the information what the WAF Member “Honor” brought together.

Honor Roll Clasp / Ehrenblattspange

I don’t want to steal it all, so I tried to get in touch with him. The idea was that he writes something about the Honor Roll Claps here on the blog. But no chance to get in contact with him. So all I put in here is 80% from HONOR, so all the credits to him and not to me. “Thanks buddy for the very good research on that topic”.

Also “Norm F” from Canada and “90th Light” from New Zealand did a good job putting even more information together. Also a big credit to them for the great work.

With that much of data and pictures I put it all together in a more “light” information blog on that topic. I don’t want to go THAT deep in it because my friend Brian Razkauskas works actually on a book about clasps.

So if you read this and you like what you see, do the next step and buy his book as soon as it is on the market. I will let you know asap.

Ok, let`s start with some historical background on the honor roll clasp itself:

The „Ehrenblatt der deutschen Heeres“, (Honor Roll of the German Army) was established in July 1941. These lists were created as a record of honor to register the names and heroic actions of personnel who performed extraordinary service in combat. Although considered a great honor to be registered on these lists there was no insignia awarded to the personnel as a visible sign that they were listed on the honor roll. This was remedied by the army on January 30th, 1944 by creation of the „Ehrenblatt-Spange des Heeres“, (Honor Roll Clasp of the Army). The clasp was designed to recognize heroic acts by those who already held the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd classes, but for which the German Cross in Gold or the Knight’s Cross would not be suitable. The Honor Roll Clasps were worn mounted on an Iron Cross 2nd class ribbon and worn inserted through the second top front closure button hole of the field-blouse and service tunic. It is estimated that the army awarded just over 4,500 clasp in total before war end.

For me as a medal and badges collector it is always the goal to get one from the army, one from the Luftwaffe and one from the Kriegsmarine (by the way the Kriegsmarine has not an Ehrenblattspange, there it was the Ehrentafelspange).

 

 

But to be honest I did not buy one in the last five years for my collection. Always when somebody offered a nice one, I passed it and spent my small collector money for other awards.

But looking closely to the honor Roll claps of the Army, you can see some different ways they were manufactured. That is good to know if somebody offers a nice one to you but you have no idea that this is a real one made by a different maker and you pass on it.

Using HONOR´s Information and some other sources we have actually FOUR different Honor Roll claps of the Army /SS.

  1. Two-piece Construction, massive Swastika molded to the outer circular oak-leaf wreath. Pins are round wire and sharp at the end. Arms of the swastika are granulated /grainy. Maker is the company Otto Klein, Hanau.
  2. Two-piece Construction, massive Swastika molded to the outer circular oak-leaf wreath. Pins are round wire and sharp at the end. Arms of the swastika are NOT granulated /grainy. Maker unknown. Possible Juncker made clasp.
  3. Hand cut out, one-piece construction, hollow swastika in a hollow circular oak leaf wreath. Pins are flat wire short and sharp at the end. You see that swastika is cut out by hand! Possible Juncker made Clasp.
  4. Trimming Stamp one-piece construction, hollow swastika in a hollow circular oak leaf wreath. Pins are flat wire long and not sharp at the end. Possible Juncker made Clasp

We go through the different models so you can actually see the differences in shape and also production details.

Let`s start with the most common Honor Roll Clasp Army / SS – to short it only HRC.

The maker is the company Otto Klein from Hanau, Germany. Always a two-piece construction which comes in a black case with a white inlet. The cross is massive and moldered to the wreath. Surface of the cross front side is flat and not “grainy”.

Picture 1 Two Piece Construction Maker Klein

 

The second one also a two-piece construction. Massive cross in a hollow wreath, round wire prongs and you can see the “hand work” on the cross itself. The surface of the cross is “grainy”. As far as I can say that one was made by Juncker and it comes in a blue case with blue inlet.

Picture 2 Two Piece Construction Possible Juncker

 

The third one is hollow made one piece HRC with short flat wire prongs on the backside. That one is a hand cut piece because you see the way the trimming tool was used to cut out the cross itself. Also possible Juncker made and found in a blue case with blue inlet.

Picture 3 One Piece Hand Cut Possible Juncker

 

The last one is also a hollow made one piece HRC with flat wire long prongs on the backside. That one was made with a trimming stamp and there are no signs of hand work for the finish.

Also possible Juncker made and found in a blue case with blue inlet

Picture 4 Trimming Stamp Possible Juncker

 

Here you can see the difference between trimming stamp and hand cut HRC, Zoom in for Details !

Picture 5 Left – Trimming stamp , Right Hand – Cut

 

Finally, the backside picture to get an idea of short and long prongs.

Picture 6 Hand Cut Short Prongs, Trimming Stamp Long Prongs

 

I think that might be deep enough to get an idea of the different models. Anything else like details on cases, packages and paperwork you will find in Brian’s book.

If you like what your read, give me a like on Facebook

Take care

Best

Sascha

 

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Copyright 2018 : Alle Rechte bei dem Verfasser Sascha Ulderup

 Einer von 200 Unteroffizieren des Heeres mit der Ehrenblattspange

 

Hallo Sammlerfreunde,

auf der Suche nach seltenen Orden und Ehrenzeichen sowie schönen Nachlässen die man mal vorstellen könnte bin ich auf den Nachlass eines Sammlerfreundes gestoßen.

Ehrenblattspange ganz

Es geht hier um die Ehrenblattspange des Heeres welche nicht so häufig verliehen worden ist wie man denkt. Natürlich gibt es die Auszeichnung für die Luftwaffe und auch für die Kriegsmarine….wobei bei der Kriegsmarine ist es nicht die Ehrenblattspange sondern die Ehrentafelspange.

Hier habe ich mal ein paar Daten zur Spange zusammengesucht:

Für außergewöhnliche Tapferkeitstaten bei Kampfhandlungen, die für die Auszeichnung mit dem Ritterkreuz oder dem Deutschen Kreuz in Gold nicht ausreichten, wurden seit 1941 Soldaten in das Ehrenblatt des Heeres aufgenommen und im Heeresbericht veröffentlicht. Die hohe Auszeichnung zwischen Eisernem Kreuz 1. Klasse und Deutschem Kreuz in Gold war aber nicht für jedermann sichtbar und war sehr unbefriedigend für die ausgezeichneten Soldaten. Im Jahr 1943 wurde die Stiftung einer sichtbaren Auszeichnung angeregt und Vorschläge gesammelt. Am 30. Januar 1944 wurde dann die Ehrenblattspange des Heeres durch Verordnung Hitlers gestiftet. Neben der Ehrenurkunde und der Nennung im Ehrenblatt wurde jetzt die Ehrenblattspange ausgehändigt, die auf dem Band des Eisernen Kreuzes 2. Klasse angebracht wurde und im 2. Knopfloch getragen. Auf Ordensspangen war das Anbringen untersagt. Die Soldaten die vorher in das Ehrenblatt aufgenommen wurden erhielten die Spange nachträglich. Eine postume Verleihung der Spange oder Aushändigung an Hinterbliebene war nicht gewollt, wurde aber vereinzelt durchgeführt. Die Verleihungszahl wird mit ca. 4550 angegeben. Bekannte Hersteller waren Otto Klein aus Hanau und Juncker aus Berlin.

Ehrenblattspange1

Ausführung:

Hohl geprägtes, durchbrochenes Abzeichen aus vergoldetem Tombak. Auf der Rückseite 4 angelötete Splinte.

Vorderseite:

Der Rand wird aus einem dichtem Eichenlaubkranz gebildet. Dieser ist unten mit einer großen polierten Schleife gebunden. Links und rechts von der Schleife die Enden des Bandes mit 2 Spitzen.

Ehrenblattspange Rückseite

Im eingeschlossenen Feld angelötet das gerade stehende Hakenkreuz mit vertieften Zierlinien am Rand.

Rückseite:

Hohl geprägt. Das Hakenkreuz massiv. Angelötet 4 runde vergoldete Splinte.

Fertigungen mit flachen Splinten sind auch bekannt.

Hier muss ich nochmal kurz auf die Bremse treten. Bei meinen Nachforschungen zu dem Thema bin ich über interessante Informationen zu den verschiedenen Varianten der Ehrenblattspange, den unterschiedlichen Fertigungsweisen und auch Etuis gestolpert.  Das ist doch mehr als ich dachte und deswegen werde ich das Thema nochmal gesondert behandeln. Ich würde mich freuen, wenn der eine oder andere Leser mir Bilder seiner Spange und des Etuis zur Verfügung stellen würde……..

 

 

 

Aber zurück zum Nachlass des Feldwebels Theodor Kurpisz vom Füsilier-Regiment 22.

Theodor Kurpisz wurde am 17.10.191(3) in Linen/Ruhr geboren. Vermutlich dann in Hamburg aufgewachsen, denn ein Zeitungsartikel einer Zeitung aus dem Hamburger Kreis 8 vom Dezember 1944 erwähnt, dass seine Angehörigen in Hamburg-Harburg wohnhaft sind.

1. Infanterie Sturmabzeichen silber

Kurpisz nimmt als Infanterist (10./I.R. 22) im Rahmen der 1. Infanterie-Division am Ostfeldzug teil und wird am 1.9.1941 als Gefreiter mit dem Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen in silber ausgezeichnet. Der abgeänderte Vordruck wurde von seinem damaligen Regimentskommandeur, Oberst Franz Scheidis unterschrieben. Scheidis erhielt für seine Erfolge bei den Kämpfen bei Leningrad und Wolchow am 31.12.1941 das 43. Eichenlaub, nachdem er bereits 1940 das Ritterkreuz erhalten hatte.

Nahezu zeitgleich erfolgte die Verleihung des EK 2. Die Urkunde wurde von Generalleutnant Philipp Kleffel, Divisionskommandeur der 1. ID unterzeichnet, der a, 17.02.1942 das Ritterkreuz bekam.

2. Eisernes Kreuz 2 Klasse

In den kommenden 7 Monate wurde Kurpisz vom Gefreiten zum Unteroffizier befördert und am 15. April 1942 mit dem EK 1 ausgezeichnet. Unterschrieben hat diese Urkunde Generalleutnant Werner Hühner, Divisionskommandeur der 61. ID. Warum dies so ist, kann ich nicht sagen.

3. Eisernes Kreuz 1 Klasse

Am 12.10.1944 schlug dann die Stunde von Uffz. Kurpisz. Bei Jusefoff konnte er mit nur wenigen Männern nach Ausfall des Zugführers eine kritische Situation u.a. im Nahkampf meistern, wurde dafür im Ehrenblatt des Deutschen Heeres genannt und erhielt die Ehrenblattspange.

Die Urkunde trägt die Faksimilunterschrift von A.H., dazu das Ehrenblatt vom 27.11.1944 mit dem Namen von Kurpisz. In dem bereits oben erwähnten Zeitungsartikel wird die Tat von Kurpisz, die zur Verleihung der Ehrenblattspange führte, ausführlich beschrieben.

4. Urkunde Ehrenblattspange

Wahrscheinlich erfolgte darauf die Beförderung zum Feldwebel, denn bei der Verleihung der Nakkampfspange in Bronze am 23.11.1944 ist Kurpiz bereits Feldwebel. Die Urkunde wurde von Oberst Karl Trautmann, dem Regimentskommandeur des Füsilier-Regiments 22 (Umbenennung von Infanterie-Regiment zum Füsilier-Regiment erfolgte am 12.11.1942) unterschrieben. Trautmann erhielt am 17.3.1945 das Ritterkreuz und fiel einen Monat später.

9. Nahkampfspange Bronze

Diese Gruppe des tapferen Feldwebels ist umso interessanter da wir wir ja mittlerweile wissen, ein niedriger Dienstgard wesentlich mehr zu leisten hatte um in den Genuß eines solchen Auszeichnung zu kommen.

Einsatzgebiete:

Polen: September 1939 bis Mai 1940

Frankreich: Mai 1940 bis Juni 1941

Ostfront, Nordabschnitt: Juni 1941 bis Oktober 1943

Ostfront, Südabschnitt: Oktober 1943 bis April 1944

Ostfront, Zentralabschnitt: Mai bis August 1944

Ostpreußen: August 1944 bis Mai 1945

8. Zeitungsausschnitt 19.12.1944

 

Um die Einsatzgebiet zu beleuchten hier die Geschichte der 1. Infanterie Division und Einsatzschwerpunkte.

Die 1. Infanterie-Division (1. ID) wurde am 1. Oktober 1934 unter dem Decknamen Artillerieführer I in Königsberg/Ostpreußen aufgestellt. Sie trug diese Bezeichnung bis zum 15. Oktober 1935. Die Infanterie-Regimenter bildeten sich aus dem 1. (Preußischen) Infanterie-Regiment der 1. Division der Reichswehr. Die 1. ID wurde im August 1939 als Teil der 1. Aufstellungswelle mobilisiert.

Am Anfang des Russlandfeldzuges war die 1. ID der Heeresgruppe Nord unterstellt und kämpfte bis August 1941 bei Staraja Russa, an der Ischora bei Leningrad und der Bunkerlinie von Ropscha. Im Winter 1943/44 wurde sie zur Heeresgruppe Süd in der Ukraine abgegeben, wo sie in der Gegend um Winniza eingesetzt wurde. Als Teil der 1. Panzerarmee geriet sie hier in den Kessel von Kamenez-Podolski, wobei sie schwere Verluste erlitt. Nach einer Auffrischung kam sie ab Sommer 1944 bei der 3. Panzerarmee an der Nahtstelle der Heeresgruppen Mitte und Nord zum Einsatz.

Nachdem die Division Mitte Oktober 1944 nördlich Schirwindt über die Grenze auf Schloßberg zurückgedrängt worden war, verteidigte sie dort bis Mitte Januar 1945. Nach schweren Verlusten bei der anschließenden Verteidigung von Königsberg, der Samland-Halbinsel und Fischhausen-Pillau, wurden die Überlebenden der Division im Mai 1945 von Hela nach Dänemark evakuiert. Bei Kriegsende gerieten sie in Schleswig-Holstein in britische Kriegsgefangenschaft.

Soweit erstmal, die Varianten der Ehrentafelspange stelle ich nochmal gesondert vor.

Sammlergruß

Sascha

 

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Schickle Knight`s Cross and some questions

Hi Gents, the days passing by and a lot of things happen in the world of collecting. Surfing through the different areas of WAF, GCA  and MFF I found very interesting items. Some are so interesting that I asked the collectors if I can use the material for the BLOG…..Sometimes I get an answer and sometimes not.

Well that’s the way it is. Interesting thing for me as, somebody who is actually not that deep in the field of Knight`s Crosses involved, are the pictures the user Ludwig posted on WAF showing his outstanding Otto Schickle Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross in a really rare LDO case. I asked him to bring it on “Bacuffz.com” and he gave me a thumbs up.

Schickle in LDO Case by Ludwig Typ 1 no marker

Looking at this nice set you will see that there is no marker on the cross but you have the LDO sign on the case. Ludwig made clear that an LDO cased has to have a marked Knight`s Cross inside to follow the regulations. Whatever brought the set together is a secret of the veteran who had this cross during the time of the war.

Schickle in LDO Case by Ludwig 4

While researching a little bit I found the interesting story that Otto Schickle from Pforzheim in Germany has indeed manufactured Knight`s Crosses but only a short time from May 1940 until July 1941. The first 5 month they produced without L/15 marker, after that they put the marker on the loop. Something happened but nobody knows what it was, but Schickle lost his rights to produce Knight`s Crosses anymore. So that way there are only few Knight`s Crosses made by Schickle on the market.

After more and more hours on that topic I learned that there are two different Schickle Knight`s Crosses around the collector`s world.

Let´s call them Type 1 and Type 2 for better understanding.

First we have to get into the history of the Knight`s Cross before we get into details of Schickle Crosses….

Schickle Type 1 A.jpg

 

On March 10th, 1813, Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III established the Iron Cross as a temporary gallantry award for bestowal during times of war. Originally the Iron Cross was introduced in three grades with a Grand Cross intended for award to Senior Commanders for successfully leading troops in combat and the First and Second classes for award to all ranks for bravery or merit in action. The Iron Cross were reinstituted by King Wilhelm I on July 19TH 1870 for award during the Franco-Prussian War and again on August 5th, 1914, by King Wilhelm II for award during WWI. On September 1st, 1939 Hitler once more reinstituted the Iron Cross series of awards in the First, Second and Grand Cross Classes and established the new Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. Hitler reserved the right to personally authorize bestowal of the Knight’s Cross and all ranks were eligible for the award. Originally the criteria for bestowal of the Knight’s Cross was outstanding personal bravery or decisive leadership in combat but this was later expanded to include personnel who had continually demonstrated exceptional acts of courage or an extremely high success rate on the battlefield.

Schickle Cross with maker L 15 Ludwig Collection

The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was the most coveted award of the Third Reich period and those presented with it were elevated to the status of a national hero. In total it is estimated that roughly 7,360 Knight’s Crosses were awarded during WWII, a relatively small number when one considers the amount of troops fielded and the magnitude of the war. Due to the prestige of the award personnel who could afford it would opt to buy a jeweler’s copy for everyday wear with the actual award being put away for safe keeping. Of Note: The LDO, “Leistungsgemeinschaft der Deutschen Ordenshersteller”, (Administration of German Medal Manufacturers), began regulating the manufacture of German awards in March 1941 as a quality control agent for awards that were intended for retail sale and manufacturers were to use an assigned LDO, „L“, code on their products destined for retail sales. Awards that were to be bestowed by the government were also issued an official numerical government contract code known as a, “Lieferantnummer”, (Contractors Number), that was issued by the “Präsidialkanzlei des Führers”, (Presidential Council of the Führers), for formally approved manufacturers. The manufacturing firms that were licensed by both the “Präsidialkanzlei des Führers” and the LDO and would have used the same dies to stamp both the official issue and retail sales types of awards making them virtually indistinguishable from one another except for the markings. Regulations of November 1st, 1941 prohibited further manufacturing of the Knight’s Cross for retail sale. Of Note: On June 3rd 1940 a higher echelon of the Knight’s Cross was established with the introduction of the Knight’s Cross with Oak-Leaves and on July 15th 1941 an additional two higher grades of the Knight’s Cross with Oak-Leaves were introduced with the establishment of the Knight’s Cross with Oak-Leaves and Swords and the Knight’s Cross with Oak-Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Finally, on December 29th, 1944 Hitler established the final grade of the Knight’s Cross with the Golden Oak-Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Also of Note: The Grand Cross of the Knight’s Cross was only awarded once to Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring and the Knight’s Cross with Golden Oak-Leaves, Swords and Diamonds was also only awarded once to Oberstleutnant Hans-Ulrich Rudel.

 

Back to Otto Schickle from Pforzheim and what he manufactured that days. As a member of LDO (you have seen that above) his company got the LDO Number 15. So if you see something with L/15 it is made by Schickle and normally the value is higher than other badges without marker on the backside. But there are also Schickle made medals and badges out there without L/15 marker……

Let us jump in on the different types of Knight`s Crosses from Schickle and what the collector`s scene says about it.

I have to make clear that I put only opinions in this Schickle report without stepping on one side. Mostly information`s are from experts which are known as experts on the subject. You might know the name Daniel Grünbaum who is an expert on Otto Schickle badges and also very deep in Knight`s Crosses pre 1945 and post 1945. There are a lot of good information from him we have to think about or put a second thought on it….but finally you have to make up your mind for your final opinion. Also I learned a lot from Mr. Dietrich Maerz who wrote books about that topic which are one of the best on the market.

OK let`s put some facts together and see where the road will lead us to.

All the Schickle Crosses have the same loop on the Top of the frame, some with the marker L/15 and some without L/15. At the collectors market we have seen fake crosses with the marker L/15 on the loop or for example a Juncker Knights Cross with an L/15 marker on it to pimp it……well that did not work. So there might be somebody out there with the right stamping tool L/15 but with not enough knowledge to put that marker on the right cross. So that’s an easy one to spot.

Schickle Cross with maker L 15 Ludwig Collection II

Fake marker

 

Also all the Schickle crosses have a die struck mistake in the frame which can be found on every cross which is offered. In the 9 – 12 area of the front frame there you can find it.

 

Fail in Frame Typ 1

Now we move to type one and type two.

Look at the pictures from Ludwig`s grouping and on the very clear embossed numbers on the front and the back.  Also on that Cross you can see the angle of the number 3 upper part in 1939 which “hits the head of the 9” if you draw a line in that direction. Better explained with the following picture here.

hitting the 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom Line for a type 1 Schickle Knight`s cross:

Right size and shape of the loop

Die flaw in the frame 9-12 o`clock area

Clear embossed numbers front and back

Number 3 hits the number 9 (line check)

 

Let`s look at the Type 2 cross.

Here we see almost the same indications like on type 2. You have the same loop on the top of the frame. You have the die flaw on the 9-12 O´clock area on the front frame.

not hitting the 9 Typ 2

Now let`s check the numbers, not the same clear embossed numbers like type 1…….and if you do the line test from the number 3 to the number 9……it is a different angle.

 

That tells me as a none KC experts that we have two different cores in the same frames!

Looking back to the short amount of time Schickle produced their Knight Crosses. Why did they change the design of the core but not the frame? Even if the frame had a “problem” ….

If you look closely on the type 2 core you can see a similarity to the post war crosses made by Steinhauer und Lück. How can that be?

Postwar KC with core Schickle Typ 2

Thoughts (and only thoughts) bringing me to some “Maybe” points.

Maybe it is the truth that Schickle stopped producing type 1 Knight`s Crosses someday and started to produce type 2 until they have to stop it by “whatever” reason.

Maybe Schickle stopped the production of Knight´s Crosses 1941 and after the war all the “unused” frames were sold to anybody who put in a post war core and sold them after May 1945 to the veterans who lost their Crosses during the war.

Maybe Schickle sold their overproduced Schickle frames in 1941 to somebody who made actually Knight`s Crosses during World War 2. So type 2 is a Schickle Knights Cross but not produced by Schickle.

Maybe Schickle`s die tool for manufacturing the cores were getting bad and the numbers weren`t that clear anymore. So there is a possibility that they produced 500 cores with bad number design and put them aside for later. Somebody found them after the war together with other parts from different company’s and started building another version of Schickle crosses.

 

 

But the manufacturer list for Knights Crosses is short. There we have only these companies:

C.E.Juncker, Berlin
Steinhauer & Lück, Lüdenscheid,
Otto Schickle, Pforzheim,
C.F.Zimmermann, Pforzheim,
Gebrüder Godet, Berlin,
Klein & Quenzer, Idar-Oberstein,
Unbekannter Hersteller der frühen Form „Dreiviertel-Öse-Ritterkreuz“ (evtl. Deumer, Lüdenscheid)

As far as Daniel Grünbaum refers is Steinhauer und Lück the only company where you can find nearly identical cores in post war Crosses like type 2 Schickle cores……that’s also a fact to think about.

Theres  also a possibility that Sedlatzek, Schiffer or Souval bought all the rest of different manufacturers and started producing after May 1945.

 

A lot of questions and maybe a good start for more research on the topic.

 

I wonder about the price of Schickle Typ 1 Knight`s Crosses.  The price for a Schickle Cross is far higher than for other crosses. I can remember that a Schickle Type 1 was sold shortly for 10.500,-  Euro without any case, only the cross with ribbon. On the collector’s guild you will find a type 1 for 13925,- US Dollar and on Christian von Eickes Web shop a cross was sold for nearly 13.455,- Euro. Well that’s  a lot of money…….

Schickle Cross to identfy in wear (sadly cant remeber who posted it on WAF)

 

Hope some of the KC Collectors out there will come up with more information on the different types so we can clear out some “maybe`s”.

If you have any other facts and thoughts please let me know and I will be happy to put them down in this report.

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Take care

Best

Sascha

 

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Black Afrika Cuff Title

 

Hi Gents, the days passing by and a lot of things happened in the world of collecting. Surfing trough the different areas of WAF, GCA and MFF I found very interesting items. Some are so interesting, that I asked the collectors if I can use the material for the BLOG…..Sometimes I get an answer and sometimes not. As you might know I am a little bit into cuff titles. On the MFF submerged a picture with a soldier wearing a special version of the Afrika cuff title on his sleeve. That one was the missing link….. I have that Afrika cuff title version in one of my books (and in my collection). Till that day there was no picture of that special cuff title on a uniform available and so nobody was sure if it was for tank crews or not. I asked the owner of the picture, Max Miller, if I can use it in my blog and he gave me a thumbs up!!

But let`s step back to the standard Afrika version first:

The cuff title Afrika was awarded by the Wehrmacht in World War II. It was founded by Adolf Hitler on January 15th, 1943. The cuff title Afrika should not be confused with the sleeve stripe „Afrika Korps“, which was awarded as a sign to all members of the German Afrika Korps.

Afrika Cuff Title Collection Author

Creation date Army: January 15th, 1943

Creation date Navy: December 29th, 1942

Creation date Air Force: Jan. 28th, 1943

The cuff title Africa was awarded approximately 30,000 times. The awarding authority began from the battalion commander and the next higher ranking officer.

Afrika Cuff Title Standard Version Collection Author Backside

Closing date for the ceremony was  October 31st, 1944.

3.1 Background

 

In February 1941, the German Afrika Korps (DAK) was formed in Libya within  the “Operation Sunflower”. The DAK was created to stabilize the recent African campaign of the Italian troops and support them against the British army. From 1941, to October 1942, the DAK got hold of large parts of Libya, Tunisia and Egypt under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. After that the DAK was stopped and driven back to El Alamein. In January 1943, the DAK had to clear Libya under the pressure from the Allies.The last German units in Africa capitulated May 13th, 1943.

Afrika Cuff Title Standard Version on Tank Tunic Collection Dirk Schneider

 

Basically the cuff title Africa could awarded to members of the armed forces, after the ceremony provisions of January 15th,  1943.  Soldiers who served  directly in the air, on land or at sea in Africa. Even members of the “Heeresgefolges” or in the immediate order of the army employed persons, also non-Wehrmacht soldiers who report to the Air Force or were active in their immediate contract, could be awarded.

 

 

Army

– Duty for six months on African soil

– Wounded in this operation

– Illness  which led to the loss of full or conditional ability to serve in the tropicsice.

Navy

The same rules are applied in the Navy as in the army. For the crews of ships:

At least six months of operations at sea from bases in Africa.

Air force

For the Air Force were the same rules as in the Navy applied.

1st change of the provisions ceremony (Army on May 20th, 1943/ Air Force  on  July 1st, 1943). Members of the Army Group Africa, who took part in the final battle on African soil, on May 6th, 1943 honorably, the cuff title Afrika could be awarded after four months of service in Africa.

 

2nd change of the award provisions (December 14th, 1943)

The cuff title Afrika could now be awarded regardless of the operating time, provided that the soldier himself earned a bravery award during the fighting in Africa such as the Iron Cross, German Cross in Gold, mention in the Honor Roll,…

The cuff title (approximately 450 mm by 36 mm) was made of camel hair fabric. The lettering Afrika was mounted in white rayon embroidery centered. It has been enclosed on the top and bottom of the sleeve a strip of white is also about 3 mm wide strand. The cuff title Afrika was worn on the left forearm above the cuff.

Here it comes !

Afrika Black Cuff Title on Luftwaffen Tunic Collection Max Miller

Finally we have the proff with the help of Max Miller that the black Afrika cuff title was a version used by the Luftwaffe and not by tank crews. An we have also proof that is a time period cuff title. Against the regulations but anyway used by some soldiers of the Luftwaffe.

Afrika Cuff Title Black Version Collection Author

 

Black Afrika Cuff Title Collection Author Close Up

Sometimes it takes a little bit time but if you stay on it, some mysterys will be solved

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Take care

Best

Sascha

 

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Fake Bag`s in the Collectors World Part I

Hi Gents,

First of all I have to excuse myself for taking so much time to write the next post. With my transfer to a new field of work in the German Navy, time is rare and the workload is heavy. I can`t tell you what I really do but so much to say. I work with and for the “Wolfpacks”…..

As a Medal and badges collector my focus is not really on cases and bags. If the medals come with it I leave them together, if the badges are cased, the will stay together. But I normally don’t hunt for a special case or a missing bag to get it complete…….well not quite right, I need a case for my second knight’s cross but that’s another story….;-)

Fake Show A

Funny thing is that you can buy a lot of lonely cases and bags on dealer’s websites or on EBay.

Why on dealer’s websites you ask, that is easy to explain. If you sell a high end badge in a high end and maybe rare case, you will get it sold quick for good money. But if the badge is not that nice or maybe made from zinc, it will get harder to sell it. So the trick is to separate them and sell the badge without the case or the case without the badge. Sometimes you get more money out of it, sometimes not. But collectors always need everything and the will buy it 😉

2 out of 3 Fake A

Let`s look on EBay, most of the cases and the bags are without swastikas and as you know, on EBay there is no chance to sell something with that “bad” sign on it. Collectors like me who are older remember the USA EBay time….the good old time……there you got it all on EBay USA. Uniforms, Badges, Daggers…….until EBay USA stopped it.

Anyway, EBay is also the best way to get a fake case or a fake bag for your collection. You have to be sure that the offered piece is from that time. Otherwise you burn your money.

Uboot Bag Copy L/12 A

From time to time bags pop up from a “hoard found”. They slept well protected in an old basement of a former medals sales store and now they flood the market. Never buy the story, trust your instinct or follow the experts on WAF, GCA or MFF.

Ground Assault Badge Copy A

So what did I do, I checked the areas of different platforms and pulled out the bad ones to show you what is really nothing for your collection.

 

I hope that the expert collectors who follow my blog will correct me if I am wrong (yes that could happen). If you have also fake bags in your database, feel free to send pictures to bacuffz.com and I will put them on display here.

UBoot Bag Copy A

Wounded Badge Silver Copy A

PAB Silver Copy A

LDO Bag Copy A

Here you have them all together with frontview and backside view

Thanks for reading, please help the blog to get more readers and more writers……Let the other collectors know what you can find here.

Take care

Best

Sascha

 

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Wounded Badge Case first pattern GOLD

Hi Gents,

Took me long this time to write another post but I was handicapped and couldn`t use my right hand.

What happened…. something bit me in my hand, some sort of Insect but we did not find out what ist was. Happened on a Monday morning, on Tuesday morning I was in the hospital with a hand like “HellBoy” and, as the doctors told me “close to Heavens door”. Anyway, they cut down my wedding ring and put me 3 days on hard medication to survive the blood poisoning…..Took me another week to use my hand again and now I can write slowly.

I Hope the responsible „whatever“ died after it bit me…..

Back to our hobby !

I scanned the net and checked different platforms for news on medals and badges. Found several interesting post on GCA, WAF and MFF. One posting let me think…..and finally I found out that I had never thought about it. It was all about cased wounded badges of World War II.

collection Jelle (7)

Easy area you think, you have already a black one, a silver and gold wounded badge and maybe this beautiful version…..uhhhh Legion Condor wounded badge…….but let`s start in the beginning. We have to get the terminology right. A lot of you talk about the legion condor wounded badge and the wounded badge of World War II. That is not the right way to put it down. We have to say it that way: Wounded Badge 1. pattern and the Wounded Badge 2. pattern.

Collection Heinrich (4)

The wound badge was originally established on March 3rd, 1918 by King Wilhelm II to recognize the sacrifice of those wounded during World War I. The badge was instituted in three classes with the class bestowed reflecting the number or severity of the wounds received. On May 22nd, 1939 Hitler re-instituted award of the black and silver WWI pattern wound badges, with the addition of the swastika, for bestowal to German volunteers, (Legion Condor), who had participated in the Spanish Civil war from 1936 – 1939. Of Note: Only one hundred eighty-two black and one silver badge were awarded to Condor Legion veterans.

Collection Heinrich (1)

With the outbreak of WWII, on September 1st, 1939, Hitler once again re-instituted another slightly modified version of the wound badge by altering the World War I pattern helmet on the badge to the newly designed M35 style helmet. The badge was awarded to both military and uniformed non-military personnel and later, (March 1943), to civilian personnel who received wounds as a result of enemy actions. The black wound badge was the lowest of the three classes and was awarded for one or two wounds.

Collection Heinrich (3)

The silver wound badge was awarded for three or four wounds, or if the wound was very severe, ie: loss of limb, blindness, etc..

The gold wound badge was the highest of the three classes and was awarded for five or more wounds, or if the individual was totally disabled. It was also awarded posthumously if the individual was killed in battle.

Interesting fact is hat the wounded badge 1st pattern was given out until 1940 because there were not enough second pattern finally made by the companies to give them to all soldiers who earned the badge.

Collection Heinrich (8)

So now let`s go back to the cased badges. If you examine a wounded badge 2nd pattern in gold it normally will come in a black case with white inlet.

If you were lucky enough to get a golden wounded badge 1. pattern which is also “hohl verbödet” (which means a hollow badge where the maker put a piece of metal on the back side to let it look like a flat back badge)and it is cased, this little friend will come in a black case with white inlet…..but be careful……it is like in your bedroom….the size matters.

Pictures collection Jelle

The cases for 1. pattern and 2. pattern are not the same size and I will show that with a few pictures from my collector Friend Heinrich.

As you can see the 1st pattern case is smaller, has an imprint on the top of the case and is higher than the standard black WB case. Everything is only in millimeter size but you can see it.

Pictures collection Heinrich

Shortly after start searching about WB cases  I found an interesting post in the WAF where some other collectors posted their cases of.

Pictures collection Gary

Here was a statement that the wounded badges 1st pattern gold case was also used for the Wounded Badge July 20, 1944. The same maker and the same size was the information. I hope we can proof that one day or some of the collector`s who owns one will provide me with pictures and sizes.

Thanks to Henrich, Gary, Jelle and Hans for helping me out with basic information and good pictures!

 

That’s it so far, hope you will get back after all the DSGVO (EU General Data Protection Regulation) storm in the internet.

Thanks for reading, please help the blog to get more readers and more writers……Let the other collectors know what you can find here.

Take care

Best

Sascha

The Lorient Shield

Hi gents, almost time to go back to our mace of good or bad high end shields of World War II.

I did the Cholm shield part one and got a lot of feedback from collectors with thumbs up and more good information. What I liked the most was the question if I can do a part two with the cupal example and the zinc version….I will do that but it takes some time.

By the way I would like to know if there are hobby writers among you guys. I would love to make this blog bigger with more articles but my time is endless. So if you like to do something on a special badge of World War II or something similar…..just contact me and we work it out. If you are from Germany don’t be afraid, if you write in german I can translate it for you 😉

Original Lorient Shield Collection Patrick W (5)

However back to our riddle of rare shields. Today I like to bring you some information on the Lorient shield and what happened there.

And (I think you already knew it) I have been to Lorient in the early 90´s and was impressed about the big Bunker`s which were build there during the war. Huge monsters made from concrete and steel to protect the German submarine from air raids until 1945 on the Atlantic coast.  Lorient was the home base of the 10th. U-Flottilla (Unterseebootflottille). I was lucky to get a picture of the cap badge which Uboat crew member used to wear on their oversea cap (Schiffchen).

Here some background to the area of Lorient and historical facts:

Lorient, on the Bay of Biscay, had been an important French naval base until June 1940. With the capture of the base in the same month by German troops (see France campaign), the town in succession got more and more of strategic importance for the German Navy.

Cap Badge 10. U-Flottille Lorient

This concerned above all the submarine construction with its bunker buildings on the peninsula Kéroman.

U-Baot Bunker Kéroman III in Lorient

In August / September 1944, following the Allied invasion of Normandy, the port and town of Lorient were completely enclosed by US and British forces, with some 22,000 German soldiers. Adolf Hitler thereupon declared the city a fortress. During the eight-month siege, which ended with the surrender of the remaining German forces on May 10th, 1945, there were some fighting going on.

Attack direction Allied Forces 1944

Fortress Lorient was not Lorient only, but also Groix Island, Etel River, the coast between Lorient and Port Navalo, Quiberon peninsula, Belle-Ile island, and had connection with the Saint Nazaire pocket.

So finally a big area to defend with lots of artillery, bunkers and trenches around the main part of Lorient.
To get a better view on the fighting during that time, we jump in after the D-Day to August 9th ,1944. The 4th US Armored Division reached the large-scale German defense area around Lorient, which was surrounded as an important submarine base by a ring of anti-aircraft guns and artillery. In Saint-Gilles fierce fighting broke out around a bridge, which was one of the few accesses to Lorient.

Fortress Lorient 1 – 12 August 1944

A volunteer Belarussian cavalry brigade had been stationed by the Germans in defense of the American advance in this place. After a short battle, the streets were covered in blood in the rain of the wounded or dead horses and soldiers. Further towards the village core, Belorussians had positioned themselves on the houses and in turn began firing at the invading US tanks.

Fortress Lorient 01.12.1944

The tanks and other vehicles succeeded after some time the breakthrough to the bridge and its crossing. At nightfall, the Allies succeeded in positioning artillery at Caudan, about three kilometers north of Lorient. After brief bombardment of the opposing positions in Lorient, the Americans gave the Germans an ultimatum to the task, which was rejected. Since a further procedure would have been possible only with significantly increased artillery, the division leadership decided a partial retreat to the area of ​​Vannes, about 60 kilometers southeast of Lorient. Only a smaller siege group was left behind.

Fortress Lorient 01.02.1945

Task Force B of the 6th US Armored Division advanced 180 miles from Brest to Vannes on 14 August to replace the units of the 4th US Armored Division north and east of the city. On the way there they encountered no German resistance. Around noon, a reserve command advanced to Lorient to support the remaining group of the 4th US Armored Division. On August 15, the entire 6th US Armored Division arrived at Lorient. The front line enclosed the fortress Lorient and the Quiberon peninsula in the east as well as patrols from Redon in the east to the area to the Daoulas peninsula in the west.

France, Rommel and Fahrmbacher on the roof of an U-Boat Bunker

After Vannes was taken and the wider area was controlled by the French resistance, the 6th US Armored Division focused on the area around Lorient. The city itself was too heavily fortified to have a promising attack there. The German defenders, who are from parts of the XXV. Army Corps under the Commander-in-Chief for Brittany, General Wilhelm Fahrmbacher, as well as remnants of the 265th Infantry Division under Lieutenant General Hans Junck, who was in the fortress Saint-Nazaire, and Rear Admiral Otto Kähler, since February 1944 Commander of the Naval Defense of Brittany [NB Kähler, however, had become a prisoner of war on September 18, 1944 in Brest], passed, had in return no chance of counterattacking, and was also bound by Hitler’s order to keep the port cities to the last.

Knights Cross Document General Fahrmbacher

So both sides confined themselves to intensive patrols and artillery fire. The Americans had set up twelve observation posts around Lorient, from which reconnaissance units were sent to scout the German artillery positions. In addition, work began on mining the entire front line with booby traps. In some cases German patrols could be captured. But also Americans came during a small skirmish between reconnaissance patrols in German captivity.
The 6th US Armored Division was replaced on September 10 by the 94th US Infantry Division, which continued the siege, and moved east to the 3rd US Army. On 17 November, a brief ceasefire was agreed for the purpose of mutual exchange of prisoners. General Wilhelm Fahrmbacher capitulated on May 10, 1945,

Lorient Soldbuch with entry Lorient (2)

Both the Lorient and St.Nazaire pockets contained about 53000 German troops at the time of surrender. The Lorient pocket alone had over 25000 German troops.

These forces surrendered to the US 66th Infantry Division with a number of attached French units.
—-

Lorient Shield Collection Pascal H. front view

During the siege of Lorient the idea to make a remberence shield was born by some of the officers. The artistic design of the shield goes back to the head of the shipbuilding workshops of the submarine base “Marine Baurat” K. Fehrenberg. They asked General Fahrmbacher (Wilhelm Fahrmbacher (19 September 1888 – 27 April 1970) was a General in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II who commanded several corps. He was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. Upon Germany’s surrender in 1945, General Fahrmbacher was interned in France until 1950.

Original Lorient Shield 1 (1)

After his release he served as a military advisor in Egypt) and he approved the idea. With little corrections (a German eagle with a swastika on the soldiers shield) the shield was approved and the production began by using different materials due to the supply problems during the siege of Lorient.

The final shield itself shows in its upper end the year 1944 as well as on the lower side the lettering LORIENT. In the center, a naked Wehrmacht soldier was stylized with a steel helmet attached, holding a sword in his right hand and a shield (symbol of defense) in his left hand.

Original Lorient Shield 6

It is not exactly known if all Lorient shields have the Wehrmacht eagle on the soldiers shield, there are information about some shields with a Luftwaffen eagle on the soldiers shield (not proven until today). The unusual idea of ​​representing a naked soldier presumably goes back to the idea of ​​the creator, who wanted to use this symbolism to vividly portray „bare survival“. Also the evidence for this theory is missing.   Behind the symbol of the soldier were represented the rays of the rising sun, which are regarded as a symbol of hope.

Original Lorient Shield Collection LUC (1)

Finally, under the soldier a submarine is shown, which can be seen in front of a submarine bunker (on the Keroman Island) on waves in ride. Since it was not possible to supply the garrison on land, from the air or to water, it was decided to use the existing sheet metal stocks, u. a. from scrap, to resort. For the production one used copper, brass, aluminum and even steel. Higher officers received a chromed version of copper. Of course, the use of different metals also resulted in different colors. Through the use of several „punching presses“ and templates, the appearance of the sign differed significantly from machine to machine, so that there was no question of a uniform pattern embossing.
Accurate and reliable award numbers cannot be quantified. It is assumed that after all sheet metal stocks were used up in November 1944, about 10,000 – 12,000 shields were pressed. These were then issued at Christmas 1944 to deserving soldiers of the occupation. Thus, about every second garrison received the Lorient shield.

 

The Lorient shield is not a combat badge of the Wehrmacht like the Cholm shield, as neither its foundation nor the ceremony were officially. The shield was therefore regarded only as a „traditional badge“. With the entry in the “Soldbuch” also no claim to official acceptance of the shield by the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Therefore, this shield has not been included in the Law on Titles, Orders and Decorations of 26 July 1957.

Original Lorient Shields

After all these good information’s from collector friends, books, archives and databases I come to the following conclusion about Lorient shields.

There are some originals out there, but they are very hard to find. If it is true and they made 12.000 of them, what happened to the soldiers of Lorient during the surrender. Most of their personal things were taken by the allied soldiers as a souvenir. Maybe a few got their badges home from their POW time. I you look on the originals, you see them made of different materials. Some shields with prongs, some shields with holes to sew it to the uniform and some shields without anything of that. Originals are not made with a lot of details and they are not solid. You can always see that they were “pressed” in a certain way. Some have a fabric backing, but in my opinion that was made so you cannot see the backside and buy it as an original shield from the time period. In this high price area you have to be sure that you buy an original. Better to spend more money on it and buy at a dealer with a “give back guarantee”. Even if you buy directly from the family, there is no proof that the vet didn`t buy it in the early 50`s or 60`s. To be really sure you should use one of the bigger forums like GCA or WAF with all the experts there. They will know it for sure.

Copys of Lorient Shields

 

Big “thank you” to all collectors who helped me bring this information to you. There are Pascal, Patrick, Luc, Christian, Uwe, Holger, Jens and some guys who like to stay in the shadow.

 

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Best

Sascha

 

 

Copyright 2018 : Alle Rechte bei dem Verfasser Sascha Ulderup  / All rights with the author Sascha Ulderup

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 ! “