My Grandfather Sgt. Paul Ernst Kaess (1921-2002) saw action in WWII as a soldier in the German Army. He was born Feb 6 1921 in Benningen am Neckar, Wurttemburg, Germany, and hailed from a long line of Kaess' along the Neckar River. He had three siblings: Emil, Bertha, and Lina Elsa aka 'Elsa'. His parents were 'Emil' Friedrich Kaess and Anna Berta Falkenecker. 'Emil' is a rufname.
Paul was wounded in 1944, per family sources. From photos it appeared he rode in a MKiV tank or Stug iii or similar vehicle. He served in Army Group South and Army Group Center in Russia. He survived the destruction of Army Group Center. From records, it has been deduced that he served in the 11th Army in Southern Russia. Paul also served, per family accounts, in France, Yugoslavia, Greece, Rumania, Lithuania, and perhaps Poland. To get an idea about the German Army in Greece in 1941, see the following book, 'Swastika over the Acropolis' (2013) by Craig Stocking and Eleanor Hancock. At this time Paul was serving in the German 12th Army, XXX Corps.
Paul Ernst Kaess military record from the German Army in WWII was finally obtained from Deutsche Dienstelle Berlin on Feb 6 2017 by Brian Paul Kaess, his Grandson. Feb 6 also happens to be Paul's birthday.
Paul’s entry date for the German Army was June 17 1940. He attended Field Artillery training in Batterie schwere Artillerie-Ersatz-Abteilung 61 in Pilsen (June 1940) and Schwabish Gmund (Sept 1940). He also trained with Batterie Artillerie-Lehr-Regiment Juteborg in Sept 1940. He was assigned to Batterie Sturm-Artillerie-Abteilung 190 from Oct 1 1940 to Feb 4 1944. This was his main unit. He also served in Sturmgeschutz-Brigade 190 from Jan 14 1944. From Feb 24 1944 to his discharge (his discharge date is unknown), he served in Genesendenbatterie Sturmgeschutz-Erzatz- und Ausbildungs-Abteilung 200 in Schweinfurt.
Paul was in the hospital three times:
1) June 22 1942 in Kreigslazarett 2/610 Simferopol
2) Jan 30 1944 to Feb 9 1944 in Reservelazarett I Warschau, C1, Salzstrasse
3) Feb 2 1944 in Reservelazarett III Hannover, Abteilung Clementinenhaus
Von Reservelazarett I Warshau.
Paul Ernst Kaess was promoted to Gefreiter (Corporal) in June 22 1942 and promoted to Unteroffizier (Seargent) on Jan 30 1944. His final Discharge date is unknown but is believed to be around late 1944-45.
Paul is believed to have earned the EK2 (Iron Cross 2nd Class), PAB (Panzer Assault Badge), Wounds Badge, War Merit Cross, and Crimea Shield. All of this has been deduced from photos or his service record.
One final note. Many Kaess' were KIA in WWII in the German Armed Forces. Paul was lucky to make it!