Searching for my grandfathers unit

German Kriegsmarine 1935-1945.
Anton
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Searching for my grandfathers unit

Post by Anton » Sat May 01, 2004 6:42 pm

My grandfather Wilhelm Anton (1901 - 1970) was in the Kriegs Marine 1940-1945

I am trying to find out anything about his postings and regiments.

I know that he was trained in Elbing as marine soldier. He was with Boltes fleet to Narvik in 1940, where his ship was sunk. He stayed and faught on land till may or june.

He then turns up in Tobruk as an MP. I have some fancy photos of him in the african corps uniform.

Then he is stationed at Crim, where he earns the iron cross. He was driving a petrol transport when he entered a village. Strangley they saw no soldiers. So he got out of the viecle and opened the door to the town hall. There stood a young russian soldier with a rifle. Wilhelm imediatly took his spade and struk the russian in his face, crushing the skull.

My grandfather often cried when drunk, retelling the story of the young kid he killed, meaning it could have been his son.

He got captured by the russians, who among other things took his shoes. He reasoned that he would die if he stayed. So he and a friend escaped. They found an ambulance that they drove to an american posting, to whom they gave themselves up.

I would be very happy If anyone have any idea if there is any archive that I could search in or any other lead to what units he belonged.

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Brian67
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Post by Brian67 » Sun May 02, 2004 12:57 am

Try http://www.dd-wast.de and ask there for the military career of your grandfather. It will take some month, till you get an answer, but it is worth to wait.
http://www.panzergrenadierregiment63.de.vu
http://www.3ss.totenkopf.de.vu

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Anton
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Post by Anton » Sun May 02, 2004 12:44 pm

Thanks! Exactly what I was looking for. I will post what I get from them.

I also learned that he gave himself up outside Berlin.

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Simon Orchard
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Post by Simon Orchard » Tue May 04, 2004 11:37 am

You mention you have some photographs of him? Do you have any showing him wearing his Narvik shield? A KM tropical uniform with a Narvik shield would be special indeed!

BTW, the German naval commander you mention was Bonte, who was killed on the 10th April. Your grandfather may well have been incorporated into one of the naval battallions set up after the sinking or scuttling of the destroyers with which he would have fought until the Norwegian capitulation on the 9th June.

Regards

Simon

Anton
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Post by Anton » Sun May 30, 2004 4:10 am

Here are some photos. They are high res, so I just link to them. Notice the different uniforms.

Image
Wilhelm Anton in Tobruk 1942

Image
In marin uniform 1940?

I think this is taken in Elbing, spring of 1940.
http://www.travits.se/bilder/Anton%20pr ... rmarin.jpg

On leave at home in Danzig after the Norway campagne 1940.
http://www.travits.se/bilder/Anton%20pr ... eb0023.jpg

Also on leave with his sisters and my grandmother.
http://www.travits.se/bilder/Anton%20pr ... eb0024.jpg

Tobruk as an MP? 1942
http://www.travits.se/bilder/Anton%20pr ... rromel.jpg

Have no idea where this is. My guess is Crim.
http://www.travits.se/bilder/Anton%20pr ... eb0019.jpg

This I belive is taken in Odessa or somewhere in Crim. My grandfather to the right.
http://www.travits.se/bilder/Anton%20pr ... eb0008.jpg

Anton
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Post by Anton » Mon May 31, 2004 7:05 am

I think he has the Destroyer War Badge on some of the photos. Don´t know if he had the Narvik shield.

Got a written note from Deutsche Dienstelle that they have started the work. Really looking forward to hear what they will find.

Is the blue navy cap for winter and the white for summer or is that regulated by rank?

Anton
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Post by Anton » Mon May 31, 2004 9:27 am

This photo was taken by the americans in Berlin. Notice the whermacht uniform that he switched to. Ít did however not fool the americans.

http://www.travits.se/bilder/Anton%20pr ... eb0002.jpg

Anton
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Post by Anton » Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:45 pm

I got a reply from Deutsche Dienstelle, but it is not complete and actually made me a little confused.

It says that Willhelm Anton served from 29.04.1941 - 08.05.1945 in Kriegsmarine. That leaves out Narvik, but I know that he even took a trip there in 1956 to see the place again and to honour his fallen comrades. He also stated that he was on a ship that was sunk and that he continued the fighting from land.

The record I got reads as follow:
29.04.1941 - 27.06.1941 6. Shiffsstammabeilung, Steenwijk
28.06.1941 - 31.07.1941 Kraftfahrkompanie Emden
01.08.1941 - nicht vermerkt Marinenachrichtenabteilung Aurich
nicht vermerkt - 14.03.1943 Kraftfahrkompanie Sud, vermutlich Sofia bzw Varna
15.03.1943 - 23.03.1943 Kommandierender Admiral Schwarzes Meer, Simferopol
24.03.1943 - 13.04.1945 Marinekraftfahrkompanie Gotenhafen
14.04.1945 - 08.05.1945 5. Marinekraftfahrabteilung, Kiel

Beförderungen:
01.02.1942 Kraftfahrgefreiter d. R.
01.02.1943 Kraftfahrobergefreiter d. R.

He was freed from the Brittish on 15.11.1945

No notion of Tubruk, can anyone tell me if the uniform worn can be from Bulgaria (Sofia) or Simferopol? He caught malaria, which plaged him for the rest of his life, but entitled him to a small pension. A health certificate that I found from 1946 states he got it in Africa. The doctor who signed it was an Uberartz Otto Himmler. One would think that he should have changed his name at that date...

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Post by sid guttridge » Wed Oct 27, 2004 3:55 am

Hi Anton,

You might try to find crew lists for the ten destroyers sunk at Narvik, but don't ask me where.

Cheers,

Sid.

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derGespenst
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Post by derGespenst » Wed Oct 27, 2004 6:33 am

The photo you labelled "MP in Tobruk" seems to me to be clearly wrong. look at the fresco on the building at the left. it looks like an eastern orthodox image of a saint - very possibly Bulgaria. Also there is nothing about his uniform that says MP. Quite the contrary, German MPs wore the metal plate on a chain around their necks that gave them the nickname Kettenhunde.

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Simon Orchard
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Post by Simon Orchard » Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:13 pm

Well i have to say that the photos fit with the info from the dienstelle.

If he had been on a destroyer at narvik he would have been entitled to both the destroyer war badge and the Narvik shield. Neither of which is seen in the photos. Only an SA sports badge in bronze and no iron cross either. His trade badge also seem to be that of a driver. The photos too are consistent with the black see and the photo taken by the 'americans in berlin' isn't Heer but is clearly kreigsmarine field grey which can be identified by the style of the collar tabs, the KM buttons, the yellow breast eagle and the anchor on the epaulettes.

Anton
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Post by Anton » Thu Oct 28, 2004 9:45 am

Thanks again for all info. Clearly things have not been right before. As I understand it they did not talk about placements during the war and not so much after the family got together in 1950 either. I had no chance to talk to him as I only where three when he died. Neither did I talk about the war with my grandmother nor my uncle. I only had the bits and pieces of what my father told me and we never went to deep into it.

I will try to check the crew lists, but it could very well have been friends of his that where in Narvik and not himself. That he went there in the fifties does not nessecary mean that he was there during the war. And the later date of entering the navy is more consistent with his party history.

My father told me that he thought that he was an MP in Tobruk. That was clearly wrong and confused me much. My father was surprisingly bad informed about grandpas stationing. Anyway I just want to know the facts, so I am very grateful for all your help. I can certenly live without myths and misconseptions. I can post more pics if anyone is interested.

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Post by sid guttridge » Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:56 am

Hi Anton,

Both my father and grandfather left their memoirs of the two world wars on tape and in writing. However, despite supplying numerous anecdotes, my grandfather, in particular, was extraordinarily vague about what unit he was with (I still don't know more than that he was in the Royal Horse Artillery), where precisely he was stationed in France (most British troops couldn't pronounce French place names) and included no identifiable exact dates at all except 11 November 1918.

So your experience is very similar to mine and, I suspect, that of many others of us. I think that while they were actually living their wartime experiences, most men didn't keep detailed records and often had little idea of their exact position in alien countries. On top of that most of them, like my grandfather, were reluctant soldiers who considered the war was an unwelcome interruption of what they really valued - a peaceful home life.

Cheers,

Sid.

Anton
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Post by Anton » Fri Oct 29, 2004 4:41 am

Thanks Sid, it sure make me feel better, as I am quite ashamed of being so wrongly informed. :oops: Can´t be to angry with my father since he died a couple of weeks ago.

My grandfather, I was told, where also drafted in 1918, but did not get to the front before the war ended. Would that have been noted by the Deutsche Dienstelle?

What should I make of the gaps in his WWII record? Is there anywhere else that I can turn for more info with what I now got?

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derGespenst
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Post by derGespenst » Fri Oct 29, 2004 8:47 am

Who knows if the draft records from 1918 survived? And the Dienststelle might not look at WWI records unless you ask - if they even have them at all. I wouldn't be concerned about gaps in his record - there really aren't any, just some uncertainty about exactly when he moved from Aurich to Sofia/Varna.

Sid is absolutely right about a lot of veterans having a poor knowledge of where they were at any given time, especially 50 or 60 years later. It so happens my grandfather had exactly the same job as yours - truck driver for the Kriegsmarine. He was stationed in Paris and the Netherlands and seems to have been part of the German equivelent of the "Red Ball Express" - running supplies from the rear areas to the Normandy Front. I remember hearing a few Jabo horror stories from him.

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