identify unit, rank etc. from uniform

German uniforms, clothing, and awards 1919-1945.

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Hiltraut Tieden
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identify unit, rank etc. from uniform

Post by Hiltraut Tieden » Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:18 pm

Can the unit, rank, or anything else be identified from this picture of the uniform?
The German soldier wore it about 1942 in Paris.

Thanks,
niece.

Here is the link:

http://members.cox.net/tieden/indexuniform.html

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Maigewitter
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Post by Maigewitter » Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:55 am

Its an Unteroffizier from an Heer unit. Due to the fact that the piping color is hard to identify, i cant say exactly what he was. (my guess would be that its red, yellow or green)

Awards: EK II (Iron Cross) -> ribbon at the button

Sorry, but i cant say anything about the other award - does anybody know a good site which deals with the german ribbon bar(s)?
When the British fired, the Germans ducked.
When the Germans fired, the British ducked.
When the Americans fired everybody ducked....

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Christoph Awender
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Post by Christoph Awender » Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:22 pm

The ribbon bar looks like that for the Austrian Hungarian Bravery medal. Was he Austrian?

\Christoph

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Hiltraut Tieden
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identify

Post by Hiltraut Tieden » Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:27 pm

Thanks, Maigewitter (I like your avatar)!
The picture is the uniform of my father. He died in 1992 and never talked much about his war time, and sadly, we did not ask.
Looking through his photo album (from April 1943), I had noticed the ribbon at the buttonhole,
and wondered what it represents. After you told me about the EK II,
my brother remembered that my father once showed him a tiny piece of a granate which hit him and he had carried in a small pouch,
but we never found it after he died.

@Christoph:
my father was born in 1906 in Sudetenland, does that explain anything?
All I know is that he was stationed in Paris and was in an office doing paperwork. I found an old dinner invitation to a "Kameradschaftsabend" from
Paris, 1942 "Pruefstelle III O.K.H.";
I assume that was where he worked. He was taken POW (by English and Americans) later.


Thanks again,
niece

Paddy Keating

Post by Paddy Keating » Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:02 pm

The buttonhole ribbon is that is the War Merit Cross 2nd Class (Kriegsverdienst Kreuz) and the other ribbon looks rather like the Romanian Medal for the Crusade Against Communism, which was awarded to Germans. I thought it could be Bulgarian but it looks more like the Romanian award. So, he would appear to have spent some time somewhere on the Eastern Front at some stage.

PK

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Maigewitter
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Post by Maigewitter » Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:21 am

Oh, you are right.

Its not a EK II - sorry for that.


best regards
When the British fired, the Germans ducked.
When the Germans fired, the British ducked.
When the Americans fired everybody ducked....

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Hiltraut Tieden
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difference

Post by Hiltraut Tieden » Sat Apr 07, 2007 1:49 pm

What would have been the difference between EK II and and the War Merit Cross 2nd Class?

niece

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Maigewitter
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Post by Maigewitter » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:40 pm

Here you can find some infos about the Kriegsverdienstkreuz:

http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/war_mer ... s_main.htm

On this site, you will also find the infos about the Iron Cross for a comparison.



best regards
When the British fired, the Germans ducked.
When the Germans fired, the British ducked.
When the Americans fired everybody ducked....

Paddy Keating

Post by Paddy Keating » Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:21 pm

The KVK was conceived as a replacement for the "civilian" Iron Cross of Imperial times. Civilian recipients of the Imperial Iron Cross wore the decoration on a riband whose colours were inverted. The KVK riband reflects this tradition, being essentially an inverse Nazi Iron Cross riband.

The War Merit Cross - sometimes known as the War Service Cross although merit is a more accurate translation of verdienst - with swords was intended for acts of military merit but not necessarily in the face of the enemy or, in some cases, acts that didn't quite merit an Iron Cross. The cross without swords was awarded to civilians, police and paramilitary personnel for merit in connection with the war effort, usually outside a war zone, although the definition of war zone became blurred as Allied bombing policies turned the whole of the Reich into a war zone.

It is often treated quite dismissively by collectors and while some awards were certainly made according to the unwritten "Buggins' Turn" rule, many were earned by their recipients. Contrary to the impression given by Hollywood and Pinewood, the vast majority of German soldiers, combat veterans included, ended the war with nothing whatsoever on their tunics to show for their service. These things were not given out with the breakfast rations so you can be proud of your relative. By the looks and sounds of it, he was a good, time-served NCO of whom his officers thought highly enough to get him a KVK and put him in for the Romanian medal, which wasn't given to everyone either.

PK

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Hans Knospler
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Post by Hans Knospler » Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:34 pm

This soldier is wearing an M42 Wool Tunic. Can't spot anything else that no one else has seen.
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info

Post by Hiltraut Tieden » Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:49 pm

Thanks, PK, for the detailed info, I appreciate it. Thanks Hans and the others as well. I do know so much more already with your help.
I wrote to WAST and hope to get more information and confirmation from them. I had not realized before that WASt will help with any soldier,
not just the fallen or missing. Once I have it, I'll post an update.

niece

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update

Post by Hiltraut Tieden » Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:36 am

WASt just send me the information they had on my father.
It does not explain the ribbons on the uniform, but perhaps somebody else can, looking at his whereabouts:

1941: 1. Kompanie Infanterie-Ersatz Bataillon 32, Standort Teplitz-Schönau
1942: Passierscheinstelle Ost VII Oberkommando des Heeres
1943: Prüfstelle III Oberkommando des Heeres
1943: 5. Kompanie Sicherungs-Regiment 56, Unterstellung:343.Infanterie-Division, Einsatzraum Bretagne
1944: 18. September Brest, France, westalliierte Gefangenschaft

Dienstgrad:
1943 Unteroffizier
1944 Feldwebel

Link to the uniform again:
http://members.cox.net/tieden/indexuniform.html

As I am now trying to learn more about my father's military life, I probably have more questions under different topics.

Thanks,
niece

Paddy Keating

Post by Paddy Keating » Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:54 pm

Infanterie-Ersatz Bataillon 32 was the depot unit of Infanterie-Rgt 32, which was formed in Teplitz-Schönau in October 1935. Teplitz is now known by its Czech name of Teplice. IR 32 was on the Order of Battle of 24. Infanterie-Division. Your father seems to have joined IR 32 in 1941 so he could well have been posted to an operational battalion of the regiment in time for the invasion of the Soviet Union on 22.6.1941.

24 ID was part of Heeresgruppe Süd, which advanced into the Ukraine with 17. Armee, reaching establishing a regimental HQ in Kiev in September 1941. The division went into reserve in Kiev in October 1941 for rest and refitting. A month later, at the end of November, 24 ID was transferred to 11. Armee in the Crimea. By the end of the year, IR 32 was in quarters in Sevastopol. The regiment remained in the Crimea until October 1942, when 24 ID was transferred along with 11. Armee to the Leningrad front under Heeresgruppe Nord where it would remain until January 1944. On 15.10.1942, IR 32 was renamed Grenadier-Rgt 32. Your father appears to have been taken out of IR 32 at some point in 1942 as he served with a couple of administrative units in 1942 and 1943.

In the photograph, he wears an M42 tunic with the KVK2 ribbon and the ribbon of the Romanian Crusade Against Communism Medal, instituted on 1.4.1942. This medal was awarded to members of German units fighting alongside Romanian units in the southern sector and your father could have earned it for the Ukraine or the Crimea. However, he is not wearing the ribbon of the Winter War in the East 1941/42 medal, instituted on 26.5.1942, which started reaching veterans of that first winter on the Eastern Front by the late summer and early autumn of 1942 so it is reasonable to presume that the photograph dates from sometime in the summer of 1942. As the photograph was taken in Paris, he could either have been on leave there or already posted to France.

He then appears with 5./ Landesschützen-Regiment 56 in 1943. LSR 56 had been posted to south-western France in February 1943 where it was engaged in occupation and security duties. LSR 25 was on the ORBAT of 343.Infanterie-Division. The 2nd Battalion, of which the 5th Company was a part, was based in Tours, with Bn HQ in Angers. In the summer of 1944, the regiment retreated westwards from Angers into Brittany, passing through Nantes and Quimper on the southern Breton coast before moving north-west to Brest to join 2. Fallschirmjäger-Division and sundry German units and sub-units in forming a pocket of resistance under the command of General der Fallschirmtruppe Bernhard Ramcke. Festung Brest held out against US forces until 18.9.1944 although some sub-units and fortified positions in the zone resisted until November. Your father is listed as a POW as of 18.9.1944 and ended the war as a Feldwebel.

Your father may have earned other awards. He could well have been entitled to the Crimea Shield. He could also have been wounded, hence his apparent departure from IR32/GR32. There again, he could just have been an administrative NCO, which is not, by any means, to suggest that he had an easy time of it. He served on the Russian Front, he may have faced French partisans in 1944 and he was one of the soldiers who held out in Brest until September 1944 against concerted American air and ground assaults. Brest is quite something in itself! Do you have any other photos of him or any documents? Of course, he bears further research, including scrutiny of IR 32’s war diaries, a look at what Passierscheinstelle Ost VII and Prüfstelle III were up to in 1942 and 1943 and a look at LSR 56 and what was happening in II./LSR 56’s area of operations before the Normandy invasion, as well as the events on their march to Brest afterwards.

PK

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Post by Hiltraut Tieden » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:54 pm

Thanks so much, PK! That sure is a lot of detailed info for me be absorbed! I am very grateful to you for listing the possibilities step by step. That sure will help me researching it one by one.

My brother and sister in Germany are looking for more photos of my father. I know there was another photo album with pictures of him as a soldier, and I hope it will hold some more identifications of places. The album I have is all on Paris, and mostly indoors with civilian clothes.

If I am successful with the photos, I will post them as soon as they are found! :)

Thanks again,

niece

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Decoration

Post by Rudi S. » Sat Nov 17, 2007 7:44 pm

The ribbon looks to me like the Kriegsverdienstmedaille - which in color would be red-white-black-white-red. His rank most likely is Unteroffizier. The ribbon above his left pocket may be the "Gefrierfleischorden", so called by the soldiers (or Winterschlacht 1941/42 Orden).
Gruesse,
Rudi S.

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