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Peter U
11-29-2013, 07:12 AM
Hello guys,


It has been a while since I showed a Soldbuch on this forum, so here we go.
- Erich Neumeister (°1910), a manual laborer from Issigaü got mobilized in the big mobilization of August 1939, he entered military life in the locally based Kavalerie Schützen Regiment 6; in March ’40 this cavalry regiment is reformed to Schützen Regiment 6, on of the two infantry units of Erwin Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division.
The war really starts for MG gunner Erich Neumeister on May 10 1940, his unit fights there way through the Ardennes forest, cross the Meuse in Dinant, breakthrough the French northern border defences near Avesnes and then the race towards the sea start, on May 21 ’40 they are already west of Arras.
But also on this day the British tanks counter attack!
They pound with their Mathilda tanks in the German flank exactly in the sector of the 7 Pz Div and a panic breaks out, the units anti tanks guns, the Pak 37 isn’t capable of penetrating the armor plating of the Mathilda tanks, some of the Britsh tanks even threaten the HQ of Erwin Rommel.
He now takes measures in his own hands, and by using every available piece of artillery and Flak they are able to halt the British armored advance and avoiding a total disaster.
Two days after this fight Erich Neumeister is admitted to a hospital in Germany with a bullet wound on his left foot; I suspect that he is one of the victims of the British Frankforce offensive.
The wound doesn’t seem to be to serious because already on June 4 1940 he leaves hospital and after a short while with his Ersatz unit he rejoins his old combat unit and gets ready for the invasion of Russia.
They advance towards Smolensk and at the end of 1941 they are fighting in the Rshev area.
In this period he receives both EKII and the Panzerkampfabzeichen in Bronze.
After spending one year and a dreadful winter in Russia they are pulled back from the front and are sent to France to refresh and to be reequipped.
In the autumn of 1942 Erich Neumeister leaves the 7 Pz Div for 5/IR745 of the 712ID, a division based on the Atlantik Wall in Belgium and Holland.
He spends two easy years here; even after the allied landings in Normandy the 712ID is kept on the Belgian coast to counter a possible second allied landing.
When in the final days of August ’44 the situation for the Germans becomes totally hopeless in Northern France the 712ID get there marching orders, their task is to take up defensive positions behind the Canal de la Bassée.
A couple of days later the allies breakthrough the German lines and on September 4 1944 they reach Antwerp and they threaten to encircle the entire 15th Army to which the 712ID belongs.
GR745 now gets involved in defensive battles in Flanders; what exactly happens with him I don’t know but he somewhere in this period he ends up in an allied POW cage.
On October 6 ‘44he sents a POW card to his wife, it takes a while before these cards are sent, the last entry in his Soldbuch is made on May 26 1944, the issue of a spade, the security control stamp that normally should be entered in early September ’44 is missing; this makes me draw the conclusion that he was taken POW during their retreat through Flanders.


What is interesting is that is first (early war) weapon entries are entered on the cover of the Soldbuch, where later the picture is added.
You find this more in early war Soldbucher but what is special is that he was also issued a MG, most likely a MG34, normally they are a company weapon and not directly issued to an individual soldier.


Cheers,
Peter

Peter U
11-29-2013, 07:13 AM
More images of his Soldbuch.

Peter U
11-29-2013, 07:14 AM
The POW postcard.

Peter U
11-29-2013, 07:15 AM
A picture of him and his wife on which you clearly can see his EKII medal and badges.

waffenmeister
11-29-2013, 10:21 AM
Another great post. So much of ones life in one small book. Where do you find all of these??

Peter U
12-04-2013, 01:00 PM
Thanks Waffenmeister!

You find them on exactly those places where you find other militaria, on-line and on shows.


P