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Peter U
05-30-2015, 04:21 AM
Today I'll show a Soldbuch of a soldier who was WIA in de battle of Monte Cassino and the bulge, a rare combination.


Heinz Pfeiffer (1921) a labourer from Frankfurt am Oder began his military service in February '41, after he finished his basic training as a gunner he was transferred to 2/AR208, then based in Calais.
At the end of the year he was transferred again, now to HKB 355, an army coastal artillery battery based on Jersey, one of the British channel islands, a good transfer for him because he avoided going to the eastern front in the winter of '41/'42.
He spends the following one and a half year on the British channel islands serving with various coastal artillery units; in the summer of 1943 his easy life comes to and end, he is now transferred to the third battery of AR96 of the 44ID.
In the spring of '43 the 44ID, now named Reichsgrenadier Division Hoch- und Deutschmeister, is rebuild in Belgium and then sent to Italy and in November '43 they are at front in the Monte Cassino section.
It is here that he gets wounded in the first phase of the battle of Monte Cassino, by a piece of shrapnel in February '44; his wound is rather serious because he needs chirurgery on it and it keeps him in hospital till the end of April '44.
While with his replacement unit he is involved in an accident and hospitalized again for a month.
When he is fully recovered he is transferred to an active unit again this time to the fourth battery AR277 of the 277VGD.
The 277VGD is one of the Volksgrenadier divisions of the 6th (SS) Panzer army, their task is to force a break in the American held frontline through which the tanks can advance.
The plan is rather simple but the American resistance in the twin villages Krinkelt-Rocherath is fierce and their advance is quickly halted and when it is clear that a breakthrough isn't going to happen in this sector the mobile troops are sent more south for a new attempt to break out of the bulge, the 277VGD stays behind to try to hold their part of the frontline.
It is here that Heinz Pfeiffer is wounded for the second time by a piece of shrapnel, on December 30 '44 he is admitted to a field hospital in Lemgo (Germany), where he will stay till mid February '45; he ends the war in a replacement units.

Peter U
05-30-2015, 04:21 AM
His dogtag.

Peter U
05-30-2015, 04:24 AM
Two pictures of him, one posing with two potato masher grenades bewteen his belt on Jersey Island and another one in an for me until know unknown uniform, perhaps SA or RAD.

LTCar2
05-30-2015, 10:09 AM
Peter, once again a very interesting read. Please keep them coming. How many solbachs do you have in your collection anyway?

mdarnell19
05-30-2015, 11:50 AM
Thanks for posting. I would love to have a afternoon to talk with him about his war.

Peter U
06-01-2015, 11:33 AM
Thanks for posting. I would love to have a afternoon to talk with him about his war.

I can imagine that he had a good time on the British Channel Islands but that it sucked to be in Monte Cassino and the Eifel in winter conditions with the US artillery shelling your position.



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Peter U
06-01-2015, 11:35 AM
Peter, once again a very interesting read. Please keep them coming. How many solbachs do you have in your collection anyway?


Thanks,

I have actually never counted them, my collection is also a living collection so some pieces only stay for a while and then move on, but if I had to guess I'll say +/- 100.



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nirvana
06-01-2015, 01:09 PM
Is the dogtag number in the Soldbuch? If not, how does one connect them together?

Peter U
06-01-2015, 01:52 PM
Is the dogtag number in the Soldbuch? If not, how does one connect them together?


Of course the dogtag number is recorded in the Soldbuch, just take a look at the bottom part of page 1.


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nirvana
06-01-2015, 02:07 PM
Ah, I see it now. I was looking in other places. I had assumed that he would have had several dogtags, since he had been transfered between units. I thought his number would change each time, or something.

Peter U
06-01-2015, 02:41 PM
Ah, I see it now. I was looking in other places. I had assumed that he would have had several dogtags, since he had been transfered between units. I thought his number would change each time, or something.

German Heer or Waffen SS soldiers get a dogtag nummer from the first unit they served in, for most soldiers this is a role number from a basic training unit and they keep this number their entire military career.
Another big group are soldiers that have previously served and are mobilized in August 1939, they enter newly created units and they get new dogtags with the role number of their active unit.
Then there are the soldiers that get for some reason a new dogtag, the old one got lost for example, but then the new number is written down in the Soldbuch and the old one is crossed out.
- So for example when you have a Waffen SS soldier that previously served in the heer, it is perfectly possible that he has a dogtag number from a Heer basic training unit.


The Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine have different regulations.



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Seamie
06-01-2015, 03:42 PM
I am slowly learning to read Sutterlin because of your posts.

Slash
06-01-2015, 04:45 PM
Another great Soldbuch, wonderfully researched and described. Well done Peter .....