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Peter U
05-30-2016, 06:34 AM
It are the last days of May, so it seems a good idea to show one of my Westfeldzug Soldbuch sets.

Erich Rimpl (°1915) was a student from Tetschen, at the time this Soldbuch was issued, he was an Obergrefeiter in the first company of Kradschützen Batallion 7, the motorcycle battalion of the 7th Panzer Division.
When the Westfeldzug started on May 10 1940, Erwin Rommel personally took command of this unit, their task was to push through the rough Ardennes terrain as fast as possible and to secure a point where the Meuse river could be crossed just north of the small Belgian town of Dinant.
The race to the Meuse was on.
But not everything went according to plan, the resistance of the Belgian troops in the hamlet of Chabarez was way stronger then expected and the advance was halted for 24 hours, nevertheless they managed to reach the Meuse on May 12 and more importantly they were there before the French troops had a chance to dig themselves in on the western side of the river, they had won the race to the Meuse.
After the campaign he was awarded the EKII and he was assigned to a NCO training course for munitions and explosives specialists, with this unit he apparently was also on the eastern front in the winter of 1941/42.
When he finished his training and was promoted to NCO rank, he immediately went to another training course now one for munitions and explosives specialist officers, after also successfully completing this course he got his officers commission.
He was now assigned to the staff of I/Pz Rgt 2, a battalion that was in the process of being refitted and was going to be equipped with the new Pzkw V better known as the Panther tank.
In June 1943, Erich Rimpl went to the Panzer training school in Erlangen, at this time this school was training the new crews for the Panther tanks.
On October 1 1943 his battalion departs for the eastern front, they will be attached to the 17 Pz Division, which is then fighting on the Dnjepr river.
Erich Rimpl is awarded the PKA Silver in November '43, so he isn't only a logistical officer in his unit, he also fights as a crewmember of one of the Panthers.
In November 1944, he is awarded a KvKII, a typical medal for logistical personnel.
On January 12 1945, the Red Army starts his winter offensive, Erich Rimpl is one of the first casualties of his unit; on Jan 17 1945 he is admitted to a hospital with a gunshot wound je sustained on January 14 1945.
He will survive his wound but it will keep him in hospital until the end of the war.


Like always the Soldbuch is full of interesting details, two examples of what you can see:
- On his picture he wears officers shoulder boards with crossed canons, the insignia for weapons specialists.
- This I haven't seen before, he owned two personal side arms: a Walter PPK and a Sauer & Sohn both 7.65mm.

Peter U
05-30-2016, 06:35 AM
His award document for the wounded badge in black and his military driving license.

John Lawson
05-30-2016, 10:26 AM
Thanks Peter for posting these very interesting personal histories. They should be compiled in a book.

mauser202
06-01-2016, 11:45 PM
As always, nice work Peter. I have said it before and now John says it, these should be in a book.