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Peter U
03-04-2017, 12:09 PM
A little while ago I finally found a Soldbuch of a "Hetzer" crewmember, alas the picture was ripped out and it is a replacement issued example but in this case I didn't mind because a Soldbuch of this type of unit is rather hard to find.

It came together with the first issue Soldbuch from August 1939 and I'll pick up the story from there.
Heinrich Kohle (1921) a woodworker from Solingen was mobilized on August 29 1939 and joined 2/Bau Battalion, a construction unit.
The Soldbuch has only entries for 1939, so I don't have any information on what he did until this Soldbuch was issued in September 1944; his dog tag number is a piece of material evidence, he has a Luftwaffe serial number of a Flak Ersatz Abteilung 7, so he must have joined the LW and served as member of a Flak unit, in 1942 he became a NCO and in December 1942 he obtained the rank of Wachtmeister, an NCO rank in artillery units.
In September 1944 he is back with the Heer, he now is assigned to 1(Sf)/Pz Jg Ers und Ausb Abt 43, a training unit for motorised anti tank gun personel, the crewmembers of Marders and Hetzers for example.
In November 1944 his training is finished and he joins the newly created Pz Jg Komp 1026, an anti tank unit of the 26th Volksgrenadier Division that gets 14 Hetzers, he is issued the typical kit for a crew leader: a pistol, compass and binoculars.
The 26VGD is heavily engaged in the battle of the bulge, mainly in the Bastogne area.
Heinrich Kohle gets WIA and receives the wounded badge in black on January 15 1945.
He ends up being a POW of the US Army, according to his POW serial number we can presume that he was taken POW in March 1945.

Peter U
03-04-2017, 12:10 PM
An interesting YouTube clip about the Hetzer.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZFPB0spgOw&t=317s