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THunter
05-16-2010, 03:45 PM
This set belonged to a Oberstarzt Dr. Wilh. Deubner. I dont really know much about him personally but Ive been able to find bits and peices of information about the areas and units he served with. I asked somebody on another forum to run the fieldpost number typed on the I.D. tag and this is what came up, also I managed to find his Rangdienstalter (Used to indicate the seniority in rank after a promotion) from January 1st 1938 which listed him as Divisional Dr. for the 46th Division and at the same time he was commander of Sanitasabteilung 56. Note that the gasmask, can and strap are 1938dated.

Feldpostnumber 48394

Mobilmachung - 1.9.1943 - Befehlhaber der deutsche Truppen in Kroatien
10.1.1943 - General Kommando XV (Geb.) A.K

Translates to:

Mobilization - 9.1.1943 - Commander of the German troops in Croatia
10.1.1943 - General command 15 (Gebrigs) A.K.

Without a doubt he served at the HQ of the commander of the german troops in Croatia then later on served at the HQ of the XV (15th) Mountain Corps (Gebirgs Armee Korps) which was situated in Croatia (former Yugoslavia) under Army group E. The HQ of the 15th Mountain Corps was located in Banja Luka, Croatia from August 26th 1943 to February 28th 1944 then was later on was relocated to
Knin, Croatia from March 1st 1944 to February 1945. Sometime in January/February 1945 the area of Knin was under heavy attack and the HQ and its divisions retreated westward towards Bihac.

The 15th Mountain Corps had multiple Croatian Divisions serving under it. Including the 373rd Croatian Infantry Division and the 392nd Croatian Infantry Division. Here is some history about those two divisions:

The 373rd (Croatian) Infantry Division:

On January 6th 1943, the German Army formed a second German-Croatian Division at Dollersheim (Germany), for service in Croatia on anti-Partisan duties. Titled 373.Infanterie-Division (Kroat.) or 373rd Infantry Division (Croat), the Division was nicknamed "Tigar" (Tiger) by its men. The Commander was German Lt.-General Emil Zellner. Most of the officer cadre was German, as were a large number of NCO's. Uniforms and rank insignia were German, with the Croatian armshield on the right sleeve.

The Division was organized into 2 Infantry-Grenadier Regiments - the 383rd and the 384th Croatian Regiments (of 3 Infantry Battalions and a Mortar Company each), an Artillery Regiment - the 373rd Croatian Artillery Regiment (2 Light Battalions of 3 Batteries and 1 heavy Battalion of 2 Batteries), and support units (Pioneer Battalion, Signals Battalion, Supply Troop, Maintenance Company, 3 Administration Companies, Medical Company, Veterinary Company and a Military Police Detachment). The Supply Company was horse-drawn.

The 373rd Division was assigned an Area of Operation, reaching from Karlovac in the east, to Sarajevo in the west, and from the Adriatic coast of Croatia in the south, to the Sava River in the north. Most of the anti-Partisan drives were in the Banja Luka - Bihac areas.

In May of 1944, the 373rd participated in Operation "Rosselsprung" (Knight's Move), the attempt to capture the Communist Partisan leader Tito. In the Fall of 1944, the Division absorbed the 2nd Jager Brigade of the Croatian Army as its 3rd Regiment (385th Croatian Infantry Regiment). On December 6th 1944, the 373rd participated in the defence of Knin, where it was heavily mauled. Survivors retreated to the northwest towards Bihac. By January of 1945, the Division's remnants were fighting in the Bihac area as part of German XVth Mountain Corps. Battles continued with the Division moving to the Kostajnica region in late April of 1945. Survivors surrendered to the Partisans west of Sisak in May of 1945.

The 392nd (Croatian) Infantry Division:

On August 17th 1943, the German Army formed the last of the German-Croatian Divisions. Like the 373rd before it, the 392nd was founded at Dollersheim (Germany) for service in Croatia on anti-Partisan duties. Titled 392 Infanterie-Division (Kroat.) or 392nd Infantry Division (Croat), the Division was nicknamed "Plava" (Blue) by its men. The Commander was German Lt.-General Hans Mickl. Most of the officer cadre was German, as were a large number of NCO's.

Uniforms and rank insignia were German, with the Croatian armshield on the right sleeve. The Division was organized into 2 Infantry-Grenadier Regiments - the 364th and the 365th Croatian Regiments (of 3 Infantry Battalions and a Mortar Company each), an Artillery Regiment - the 392nd Croatian Artillery Regiment (2 Battalions with 3 Light Batteries each), and support units (Pioneer Battalion, Signals Battalion, Supply Troop, Maintenance Company, 3 Administration Companies, Medical Company, Veterinary Company and a Military Police Detachment). The Supply Company was horse-drawn.

The 392nd Division was assigned an Area of Operation, reaching from southern Slovenia, along the Croatian Adriatic coast, to the city of Knin. The Division fought mostly in the northern coastal area of Croatia, with its islands. It also took part in the German attempt to construct a security line around the Otocac - Bihac area, in January, 1945, after the fall of Knin, Under severe Partisan attack, the 392nd made a fighting withdrawl westward until April 24th 1945 when north of Rijeka (Fiume) the German cadre released the Croatian soldiers from further service and surrendered to the Partisans.

Its safe to say that after Oberstarzt Dr. Wilh. Deubner fled Knin, he headed northwest and somehow surrendered to American units in Eastern Italy or South Germany. What is unclear is his service history between 1938 and 1944. I have included a document from the 46th division listing his name, a map of croatia and some period pictures of some Croatian Infantry Divisions. If anybody can help me clear up some info or fill the gaps, id greatly appreciate it.

Peter U
08-03-2011, 03:08 PM
Nice gasmask!

P

Hambone
08-03-2011, 04:40 PM
yes, and a great job of research! pic stickied.