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Thread: TDB Soldbuch - Vosges area

  1. #1
    Moderator Peter U's Avatar
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    Default TDB Soldbuch - Vosges area

    One of the recent additions to my collection, it is a damaged Soldbuch, the cover is missing but it has a very interesting and rather rare badge entry: a tank destruction badge earned on the western front.

    Walter Fitz (1917) from St Veit (Austria) was a sergeant with a pilot training school, mid 1943 he is transferred to the Heer and eventually he ends up on the French Riviera with 3/GR736 of the 716ID.
    After the summer debacle in France the Wehrmacht has retreated in to the Vosges mountains, in this period, the autumn of 1944 Walter Fitz is now a member of Grenadier Regiment 759 of the 338ID, also known as Kampfgruppe DV.
    In the winter of 1944, he earns an EKII, confirmed in his Soldbuch by unit with Fp number 46991 = Stab II Kampfgruppe DV and in January 1945 a TDB confirmed by Fp number 47871 = Stab Panzer Jager Kompanie Kampfgruppe DV.
    This late in the war tank destroyer companies in Volksgrenadier units were because of the shortage of anti tank guns and motorized vehicles, limited to infantry equipped with Panzerschrecks.
    With this background information I presume Walter Fitz was a member of one of these Panzerschreck teams and was successful in destroying an US Army tank (Sherman?) in the winter of 1944/45.
    A TDB isn't easy to obtain, one doesn't only need to destroy a tank with an IED or handheld anti tank weapon, like a Panzerfaust or Panzerschreck, a difficult task on its own but it also has to be seen by witnesses and the CO has to do the necessary paperwork to get the kill reckognized, in combat circumstances officers simply don't take the time for this type of paperwork and if they do their unit archives are often simply lost by combat actions.
    The result is that only a very limited amount of soldiers is awarded a TDB.
    Also a TDB not only stands for a destroyed tank, it also means that a tank crew got killed or was at least seriously wounded because a hit of a shape sized projectile had a devastating effect on a tank interior.
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  2. #2
    Moderator Peter U's Avatar
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    For some reason my images ended up the wrong way around.
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    Senior Member ebeeby's Avatar
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    As always, thanks for sharing!

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    Senior Member KKW22cal's Avatar
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    I really do like how you break down the events of each of the soldiers. Every time you post one, I make sure to read it. I look for them on the show tables because of your posts.

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