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Thread: Silver Wound Badge Soldbuch - after operation Market Garden

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    No War Eagles For You! mrfarb's Avatar
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    Default Silver Wound Badge Soldbuch - after operation Market Garden

    I so enjoy the Soldbuch's that PeterU posts due to the personal nature they bring, I don't have those types of Soldbuchs but every so often I find a neat one. I have been wanting a Soldbuch from a guy that carried an MP40, this one kinda fell into my lap.

    Eduard Bernhard was born in June of 1926 in Bremen (or at least was from Bremen when he joined). He joined in May of 1944 at the age of 18, and was assigned to the Grenadier-Ersatz-Battalion (motorized) 90. When he joined, the unit was meant as a replacement unit for the 90th Grenadier Rgt stationed in Norway, but by September 1944 the unit was repurposed as an emergency stopgap unit to operate in the western front due to Operation Market Garden. It was at that time that it was formed into the 190th Infantry Division and rushed to Holland, sent to oppose the "Operation Market Garden" invasion. He was assigned to the 1224 Gren. Regt, which fought against the 82nd Airborne (325th Glider borne units) at Nijmegen during Market Garden (in Groesbeek) and Eduard most likely participated in the actions against the 82nd Airborne at Groesbeek. The 190th "Hammer" division arrived in the area beginning September 19, 1944 and there was fierce fighting there. Note his security check is dated 20 November 1944, the day the unit began arriving in the sector.

    In October he was again given "Sonderurlaub" very soon after his original leave a month previous, aka "special leave" - a quick check of the Soldbuch shows the reason as "BominenschadenC" - If I'm not mistaken this leave was for soldiers whose home had been bombed, and allowed them time to help family relocate or repair bomb damage (I could be wrong on that, going from memory). Bremen was a target for bombings in October 1944 by a quick search.

    The 190th was assigned to the 1st Fallshirm-Armee as part of Armee Grupp H (for Holland) - it seems odd, but the Luftwaffe didn't have that many divisions to fill Armee's with. His Commander (for a short time) was Kurt Student - a name that should sound familiar if you read any history on Airborne Operations in Germany.

    His original issue weapon in November 1944 appears to be a P.08. His unit fought with the 2nd Parachute Army and LXXXVI Army intermittently from November 1944 - March of 1945. They fought hard against British and Canadian units, with notable engagements the "Reichswalde Forest" and Operation Varsity. (the unit fought in the Goch, Kleve, Reichwalde and Venlo sectors from Nov-March) In February 1945, he was issued his MP40.

    Eduard's luck ran out sometime in the beginning of March 1945 - his Soldbuch shows he was admitted to the care of the 4th Kompanie of the Kriegslazarette Abt.(mot) 613 (this was a mobile combat field hospital) on March 15, 1945. The "Chefartzt" awarded him the silver wound badge March 30, 1945. He stayed in the hospital until May 25, 1945, at which time he was transferred to "in der Heimat" which basically means civilian care. His wound code is "31d" which wounded from enemy aircraft, but getting the silver wound badge for 1 wound means he was very injured, possibly losing a limb or an eye. If you note, the Soldbuch has holes punched - I have been told that these holes were punched and used by the hospitals to hang Soldbuchs for filing purposes? Note that this Soldbuch appears to have blood stains at the top edges.

    What is interesting is this fits the exact time frame that the commanding officer of the 1st Fallshirm-Armee was wounded in air attacks, and I presume that this is when Eduard was wounded:


    "The Canadian First Army and Lieutenant-General William H Simpson’s U.S. Ninth Army compressed Schlemm's forces into a small bridgehead on the west bank of the Rhine opposite Wesel. On 10 March 1945, the rearguard of the 1st Parachute Army evacuated their bridgehead, destroying the bridge behind them. He was wounded in an air attack on his command post at Haltern eleven days later and command of his forces passed to General Günther Blumentritt."

    https://translate.googleusercontent....FKuKJ0S_WXA8TQ

    I hope this write up does some justice for this soldiers service. I also hope I got close to deciphering his Soldbuch. I couldn't find any photos of his unit, it was around for a very short time as after this action in March is was dissolved and reformed into a new unit.
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    Last edited by mrfarb; 02-09-2019 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Corrections
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    Very neat, thanks for posting. I wonder why he would get an MP 40 if he was a private in an infantry outfit. Were they trying to increase fire power, he had a special job, or just giving out whatever they had on hand late in the war. I would like to learn more about these. Is there a good resource to start with?

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    Senior Member ebeeby's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing!

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    No War Eagles For You! mrfarb's Avatar
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    There is a book called “Papers Please!” by Ray Cowdery that I bought many years ago that is a great basic guide to German documents. You can find it on Amazon, I just checked. Not sure if there are more specific Soldbuch research books.


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    EOD - bombs and bullets pzjgr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrfarb View Post
    There is a book called “Papers Please!” by Ray Cowdery that I bought many years ago that is a great basic guide to German documents. You can find it on Amazon, I just checked. Not sure if there are more specific Soldbuch research books.


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    Concur, bought it when it was first out and I was re-enacting...it goes page by page in detail, it is a great resource to decipher Soldbuch's…

    Although it doesn't help with reading the Sutterlin script, always the most difficult part for me!

    And that is a really cool Soldbuch, like it a lot!
    Last edited by pzjgr; 02-09-2019 at 11:11 AM.

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    Moderator Peter U's Avatar
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    Nice Soldbuch mfarb.


    Eduard Bernhard was most likely involved in the counter offensive in the Groesbeek area after the airborne landings of operation market-garden.
    The 190 Division, also known as the Hammer Division named after his CO, was rapidly put together from all kinds of Ersatz units and thrown in to combat.
    I recently posted a Soldbuch of this division:
    http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread....ficer-Soldbuch
    Einsatzurlaub is given to soldiers just before they are going to be transferred to a frontline unit, usually after they finished a training program or are recuperated enough after a wound or an injury, in his case operation Market Garden changed the plan a bit, instead of going to a regular field unit somewhere, his unit was kept together to form a new unit which was moved to the front to prevent a dangerous allied breakthrough.
    His leave ended on September 13 1944, Market-Garden started September 17 1944 and the 190 Division started to arrive in Holland on September 19 1944.
    https://books.google.be/books?id=d0X...esbeek&f=false


    Wound code "31d" is for a wound from an airial attack, he was either shot or bombed by an allied airplane.
    It is one of the wound codes you don't come across often, the most commen is of course 31b: shrapnel followed by 31a bullet.
    If you are awarded the wounded badge in silver for a single wound it means the wound has caused an amputation or the lose of an eye.
    In a way it has nothing to do with the severeness of the wound, for example if you lose your pinky you qualify for a WB in silver and then there are soldiers wounded so terribly that they have to spend months, sometimes years in hospital but don't have an amputation and they only get the WB in black.
    A WB in silver for a single wound also comes automatically with an EKII; in his case the war ended before the paperwork could be finished.

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    aka 8x57IS Stephan98k's Avatar
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    It's a nice Soldbuch and great written, like the posts from PeterU.

    Yes, "Bombenschaden" is correct and "C" is the category of the damage. It was divided to categories A, B and C, depending on how big the damage was and if family members died. The "C" means totally damaged or even dead family members.

    Do you are sure with the MP28? The first number doesn't look like a "2" when you compare it with the serial number.

    I know the army barracks very well where Eduard Bernhard was based in Hamburg, I was often there with my father during his military service. I had this Erkennungsmarke from the Grenadier-Ersatz- und Ausbildungs-Bataillon (motorisiert) 90
    Marke 1 k.jpg

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    No War Eagles For You! mrfarb's Avatar
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    Thank you Peter for the clarifications (and a neat companion thread with the PzJg Soldbuch you link to). So it would seem he did have time to fight during the Market Garden operations, my mistake. Does that mean this could be considered a "Market Garden" Soldbuch? Just an easier way to group it by operations and makes it a little more interesting. As to his missing EKII - is it possible that if you pulled his service records it would show up? Reason I say because an old SS-Viking vet I knew was awarded 8 tank destruction badges - he never knew he had been awarded them. They were on his records which a friend of his pulled from the German archives for him (plus we wanted to somewhat confirm some of his other awards). Evidently a late action he was involved in destroying a Russian tank column with Panzerfaust was recommended by the unit commander, but it was nearly the very end of the war. That's one Soldbuch I wish I had.

    As to his first weapon issue, I hadn't considered that possibly the "28" is actually "08", so he was issued a Luger pistol. That seems so odd to arm him with a Pistol as a Private, but I'm not 100% clear on what his job was so? Could have been part of a MG team i suppose? And thank you for the clarification on the Bombenschaden entries, good info to keep handy.

    Trying to piece a soldiers time together from a Soldbuch is the best part, even on the Soldbuchs that aren't "sexy" with valor awards. Many can be had for a reasonable price and the enjoyment of digging in to the details makes it worth buying.
    Order the new K98k book at www.thirdpartypress.com
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    Moderator Peter U's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrfarb View Post
    Thank you Peter for the clarifications (and a neat companion thread with the PzJg Soldbuch you link to). So it would seem he did have time to fight during the Market Garden operations, my mistake. Does that mean this could be considered a "Market Garden" Soldbuch? Just an easier way to group it by operations and makes it a little more interesting. As to his missing EKII - is it possible that if you pulled his service records it would show up? Reason I say because an old SS-Viking vet I knew was awarded 8 tank destruction badges - he never knew he had been awarded them. They were on his records which a friend of his pulled from the German archives for him (plus we wanted to somewhat confirm some of his other awards). Evidently a late action he was involved in destroying a Russian tank column with Panzerfaust was recommended by the unit commander, but it was nearly the very end of the war. That's one Soldbuch I wish I had.

    As to his first weapon issue, I hadn't considered that possibly the "28" is actually "08", so he was issued a Luger pistol. That seems so odd to arm him with a Pistol as a Private, but I'm not 100% clear on what his job was so? Could have been part of a MG team i suppose? And thank you for the clarification on the Bombenschaden entries, good info to keep handy.

    Trying to piece a soldiers time together from a Soldbuch is the best part, even on the Soldbuchs that aren't "sexy" with valor awards. Many can be had for a reasonable price and the enjoyment of digging in to the details makes it worth buying.

    No problem!

    A control stamp was added in his Soldbuch on September 20 1944 in Hamburg, that is around the time the units of the 190 Division moved towards the front in Holland.
    They were fully engaged against allied troops in the Groesbeek area at the end of September 1944/early October 1944, so I think you can call it a Market-Garden related Soldbuch but that depends on how you define Market-Garden? How far from the landing zones/Hells Highway is it Market-Garden related and when does it become Holland 1944? The same for the time frame the purists would argue that it is from September 17 till September 25 1944.
    http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/...ErsBat90-R.htm

    About the EKII he was eligible for.
    Personally I think you'll find nothing about it in his file, if you could access it.
    He got his WB in silver +/- 6 weeks before the war ended, he thus got it when the German armed forces were about to collaps, also the large majority of these automatically awarded EKII's for sustained wounds were autorized and handed out by the soldiers Wehrbezirkskommando (their local draft office) when they were infact already discharged.
    In his case I don't think they would have had a chance to do the necessary paper work.


    He was indeed issued a famous Luger pistol, this would indicate that he was a driver in his unit, his unit had "motoriziert" in its name, so that makes sense.

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