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Thread: Tank destroyer KC Soldbuch

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    Moderator Peter U's Avatar
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    Default Tank destroyer KC Soldbuch

    Recently I was able to add another KC Soldbuch to my collection and although it is an example without a picture and the KC award isn’t entered in it, I still like it very much.
    (I’ll explain why it is an example without a picture and KC entry further along in this thread)


    Erhard Zoll (1914-2004) was born in Dachau, he was a student when he began his military career, I can’t tell if he was drafted o volunteered from the information in his Soldbuch but what I do know is that he had finished basic training before the big mobilization of 1939, when the war starts with the invasion of Poland on September 1 1939, he is a “Schutze” with the 14th tank destroyer company of Infantry Regiment 61 of the 7th Infantry Division, this Bavarian division recruited most of his men from the Munich area.
    His unit participates in the invasion of Poland and then moves West to prepare for the coming conflict with France, in the meanwhile Erhard Zoll rises through the ranks, by March 1940 he is a sergeant; on May 10 1940 his unit has the though task to attack the western allies exactly where they expect them to attack: through central Belgium like in 1914.
    Erhard Zoll escapes the big clash with French armor, on May 18 1940 he is sent to an officers training class in the infantry school of Potsdam and on September 1 1940 he gets his officers commission.
    As a new officer he is transferred to the 14th tank destroyer company of IR437 of the newly created 132ID, it is with this company that he will serve until the end of the war, he also will eventually become its CO.
    The 132ID is used to occupy Yugoslavia in the spring of 1940 but the German army has bigger plans in the summer of 1941: the invasion of the USSR; in the first month of the invasion the 132ID is kept in reserve but at the end of July 1941 they are called to the front and become a part of the 6th Army which has the task to capture Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine.
    As a platoon commander of unit equipped with Pak37 anti tank guns he has a difficult task, by this time the standard German anti tank gun has become obsolete, it can’t penetrate the armor of the modern Soviet tanks like the T34 and KV1, that now start to show their presence on the battlefield; it is under this circumstances that he is awarded both EKII & I on August 21 1941.
    Being awarded both EK’s on one day is a rare event, it certainly isn’t common and usually indicates that they were awarded for one single act of bravery.
    After the fall of Kiev his unit moves towards the Crimea, in January 1942 he will be awarded the ISA, later he will also receive the Crimea arm shield and winter war medal.
    During the battle for Kertsch in early May 1942 he is shot through the lungs, the wound is rather serious, it keeps him in hospital until February 1943 and out of front line service until the end of 1943. For this wound he just receives the wounded badge in black.
    While he is in hospital he is awarded the German Cross in Gold on September 19 1942 and promoted Oberleutnant.
    In January 1944 he is back with his company, they are now part of the 16th Army on the Newel front; it is now that this Soldbuch ends, he is issued a new one when he is promoted to captain, it is in his new Soldbuch that his picture will be added.
    A year later his unit is fighting in the Kurland pocket and it is here that he will earn his KC and close combat clasp.
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    Moderator Peter U's Avatar
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    A picture of him with his KC I found online and an image, also found online, of his KC award document (which I don't own).
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    No War Eagles For You! mrfarb's Avatar
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    Very Nice! You know his anti tank company was busy if he was awarded both IC1 & 2 on the same day.


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    Moderator Peter U's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrfarb View Post
    Very Nice! You know his anti tank company was busy if he was awarded both IC1 & 2 on the same day.


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    He certainly saw the elephant.
    Take a look at his picture in his formal uniform, he is 31 years old on it, he looks to be more 51 years old.

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    Very interesting post again, I love learning about these. He definitely looks older than 31 and look at all of those decorations. To see all of that combat, be shot through the lung, and live to 90 is a feat.

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    Senior Member ebeeby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter U View Post
    He certainly saw the elephant.
    Take a look at his picture in his formal uniform, he is 31 years old on it, he looks to be more 51 years old.
    51 indeed. The horror these men lived through. Always fascinating, thanks again for sharing.

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    ax - hole Warrior1354's Avatar
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    The horrors of War ages you unfortunately and sadly. I remember when my cousin got home from Afghanistan he was 26 when he was there but he looked like he was in his mid-to-late thirties when he came home. Thanks for sharing Peter I always enjoy your findings and documents thank you for all your hard work translating all this
    "Don't use your musket if you can kill 'em with your hatchet"

    Major Robert Rogers 1757 Founder of the U.S Army Rangers

  8. #8
    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter U View Post
    He certainly saw the elephant.
    Take a look at his picture in his formal uniform, he is 31 years old on it, he looks to be more 51 years old.
    That was going to be my comment as well. Excellent set and story of a man who saw much fierce combat and lived to 90. Thanks for posting it Peter
    “Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose.” - Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, 1933-1945

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    Senior Member Pat's Avatar
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    Great job Peter, and as always thank you for sharing with the rest of us. That's like reading the biography of a lion. That man was a warrior.

    Pat
    For My Fallen Brothers:
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    Never Forgotten.

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    Senior Member jack944's Avatar
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    Default Ditto

    Quote Originally Posted by Hambone View Post
    That was going to be my comment as well. Excellent set and story of a man who saw much fierce combat and lived to 90. Thanks for posting it Peter
    Great research as usual.

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