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Unteroffizier Kurt Wittig [Eastern Front Photo Collection]
Old 01-10-2018, 02:13 PM   #1
flobotron
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Default Unteroffizier Kurt Wittig [Eastern Front Photo Collection]

My great grandfather Kurt Wittig, born in 1912 in Berlin. He died on 9 March 1945 fighting the Red Army near Henryków Lubański.

I started poking around in our family history in 2015 and amazingly my grandpa handed me a collection of ca. 150 photos his father Kurt took during his entire military career. I think they give you a very unique perspective into the life of a Wehrmacht soldier. This is the album of the most interesting photos: https://imgur.com/a/R1T92

What you can see in the pictures:
  • Reichsarbeitsdienst
  • Bootcamp near Potsdam
  • One or more pictures of the Westfeldzug in France
  • pictures from Poland right before the Attack on the USSR
  • pictures from Operation Barbarossa and subsequent operations in Ukraine
He took some notes on the back of the pictures which I included in the description. The furthest locations I got were in Eastern Ukraine/Southern Russia.

Here is what I know about his military career based on information of the German WASt:
  • basic training with 4. / Infanterie-Ersatz-Battalion 9 in Potsdam until 30.05.1940
  • transfer to Infanterie-Regiment 477 and assigned to 257. Infanterie-Division from 04.06.1940
  • deployment at Maginot Line in June 1940
  • deployment in Poland in preparation for Operation Barbarossa in July 1940
  • marching into Ukraine in July 1941
  • transfer to France in August 1942 (rotation for resting maybe?)
  • deployment in Southern Russia in April 1943
  • wounded (left thigh) in Donez (today Isjum) and promoted to Unteroffizier on 09.09.1943
  • hospital leave till 25.11.1943 (in Reservelazarett 133 and XXI (Vienna))
  • deployment around Kriwoi-Rog (today Krywyj Rih)
  • KIA 09.03.1945 near Henryków Lubański from a "Rohrkrepierer" (I think in English that's a squib round) (assigned to Festungs-Infanterie-Bataillon 1458)
His detailed records don't exist anymore or are at least not present in the official archives. His regiment seems to have been wiped out in August 1944 after retreating across the Dniepr and Bug rivers in the months prior.

From his last photo (taken in 1944 for his son, my grandpa) I think he earned:
  • Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen
  • Ostmedaille

If you spot anything or have any questions, I am happy to help but I would be also grateful if you see anything that gives you hints about locations, unit, time. I already added a great deal of infos people helped me with. But maybe there is more.

The next step for me will be to get my hands on Albert Benary: Die Berliner Bären-Division. Geschichte der 257. Infanterie-Division 1939–1945.

PS This is my first post, hope everything is fine with it.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:31 PM   #2
sudhafen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flobotron View Post
My great grandfather Kurt Wittig, born in 1912 in Berlin. He died on 9 March 1945 fighting the Red Army near Henryków Lubański.

I started poking around in our family history in 2015 and amazingly my grandpa handed me a collection of ca. 150 photos his father Kurt took during his entire military career. I think they give you a very unique perspective into the life of a Wehrmacht soldier. This is the album of the most interesting photos: https://imgur.com/a/R1T92

What you can see in the pictures:
  • Reichsarbeitsdienst
  • Bootcamp near Potsdam
  • One or more pictures of the Westfeldzug in France
  • pictures from Poland right before the Attack on the USSR
  • pictures from Operation Barbarossa and subsequent operations in Ukraine
He took some notes on the back of the pictures which I included in the description. The furthest locations I got were in Eastern Ukraine/Southern Russia.

Here is what I know about his military career based on information of the German WASt:
  • basic training with 4. / Infanterie-Ersatz-Battalion 9 in Potsdam until 30.05.1940
  • transfer to Infanterie-Regiment 477 and assigned to 257. Infanterie-Division from 04.06.1940
  • deployment at Maginot Line in June 1940
  • deployment in Poland in preparation for Operation Barbarossa in July 1940
  • marching into Ukraine in July 1941
  • transfer to France in August 1942 (rotation for resting maybe?)
  • deployment in Southern Russia in April 1943
  • wounded (left thigh) in Donez (today Isjum) and promoted to Unteroffizier on 09.09.1943
  • hospital leave till 25.11.1943 (in Reservelazarett 133 and XXI (Vienna))
  • deployment around Kriwoi-Rog (today Krywyj Rih)
  • KIA 09.03.1945 near Henryków Lubański from a "Rohrkrepierer" (I think in English that's a squib round) (assigned to Festungs-Infanterie-Bataillon 1458)
His detailed records don't exist anymore or are at least not present in the official archives. His regiment seems to have been wiped out in August 1944 after retreating across the Dniepr and Bug rivers in the months prior.

From his last photo (taken in 1944 for his son, my grandpa) I think he earned:
  • Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen
  • Ostmedaille

If you spot anything or have any questions, I am happy to help but I would be also grateful if you see anything that gives you hints about locations, unit, time. I already added a great deal of infos people helped me with. But maybe there is more.

The next step for me will be to get my hands on Albert Benary: Die Berliner Bären-Division. Geschichte der 257. Infanterie-Division 1939–1945.

PS This is my first post, hope everything is fine with it.
Great post and collection. You're very lucky your grandfather kept all these photos! You can also do a request at the Wast (Deutsche Dienststelle) for official army records on your great grandfather. This usually adds interesting background information to your search like military courses he took and how he was like a person and soldier.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:40 PM   #3
flobotron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudhafen View Post
Great post and collection. You're very lucky your grandfather kept all these photos! You can also do a request at the Wast (Deutsche Dienststelle) for official army records on your great grandfather. This usually adds interesting background information to your search like military courses he took and how he was like a person and soldier.
I got mail from them yesterday which means I know his Regiment and Division now and have a rough idea about where he was in the war except for a big gap from late 43 till his death.

Unfortunately his Soldbuch and Wehrpass are not in the archives. I have a letter from his Kompanieführer in March 45 to my great grandma stating that he was a pretty funny guy.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:26 AM   #4
ibrahim ahmad
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Thank you for this very interesting and detailed post @flobotron

Ibrahim,
Singapore .

---------------------------
Looking for all relevant info & items on WW2 German U-boats in Singapore and Asia for my research.
http://monsun-uboats.blogspot.com/
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