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The life of a Nebel-Soldat...
Old 09-15-2019, 09:11 AM   #1
matthias_AC
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Default The life of a Nebel-Soldat...

Good afternoon,


as it is sunday and I have a bit of time after some crazy months behind me, and being an Association Member again, I thought I´d share a little story with you that I had been planing on sharing for actually years now! I am sure those of you papercollectors who are genuinely interested in the story/history of individual soldiers will love the following! (Btw moderators.: If this thread is not "welcome" in the paper section feel free to move it to the "Individual Research" section!)

It all started with a purchase I made pretty much two years ago. A fellow collector offered two EK2-citations to me. I was only really interested in one of them (116. Panzer, shown here before), but the seller only wanted to sell the documents together. The other citation was that of a member of Werfer-Brigade 8 and was awarded to the soldier for action in Normandy. Back then I was beginning to shift away from collecting Normandy linked citations, but I thought to myself it might make good trading material given that lots of collectors are looking for Normandy papers. So I bought both citations for a very reasonable price.
A few days later the deliverer rang the doorbell and handed me a big parcel, very much to my surprise! I was expecting a small envelope, that would have been enough for two documents. I opened the parcel and found a big folder stuffed with paperwork belonging to the former soldier of Werfer-Brigade 8!

That night I went through the papers and found almost the entire life of Werfer-Soldat Christian Köpp from Köln (Cologne)! The documents are a hotchpotch of military and civil papers, and it seems like Herr Köpp accurately kept every sort of paper that seemed important to him! Among the documents I found
- school and training certificates (he was a trained merchant)
- various membership cards (Luftschutz, Deutsche Arbeitsfront etc.)
- Ahnenpass
- some pages of his Soldbuch
- denazification papers
- early postwar application documents for the police service
- his wifes (?) and mothers identification papers (Third Reich and postwar)
- letters from and to the Deutsche Dienststelle confirming his service time in the Wehrmacht
- discharge papers

Just to name a few!!!

When I saw the sheer mass of paperwork I was hoping to find a picture of Christian Köpp, so I started checking the different identity cards and bingo! His DAF-membership card (Deutsche Arbeitsfront, German Labout Front) had a picture of him inside!


One of the key documents for me is a machine typed tabular description of his military service. Not only does it list the units he was with, but also the exact dates of his promotions, his vacations (even the reasons why he was on leave and what officer he was leave granted by!), his awards (EK2 only) and the dates and places of his imprisonment as a POW. According to this document he was enlisted in December 1941 and served with different Nebelwerfer units, obviously ending up with Nebelwerfer-Brigade 8 which saw action in Normandy, the Ardennes and Western Germany in late 1944/45. Köpp was awarded the EK2 during the peak of the Normandy battles in July 1944 and was captured by the British on April 4th 1944 at Hitzhausen, about 18 kilometers east of Osnabrück.
In his denazification papers I found more details on his military career; he started off as a "Munitionskanonier" (ammunition gunner) under the command of Hauptmann Lichtenberg before becoming a "Richtkanonier" (gunner) under Hauptmann Barth and ended up as a Werfer-Führer (gunner in lead).
According to one of his letters his unit mainly consisted of Austrians. He also reports that he had to give away his Soldbuch when he was captured by the Brits.

To me this grouping is a real time capsule and treasure. It allows me to reconstruct the eventful life of a man who saw the rise and downfall of the Reich and helped shape the early days of the Bundesrepublik (modern Germany) as a police officer! Looking at this man, I am reminded again that history is not always exclusively about the military. These men were far more complex than that!

There are plenty more papers that I haven´t studied yet, and I am sure there are more surprises to come!


So, let some chosen pictures do more talking... Here is the folder containing all the valuable information:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCN2577.jpg (119.4 KB, 193 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN2578.jpg (66.6 KB, 191 views)
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Always buying combat award citations (especially Eisernes Kreuz) and Soldbücher/Wehrpässe linked to the Western Front 1944/45 (Ardennes, Eifel/Hürtgenwald, Aachen, Rhineland), no matter what unit!

Last edited by matthias_AC; 09-15-2019 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:13 AM   #2
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Some chosen documents out of the sheer mass:
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File Type: jpg DSCN2575.jpg (129.3 KB, 198 views)
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:14 AM   #3
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Köpps EK2 citation and the picture I found in his DAF-booklet:
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File Type: jpg Scan_20190915.jpg (95.2 KB, 205 views)
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:16 AM   #4
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Tabular description of his military career:
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File Type: jpg Scan_20190915 (4).jpg (77.0 KB, 202 views)
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Always buying combat award citations (especially Eisernes Kreuz) and Soldbücher/Wehrpässe linked to the Western Front 1944/45 (Ardennes, Eifel/Hürtgenwald, Aachen, Rhineland), no matter what unit!
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:17 AM   #5
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His denazification papers, giving more insight into his service time:
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File Type: jpg Scan_20190915 (3).jpg (79.9 KB, 201 views)
File Type: jpg Scan_20190915 (2).jpg (76.3 KB, 200 views)
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Always buying combat award citations (especially Eisernes Kreuz) and Soldbücher/Wehrpässe linked to the Western Front 1944/45 (Ardennes, Eifel/Hürtgenwald, Aachen, Rhineland), no matter what unit!
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:19 AM   #6
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Some letters to and from the Deutsche Dienststelle:
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File Type: jpg Scan_20190915 (5).jpg (96.0 KB, 202 views)
File Type: jpg Scan_20190915 (6).jpg (56.3 KB, 201 views)
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:20 AM   #7
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And lastly his wife (presumably) and his mother, to round the whole thing off:
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File Type: jpg Scan_20190915 (7).jpg (132.8 KB, 202 views)
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:02 AM   #8
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Great grouping, very complete. Nice to see all the additional documents that are so often missing from a soldier's "life".

best
H
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:01 PM   #9
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Simply fantastic Mattias.
That grouping is wonderfully complete and it's truly rare to find one that is so comprehensive. Love it.
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Old 09-15-2019, 01:49 PM   #10
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That is a very nice set of supporting documents! The collector you bought the citations from must have been a real star, to send you such a grouping as a bonus...

Cheers,
Michael
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Old 09-15-2019, 01:55 PM   #11
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Jealous ! Great catch.
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:26 PM   #12
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Congratulations!
A comprehensive military career to study
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:52 PM   #13
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Agree with the others Matthias - a very nice set and wonderfully presented by you.

An EKII citation to a Nebel troop is a very scarce piece to come by.

Thanks for posting the group!

Regards!

Bob
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:17 PM   #14
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Great set, Matthias. It’s a nice reminder of the personal side of the war. And this guy sure saw a lot over his years of service with a steady rise in responsibility.
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:23 AM   #15
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Thanks guys, I knew you would appreciate it!

I will definitely research this group more, which shouldn't be too difficult with all the documents and information.
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