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The life of RKT Major Hans Guhr.
Old 07-22-2012, 07:58 PM   #1
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Default The life of RKT Major Hans Guhr.

MAJOR HANS GUHR
October 24th 1916 - February 10th 1969



The story of Major Hans Guhr has a special meaning for Germany’s history, regarding a life’s tale that covers two very important events surrounding the people of Europe: World War II and the consequent structuration of Europe. In this case, Major Guhr witnesses the tragic timeline of the Eastern Front, as a dedicated soldier, commander and fellow comrade of many brave soldiers who died for their country; but also as a civilian devoted to help the first German Chancellor after WWII, Dr. Konrad Adenauer, during his difficult task of rebuilding the spirit and life of Western Germany. Mr. Guhr worked as the speaker of the so called Amt Blank, later the Minister of Defence, restarting his military career in the Bundeswehr as a member of the PANDA Division in SHAPE (France), reaching the rank of Oberstleutnant im Generalstab and retiring later to become a journalist as a civilian.

In this simple, but trustful paperwork, I intend (with the help of Michael Guhr) to bring some light to the life of this German soldier, a Ritterkreuzträger of the Wehrmacht, witch reflex the bravery of fighting two battlefronts in his life, separated by the hard times of each and the success of every “mission” he accomplished, always giving his best commitment.

1. Pre-war period: 1916 to 1939

Hans Guhr was born October the 24th, 1916 in Dresden, Germany. Like many young Germans, trying to live with his family through the hard times of the post war and the devastating effects of it in the day to day experience, where economy didn’t give much for families. He was an only child, whose father had fought in WWI and survived. In his early years, he was very fund of outdoors activities (completing a bicycle tour in 1934, from Dresden to Sylt), and showing great interest in the army life and horse riding.


“One minute befor the start!“, as it reads on this travel journal in 1934 and... have a close look to the bikes


Another photo of Hans Guhr’s travel diary - “The road book " Every one of the team had to have a special task


“Walking around..“

The images shown above are part of a large cycling tour diary, made in 1934, performed by Hans Guhr, from Dresden to Sylt (718 km in 8 stages) and returned to Dresden / Klotzsche (850 km in 9 stages) 7 July to 5 August 1934. Since very young age, Hans showed good leader skills between friends and partners



The DLRG card of Hans Guhr, during his youth as a boy in Dresden.


Backside of the same card.


During his Highschool years, he was asked to write down his interests as a future adult.
Here's Hans school card, regarding what he would want to become as a grown man; he replied: “An officer in the Imperial Army”.


He had to express what his reasons for that choice were (below).


The hand-written justification of Hans Guhr about his future career choice.

He wrote: "... Den Wunsch, einmal im Reichsheer meinen Platz auszufüllen habe ich schon vor Jahr gehabt. Ich sehe in diesem Beruf die lohnende Aufgabe, an entscheidender Stelle mich für das Vaterland einsetzen zu können. Auch bleibt man für mit der Jugend in Verbindung und dadurch kann - meiner Meinung nach - dieser Beruf nicht zur starren Form werden, sondern er muss lebendig und sein...

Witch translate to: "... The desire to fill in the imperial army once I've had my place years ago. I see in this profession a rewarding job, at a critical point for me to be able to help my country. Also, it remains in connection with the youth and thereby - in my opinion - not the profession to be rigid form, but he must be alive and...“

After completing high school in 1936, he did the reglamentary service in the RAD (German National Labor Service) for two years, and after joined the army, becoming part of the 294th Inf. Div. (Gren. Rgt. 513).


Finally, the school report from Dresden, which belonged to Hans Guhr as a young student. (1936).








2. War period: 1939 - 1945

In the begging, Hans Division, the 294th, only took part in the final stages of the French campaign (occupation duty in France for the rest of 1940 and early 1941), and later engage actively in the Balkan’s campaign.
In the first stages of operation Barbarossa, the Division (which formed part of the 6th Army) took the spearhead of Army Group South, leading the battle deep into soviet soil and achieving very important victories. At this point, Friedrich Paulus was in formal command.
Hans would later join the 513th Grenadier Regiment, which was created on October 15th 1942 by the renaming of the 513 Infantry Regiment and the 294th Infantry Division assumed. On November 2th 1943, the II and III. Battalion disbanded. The regiment was destroyed in August 1944 in the southern Ukraine.

The 294th Division had the following commanders:
• 15-Feb-1940 22-Mar-1942 Generalleutnant Otto Gabcke
• 23-Mar-1942 15-May-1942 Generalleutnant Ferdinand Neuling
• 15-May-1942 24-Dec-1943 Generalleutnant Johannes Block
• 24-Dec-1943 26-Aug-1944 Generalmajor Werner von Eichstädt


Major Hans Guhr, with a photo and the section in his Soldbuch were it displays the entry for the Ritterkreuz.


A young Hans Guhr is seen here, on two photos of his personal album. He holds the rank of Leutnant.


Another set of photos of young soldier Guhr as an adjutant during his stay in Russia.

His promotion record, as shown in his soldbuch, states the following:
Oberleutnant - 12/01/1941
Hauptmann - 02.01.1944
Major - 01/01/1945


Hans Guhr’s soldbuch, showing the entries of promotion, finally reaching the rank of Major, in 1945.

3. Ritterkreuzträger– September 10th 1942
The details of Hans Guhr brave action, witch finally got him the Knight’s Cross, consisted in the following:

Begründung für die Verleihung des Ritterkreuzes
…Während des Angriffs zweier Bataillone des Regiments im Don-Bogen, stellte der zur Verbindungsaufnahme in die vorderste Linie entsandte Oberleutnant Guhr fest, dass der Feind neue Kräfte auf eine das Gelände weithin beherrschende Höhe heranführte. In richtiger Beurteilung der Lage erkannte er, dass nur ein sofortiges und entschlossenes Zupacken einen späteren verlustreichen Angriff auf die Höhe ersparen würde. Er entschloss sich deshalb selbständig, ohne die Unterstützung der Artillerie und anderer schwerer Waffen abzuwarten, die Höhenstellungen des Feindes anzugreifen. Mit nur wenigen, im Augenblick in seiner Nähe befindlichen Infanteristen brach er, persönlich im Kübelwagen vorausfahrend und mit der Maschinenpistole feuernd, in den Feind ein und vernichtete im schweren Kampf den zahlen mässig erheblich überlegenen Gegner. Nach Überwindung des Feindwiderstandes wurden die gut ausgebauten Stellungen auf der Höhe besetzt, mehr als 200 Gefangene eingebracht, sowie die gesamte Waffenausstattung eines feindlichen Bataillons erbeutet. Auch der Gegner hatte jedoch die entscheidende Bedeutung der Höhe für die weitere Kampfführung erkannt. Vier Tage lang versuchte er mit neu herangeführten Kräften seine verloren gegangenen Stellungen wieder zurückzuerobern; er wurde aber jedes Mal erfolgreich zurück geschlagen und verlor weitere zahlreiche Gefangene sowie Kriegsgerät. Der kühne Angriff des Oberleutnant Guhr an der Spitze von nur wenigen Infanteristen hatte dem Regiment einen schweren Angriff erspart…

Witch, translates to:
Justification for the award of the Knight's Cross

“…During the attack, two battalions of the regiment in the Don bend, made the connection to the inclusion in the forefront sent Lieutenant Guhr determined that the new enemy forces approached the area led to a widely dominant height. In the correct assessment of the situation, he realized that only an immediate and decisive grab would save a later costly attack on the air. He decided independently, without waiting for the support of artillery and other heavy weapons to attack the height of the enemy. With just a few, at the moment in his nearby infantry, he broke himself in his jeep driving and firing ahead with the machine gun into the enemy and destroyed in heavy fighting to pay comparatively much superior opponent. After overcoming enemy resistance, the well-fortified positions were occupied at the height, introduced more than 200 prisoners, and captured all the weaponry of an enemy battalion. The enemy had, however, the crucial importance of the amount recognized for further warfare. For four days he tried with newly brought his forces to regain lost positions again, but was beaten back successfully every time and lost many prisoners, and other military equipment. The bold attack by the Lieutenant Guhr at the top of a few foot soldiers of the regiment had spared a severe attack…




A newspaper of 1942, from the city of Dresden, informing the award to Hans Guhr.


Hans Guhr after his award ceremony, alongside two other RK’s winner: left Georg Rietscher, NCO of 14th InfRgt 513, later awarded KC with Oakleaves and Johannes Block, just promoted from Oberst to General and commander of the 294th InfDiv. He was awarded the Oakleaves on November 22th 1943.


Oberleutnant Hans Guhr, on the field. (1942).


Hans Guhr during maneuvers with other Knight’s cross soldiers.


In Zaithain, Hans met his future wife, Ilse Lemmerzahl. She was working during her Pflichtjahr in the family of Oberst Ramcke during 1940.


This photo shows Major Hans Guhr during his weeding, wearing a full dress uniform and all his medals and decorations. His military awards are listed as:

• Use commemorative medal v. Austria 03/13/1938
• E.K. Class II v. 24.10.1939 (23rd birthday)
• E.K. Class I. v. 26.09.1941
• Wound Badge in Black v. 05.23.1942
• Infantry Assault Badge in Silver v. 06.13.1942
• Royal Bulgarian Order of Bravery IV Class, 2nd Class v. 06.30.1942
• Eastern Front Medal v. 8.1.1942
• Close Combat Badge (Nahkampfspange) in bronce.
• Long Service award medal.
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, awarded on 10.09.1942 and entered in the pay book on 19/09/1942.


A page of Hans Guhr’s soldbuch. On the right, some of his medals.

All decorations awarded are signed (in pencil) by Oberst Theodore Pilling with the stamp of the IR 513. (Oberst Pilling was awarded the DKiG on 20/08/1943)


The most important page of the Soldbuch: the entry of the Ritterkreuz, awarded 10.09.1942, but written here on 19.09.1942.

Again, the signature of Oberst Pillipi can be seen below. The RK was without a doubt one of the most important decorations of the Wehrmacht during WWII. Being decorated was truly a moment of significant importance in the life of the soldier who got it, receiving the respect of his comrades and superiors
In today's German army the term Ritterkreuz-Auftrag ("Knight's Cross Mission") refers to a duty that is extremely aggravating, or a no-win situation.

Major Guhr endured many wounds during his time on the Eastern Front, and here are his soldbuch entries, with the dates and hospital checks. The first column is for the hospital’s name and location, the next set of columns is for the day, month and year admitted to the hospital. Krankheit is for the illness or injury.



From the hospital report, we can translate the following wounds:
• Shrapnel: Underarm,
• Shrapnel: Upper arm,
• Shrapnel: Knee joint,
• Grades of frostbite on both feet, Volhynia fever, Malaria, Myokardschaden (Myocardial) problems.

(Part 4 to continue).
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:29 PM   #2
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4. Paper history and official records from the Army (War period).

During WWII, Hans Guhr (as many other German officers) had many orders issued to him in paper. He was able to keep many reports, notifications, etc. Here I’ll display some of them:

December 29th, 1939

This notification was made to Leutnant Guhr, regarding a confinement to quarters for 3 days, involving some problematic encounters with a soldier refusing to obey orders from a superior. Signed by Werner von Eichstedt (RKT), Lieutenant Colonel and battalion commander of II Battalion, IR52. (Eichsted was killed on 26.08.1944 in Kishinev, Moldova).

November 17th, 1940

Orders issued to Lt. Guhr, I.R.513, 294th regarding his transfer.

War diary (19.9.40 – 30.11.40)

Management's war diary (KTB), the 294th Infantry Division during the period from 09/19/40 to 11/30/40 by Lt. Guhr.

August 31th, 1942.

"The division reported Oberleutnant Guhr as a substitute teacher for the comp-driver-training course Oberlt (A) G, clock Regt. I.R.513 adj. “. In other words, Hans Guhr designation as a teacher of a war course.


Abwehrschlacht XXVII. Armeekorps – Defense battle report.


Oberst i.G. Staats came back from war as a Russian POW on the 16th January 1956, which is mentioned in the diary of Hans Guhr. O i.G. Staats signed the RD.A in Hans solduch page 3.











January 13th 1943.

High Command order for exploring, regarding the 294.Inf Div. (Page 1)


High Command order for exploring, regarding the 294.Inf Div. (Page 2)

5. The photo album of Major Hans Guhr.
The complete set of photos from Hans Guhr war album.

























(Part 6 to continue)

Last edited by Sepp45; 07-22-2012 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:29 PM   #3
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6. Postwar period (1945 – 1969)
Major Hans Guhr ended the war near of Munich, captured by U.S. forces and released some months later in 1945 from the prison camp he was held in. At the final days of 1945, just after the end of the conflict in Europe, he started to write some lines about life and war; thoughts of a man committed to democracy and peace in the years to come. Thoughts mostly about:

• Nürnberger Prozess as of 11/26/45 (Trials at Nürnberg)
• Rückkehr deutscher Kriegsgefangener aus Russland as of 11/27/45 (German war prisioners held in the Soviet Union)
• Sozialdemokratische Versammlung zu Lauenstein as of 12/04/45 (political meetings)
• In der russischen Zone as of 12/04/45 (In the Russian zone)
• " In unseren Kreisen..." as of 12/06/45.
• And many more interesting observations of that time

To become an official reporter of a newspaper in Wiesbaden, he wrote a letter of application and sent a curriculum vitae - four pages and handwritten. He tried to become an interpretor in the office of the prison of Hameln and worked as an " artist", painting small pictures, colored by his wife.

In 1946 he started his career as a journalist in Hanover (British zone of occupation), and was one of the first reporters of the NWDR (existing as of today) working together with the famous Werner Höfer in the building of the Anzeiger Hochhaus in Hanover. His small office was next to Augstein and Becker, the editors of the Spiegel magazine. His supervisor was Bill Acrill, the man who was responsible for the British Governement to check the "right wording"; later he became the editor of the Daily and Sunday Express in England.

Hans also worked a short time in Berlin for the RIAS in the American Sector.


The paper shown above it just one page of nearly 31 hand written reports and thoughts of Hans Guhr. (1945)

This reflex an important part of history, since we can see the change of mentality of an entire country, devasted by war and now trying to put the pieces together one more time.


Working in the RIAS, February 1948.


Credentials and one of the drawings he made after the war.


Due to his wounds received during the war, he required a special “war veteran” disable card.

This card was issued to Hans Guhr in 1947 and had a valid use until the end of 1950, but it was extended to 1952.


Back side of the card. The foto shows him smoking one.

The end of Nazism in Germany brought a necessity for the allied forces occupying the country: they needed to eliminate any remains of the former regime, so they elaborate a complete questionnaire for the whole population of the three western parts of the occupied Germany. Hans Guhr also took it:


This is Hans Guhr “denazification questionnaire", page 1. Dated 02/05/1946.







As can be seen, the questionnaire is made in both German and English, in the zone of France, it was translated in french too, same in Elsass - Lothringen.



A refugee card (nº 28749) issued to Hans Guhr: business office Elze (near Hanover) dated 1946; entry: disinfected on 01/23/46. British zone

Hans began a job in the journalism business, so in 1948 he was credited for the press:




The photos above are from his Press ID “Northwest German Journalists Association”, No. 2113, Hanover. Dated 14/09/1948 and stamped by the Municipal Population Office. Also stamped by the police chief SK-Hanover, dated 10/30/48 and from the railway police and the post office.




Another press pass, issued by the US administration in Bavaria, dated 1948.


As said earlier, after WWII ended, Hans Guhr initiated a career as a certified news journalist. This would lead later to a great chance to serve his country once more, now under the wing of Dr. Konrad Adenauer (01.05.1876 – 5.19.1967), Germany’s first Chancellor. As Chancellor of Germany from 1949 to 1963, he led his country from the ruins of World War II to a powerful and prosperous nation that made close relations with the old enemies France, Great Britain and the United States.

Adenauer, dubbed "Der Alte" ("the old one") was deeply committed to a Western-oriented foreign policy and restoring the position of West Germany on the world stage. He worked to restore the West German economy from the destruction in World War II to a central position in Europe, rebuilt its army and came to terms with France and made his nation a member of NATO and a firm ally of the United States.

Here I present some photos of two photo albums (over 130 images) during the election campaign of Dr. Konrad Adenauer, September 26th 1953. Many close-ups of Hans Guhr working in the name of the responsible Secretary of State Dr. Lenz.


Dr. Adenauer, sitting and Hans Guhr behind him; from left to right: Kurt Georg Kiesinger, German chancellor from 1966 to1969, unknown person; Dr. Globke,the man with the most political influence;Hans Guhr; Dr.Adenauer sitting and on the right Staatssekretär Dr. Lenz




"Der Alte"


Certification of Hans Guhr and his team for Dr. Adenauer's press office.


Dr. Adenauer's campaign schedule.


During the campaign.


Another set of photos (above) with Hans Guhr and Dr. Adenauer `s birthday party. (1954)


Hans Guhr interviewing Robert Schumann, the Minister of Foreign Affaires of France, 23.May 1952. On the right the Ambassador of France in Bonn.


Hans Guhr, during a discussion with young people: "...Do the young people want to become soldiers again?". Cologne 04.11.1954 ( in front Graf Baudissin, at that time colonel and responsible for the rebuilding of the German Armed Foreces).


A newspaper record, dated 22.04.1955, about a visit of German journalist (Hans Guhr in the picture) to a British army barracks (The Sulfulk Regiment).


Another photo of the same trip, now on a R.A.F. base. April 1955. The named members of the trip are all wellknown at that time and later on.


Another newspaper cut, dated 20.05.1955, with the words of Hans Guhr about the education of British troops.

(Part 7 to continue)
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:09 PM   #4
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7. Back to the roots: joining the Bundeswehr

In 1954, Hans Guhr joined the Bundeswehr (West Germany Armed forces) and started his military career first in the staff of Amt Blank, later as a member of the PANDA Division in SHAPE (France), reaching the rank of Oberstleutnant im Generalstab and retiring in 1966.

Some of the documents are presented on the following pages:


Military contract for joining the Armed Forces, date 05/04/1954.




Promotion to Major, dated 31/01/1956.






This document (one of ten) shows the structure and the heads working to start the new Bundeswehr. Hans Guhr was one of the candidates to become the first Btl Kdr of the Andernach battalion.


Certificate to Lt. Col. Hans Guhr, for services with the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers (SHAPE/ Fontainebleau), from March 1957 to April 1960. LTC Michael Guhr, his son did his tour of duty in SHAPE/Mons from June 2003 to December 2006, nearly in the same division. His father international, his son national for the National Military Representative, but both responsible for manpower and personnel.


June, 1960. A meeting with the bishop of Stuttgart.


A parking place problem in SHAPE and a petition of Hans Guhr, February 25th 1960 to "solve" it.


Meeting at the SHAPE HQ, 29/01/1963.





The series of photos above are from a visit of French General Charles DeGaulle, in 1961. The reason was because of German-French transport exercise.

A farewell meeting between Hans Guhr and General Lechler, in 1963.


Hans Guhr “Deutsches Sportabzeichen”, or Sport badge award document, dated 1963.



Hans Guhr “Deutsches Sportabzeichen”, or Sport badge award document, dated 1963. (II)


A letter received from Generalleutnant Wolf Graf von Baudissin, January 6th 1964. Graf von Baudissin also served in WWII, as a Hauptmann and taken prisoner in 1941.


Same letter, page 2.


Lt. Col. Hans Guhr with the SHAPE committee, in France:


The PANDA Division 1957 (Manpower Branch of Personnel).


In the middle the SACEUR, General Norsted.


The photos above where taken at the doors of the SHAPE HQ, Fontainebleau, France.



An excellent report (dated 1959) about the capacities as an officer of Hans Guhr (Page 1)


An excellent report (dated 1959) about the capacities as an officer of Hans Guhr (Page 2)


Two pictures taken during maneuvers with the Panzer Granadier Brigade 5.


One of the last photos of Lt. Col. Hans Guhr, taken in 1965 with general Drews during an exercise in Wolfhagen, Hessen.


The jacked of Lt. Col. Guhr, with the awards he proudly earned during WWII. At the top, the ribbon of the Ritterkreuz.


The 1957 edition of the RK, as worn by Hans Guhr, among other personal items.

The RK awarded to Hans Guhr, as an Oberleutnant at the time, in 1942.





8. The legacy of Hans Guhr

Lt. Col. Hans Herbert Guhr died on February 10th 1969, leaving behind a wonderful family; his son chose to follow his father’s steps in the Armed Forces of Germany, to defend flag and country. Michael Guhr served as a Panzergrenadier and reached the rank of LTC and commander of an anti tank battalion in the German army. He finished in 2006 in the same international staff, SHAPE/MONS, where his father started again his military career.

This work couldn’t have been possible without the rewarding help of Michael, who provided all the photos, history and stories of his father.
We hope to be able to leave for the future a humble legacy of a great man, who fought many fronts in his life and always had Germany’s honour on his mind and heart.


Oberstleutnant Michael Guhr, wearing his fathers Schulterklappen (shoulder-straps)


United by blood and profession: father 1942, 26 years old and son 1969, 21 years old.


Finally… let’s share something Hans Guhr had in mind and left for the future:




Agustín Vázquez, Santa Fe (Argentina).
15.07.2012.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:15 PM   #5
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For any extra info on Hans Guhr's division, the 294th, check this interesting website: http://www.294id.de/html/das_buch_zur_294_i_d_.html

I hope you liked this research

Regards,
Sepp.
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wish
Old 07-23-2012, 12:32 PM   #6
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He wrote his desire was to become an officer in the Reichsheer, the term for the army during the Weimar Republic, but not the Imperial army as this no longer existed after World War One.
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:46 PM   #7
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Fantastic information about this brave officer! And what a super KC
Best
Petrus
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„Als Beispiel höchster persönlicher Einsatzbereitschaft von seinen Soldaten vergöttert“
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
Fantastic information about this brave officer! And what a super KC
Best
Petrus
Thanks for the words Petrus, glad you like it
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Old 07-28-2012, 07:23 AM   #9
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Incredible! Thanks for sharing this complete, amazing Nachlass !
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HouweTrouwe View Post
Incredible! Thanks for sharing this complete, amazing Nachlass !
Thanks Houwe! Indeed an amazing amount of information of one soldier!

Regards,
Sepp.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:53 AM   #11
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Sepp that was great to read. Thanks for doing all this hard work, and thanks to the family for the information they shared. Great stuff.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:06 PM   #12
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awesome work sepp

of great historical value as well

cheers!
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:38 PM   #13
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"son chose to follow his father’s steps in the Armed Forces of Germany, to defend flag and country."


yes.lets hope not the old flag.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:23 AM   #14
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Hey Sepp, I think Todd posted a shot of this man in the General photos thread, post 219

He's second from the right (second row).

http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...nerals&page=15
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony T-S View Post
Sepp that was great to read. Thanks for doing all this hard work, and thanks to the family for the information they shared. Great stuff.
Thanks Tony!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNZ View Post
awesome work sepp

of great historical value as well

cheers!
Glad you enjoyed it Dave!

Quote:
Originally Posted by besslein View Post
"son chose to follow his father’s steps in the Armed Forces of Germany, to defend flag and country."


yes.lets hope not the old flag.
Irrelevant comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony T-S View Post
Hey Sepp, I think Todd posted a shot of this man in the General photos thread, post 219

He's second from the right (second row).

http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...nerals&page=15
Excellent eye Tony , yes, it's Major Guhr indeed! Thanks!
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