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The eyewitness from hell! A tale from Stalingrad Vol II

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    #16
    Daniel,
    Thank you very much for posting this!! It's very interesting to read his account as a direct participant!
    We'll all look forward to your next chapter!

    John

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      #17
      Very well-presented thread! Thank you for taking the time to share Karl Ketelsen’s story.

      Michael

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        #18
        I'm extremley greatful for the comments, it's always nice to share a project with fellow enthusiasts when the work is appreciated. This is so far the largest project I've made, the translations alone from German to English are 53 pages of A4. The only thing causing delay, is the gathering of the "large picture" to accompany the diary's daily events, that bring the words written by Karl in to context. At the pace I'm currently able to publish Karl's experiences accompanied with research, I've made calculations I'll be done in June 2021. However that date might (and will) change depending on how much I'll be chained into duties and work on the weekends.

        You'll have something to enjoy on the weekends for some time
        Once again, thanks to all who commented now and earlier, it keeps me motivated to produce good content!
        .



        Looking for a tunic removed SS-rune tab and tunic removed Odal-rune tab.



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          #19
          A bit shorter posting this weekend, due to shortage of time.

          9th September 1942

          The attack went on, the army begun to push forward on the flanks to straighten the line. In the south, Pestshanka was in flames, but was taken around 1115 hours. Meanwhile the 24th PD repulsed several battalion and regiment sized attacks, from the south in direction towards the leather factory. The Division tried, and managed to strengthen the defences in the south. Just in time to repulse the larger attack from the Soviets in the evening. In the evening the Division received orders, to prepare to clear out the area south of the Tsaritza gully.

          Karl wrote:
          The attack continues. Here you can see 20, yes 40 Stukas looking over us again, that's how it goes all day. Even so, that doesn’t soften up the Russians. It is a tough struggle for Stalingrad. If you stay at the height, you can see Stalingrad. The Russian artillery is leveling us.”

          10th September 1942
          A quiet night. The Armeekorps that the 24th PD belonged to, managed to push a forward elements south of the city until the Volga. The 24th PD itself was still tied up in defence. Prisoners revealed that the Soviets had suffered extremley high casualties in front of the Germans the previous days.

          Karl wrote:
          Our Squadron stay in the same position. Tanks break through into the city. The bridge, over the Volga has been destroyed by the Stukas. The Stukas are constantly bombing. Our infantry begins to advance.”
          .



          Looking for a tunic removed SS-rune tab and tunic removed Odal-rune tab.



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            #20
            Fantastic history. Keep up the excellent work. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this history.
            Todd
            Collector of German Press Photos and Waffenrocks

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              #21
              I have a great interest in The Battle for Stalingrad where 'irresistible force met immovable object" with such terrifying results so this thread is a harrowing but compelling treat to read.
              Thank you so much for all your hard work and sharing this wonderful account with us.
              Marked EKIIs still needed - Mission accomplished !

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                #22
                11th September 1942
                The Division remained in defence. They were waiting for their Panzer’s to return, as they had been loaned to the the 14th PD. Meanwhile, preparations were made for continuing the attack in case the 14th PD and the 29th ID made progress the following day.

                Karl wrote:
                Wage calls to the 1st Infantry Gun Platoon. The “Stalinorgans” got us quite well. Heavy artillery barrage. One can see the Volga very well from here. He fires his “Organs” at us the whole night.”


                12th September 1942
                The Soviet’s were firing harassing fire towards the Germans at night and the morning. In the morning the neighbouring PGR 21 attack from the leather factory in direction towards Stalingrad. They faced heavy resistance as the Soviet’s kept rising from the ruins of the destroyed suburbs. Despite the heavy resistance that had to be dealt with hand to hand fighting, they managed to make small progress.

                Karl wrote:
                “In the morning we were awakened by the “Stalinorgans” and the artillery. He puts on a real proper barrage. We stay in our foxholes. At our right, the 14th Panzer Division is attacking. He started to fire at the evening and fired through the night at us with his rocketlaunchers.”


                13th September 1942
                The night was full with aerial activity and shelling. Only small progress was made during the day.

                Karl wrote:
                Sunday, at 4 o'clock we woke up to “Organ” fire. By 0800, 40 grenades have been fired per gun. The Russians withdraw to the city. The ring around the Wolga is getting tighter. The Russian AA-guns are still firing desperatley. The infantry is slowly gaining ground. The infantry has reached the edge of the city.”


                14th September 1942
                On september 14th 1942, General von Lenski took command over the Division and praised them in his first Tagesbefehl. Orders to attack had finally come, Stalingrad would be breached the following day, the mission would be to penetrate enemy defences and capture the southern railway station. Of the two Kampfgruppen formed in the Division, the PGR 26 was assigned to Kampfgruppe Edelsheim.

                Karl wrote:
                Stalingrad burns more and more. In the morning, 40-50 Stukas strike the city. The 71st Infantry Division is in over the railway line. Hard resistance - street fighting. We fired until the evening 70 rounds per gun. The “Organs” go on all day. Unteroffizier Halves, was buried alive in his foxhole from the debris (Probably made it out alive). Now lying in the same hole for six days. Can easily reach Stalingrad with our guns from here. The days are damn long, starting from 0330 to and ending 2000. His mortars shoot around.”
                .



                Looking for a tunic removed SS-rune tab and tunic removed Odal-rune tab.



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                  #23
                  I love these true stories ,thanks for taking the time to write them,John.

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                    #24
                    Thanks Kevin, Yeoman and Todd for the comments, much appreciated
                    Let's go back to 14th September for a moment.
                    Imagine how it feels to be buried alive, by the geysir of earth that's plunged up sky high from the detonation of the shell. The explosion collapses the walls of your foxhole, and the only hope you've got left is your comrades. The same comrades who have their heads deep down in their foxholes. You hope that they notice your need for help as you can't free yourself from the weight of the earth. Oxygen is running low... They pull you out just in time, risking their own lives at the same time.
                    .



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