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The eyewitness from hell! A tale from Stalingrad Vol II

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    #31
    Very impressive. Great work you do. Couldn’t stop reading at all.
    The Battle of Stalingrad has always intrigued me.
    very nicely done the day by day description and the maps/photos.

    Please continue

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      #32

      23rd September 1942
      They were still at Mamayev Kurgan, however it was calm after the horrible night. Only indirect fire and a lot of sniper acticity. The 26 PGR would be relieved during the night by the sisterregiment 21 PGR.

      Karl wrote:
      “After the large attack by the Russians, we went to our bunkers and slept until noon. During the day it’s very quiet, the “Organs” and mortars shoots from time to time. The Stukas bombed the Russian positions when they attacked again. According to the prisoners, the Russians are gathering behind their lines for a new night attack, which is their specialty. But he is still being bombed by us.”


      24th September 1942
      The 26th PGR had to be withdrawn after the fierce fighting on Mamayev Kurgan. The withdrawal to rest begun on 23.September, and was fullfilled the next day replaced by the 21st PGR. They would rest for a few days by the Gumrak airport. However, the rest of the Division was still engaged in heavy fighting for the the dominace of the Hill.

      Karl wrote:
      On 24th September we were replaced by the 21. Schützen-Regiment (their Division) at 1800. We drove 25 km backwards in peace. We can finally sleep peacefully again after a long time.Ttoday we washed and shaved properly. Equipment and guns are overhauled and cleaned. You feel reborn. A small schnapps (drink) was served, in the evening. Endless columns of infantry passed from the 100 Infantry Division*. When will the big offensive end and when will Stalingrad, the city of movement, fall?”
      *He means the 100th Jäger Division.


      25th September 1942
      The day passed by, the Division was relieved by the 100th Jäger Division. A few men were wounded by artillery in Karl’s company/platoon. There isn’t much information to be found about Halves and Söffke. However, it’s quite certain Söffke perished in Stalingrad and there’s a chance that Halves survived Stalingrad but met his fate later in the war.

      Karl wrote:
      ”A day of rest after a long time. We were relieved the 24th. The day was ruled by light Artillery activity. Unteroffizier Halves and Söffker were wounded, but lightly.”



      26th September 1942
      The day was rest for 26 PGR and the rest of the Division. However, the units received new order’s to prepare for. The two Kampfgruppen Winterfeld and Edelsheim were to take together Hill 107,5 on the western edge of Stalingrad in the coming days.

      Karl wrote:
      ”Day of rest! Field worship of the 1st Detatchment. At the afternoon I wrote letters to Ursel and my parents.”


      27th September 1942
      The Division begun it’s thrust towards hill 107,5. Because Kampfgruppe Edelsheim had a very narrow sector of attack, some units were left out of the attack, including Karl’s unit. However the Division managed to gain a foothold of Hill 107,5 during the day. On the third day of rest the gun was cleaned. Most likely they poured oil in the gun a day or two earlier and let it dissolve dirt over a night or two. This is a common thing to do if you wish to dissolve as much corrosive dirt as possible in field conditions. Gunpowder contains a lot of sulphuric acid which is corrosive to metal.

      Karl wrote:
      ”Day of rest! Vehicle maintance and cleaning of the Guns.
      Attached Files
      .



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



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        #33
        I am really enjoying reading this and am very much looking forward to reading his diary after the Kessel has been shut and the 6.Armee is encircled. Nice presentation throughout.

        To be honest, I am a little suprised that there doesn't seem to be more interest shown on it.

        Regards Richard.
        Always looking for Luftwaffe Kampfflieger related document groups. In particular anything to Kampfgeschwader 2.

        Comment


          #34
          28th September 1942
          The 24th Panzer Division would continue its attack north-east towards the workers settlements. The attack went off at 0630 when the bombardement of the Luftwaffe ceased. The fighting of that day was concentrated in the small wooden huts and gardens of the workers settlements. Around noon, the Panzergrenadiers reached the small gully on the path, which marked half way of the daily objective. By the evening they reached the edge of a gully further north, the daily objective. Karl was still having a well deserved rest at the rear.

          Karl wrote:
          ”Day of rest! The first Detatchment made their way to the daily objective. They also took a total of 800 prisoners.”


          29th September 1942
          The Division was now defending the gardens and huts in the territory they captured the previous day. The Soveits attacked from the direction of the Volga towards them, in order to recapture the lost settlements. The attack was repulsed after the Divisions Panzers came to aid. The weather was getting colder and a storm had emerged during the day.

          Karl wrote:
          ”1st and 2nd Detatchement are in combat. Wachtmeister Glenz* has fallen and so has two others from the Panzerjäger platoon.”

          *Wachtmeister Glenz was born. 3rd Dec. 1914.


          30th September 1942
          The Division remained on defensive positions throughout the stormy day and repulsed some of the attacks directed towards them. The Division received orders to start preparing for an attack towards towards the Barrikady factory.

          Karl wrote:
          ”Day of rest! A storm sweeps through the steppe since 29.9. You can hardly open your eyes. I’ve slept and read all day.”
          October 1942: ”The eternal night begins”



          1st October 1942
          Uffz. Greve received, Hinrich and Gleichauf (Karl’s squad member) received the Iron Cross 2.Class for their efforts in Stalingrad. Uffz. Greve’s fortune was short lived as he was killed the next day. Gleichauf was wounded in his arm 4 days later. Rudolf Hinrich (b. 11th Nov. 1907) perished 23rd January 1943 in Stalingrad.
          The Division remained in position and now Karl was back on the frontline. The Division repulsed Soviets attcks throughout the day.

          Karl wrote:
          ”At night we were ordered forward through a messenger at 0130. We went to the city, and went to positions between burnt houses. At the day, mortars, artillery and ”Organs” fired at us. The Russians are 50 meters away from our B-positions. There’s not a single house standing here. The Russians are in fortified bunkers dug into the earth. At 1900 the russian fighters step in. A deserted night. (Unteroffizier Greve, Gleichauf and Hinrich received the Iron Cross 2.Class.)"


          2nd October 1942
          The Division repelled several reconnaissance probes during the day, Ketelesen’s squad received their own part of it. During the day the Stukas bombed again across the Volga, incidentially they almost managed to kill the Soviet Genral Chuikov, by hitting an oil reservoir situated above his command post. The black smoke of the burning oil served for days to come as an orientation point for the Germans. However the Russians managed to hit back on Ketelsen’s platoon.

          Karl wrote:
          ”In the morning the Russians charged us again, but were beaten back after half an hour. The Stukas bombed the whole day. Despite this the Russians take no step back. Our Artillery shoot the whole day. On and on, the Russians shoot with their mortars and ”Organs”. About 1700, one of our Guns was directly hit by a rocket from the ”organs.
          • Unteroffizier Greve, dead.
          • Gefreiter Thimm, dead.
          • Gefreiter Huck, wounded
          • Gefreiter Schimdt wounded.
          We were heavily bombarded through the night. My gun has got a flat tire. It was a black day for the light Infantry support Gun platoon.”


          Gefreiter Richard Karl Thimm (born. 26th Marsch 1920) was only 22 at the time of his death. He fell by a direct hit from a rocket to the gun he was manning. With him fell Unteroffizier Greve who got just the day before the EK2. The other two wounded perished later in Stalingrad in December 1942.


          3rd October 1942
          The 24th PD launched the planned attack. The main parts of Gruppe Edelsheim set off after a brief barrage at 1400 and the Pz.Grenadiers and tanks managed to work their way through the smashed streets to the western edge of the Skulpturny park. They pushed forwards creeping in the ruins and pushed towards the Schnellhefter block, but didn’t manage to take it after hard hand to hand fighting.

          Karl wrote:
          ”The Russians begun to shoot us with his ”Organs” about 0400. Our Stukas and Fighters bombed in constant action. He (the Soviets) striked the city area with his mortars. To our left the Kradschützen attacked with the support of tanks. They reached their goal at about 0600 and took some prisoners. Our B-positions goes forth. At night, we were bombed nearby our guns. A third of the city is aflame.”


          4th October 1942
          The day begun again with the bombardment by the Luftwaffe that would follow up with the assault. When they attacked, only after a few hundred meters the attackers got under fire from mortars, anti-tank grenades and the pearls of the machineguns. The German observers quickly put the russians under heavy artillery fire. Under the fire, the Russians couldn’t see the advance of the Germans and the Germans managed to break into the Stadion and the Schnellhefter block, where the buildings were 6 stories tall and crawling with snipers. The panzergrenadiers begun to clear the Schnellhefter house by house, where after the division had to dig in. They were closing in towards the Barrikady Gun factory.

          Karl wrote:
          Around 0600 we fire the first shot again. Our Stukas are constantly bombing. An attack is supposed to happen this morning, but when? The Russian shoots with his “Organs” again, already at 0400. Around 0700 our riflemen attacked, unwith suppressive fire from us. We are making good so progress that we can change positions around 1700. Now the position has been pendled, where we build a bunker with Uffz. Nogens. At night, quite a flying activity.

          Karl mentions, after changing positions he built a Bunker with Unteroffizier Nogens. Willi Nogens was a year older than Karl, he however didn’t make it out from Stalingrad and perished in January 1943.



          5th October 1942
          The Division continued to reinforce the defences by reinforcing bunkers and demolishing rubble and buildings in order to clear the line of fire. Kampfgruppe Edelsheim had dug in, in front of the Schnellhefter block. Extra attention was put in to indirect fire: any officer could request fire support by firing a red flare.
          The squad member Gleichauf is wounded, who received his EK2 just days previously.

          Karl wrote:
          The noise starts again at 0400.. He now uses all his weapons. Only during the day does he not come with the planes. In the morning we let our guns do the talking. He probably discovered our positions, because he put a violent firing over us. So bad that we have to go into our holes. We can’t hear anything at all. Gefreiter Gleichauf, is wounded on the surface of the right hand. At night he uses his planes violently over us.”


          Pictures attached: 1) Updated map. 2) A infantry support gun team in action, Stalingrad. 3) The famous picture taken at the Schnellhefter block. 4) A machine gun team in positions, most likely by the workers settlements. 5) Picture of Uffz. Nogens from the DRK. 6) a statement of Wachtmeister Glenz's death.


          stalingrad map KETELSEN.jpg
          Attached Files
          .



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



          Comment


            #35
            I love this thread.Reads better than most books. J

            Comment


              #36
              Originally posted by stgeorge64 View Post
              I am really enjoying reading this and am very much looking forward to reading his diary after the Kessel has been shut and the 6.Armee is encircled. Nice presentation throughout.

              To be honest, I am a little suprised that there doesn't seem to be more interest shown on it.

              Regards Richard.
              Thank you Richard,
              There are indeed some entries from November from the time they were encircled, a scene described quite similiar like the one from the movie Stalingrad. He spent most of December in the field hospital before he was evacuated from Stalingrad, which gives another insight of the battle.

              Originally posted by jacquesf View Post
              I love this thread.Reads better than most books. J
              Thank you Jacques!
              .



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



              Comment

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