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Soldbuch to Feldwebel Erich Gehrmann, ID 44 and GR 1077

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    Soldbuch to Feldwebel Erich Gehrmann, ID 44 and GR 1077

    • Soldbuch to Feldwebel Erich Gehrmann, IR 44 and GR 1077
    • Born on 5th May 1916 in Lyck (Luks) in East Prussia, Germany. This town is now known as Elk and is in modern day Poland. Gehrmann was a protestant and he worked as a carpenter before enlistment in the German Army. Gehrmann married Else and they lived in Lyck. Gehrmann was 170cm tall, of strong build with blond hair and blue eyes.
    • Gehrmann enlisted on the 14th August 1939, just as the storm clouds were gathering across Europe. He joined the 44th Infantry Regiment, 11 Infantry Division and was assigned to the ‘Staff’. The Division fought in the Polish campaign in September 1939, but I am not sure if Gehrmann would have taken part in this campaign as his Soldbuch was only opened in August 1939 and he may not have finished his basic training.
    • In January 1940, the Division was subordinated to the 6th Army. At the beginning of the Western Campaign, the division of the 6th Army followed as a reserve to the Lille area. During the second part of the Western Campaign, the Battle of France, the division marched to Amiens and reached the Seine at Les Andelys on 14 June. From here, the division went over to chase the defeated opponent and advanced over Dreux to the Loire. At Samur, the Loire was crossed and the division marched into the Thouars area until the armistice. At the end of the French campaign, the Division became a occupying force in the area of Biarritz and St. Jean-de-Luz. In March 1941, the division returned to its garrison in East Prussia.
    • From 22 June 1941, the division took part in the Russian campaign. Via Schaulen and Birsen, the division advanced to Friedrichstadt, where it crossed the Duna. Until mid-July 1941, the division between Porchow and Dno advanced to the Mschaga, where the first defensive battles took place. It was during August 1941, that Gehrmann was was awarded the Infantry Assault badge and the EKII. The division then advanced to Novgorod on Lake Illmen, then along the Volhov to Volkhov and until the end of the year in the area west of Kirischi. During the following 18 months, the division fought at The Volkhov and Lake Ladoga and participated in all the "Ladoga battles". Gehrmann was wounded in June 1942, and was awarded the wound badge in Black, but appears not to have needed hospital treatment.
    • Gehrmann was promoted to Feldwebel on 1st September 1943 and suffered his second combat wound on 8th September 1943, when he was wounded by an enemy bullet. He left hospital on the 18th September, but was wounded again on 11th October 1943. This must have been a substantial wound as Gehrmann was hospitalised until 13th February 1944.
    • When Gehrmann left hospital, after a two week period of leave, he was posted to Infantry Signals Replacement Company 1, as he continued to recover from his wounds. At some stage between 8th July and 16th August 1944, Gehrmann was posted to 4./Grenadier Regiment 1077. GR 1077 was part of the 542 Grenadier Division, soon to be VGR 542. The Division’s personnel were, for the most part, from East Prussia and those recuperating from wounds, plus a relatively high proportion of East Prussian new recruits.
    • The Division fought under Army Group Centre on the Eastern Front from late July 1944. On 4th October 1944, the German attack began to remove the Narew Bridgehead, north of Serock, which is itself, north of Warsaw in Poland. Early in the morning on 5th October 1944, the division attacked again. Gehrmann was wounded again for the fourth time in his service. This time by shrapnel or a hand grenade. He was in hospital until 31st October 1944.
    • On 25th November 1944, Gehrmann was awarded the Wound Badge in Silver for his wound in 5th October action.
    • Gehrmann returned to 4./GR1077, 542 VolksGrenadier Division and was issued a MP38 sub-machine gun on 9th January 1945. On 12th January 1945, the Russian offensive against East Prussia began. Gehrmann’s unit was involved in heavy defensive battle and was thrown back to the Vistula, near Graudenz by the end of February 1945. Gehrmann was again wounded, for the 5th time, again by shrapnel, artillery or hand-grenade on 4th February 1945 and this may have ended his hard and long-fought war.
    • To have survived on the Ostfront for all these years, is some sort of miracle and this Soldbuch bears testament to many years of blood, sweat, tears and hardship.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Andy F-P; 11-05-2020, 01:35 PM.

    #2
    Unfortunately, the photo is missing form inside the front cover. During my research of this Soldbuch I spotted what I believe to be the signatures of two future RKT. The first being Wilhelm Kern of III/IR44 and the second one on the awards page 22 is Artur Bahr who was awarded the RK posthumously in November 1944. I found a signed photo of Wilhem Kern on the internet and I hope Hermann Historica is happy for me to use this photo. If not, I would be happy to remove it. Can anyone read the additional equipment entries that I have added? Thanks for your time.
    Regards,
    Andy
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Andy F-P; 10-25-2020, 11:54 AM.

    Comment


      #3
      The third handwritten entry looks like "Tarnnetz", and the fourth maybe "Gamaschen".
      Supporting the italian recovery mission in Kirov...

      http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...d.php?t=911775

      http://www.napv.it/missione-kirov/

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Ironcrown View Post
        The third handwritten entry looks like "Tarnnetz", and the fourth maybe "Gamaschen".
        Thank-you and that looks like a good shout.
        Regards,
        Andy

        Comment


          #5
          The first if you don't know is "Koppeltraggest.(ell)" Not sure what it is though...

          Below Hosentraeger is "W. Paeckchen". Not sure of that either, and below it is again some kind of "Beutel" - bag or sack.

          The very last is "Einlagesohlen" - shoe inserts. Above that looks like "Zwiebackbeutel" - Cracker or bread bag?

          Hope all that helps a tiny bit.

          H
          Unless it was nighttime, or the weather was bad, and you were running out of gas - then it was a sweaty nightmare, like a monkey f*ing a skunk.
          ~ Dan Hampton, Viper Pilot

          Comment


            #6
            BTW, great book

            H
            Unless it was nighttime, or the weather was bad, and you were running out of gas - then it was a sweaty nightmare, like a monkey f*ing a skunk.
            ~ Dan Hampton, Viper Pilot

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks Hanks,
              I am really grateful for your feedback after spending the time researching and uploading the information to the WAF.

              I think koppeltraggestell are y-straps. I find some of this writing very difficult to read, but once a word is pointed out, it always makes it clearer!
              Thanks again,
              Andy

              Comment

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