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Thread: Help Appreciated- Identifying Info on Grandfather

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    1

    Default Help Appreciated- Identifying Info on Grandfather

    Hi All

    Was hoping someone can finally give me some info on my grandfather.

    I found these German WWII photos at the back of my fathers cupboard and unfortunately dont know much about my grandfathers WWII history as he passed away when I was much younger. I contacted the DD who had the following info on him and was hoping to get some more knowledge from you guys:

    truppenteile:

    Meldung Vom 11.11.1939 - 1. Kompanie kraftfahr- ersatz- Abteilung 7- Munchen

    Meldung Vom 10.12.1939- kraftwagen- Werkstatt- Kompanie 54

    Und Vom 08.05.1940- Unterstellung: 1.Gebirgs-Division

    Und Vom 18.09.1944- Einsatzraum: siehe anlage

    Kriegsgefangenschaft: Keine Aufzeichnungen

    Dienstgrad: Nicht Verzeichnet

    And roughly translated to English


    Service Date: Not listed

    Identification tag: -79-1 kp. kraftf. Ers.Abt.7

    Troops:

    From 11.11.1939 - 1 Company automotive spare-Division 7 - Munich

    From 12/10/1939 Automotive-garage-54 Company

    From 05.08.1940-: 1.Gebirgs Division

    From 18.09.1944-Area of operation: See attached

    Captivity: No records

    Rank: Not Listed

    I knew that he was a mechanic but am interested in perhaps some details of his Uniforms including the one where he is standing next to a Mercedes vehicle (possibly post war) as well as some of the insignia. I can recognise an Edelweiss on his cap as well. Also very interested in possible War Crimes of the Gebirgs Division.

    I also knew that he evaded capture when the war ended by trekking thousands of kilometres and sleeping in Forests. He returned home emaciated.

    Mainly also just wanted to share the photos with the members who I know take a great interest in these.

    Thanks for your help.

    giggsy
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pluckley Kent
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Help Appreciated- Identifying Info on Grandfather

    Firstly, welcome to the forum, giggsy.

    Most of the 'Gebirgsjaeger' war crimes per se, were committed by SS Divisions - Skanderberg etc., but the 1st.Gebirgs division was involved in at least one major incident during the war.

    Almost unknown outside of Italy, this event ranks with Katyn as one of the darkest episodes of the war.
    On the Greek island of Cefalonia, in the Gulf of Corinth, the Italian ‘ACQUI DIVISION' was stationed. Consisting of 11,500 enlisted men and 525 officers it was commanded by 52 year old General Antonio Gandin, a veteran of the Russian Front where he won the German Iron Cross. When the Badoglio government announced on September 8, 1943, that Italian troops should cease hostilities against the Allies, there was much wine and merriment on Cefalonia. However, their German counterparts on the island maintained a stony silence and soon began harassing their Italian comrades, calling them 'traitors'. The German 11th Battalion of Jäger-Regiment 98 of the 1st Gebirgs (Mountain) Division, commanded by Major Harald von Hirschfeld, arrived on the island and soon Stukas were bombing the Italian positions. The fighting soon developed into a wholesale massacre when the Gebirgsjäger troops began shooting their Italian prisoners in groups of four to ten beginning with General Gandin. By the time the shooting ended four hours later, 4,750 Italian soldiers lay dead all over the island. But that was not the end for the Acqui Division, some 4000 survivors were shipped to the mainland for further transportation to Germany for forced labour. In the Ionian Sea a few of the ships hit mines and sank, taking around 3,000 men to their deaths.
    The final death toll in this tragic episode was 9,646 men and 390 officers. Major Harald Hirschfeld was later killed by a bomb splinter during the fighting at Duklapass in Warsaw in 1945 after he was promoted to Lieutenant General. General Hubert Lanz, commander of the Gebirgsjäger troops, was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. He was released in 1951. In the 1950s, the remains of over 3,000 soldiers, including 189 officers, were unearthed and transported back to Italy for proper burial in the Italian War Cemetery at Bari. Unfortunately, the body of General Gandin was never identified.

    (Sourced from WW2Talk)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aachen/Aken/Aix-la-Chapelle
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    2,966

    Default Re: Help Appreciated- Identifying Info on Grandfather

    He's wearing an unusual ribbon in the button hole above the Eastern Front Medal ribbon. Still attempting to find out what it is...possibly not a German decoration but a Bavarian or even a foreign one.
    It's noteworthy that your grandfather served throughout the war (at least until 09/1944) with the 1. Gebirgs-Division without being wounded...the blessing of a rear echelon unit.
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Help Appreciated- Identifying Info on Grandfather

    giggsy,

    Try the Branderburger archives or the Berlin archives, they are helpfull and maybe can tell you more, or tell you where to get more information.
    Landeshauptarchiv Brandenburg - poststelle@blha.brandenburg.de - http://www.landeshauptarchiv-branden...NavIndex=04.02
    Federal archive Berlijn - http://www.bundesarchiv.de/service/k.../index.html.de - http://www.bundesarchiv.de/index.html.de

    You can even try the red cross, or ITS in Arsolen.
    They all had a kind of health encuranse, and migth be recorded in the files of the Red Cross, ITS is more for missing persons, but hey its worth a try.

    ITS Arolsen - its-arolsen.org - http://www.its-arolsen.org/en/homepage/index.html

    just write all an email, hopefully you get more information on your grandfather.
    Good luck

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