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Journals from Reconnaissance Cartographer - Eastern Inferno

Discussion in 'Quill and Ink' started by avanahall, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Unfortunately I'm not Russian and don't speak it....but, a quick look at a map or two from the Russian members of the forum will more than solve this one!

    Bryansk, Bialystok and Minsk are all cities. Shitomir COULD be ZHITOMIR. Karasten is the Ukrainian town of KOROSTEN.

    The Russian general you allude to is probably SEMYON BUDYENNY, a favourite of Stalin and an 'old fighter' from the days of the 1st Moscow Cavalry Division.

    The "Stalin Line" is a series of fortifications near the frontier zones developed just before Barbarossa was launched in 1941.

    SUDETAN is a region in Czechoslovakia, occupied first of in 1938 before the Nazis swallowed the rest of the country wholesale.

    Many of these names would need a very detailed map, or someone who lives in White Russia/Russia and can at least recognise the smaller localities from a knowledge of ttheir language....I'm going of to post in the section of this forum called "Russia at War" and hopefully get Sloniki and some other Russian poster to give you a hand...

    They will be far better at this than myself....
     
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  2. FrankHay

    FrankHay Member

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    Hi everyone,
    I am Frank, avanahall's husband.

    I have read most of the journals and am finishing up #3 this weekend.
    The city list above is approximate chronological order as mentioned in #1 and #2.
    The journals start in June 1941 and through #2 is the end of the Russian winter 41/42.
    #3 goes on into '43.

    Apparently Hans was hired as a cartographer due to his artistic background. Many times in the journal he is sent under cover to the enemy lines to map out Russian positions and bring them back to the officers to plan the next morning's attacks.

    Hans was part of Barbarosa in the southern portion of the three initiatives (from what I can gather), and was part of the first battle of Kyiv in '41.

    The family has several medals, including the Iron Cross 2nd class and the War Merit Cross with Swords 2nd Class as shown above, documents for the Black Wound Badge and a copy of his field promotion to Sergeant.

    I have not seen the original journals as they are with another family member on the opposite coast.
    I have made a Google map tracing the passage from Poland through the Ukraine and into the southern part of Russia. It has been interesting to look at the current satellite images on Google and still see shell craters at the various pitched battle sites.

    Any help with translating the city names would be helpful, I have found several that were not hard to identify, but several seem close in translation but off the main path if you draw lines between the known cities. Was this normal for an infantry group to zig-zag around the front during the war by sometimes 20-100km? This is especially true after he leaves Kyiv.
     
  3. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Hi Frank,

    Myself being Russian might very well be able to help in this regard. Feel free to PM me and we will see what can be translated. ;)
     
  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Howdy Frank.

    What was his unit?

    It looks like he ws in the South as you mentioned, but move the AG Center at some point, as he was in Minsk and Bryansk.

    I would hazard a strong guess that Kyiv is Kiev.

    Yes, it was common for units to move around in the manner you mentioned. They were not always on the forefront of attack or defense and would be pulled back for rest, etc. When they would return to combat, it would wherever they were needed, which might be in a differing direction from where they were pointed.
     
  5. FrankHay

    FrankHay Member

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    All 5 official documents have "Stab. / Panzer Jager Abteilung 299" if that helps. With little knowledge of German and only from reading the translation, I am confident that this is an anti-tank company

    Kyiv is the current spelling for Kiev.
     
  6. FrankHay

    FrankHay Member

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    Here is another name mentioned in the journal, First Lt. Simon ("The Akja carries a precious load, the body of our leader, first lieutenant Simon!") This is during the period of the retreat from Stalingrad. Apparently died 18 days before this was written, but unfortunately the third journal is not dated as well as the first two and we cannot be sure the exact date. This is written just before he writes "Charkow [Kharkov] has been abandoned".

    It might be nice for the relatives to see the respect his unit had for him.
     
  7. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Abteilung is German for 'battalion"

    He battalion was part of Infanterie Division 299.

    Commanded by General Lieut Graf von Oriola (at least in early 1944).

    Composed of:
    Grenadier Regiments 528, 529, 530
    Artillery Regiment 299
    Pioneer Battalion 299
    Pz Jgr Battalion 299
    Reconnaisance Battalion 299

    It was formed Mar/Apr 1940 from men in Wehrkreis IX, Weimar, from men from Hessen and Thuringen. First action was in French Campaign, June 1940. It was continuously engaged in Russia, on Southern Front and later in the Central Section. Gained good distinction in fighting during Summer 1943.

    ---German Order of Battle, 1944, Greenhill Books ISBN 1-85367-170-3


    page with more info.
    http://www.feldgrau.com/InfDiv.php?ID=204

    Looks like the division was was caught up in the destruction of Army Group Center in the Summer of 1944. Is this when his diary ends?


    edit:

    Here is another page http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=3889
     
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  8. avanahall

    avanahall Member

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    WOW Slipdigit - GREAT info!!

    Frank is on an airplane to California on Business I am sure he will check in on the board
     
  9. FrankHay

    FrankHay Member

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    Interesting info.

    We may have info that states where he was MIA. I think it is in June 1944 near Witbesk.
     
  10. FrankHay

    FrankHay Member

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    Why would there not be any other record of the Knights Cross award?
    We have the medal and the official document awarding it.
    And is the Iron Cross = Knights Cross in all cases?
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    correction you own the document and medal of a EK 2 recipient not a Knights Cross (Ritterkreuzträger). In other words your medal and document is quite common the doc is probably worth 100.00 US and the medal may fetch 150.00 US. why there is not a known data area for this man is a good question though the award is really of not known importance though he served in at least 3 combat situations.

    the knights cross is a neck decoration and upon receiving it the awardee is given a rather spectacular document with it being awarded by a well know and higher ranking authority.

    regards and just so we are on the same page E standing for Eisen or Iron, Kreuz means Cross. previous page the KvK award and document is literally for serving in a combat situation for bravery / performance of outstanding service.

    Erich ~
     
  12. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I recognize the names of most of those places listed. Im not sure exactly what is needed? if you can be a bit more specific, maybe I can help out with some stuf ;-))

    Erich is right, the award shown is a 1939 EKII along with its award Document. I do not recognize this mans name so im very doubtful he ever got the RK. Ill check the RKT list to be sure as there are many names I cannot possibly recognize because there are arounf 7,380 total RKTs and this figure accounts for the "Foreign" recipients such as Japanese Admiral Yammamoto, several Italians, Hungarians, Rumanians etc.

    Also, as a link to a great and VERY helpful place on RKTs-please check the excellent German site: http://www.ww2f.com/wwii-general/www.das-ritterkreuz.de. This site is the best site I have ever seen that is about the Knights Cross Recipients.

    Apparently the link isnt working tonight as it worked fine last night. I dont have access to my coopy of Fellgiebels book so I cant check it for sure but, I know another place i can look up the name. Ill be back soon a I make that check.

    Best regards-Carl.

    PS, I wish Paul E/ were here to see this? He'd be able to confirm this a bit faster than I.
     
  13. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Carl if they do a google search on the man's unit and then from the history it should list the top awardee's........well let's hope. must say the two award docs are very clean almost mint looking.

    E ~ and Carl you simply wrote your link incorrectly. www.das-ritterkreuz.de

    sorry but no-one listed by the name of Hans Roth.
     
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  14. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hi E, thanks for the correction and such. I just got home about an hour ago from being gone since about 7 AM-plus I was still having tummy troubles. However, the verdict on this man is that most definately-he was not an RKT.

    I'd have been back sooner to post but my computer froze up twice and it took me at least 30 minutes to get the slow thing to a-workin again ;-)) Anyway, the man these folks are posting about didn't get the Knights Cross.
     
  15. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Something I did notice was an apparent Russian atrocity...

    Page 39....

    "Another 20 kilometers to Woronesh! Now we are met by long trains of destitution, the last evacuees from the city, women, children, elderly, sick and disabled, drag along left and right of the sandy road towards the south. All of them heavily loaded with their last possessions, which they save from the rubble.For many kilometers we driving past the images of sorrow.
    Suddenly there is singing in the air, small clouds from anti-aircraft fire standing in the sky. Quick as lightning we are taking cover in a stand of pines. With stoic serenity the columns of the wretched keep passing. Tired and exhausted they are plodding through the hot sand. And then all of a sudden- a sharp whistle, a terrible howling- six or seven low flying Russian bombers pass over their heads, release their bombs and fire their weapons into the helpless crowds.
    There are no words to describe the horrific bloodbath, which these dogs have inflicted on their own people. We can only administer first aid to a few, because we have to move on, have to move to the front, where the black as ink smoke plumes are, in which we can already see the flickering flames."


    No words to describe it alright. One wonders if this was the only time an occurance like this was perpetrated by Soviet planes.
     
  16. FrankHay

    FrankHay Member

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    Sorry about the RK statement then. When I was looking up the medals, EK2 looked like the RK and it was my assumption from looking at the photos that they were one and the same. The ribbon on this one seems to look like it would attach to a collar cord and be worn around the neck. It doesn't have a pin or anything that looks like it would be pinned to the chest. I could be wrong.
     
  17. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Definately no problem, and im glad to try helping when I have the time ;-))
     
  18. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Frank for an example how worn on dress situations note my KM married couple foto next to the last page on newest militaria purchases. the ribbon and cross are suspended vertically. In the combat situation the ribbon is worn only an attached through the button hole and dependent on the field garment worn of branch of service. also the KvK ribbon is also worn and in case of importance would be worn behind the EK 2 ribbon at the same button hole.

    E ~
     
  19. FrankHay

    FrankHay Member

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    Can you post a link?
     
  20. FrankHay

    FrankHay Member

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    A couple of other situations are mentioned in the journals but not by the Soviet planes. That was the only mention where the planes committed any atrocities.

    Frank
     

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