Wehrpass Hans Meier

I have started to research the grouping to Hans Meier, a soldier that served in the Wehrmacht during World War Two in the maintenance and work shop company of the 16th Infantry Division. This Division was a very famous division in the German Army and was indeed a motorised one. It fought in the campaigns in the West and was part of PanzerGruppe 1, Army Group South when Operation Barbarossa started on the 22nd June 1941. It fought at Dubno, Kiev and then held the line around Kursk when the Red Army counter attacked during that first Winter of the Russo-German War. Hans joined the Division in January 1942 and thus missed the first battles in Russia but was with the 16th when Fall Blau, the German summer offensive in 1942 that culminated with the defeat at Stalingrad, started in mid 1942. The battle list in his Wehrpass is long and detailed and I will go into it in a later post but the 16th Motorised Infantry Division drove eastwards across the steppe towards the Great Bend of the Don and then the Volga. It was not swept up in the maelstorm of Stalingrad as it was largely kept in reserve during late summer and autumn and when the Russian counter offensive encircled Sixth Army in Stalingrad in November 1942. MOre detail later. Hans was awarded two medals. The first was the Ost Medaille, or Winter Medal, detailed later, and the second was the Kriegsverdienstkreuz II Klasse mit Schwerten, War Merit Cross with Swords Second Class. He also was awarded the corresponding Urkunde (certificate) that was signed personally by his divisional commander Sigfrid Henrici.

I was also able to acquire the medal itself

 

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