Page 3 of the Wehrpass held the personal information of the soldier, his place and date of birth and boxes 3 and 4. His nationality in box 5, more often than not it was Deutsch Reich (often abbrieviated to DR). However there are many cases of Volksdeutsch (people of German origin) Wehrpass holders that also have which country they hail from (I have a Wehrpass in my collection to a soldier whose nationality is DR Rom, ie a Volksdeutsch from Romania). Hans Meier was from Silesia in Prussia, now a part of Poland. Boxes 6 and 7 tell us his religion and marital status (Hans was a Lutheran and was single at the time of issue and if a soldier married this section was updated). Box 8 tells us what the soldier’s civilain occupation was and in Hans’ case he was an ‘Autoschlosser’, ie a car mechanic. This makes total sense with his posting in the motor pool of the 16th ID.
The soldier’s photograph was attached on page 2, normally stuck to the page and stamped at both corners. The soldier was also required to sign his photograph. Page 4 would detail the soldier’s education and any skills or qualifications obtained in civilian life. Being an auto mechanic (Autoschlosser in Box 8) Hans had a full drivers license and as such was issued with a military divers license that also came with this grouping. This were printed on seal paper and usually also carried the soldier’s photo, though not in this case.
The number you see on the stamp is the Feld Post Nummer of the unit he served in. Sort of a military postal address for correspondence, FPN 41944 belonged to :
(30.7.1941-28.2.1942) Kraftwagen-Werkstatt-Zug 550,
(12.3.1943-7.9.1943) Kraftwagen-Werkstatt-Zug 566,
both the units he served in as we shall see. This FPN can also be seen on the stamp of his Ost Medaille Urkunde.
Inside view. Photo would have gone on the right.
The word ‘verbrennungsmaschine’ means combustion engines, so he could drive petrol driven motorbikes, cars and lorries.
Here is a link to an interesting article about a HMNZS survey ship playing about with its sonar at Rabaul harbour.
06:00 Hours, 8th June 1944
British troops are starting to exert pressure on the outer perimeter of the Caen defences. After buying some space near Blainville, 1./SS.Pz.Rgt.12 retired as planned and several companies of Pz.Rgt.22 took over the support mission the SS panzers were carrying out. As dawn broke it was clear that the British had been moving their troops up under the cover of darkness. Elements of the 56th Infantry Brigade were fighting against units of Pz.Aufk.21 holding the villages of Cheux and St.Manvieu to the West of Capriquet Airfield. SS.Pz.Gr.Rgt.25 holds the line running east to Caen from here. 2./SS.Aufk.12 have also hit the flanks of the 56th Infantry Brigade, particularly their artillery park.
Closing up to this area of the front we have the advanced echelons of the Panzer Lehr Division. Its initial role will be to support the 352nd Infanterie Division, deployed to the left of the SS Panzer Grenadiers. However the commander has been also ordered to exploit any local possibilities.
Panzer Lehr moves up to the Front!
Despite total aerial supremacy imposed by the Allied airforces the Luftwaffe’s Recon units are providing a sterling job in getting intell for the units on the ground.
Picture of the Utah Beach Front: Before
Finally on overview of the Invasion Front
Some of you guys have asked about adding comments. Well I have removed some of the conditions so comments can be posted as and when you wish, and would be very welcome.
Well its my first ever blog and I have no idea what I am doing at this moment in time but I hope to learn as time progresses.
A little bio bit. I am 36 years old and I am a teacher, primarily of History. I have titled this blog bytes and dice as living in Gibraltar the gaming community like Gibraltar is small and the opportunity to game in groups here is very small. I have a long history of DnD (hence the dice) and computer war gaming (hence the bytes). I have always loved History and that of the Second World War in particular. This stems from my paternal grandfather, a WW2 veteran with the 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade who had spells in Italy and Greece. My favourite toys as a boy were the many plastic soldiers of different scales with which I recreated battles I had read about or my grandfather told me about. One of my earliest memories is painting a German Falschirmjaeger in Red and my grandfather telling me in a somewhat misty voice that they didn’t wear red but rather shades of green. This love of History evolved into war gaming and my first ever war game was a Battle of Midway paper game at the back of some WW2 magazine a relative had bought for me when I was around 11. Gradually I chose to make a career out of History by qualifying as a teacher and now leading a History Department in the school I work in. My first computer (Commodore 64) brought the first pixellated warriors into my life with games such as Desert Fox, Crusade in Europe, Silent Service, Pirates! and Vietnam. At the same time a first reading of Lord of the Rings opened up the world of fantasy to me. 2nd Edition Dungeons and Dragons followed with a penchant for the worlds of Krynn and Faerun. A small DnD gaming group, that has risen and fallen through the ages, was created. My first PC expanded the scope of wargaming available to me. TIE Fighter was the natural progression from Gunship on the C64, but it was really a freeware game about the ACW that sparked an interest in rectangles with symbols on them. This led me to The Operational Art of War and then to the Panzer General Series. As PC’s got better I came across a free game called Steel Panthers:World at War. As a stickler for historical accuracy I loved the many mods and scenarios. Likewise PC RPG’s made a massive impact as well. From the text games on the C64 and the venerable and classic Bard’s Tale and through SSI’s games set in Krynn and Faerun Baldurs Gate was released followed by Icewind Dale and Neverwinter Nights. I visited Morrowind and fell in love with Tamriel, and her mods and expansions. Oblivion (modded is a delight to play) led me to my first ever 24 hour game session (complete with fake sickness to stave off the girlfriend(now wife)!). Matrix Games and HPS have provided endless hours of entertainment in the realms of History now lost and from the frozen steppes outside Stalingrad, to Krasnaya Polyana outside Moscow I have done the whole Ost Front. War in the Pacific took me to a theatre I had never had any interest in before and it has now taken over my game time with two ongoing AE PBEM’s. I dabble in WoW occasionally but its the call of the Wargame that I answer too. Coming up we have Skyrim coming out and a revisit to Tamriel is on the cards with the Nords!
So please be patient with a virgin blogger and enjoy the ride