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One soldier's story in pictures

Article about: H, What a great story thanks very much. Steve

  1. #1

    Default One soldier's story in pictures

    Just a very brief introduction to the thread:

    Back in 2003, I had posted a similiar thread with much of this material over on the Axis History Forum (and some of it even earlier on the GDC/GUC Forums), so I would like to apologize in advance if it is familiar to some of the members here.

    Still, I am confident that the subject would still be of interest, especially in a revised form with some additional material and (hopefully) better scans.

    The material I am referring to here belonged to my late grandfather and in the following posts, we shall follow his way from just before the dawn of the Third Reich to its end.

    I think these photographs are very interesting both for the changes we can witness in his face and - on a more prosaical and historical note - for the different uniforms and insignia worn through these years we can see in the pictures.

    He was born in Bavaria in 1914, and the first photograph shows him in his very first "uniform", which he wore from 1931 to 1932 as young baker's apprentice:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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  3. #2

    Default Re: One soldier's story in pictures

    This is the firm where he had his job training, the Max Moosbauer bakery in Passau. Note the swastika flag, the political slogan and the man with the swastika armband (better visible in the original photograph). The picture is dated 1930, so, apparantly, Moosbauer was an early Nazi.
    By the way: Two photographs from the Maurer Archive at Passau (we had an earlier thread about it: http://warrelics.eu/forum/ss-uniform...rtraits-12516/ ) were ordered by the Moosbauer bakery. (See here:Photoausstellung Maurer It's small world indeed.)
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  4. #3

    Default Re: One soldier's story in pictures

    Whether it was due to the political influence of his employer or for other reasons, he eventually joined the Hitler Youth, although only for a brief period from Sept. 1932 to January 1933. (he never belonged to any other Nazi organisation.)
    Thus, we find him again again as an 18-year-old HJ member at the Reichsjugendtag in Potsdam in October 1932. (He is at the left. Note Potsdam badges and the traditional Bavarian Lederhosen.)
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #4

    Default Re: One soldier's story in pictures

    Wanting to flee his smalltown surroundings and always having been very active in sports, he picked an appropriate career with a certain prestige at the time: Leaving civilian life and the Hitlerjugend behind, he joined the Reichswehr in 1933 as a professional soldier.
    This, by the way, was one of the things he was proud about: That he enlisted at a time when it was still an all-volunteer, all-professional army. (I mentioned he was baker by civilian trade, so here was a man who actually got to sleep longer after joining the armed forces!)
    Jokes aside; here, in a photograph dated 15 March 1934, he is as a Schütze with the 20th Infantry Regiment, wearing an early uniform which does not yet bear the Reichsadler over the right breast pocket:
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #5

    Default Re: One soldier's story in pictures

    A bit later: The uniforms bear the Reichsadler by now. Note Reichswehr-style field caps and the marskmanship qualification stripe on the sleeve of the soldier on the right.
    My grandfather is on the left.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #6

    Default Re: One soldier's story in pictures

    He is in the middle now. Note the rank chevrons for an Obergefreiter and the swallow's nests. (He was a drummer for a short time.)
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #7

    Default Re: One soldier's story in pictures

    The next photograph was taken on 16 October 1934 in Berlin, where he was temporarily serving. (He's in the left foreground)
    The inscription on the back of the picture lets us know they were celebrating a "Bavarian Oktoberfest" in the Beer cellar of the 7th Company, Wachtruppe Berlin!
    Seems the boys were having quite a good time....
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #8

    Default Re: One soldier's story in pictures

    Another studio portrait, dated 30 March 1935. Apart from the rank chevrons for an Obergefreiter, the lace denoting his NCO candidate status is also clearly visible as is the Gothic "W" shoulder strap cypher for the Berlin guard unit.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #9

    Default Re: One soldier's story in pictures

    A winter picture showing him with another soldier wearing the greatcoat with "walking-out" order of dress (Note patent leather private purchase belt and long trousers) on Christmas 1934.

  11. #10

    Default Re: One soldier's story in pictures

    Sorry, I forgot the attachment in my last post. Here it is now:
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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