Eastern front photograph
This picture was from my great grandfather. I was wondering if anybody has information about what might have been going on when it was taken. Also, if somebody could translate the writing on the wall and the writing on the back that would be helpful. I know my grandpa fought and was wounded in the area of Murmansk. Thanks!
09-09-2016 12:00 AM
Interesting how the swastika on the flag is displayed back to front. I wonder if anyone realised at the time? I saw that and thought the photo had been developed back to front but the writing on the back wall is fine as is the swastika there so it is just the flag.
Unfortunately i cannot read enough of the handwritten script but they do look like Gebirgsjager at some sort of formal occasion, do you know which unit your Opa was with ?
The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )
1st July 1916
Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader
House Carles at the Battle of Hastings
The writing on the wall says...:
"Wir wollen nie vergessen
daß aller Dinge Anfang nur in der Tat liegt"
"Let us never forget
that the beginning of all things lies in the deed alone"
I could be mistaken, but I think it is a Hitler quote. Below the eagle and between the war flag and the swastika flag is a picture of Hitler, in any case.
The handwritten text on the back says...:
"am 29. April 1943
Mein Zugführer, Oberfeldw. [= Oberfeldwebel]
Nolting + neben mir und
ich im Stahlhelm
[...]reiter* Ernst Wenk
"on 29th April 1943
My platoon leader, Oberfeldw. [= Oberfeldwebel]
Nolting + next to me and
me wearing the steel helmet
[...]reiter* Ernst Wenk
*) Partially illegible; probably the rank "Gefreiter"
**) Apparently, a field post number. 10412 is on the record as being for the staff and the 1st through 4th company of Festungs-Bataillon 4 [Fortress Battalion 4] up until 14 July 1942. After that, I don't know.
This appears to be the ceremony for a wartime Ferntrauung ["long distance wedding"].
The men are soldiers of the Heer [army], but not much more can be told from this photograph. The caps are either Bergmützen [mountain caps] or the Einheitsfeldmütze [standard field cap] model. The latter was officially introduced in June 1943 (two months after the photo was taken), but it may well be that it was already available before that or worn on troop trials.
HPL2008, you never cease to amaze me. Nice job!
We have met the enemy and have learned nothing more about him. I have, however, learned some things about myself. There are things men can do to one another that are sobering to the soul. It is one thing to reconcile these things with God, but another to square it with yourself. - Robert Leckie
Wow thanks everybody. It's amazing what you can tell from just one photograph. From what I was told he did some type of work on buildings and bunkers. So I suppose that all makes sense now. this was one of the few photographs from my family that managed to survive the war. Thanks again for the info everyone it means a lot!