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Großdeutschland Wehrpass - Ehrenblattspange Holder

Article about: Latest addition to the GD collection arrived today and it is the Wehrpass to Erwin Claß who joined the Heer in 1941 and was eventually assigned to 12./Infanterie-Regiment Großdeutschland 2 i

  1. #1

    Default Großdeutschland Wehrpass - Ehrenblattspange Holder

    Latest addition to the GD collection arrived today and it is the Wehrpass to Erwin Claß who joined the Heer in 1941 and was eventually assigned to 12./Infanterie-Regiment Großdeutschland 2 in March 1942. Apart from a four month spell with the Ersatz units of GD between March & July 1943 he would remain with IR GD 2 (later renamed Panzer-Füsilier-Regiment GD when GD was established as a Panzer-Grenadier Division in 1943) until he died in September 1944.

    Although the Wehrpass shows that Claß was highly decorated having won the IAB Bronze, EK II & I, Black Wound Badge and Close Combat Clasp in Bronze what the WP doesn't show is that Claß was also awarded the Ehrenblattspange (Honour Roll Clasp) posthumously on 27th November 1944 - just 2 months after his death in Latvia. Only 39 individuals in GD were awarded the clasp.
    All literature (Ordensträger, Volksbund & even his grave marker) show his final rank as Unteroffizier but as can be seen by the final entry on page 22 he was actually promoted to Feldwebel on 1st September 1944 - probably confirmed and entered after his death when he WP was being closed out.

    The Wehrpass doesn't mention where in Latvia Claß died and the Volksbund has his place of death as being not listed, but along with the Wehrpass came 5 photos and four of those photos show various grave markers (including that of Erwin Claß) in a GD graveyard and by identifying some of the names and checking Volksbund it would appear that the graveyard belonged to HVPl (Heeresverbandplatz) Renge which happened to be occupied by 1. Sanitäts Kompanie GD at the time so it looks as though Claß's last moments were spent in the field dressing station of 1. Sanitäts Kp GD.

    As the Ehrenblattspange was posthumously awarded it is possible that the Wehrpass was processed and returned to the family before anyone had a chance to enter the details.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Großdeutschland Wehrpass - Ehrenblattspange Holder

    nice collection good research to.

  4. #3
    ?

    Default Re: Großdeutschland Wehrpass - Ehrenblattspange Holder

    Another superb piece of History Kevin , i'm sure on eof our Latvian members will be able to get you a a photo of his grave at Saldus. Any ideas on the combat action for the award of the Ehrenblattspange ?
    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

  5. #4

    Default Re: Großdeutschland Wehrpass - Ehrenblattspange Holder

    Quote by Paul E View Post
    ...Any ideas on the combat action for the award of the Ehrenblattspange ?
    Unfortunately not as yetbut there is plenty of time to try and figure it out although it will probably be difficult to tie it down to one particular day, i.e. was it awarded for the day he died or for the day before or the week before etc.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Großdeutschland Wehrpass - Ehrenblattspange Holder

    Excellent Wehrpass and good that you could find out so much about him.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

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