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Penal Battalion Wehrpass

Article about: A relic of one of the more unpleasant aspects of German military life in WW2. The Wehrmacht had several types of unit for erring soldiers, from "Bewährungs" or probationary units f

  1. #1
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    Default Penal Battalion Wehrpass

    A relic of one of the more unpleasant aspects of German military life in WW2.

    The Wehrmacht had several types of unit for erring soldiers, from "Bewährungs" or probationary units for soldiers to redeem themselves, through 999 units which were composed of soldiers who up until they were drafted into these units were considered "unworthy" of military service. But the real "Penal" units were the Feldstrafgefangenenabteilungen. Twenty two of these Battalions were formed and were filled with those who had committed serious crimes - desertion, undermining military morale, etc etc and were fortunate enough to avoid execution.
    They were used on the Eastern Front on arduous tasks such as mine clearing, building roads and building bunkers etc. These duties were most often in areas which were infested with partisans and these guys were unarmed.

    This Wehrpass is to a guy who would have been a guard in one of these units.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2
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    Default re: Penal Battalion Wehrpass

    His unit was Feldstrafgefangenenabteilung 14 in which he served with both 1 Kompanie and the Stabskompanie
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  4. #3
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    Default re: Penal Battalion Wehrpass

    His service with the unit was on the Eastern Front as part of Army Group Centre and in the defensive battles around Newel in North West Russia.

    No indication that he was KIA, so he likely survived the war, probably unlike most of the men he was guarding !
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  5. #4
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    Default re: Penal Battalion Wehrpass

    Very interesting Wehrpass so he served his time with Feldstrafgefangenenabteilungen 14 from 1943 onwards ! I know that with the Bewährungs units it was possible for soldiers to redeem themselves and gain back all awards / rank etc by service at the front but was this also possible for a Feldstrafgefangenenabteilungen or if one commited that level of crime there was no way back ?

    cheers

    Paul
    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

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