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Wehrpass: Gustav Geer - Luftwaffe - Flak-Strum-Regiment 20

Article about: Received a new Wehrpass today. This young gentleman was a member of Flak-Strum-Regiment 20, and was active in France during D-Day. The seller tells me he participated in the Normandy invasio

  1. #21

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    Thanks Glen. I appreciate the help a lot. When you put it like that, it doesn't sound good does it?
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

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  3. #22

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    Quote by avenger View Post
    I asked HPL2008 if he could spare a moment to look at it. I gather he's the expert on these things in our parts.
    God, no. I am only able to read what they say.


    Quote by avenger View Post
    Also, and somewhat odd, included was a birth certificate (shown below). Not sure if this is his, as the dates don't line up with whats in the Wehrpass, but the name does.
    The date lines up, too. The date of birth in the birth certificate is written in words: "geboren den dreiundzwanzigsten Oktober eintausendneunhundertundsechzehn" = "Born on the twenty-third of October one thousand nine hundred and sixteen". Same date as in the Wehrpass.


    Quote by bigmacglenn1966 View Post
    His last rank is listed as Oberzahlmeister/Paymaster...I find it odd that during the last days of the war, he is awarded the EKII on April 28th, 1945...and one day later on the 29th, he receives both the EKI and the Erdkampfabzeichen/Luftwaffe Ground Combat Badge...As mentioned, this is a replacement booklet...I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the PENCILED entries may have been embellished to turn a lowly PayMaster into a highly decorated soldier...Just my opinion...
    Sorry, Glenn, no "paymaster"/"Zahlmeister" entries here. The ranks in question are Wachtmeister and Oberwachtmeister. This is correct for the artillery branch, where the traditional term Wachtmeister was used instead of Feldwebel.


    Quote by avenger View Post
    It does seem odd that those awards were back to back on two days. Though, it seems like the faker would consider that too.... The awards are all written in ink. The activity has some penciled in entries.
    Personally, I don't find the back-to-back award dates troubling. This may well have been simply a case of catching up with backed-up award proposal/endorsement/bestowal procedures; really not surprising given the period in question.

  4. #23

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    Thanks for the input HPL2008, and for the correction on the birth certificate. I have to admit I hadn't looked closely at that yet, other than to know what it is. I just read the numerical date and thought that was it, which I suspect was more of a date of the certificate itself?

    Do you agree with the other concerns, that would question the authenticity of the pass, particularly given he was in so many notable battles according to his record in pencil?
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  5. #24

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    Thank you, I read Oberzahlmeister instead of Oberwachtmeister...(I think I've done that once before)...How about the penciled entries we mentioned?...what is your take on the entire Pass?
    cheers, Glenn

  6. #25

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    Quote by avenger View Post
    Do you agree with the other concerns, that would question the authenticity of the pass, particularly given he was in so many notable battles according to his record in pencil?
    Quote by bigmacglenn1966 View Post
    How about the penciled entries we mentioned?...what is your take on the entire Pass?
    I don't want to speculate about the possible reasons for the pencilled entries.

    Personally, I see nothing obviously wrong with the document; especially not if the battles listed check out when compared against his unit's history.

    (But, like I said, I am not an expert in this field and don't collect documents myself.)

  7. #26
    ?

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    Whilst agreeing that the date of awards , late war entries could have been done as some last minute admin it is a concern that the EK II shows service with 17 FLAK Div , rather than 16 FLAK Div or Gen KDO III FLAK Korps !

  8. #27

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    Quote by Paul D View Post
    Whilst agreeing that the date of awards , late war entries could have been done as some last minute admin it is a concern that the EK II shows service with 17 FLAK Div , rather than 16 FLAK Div or Gen KDO III FLAK Korps !
    There was a point in the unit history I've been looking at, where the unit has a connection to a Luftwaffen-Artillerie-Regiment 17, though I may not be reading it right for all I know.

    I./Flak-Regiment 20 (gem. mot.):

    Formed 1 Oct 1936 in Breslau. On 15 Nov 1938 redesignated I./Flak-Regiment 7.

    Reformed 1 Nov 1943 in Le Havre from III./Luftwaffen-Artillerie-Regiment 17, with 1. - 5. Batterien.

    Asisbiz history section Luftwaffe Unit Flak-Regiment 20

    This is also reflected on page 12 of the pass, showing previous unit assignments. He was shown as part of a 17th unit prior to being in the 20th, which lines up with the linked account above.

    To make matters even more complicated, the history indicates the Abteilungen are sometimes listed as I. - III./Flak-Sturm-Regiment 2 (which is what the history tends to show as the unit the 20th was under), but this never became official, and the units remained under their old names until the end.

    I'm not saying the pass is authentic, but the faker really did their homework if it isn't.

    Going to try to map this out a bit tonight, and see what lines up.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  9. #28

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    I've spent the night going through multiple units and divisions, mapping out all the units that the historical record shows starting with III/Lw Artillerie Regiment 17, in 1942. It was a tangled web of reorganizations and unit and division movements, which I suppose isn't surprising for this time in the war. Most of what I see in the Wehrpass fits all this quite well, although I cannot read the battle list well enough to Google translate pages 30, 31, and 32. I compared dates of entries, with the battle list Glen provided in questioning, and the unit movements from my research to give a small look at the penciled in battles. If I knew what pages 31 and 32 translated to, I could finish the research. But, with what I have, here are the results:

    Historical record found at Asisbiz history section Luftwaffe Unit Higher Headquarters

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Unit Activity (from Wehrpass) starting late 1942

    Nov 30, 1942 - 13 Flack Korps to:
    Dec 1, 1942 thru Oct 8, 1943 - III / Lw Artillerie Regiment 17, Stab

    EKII - Noted 4/28/45 as "17.Flakdiv." The Luftwaffen-Feld-Division 17 was formed Dec 1942 in Luftgau-Kommando VII. This corresponds to page 12 of pass, and could have been awarded during this time. Why it's not recorded on the pass until 1945, could be the same as why the EK1 and Ground Assault badge were not, if it is clerical catchup from the pass being a reissue.

    The division consisted of:
    Luftwaffen-Jäger-Regiment 33
    Luftwaffen-Jäger-Regiment 34
    Panzer-Jäger-Abteilung Luftwaffen-Feld-Division 17
    Luftwaffen-Artillerie-Regiment 17 (noted on page 12 of pass)
    Luftwaffen-Pionier-Bataillon 17
    Aufklärungs-Kompanie Luftwaffen-Feld-Division 17
    Luftnachrichten-Kompanie Luftwaffen-Feld-Division 17
    Kommandeur der Nachschubtruppen Luftwaffen-Feld-Division 17

    Note From Site: As of 1 Nov 1943 Luftwaffen-Artillerie-Regiment 17 had been taken over by the army and renamed Artillerie-Regiment 17 (L), except III. Abt. which became I./Flak-Regiment 20.

    Oct 9, 1943 thru June 6, 1944 - Wehrpass notes soldier's unit as Stab I/Flak Regiment 20 (mot.)

    June 13, 1944 - Wehrpass repeats soldier's unit as Stab I/Flak Regiment 20 (mot.)

    Stab/Flak-Regiment 11 (mot.) and Stab/Flak-Regiment 20 (mot.) joined the 16.Flak division in Mar 1944.

    As of 1 Jun 1944 Reg. 20 (mot) is under 16. Flak-Division (Stab/Flak-Regiment 11), formed 22 Feb 1944 in Paris from Stab/11. Flak-Division, organized as follows under Generalkommando III. Flakkorps:

    16. Flak-Division (o) at Lille
    18. Flak-Brigade (mot.) at Cambrai
    19. Flak-Brigade (mot.) at Hertogenbosch

    Generalkommando III Flakkorps went into combat 6 Jun 1944 at Normandy with:
    Stab/Flak-Sturm-Regiment 1 (coorsponds to page 12 of Wehrpass, last two unit entries)
    Stab/Flak-Sturm-Regiment 2
    Stab/Flak-Sturm-Regiment 3
    Stab/Flak-Sturm-Regiment 4
    Luftnachrichten-Abteilung 103

    Note From Site: Most of the III Korps were destroyed in the Falaise-pocket. The remains of the corps withdrew to Germany.

    EKI & Ground Assault Badge - Noted 4/29/45 as "Gen.Kdo.III" and "Flakkorps" which I believe to be the same unit spelled out over two lines by the same person (Gen.Kdo.III Flakkorps), which the 20th was a part of under Stab/Flak-Sturm-Regiment 1, could have been awarded from Normandy campaign. By the end of this time, he could have certainly qualified for the Ground Assault Badge.

    Sep 1944 Reg. 20 (mot) is under Generalkommando III. Flakkorps and Stab/Flak-Sturm-Regiment 2 and at Cochem, supporting Heeresgruppe B, under Luftwaffenkommando West.

    On 1 Oct 1944, Reg. 20 (mot) is still under Stab/Flak-Sturm-Regiment 2., likely at Düren which is just north of St. Vith.

    From site: The Abteilungen are sometimes listed as I. - III./Flak-Sturm-Regiment 2 (which the 20th was under), but this never became official, and the units remained under their old names until the end (which may explain why no more unit entries on page 12 after the June 13 entry).

    Nov 1944, the 20th still under Flak-Sturm-Regiment 2 (which is now under 2. Flak-Division) and in the Eifel area, Luftgau XIV.

    Dec 1944 2. Flak-Division took part in the Battle of the Bulge, where the 20th is at St.Vith/Eifel.

    Apr 1945 at Forst/Niederlausitz - The last entry in the Wehrpass is 4/17/45

    Battles:
    Orne River & Caen entries - On the 1st of June, records show the 16 Flak Division in Lille, France. All I can tell is that the divison was mobilized and involved in the Normandy invasion defense. The III Korps were destroyed at the Falaise-pocket, which is quite near Caen. Inconclusive, but the unit was in that area at the right time.

    Bastogne, St.Vith - The record shows the 20th regiment was involved in the battle at Eifel/St. Vith at the Battle of the Bulge. There is no mention of Bastogne.

    Aachen and the Westwall - I see what looks like "westwall" on the pass, but don't see Aachen. It's difficult for me to make out.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by avenger; 11-16-2014 at 06:57 AM.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  10. #29

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    Reflecting on the Wehrpass, there are a couple of things that stand out. First, the awards being 3 in two days is starting to seem like support for the authenticity of the pass. If I were going to fake this, and do all the research I just did to make a few extra dollars, faking different inks and handwritings, it seems silly to put 3 awards in two days so close to the end of the war. That is clearly odd, and I wouldn't want something like that to stand out and make someone question my work. It would be better to try and make up more reasonable dates. And at this point, I'd be wanting to go SS and make real money for it, cause the western front at this period looks like a mess to me, to try and fake correctly .

    Another thing that makes me wonder, if the teal blue was the only original parts of the pass, what happened to his activity after 1942? There are other dates in the pass such as on the cover (6.10.44), and in teal on page 1 (6.10.44) whose handwriting matches perfectly the teal unit and activity entries. They would have reissued a Wehrpass in late 1944, but entered no activity for the two years before and the months after. The other possibility is that the whole thing is faked, even the birth certificate that corresponds with the pass, which would seem unusual as well.

    I grant that there are aspects of the pass that seem unusual, and the battle log seems almost too impressive. Still, the unit historical records put them in the areas where these activities occurred. I would imagine we can never say this Wehrpass is 100% good, and it's probably not a great buy as a result, but it seems like it stands a fairly good chance of being at least mostly correct. Even then though, nobody seems to like this pass, which means it's value is low as a collectible regardless of if it's authentic or not, as suspicion is all it takes.

    We do know for certain, it's been a fun mystery to try and unravel.
    Last edited by avenger; 11-16-2014 at 07:54 PM.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  11. #30

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    Asked the seller about all we've talked about (seller is in Germany). Their response:


    I have got this wehrpass not from a dealer. I was the first, who got it from the family.

    It is a Zweitschrift. But I have no more info of this person.

    Sometimes, the people themselve added some education and awards in there books, to get more money after the war.

    This wehrpass is 100% original. And it make no sense, to fake it, because of the low price.



    Guess I'll think about it for a couple days and decide if or not to return it.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

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