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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. #41


    Quote by avenger View Post
    ... I wondered how he could have gotten an EK2 on the western front in 1942....
    He didn't. The EK II entry is dated for 1945. You need to find out if Flaksturm-Rgt 20 was a component of 17 Flak Division at that time of the war. The thing is, if they were 'loaned' to 17 Flak-Division for a short spare of time, maybe even for just one defensive action, in much the same way that battalions or regiments from one Army division were loaned to another division for a specific purpose, those details might not exist outside of official documents.

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  3. #42


    Okay, thanks Hucks. Good recommendation. Here's what I found out.

    The 17.Division, in April of 1945 was at Görlitz (now attached to the 4th Panzer-Armee). This is in Eastern Germany (see image below).

    I./Flak-Regiment 20 was at Forst/Niederlausitz in April of 1945 (see image below). The record doesn't show it under a unit at that time. I don't know if that means it's orphaned, unknown, or still under Stab/Flak-Sturm-Regiment 2.

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    Gen.Kdo.III for the EK1 and GAB would have to have been retroactively applied for his service in Normandy (if they even can do that), or his unit would have had to have pulled back and been destroyed 4.45 in the Ruhr-pocket with the rest of the III. It seems unlikely.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  4. #43


    Unfortunately that may never be known, but between those two locations it is a distance of just over 40 miles (in a straight line).

  5. #44


    I wonder if the combat activity entry dated 4/17/1945 gives the clarification needed. I believe I can make out these words "an der Neisse" which is right there where the 17.div was. Looking at all these units around late 44 into 1945, it looks like a lot of them lose their parent unit connections. It seems like things really went off the rails at the end in terms of unit assignments and records.

    HPL2008 has graciously agreed to translate the combat activity pages to the best of his ability, a favor I cannot express appreciation for enough. I hope I can one day give back to to him and the rest of you for all the help. With that translation, I think I'll have enough information to complete the picture.

    At this moment, I still question the EK1 and GAB, in fact even more now that the EK2 appears like it may actually be properly dated. Part of me thinks he should have had ample opportunity before 1945 to earn those, but if the EK2 didn't come until the end, I don't know what the awarding protocol is for retroactive awards, if they even would have done that. It strikes me as very suspect that an EK1 would be awarded for service predating the awarding of an EK2, but I don't know enough to exclude that possibility. Perhaps the paperwork was late, and they were basing it on date filed rather than date of action. It's a lot of assumptions.

    For certain though, I need to update my EK2 info on the unit mapping I've been putting down, as I have that as the 17th Feld Division.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  6. #45


    To express my thanks for the time all of you have spent helping on this, I have made a special donation to the forum. I wanted show my appreciation in a tangible way, and hope I haven't been too much trouble!
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  7. #46


    As Scott has mentioned above, he had PM'd me about the meaning of the entries on pages 30 - 32.

    Here's what they say (apologies for the blanks; a few of the words give me trouble):

    "26th Aug. 39 - 9th June 40
    Employment in the operational area of the West

    10th June 40 - 25th June 40
    Employment in air defense

    26th June 40 - 5th March 42
    Defense of war-important and vital facilities in the homeland area agaisnt air raids

    6th March 42 - 7th May 42
    Employed in the defense of war-important and vital facilities in the homeland area against air raids

    7th May 42 - 15th Oct. 42
    Defense of war-important and vital facilities in the homeland area against air raids

    16th Oct. 42 - 26th Oct. 42
    Defense of war-important and vital facilities in the homeland area against air raids

    27th Oct. 42 - 30th Nov. 42
    Defense of war-important and vital facilities in the homeland area against air raids

    Combat activity on 341 days

    4th Jan. 43 - 7th June 44
    Defense of the Channel Coast

    12th June 44 -
    [...] Sept. 44
    Invasion fighting
    Battle by the Orne,
    battle for Caen,
    battle in Normandy
    crossing of the Seine
    fighting in Northern France

    5th Nov. - 11th Dec.
    Battle for

    16th Dec. - 5th March 45
    Winter combat in the Eifel
    and in the Ardennes -
    St. Vieth, Bastogne -
    Fighting for the Westwall

    12th Feb.
    Fighting for the bridgehead at Fort
    [?] (N Ls.) [I think this is the abbreviation for Niederlausitz]
    Defensive battle near Schwarzwasser

    17th April
    Defensive fighting by the
    Spremberg encirclement
    Fighting for Saxony and

  8. #47


    Thanks HPL!!!!!!

    Based on other words penciled in, I "think" the 17th of April entry would then say "Defensive fighting by the Neisse."

    The Spremberg-Torgau Offensive Operation (16 April 1945 – 5 May 1945) pitted the Soviets against the German Army Group Vistula. February 1945, the 4th Panzer Army (which we found out earlier the 17.Flak division was attached to) defended along the Oder River, containing the Soviet bridgehead at Steinau on the Oder. In March and the first half of April 1945, the army concentrated on defenses along the Lusatian Neisse River between Görlitz and Guben. Guben is north of Forst, which puts the 20th regiment on this very line at that time as dated April 17th in the pass "Defensive fighting by the Neisse", and based on the historical records showing "4.45 at Forst/Niederlausitz".

    On April 16 1945, the Soviets renewed their offensive by crossing the Oder River. While the 9th Army held the Soviets at the Battle of Seelow Heights, the 4th Panzer Army was being pushed back. V Corps of the retreating 4th Panzer Army was pushed into the operational region of the German 9th Army, forming a pocket of some 80,000 men. The Soviets then encircled this force in a pocket in the Spree Forest south of the Seelow Heights and west of Frankfurt. Some of the trapped 4th Panzer Army troops in the Halbe Pocket were able to break out to the west and surrender to the U.S. Army on the west bank of the Elbe River, but the bulk of the 4th Panzer Army was pushed south of Dresden into the Ore Mountains and forced to surrender to the Soviets in the wake of the early May 1945 Prague Offensive.

    The Elbe River flows through Saxony (which appears to be the general area of the cities mentioned at the end of the wehrpass and in the historical record). Wiki history for this area states:

    In 1945, as World War II was drawing to a close, Nazi Germany was caught between the armies of the western Allies advancing from the west and the Soviet Union advancing from the east. On 25 April 1945, these two forces linked up near Torgau, on the Elbe.

    As World War II drew to its end, U.S. troops under General George Patton conquered the western part of Saxony in April 1945, while Soviet troops conquered the eastern part.

    So, from the 20th Flak Regiments historical account, we know it was in this area defending against the Soviets in April of 1945, stationed in Forst as early as February. The combat activity supports this, as it seems likely they were part of the 17.Flak Division assisting the 4th Panzer division along the Neisse River. There look to be a number of encirclements, including a Spremberg, followed by breakouts, concluding with the divisions surrender to the Allies, and the end of the Wehrpass.

    This pass shows one complicated story, concluding with the soldiers discharge in May of 1945.

    The only question left, could the EK1 and GAB be retroactively awarded? Or were they embellishments? Either way, I love this pass! What an incredible research journey, mapped out perfectly in the Wehrpass and the 20th regiments unit history. This young man saw incredible sights, and some horrors I could only imagine.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  9. #48


    I am glad to read that in the main -if not completely- that this pass is period. It has been an interesting ride and good to see those who have contributed to the discussion have produced such an example to all of us that makes this forum such a good place to post and belong to.


    Whatever its just an opinion.

  10. #49


    Something just doesn't add up about the EK1 and GAB.

    If they're retroactive awards, would they have ever awarded an EK2 for recent service, and an EK1 for service prior to the date of the EK2? If they're embellishments, why wouldn't they have just reused the 17.Flakdiv designation so it all flowed sensibly? Why go back to earlier service and draw attention to it and raise suspicion as a post war add on? Whoever added them would have to have known the 20th was part of Gen.Kdo.III Flakkorps at one point. Nowhere in the pass does it mention Gen.Kdo.III Flakkorps, except the awards page. Just seems so odd.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

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