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Wehrpass - Konrad Schmidt - KIA in Russia

Article about: Here's a new Wehrpass I just recieved that I can only make out a little about. I "think" this soldier was an officer cadet, who had earned the KVK 2nd class with swords, the EK2 an

  1. #1

    Default Wehrpass - Konrad Schmidt - KIA in Russia

    Here's a new Wehrpass I just recieved that I can only make out a little about. It's my third pass, and my first real "fighter". I "think" this soldier was an officer cadet, who had earned the KVK 2nd class with swords, the EK2 and EK1, Infantry Assault Badge, 4 year service award, and a DRL, and perhaps others that I can't read. He died in Russia. Not sure what any of the rest of this says though, and I'd love to know what the red cross through on the cover means, in addition to anything else any kind soul is willing to share.

    I took photos of this one instead of scanning it, as the spine is very fragile.

    And in remembrance of Konrad, here's all the pages that had something on them:

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    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

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  3. #2


    I believe that the "Red Line" or "Red-Cross" or "Red Slanted" lines marked on Wehrpasses means or meant "KIA". I may be wrong on that but I have had a few in the past and that was my understanding. Looks like a nice one with good entries. Go Royals!!!
    "WWII Militaria collecting has no cure and the only medicine is to collect more" - My Opa

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  4. #3


    That would make sense if the cross on the front was in regards to being KIA. I really like getting these passes. In one sense, they're kind of like collector cards. But, also if you think about it, these little booklets probably contain more information on many of these soldiers than will ever be available about them ever again. In some way, they keep a piece of them alive. That really makes them something worth keeping around IMO.

    Now I just need to keep picking up German words so I can translate more of this stuff.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  5. #4


    He was a career army NCO who had started out in the pre-Third Reich state police and was eventually made an officer candidate during the war.

    Right, a red cross or "X" drawn across a Wehrpass cover means the soldier in question was KIA (or had died of other causes).

    I will provide more data on the document's contents later today or maybe tomorrow.

    (I'm looking at this on my cell phone during my commute to work right now and will return to the thread when I have more time on my hands and a decent-sized screen in front of my eyes.)

  6. #5


    The signature on page 1 is that of Hauptmann Labuda who was still in command of 4./IR 4 in January 1939 although I can find no trace of him after that.
    The soldier seems to of spent the majority of the war in training, reserve & occupation troop assignments in Norway and Holland before being sent to a front line division (131 Infanterie-Division) in February 1943 which was located in Army Group Center's area of operations in Russia.
    For some reason just 4 days after his regiment participated in the invasion of Poland in 1939 he was transferred away to a training/replacement unit.

  7. #6


    Hucks, does one of the activity pages generally tell us what engagement a soldier was in?
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  8. #7


    Page 32 lists the unit campaigns although some are more detailed than others. Unfortunately the ones shown in this WP are pretty basic so you will need to check the divisional histories to see what he was engaged in.

  9. #8


    Alright, here's what the document tells us:

    Konrad Paul Johannes Schmidt was born on 13th Dec. 1910 at Schneidemühl in West Prussia (now Piła in Poland) as the son of the laborer Josef Schmidt and his wife Maria, née Drews.

    A natural-born German citizen of Catholic faith, Konrad was still single when this Wehrpass was issued in 1937, although he eventually got married at an unknown later time.

    He left the Gymnasium [grammar school] after graduating from the Obersekunda class, thus attaining a secondary school certificate. His classical education left him with school knowledge of both Latin and Ancient Greek.

    He did not train in a civilian trade, deciding on a life in uniform instead and joining the Landespolizei [State Police] on 1st October 1930, when he took up training as a candidate at the State Police School at Treptow an der Rega in Western Pomarania [now Trzebiatów in Poland].

    After three promotions, his final police rank was Oberwachtmeister, which he held since 1st April 1935.

    The barracked State Police formations - once an unofficial extension of Weimar Germany's small 100,000-men-army - were absorbed into the Wehrmacht in 1935.

    As part of this process, Konrad Schmidt transferred to the army on 17th August 1935 with the rank of Unteroffizier. He took his new oath the same day. His initial unit was the 18th Company of Infantry Regiment 4, based at Treptow an der Rega.

    His first promotion as a soldier came on 1st April 1939, when he was promoted to Unterfeldwebel. This was an intermediary rank which could be skipped, with promotion from Unteroffizier to Feldwebel being the norm. Interestingly, he was indeed promoted to Feldwebel with effect of the same date, either somehow rectifying/overruling the initial act or as a case of a retroactive promotion. He was next promoted to Oberfeldwebel on 1st October 1940.
    On 1st April 1941, he was made an officer candidate like many other experienced SNCOs during the war.
    Due to his officer candidate status, his final rank designation, held from 1st May 1943 onwards was Fahnenjunker-Oberfeldwebel.

    During his career, Konrad underwent a number of training and qualification measures:
    He was qualified with the carbine, the M 08 and M 34 heavy machine guns, the M 08 pistol and the M 34 heavy mortar.
    Between 1939 and 1942, he was lectured on 10 different occasions about various administrative, legal and security-related matters.
    He attended a platoon leader's course from 27th Oct. to 9th Nov. 1941 with the 181st Infantry Division.
    From 22nd June to 5th July 1942, he took part in a specialized officers' training course with the High Command XXXIII aimed at qualifying the attendees as shooting instructors and instructors in ordnance- and basic infantry service.
    After this came a Fahnenjunker officer candidate course from 18th June to 18th July 1943 with the AOK 4.

    An athletic young man, Konrad also attained the German Sports badge and held the Freischwimmer [lit. "free swimmer"] certificate, which required 15 minutes of swimming in deep water plus a jump into the water from 1 meter height.

    His blood group was AB, and he was vaccinated against smallpox on 11th Sept. 1939 and against typhus on 21st Oct. 1939. A medical examination on 12th April 1941 found him to be kriegsverwendungsfähig [fit for war service], i.e. the highest category.

    His first award was the aforementioned Sports Badge, which was followed by the Long Service Award 4th Class for four years of active military service.
    Following his humble peacetime awards, Konrad was decorated several times during the war:
    He received the War Merit Cross with Swords 2nd Class on 1st April 1942.
    He was subsequently decorated with the Iron Cross 2nd Class on 13th Sept. 1943 by the CO of the 2nd Panzer Division and with the 1st Class on 26th March 1944 by the CO of the 131st Infantry Division. On 16th May 1944, he was awarded the Infantry Assault Badge in Silver by the CO of Grenadier Regiment 434; posthumously, as we shall see.

    Following his initial assignment with the 18th Company of Infantry Regiment 4, Konrad served with a succession of other infantry- or grenadier units detailed on page 12 and 13 of the Wehrpass.

    Konrad took part in the following campaigns/deployments:

    • 12th June 1940 to 7th July 1940: Security-/occupation duties in the Generalgouvernement (i.e. occupied Poland) with Infantry Regiment 242.
    • 12th May 1941 to 27th Sept. 1942: Security-/occupation duties in Norway with the 7th Company of Infantry Regiment 742.
    • 2nd Nov. 1942 to 23rd Jan. 1943: Security-/occupation duties in the Netherlands with the 6th Company of Infantry Regiment 861.
    • 16th Feb. 1943 to 11th Aug. 1943: Participation in the fighting against the Soviet Union with Grenadier Regiments 432 and 434. This deployment ended when he was wounded by a shrapnel hit to his left lower thigh while serving with the 10th Company of Grenadier Regiment 434.
    • 9th Jan. 1944 to 1st April 1944: Campaign against the Soviet Union with the 1st Company of Grenadier Regiment 434.

    1st April 1944 was the day when his luck finally ran out and his life was cut short:

    As the final entry in the Wehrpass, signed by his company commander Lt. Schulze-Langendorff, testifies, this was the day when Konrad Schmidt was KIA at Czerkasy in Russia at 33 years of age.
    Last edited by HPL2008; 10-29-2014 at 11:57 PM.

  10. #9


    he sure got around.

  11. #10


    HPL2008. Thanks for your endeavour into researching this wehrpass & to Kevin too. Stewy

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