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Help solve the mystery!! Need help identifying rank/branch of German Soldiers in portraits

Article about: Our mother never knew her father. Our grandmother went to her grave never revealing his identity, except that he was a Nazi soldier. This left a huge void in our mother’s life. With her no

  1. #1

    Smile Help solve the mystery!! Need help identifying rank/branch of German Soldiers in portraits

    Our mother never knew her father. Our grandmother went to her grave never revealing his identity, except that he was a Nazi soldier. This left a huge void in our mother’s life. With her now in her mid 70’s, we have made it our mission to do all that we can so that at the very least, she can just know his name.

    4 photos of German Soldiers were the only clues our grandmother left. In addition to using DNA testing to its full extent, is it possible to identify the rank/branch of each one of these 4 soldiers, based on their uniform and insignia?

    Any help, suggestions, recommendations, lucky pennies, or winning lottery numbers would be greatly appreciated!

    The first 3 photos are of the same soldier w an inscription on the back. We are not sure what it says, but believe it’s signed, “Hans”. The other 2 photos are contenders as well.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Help solve the mystery!! Need help identifying rank/branch of German Soldiers in portraits   Help solve the mystery!! Need help identifying rank/branch of German Soldiers in portraits  

    Help solve the mystery!! Need help identifying rank/branch of German Soldiers in portraits   Help solve the mystery!! Need help identifying rank/branch of German Soldiers in portraits  

    Help solve the mystery!! Need help identifying rank/branch of German Soldiers in portraits  

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  3. #2

    Default

    Hi there.

    Hopefully we can help.

    1 - Luftwaffe (Airforce).

    Help solve the mystery!! Need help identifying rank/branch of German Soldiers in portraits

    His rank is Feldwebel.

    Ranks and insignia of the Luftwaffe (1935–1945) - Wikipedia

    The lanyard attached to his shoulder is a Schützenschnüre (marksmanship lanyard).

    My small collection of Schützenschnur

    The award at the bottom of his right pocket looks like a Flugzeugführer abzeichen (pilot badge) or some similar aircrew award, above that possibly the Verwundetenabzeichen Schwarz (black wound badge) or some kind of sports award. The top most award might be the Frontflugspange (Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe). Hopefully someone can confirm or correct the above.

    Fluzeugführer abzeichen -

    Flugzeugfuhrerabzeichen (Wehrmacht) – Wikipedia

    Verwundetenabzeichen -

    Wound Badge - Wikipedia


    2 - Luftwaffe (Airforce).

    Help solve the mystery!! Need help identifying rank/branch of German Soldiers in portraits

    His rank is Unteroffizier

    Ranks and insignia of the Luftwaffe (1935–1945) - Wikipedia


    3 - Heer (Army).

    Help solve the mystery!! Need help identifying rank/branch of German Soldiers in portraits

    His rank looks like Hauptmann (Captain).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranks_...%E2%80%931945)

    The ribbon near the collar is for the the Eiserne Kreuz 2. Klasse (Iron Cross 2nd Class).

    https://www.tracesofwar.com/awards/8...z-2-klasse.htm

    Above the pocket is a little 'ribbon' for what appears to be the Wehrmacht-Dienstauszeichnung (Wehrmacht long service award).

    https://www.identifymedals.com/datab...e-award-medal/

    The other awards on the pocket consist of the Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse (Iron Cross First Class), Verwundetenabzeichen Schwarz (black wound badge) on the left.

    Eisernes Kreuz -

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Cross

    The award at the bottom of the pocket is the Infanterie Sturmabzeichen (Infantry Assault Badge).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infantry_Assault_Badge

    I am not sure about the award on the right.


    4 - Luftwaffe (Airforce)

    Help solve the mystery!! Need help identifying rank/branch of German Soldiers in portraits

    I can't make out any details, but this could be the same man as in photo one.


    I hope this helps.

    Kind regards,

    Will.
    Last edited by Willmore; 01-10-2024 at 09:34 PM.

  4. #3
    ?

    Default

    I think what’s written on the back (is it on the blurry picture?) says “So einer war ……!” over “Mein Hans”

  5. #4
    MAP
    MAP is offline
    ?

    Default

    Quote by Willmore View Post
    Hi there.

    Hopefully we can help.

    1 - Luftwaffe (Airforce).

    Help solve the mystery!! Need help identifying rank/branch of German Soldiers in portraits


    It award at the bottom of his right pocket looks like a Flugzeugführer abzeichen (pilot badge) or some similar aircrew award, above that possibly the Verwundetenabzeichen Schwarz (black wound badge) or some kind of sports award. The top most award might be the Frontflugspange (Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe). Hopefully someone can confirm or correct the above.

    The Frontflugspange is for a short range day fighter clasp and appears to be the Silver Grade (60 combat missions). The rest of the awards are correct as well.
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  6. #5
    MAP
    MAP is offline
    ?

    Default

    Quote by Willmore View Post

    3 - Heer (Army).

    Help solve the mystery!! Need help identifying rank/branch of German Soldiers in portraits



    I am not sure about the award on the right.
    That is a DRL (Deutscher Reichsbund für Leibesübungen) sports badge in what appears to be the Bronze grade
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  7. #6

    Default

    Quote by MAP View Post
    That is a DRL (Deutscher Reichsbund für Leibesübungen) sports badge in what appears to be the Bronze grade
    Thanks Michael!

    Kind regards,

    Will.

  8. #7

    Default

    Others will correct me, but I read somewhere that all officers (under 30 years) were "encouraged" to gain the DRL badge as a sign of their physical prowess and as leaders of other ranks?

  9. #8

    Default

    So einer war auch er (ich?). Dein Hans = He (I) was like that too. Your Hans

    My two cents.
    Cheers,
    Emile

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