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Stuka zu Fuß: Die Geschichte einer Nebelwerfer Offizier

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    • Stuka zu Fuß: Die Geschichte einer Nebelwerfer Offizier

      Hallo

      Letzte Tagen wirden schon sehr schönes Krim Nachlasser gesehen habe, wollte ich gern Ihr einer neuen Gruppe schauen. Ich hatte es schon in Frühling aber endlich habe ich es beendet könne. Ich wollte gern die Leute hier auf Dokumentenforum, GCA und WAF danken für die Hilfe die ich bekommen habe.

      Entschuldigung es ist auf English aber mein Sprachkenntnis von Deutsch ist nicht so umfassend.

      MfG

      stijn
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    • Prewar period

      On 16/01/1910 Karl Fölsing is born in Vaitshain in the Kreis Lauterbach. He is the third child of Paul and Katherina (geb. Müller). His brother is born in 1899 and his sister in 1897.

      First trace of him starts in 1932.
      In that year he has donated 0,80 Mark to the NSDAP. There are 2 Quittung (receipt). On dokumentenforum.de I found out that this was a special donation to the party for special events like Parteitagen for exemple.
      In 1933 he did the same thing but he had to reach deeper in his pockets because he spent 1,5 Mark. On a wartime picture Karl is wearing a ribbon for 10 years long service of the NSDAP so he sure is a loyal member of the party.
      On 08/09/1934 he marries Rosel. His wife is also active in supporting the party. The pink document states that she does voluntary work for the NSDAP.
      Next document is from April 1937.
      According to my research the owner was insured under the employee insurance and had, according to this document paid contributions from April 1935 until April 1937 to a pension insurance. He paid to purchase pension rights due to old age and invalidity.
      Karl is working as a Revisor when he is called in for an examination at Wehrmeldeamt at Alzey. The invitation is send on 13/04/37 and on 17/04 he had to present himself. On 18/05/1938 a document states that he was examined on 17/04 and was he was at ability level 1 and is fit for Ersatz Reserve II.

      The couple Fölsing is heavily asked to do duty because on 18/05/1938 Frau Karl Fölsing receives an invitation to present herself regarding the development of Luftschutz - draft. She is drafted as a Laienhelferin. According the experts at dokumentenforum.de Laie is an amateur or a specialist that isn't trained. She would have to do jobs that didn't acquire any special skills. In September Frau Fölsing receives a letter that she has to present herself 3 days later to receive training in Selbschutz / Selfdefense.

      In 1939 Karel became a member from the Nationalsozialistischer Rechtswehrer Bund (NSRB). He receives a letter that based upon his application he will receive number A 40915 and that he will have to start paying contributions starting on 01/11/1939.
      Der "Nationalsozialistische Rechtswahrer-Bund" (="National Socialist Jurists Association") was the organization of lawyers, judges, prosecutors, notaries, etc. He had up to 100,000 members and was led by the "imperial rights leader" Hans Frank, in 1942 by Otto Thierack.

      That was the last prewar document in the grouping.
      After that he is off to war.
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    • Prewar Bilder Teil 2
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    • French campaign

      As he was still working in 1939 (see last document) I assume that he didn't participate in the Poland campaign.
      It is difficult to reconstruct the first days / years of his military career.

      The first real fact is the EK II document dated 16/07/1941.
      Before that date there is no other document. There are only a handful of pictures that were torn from a picture book. On these pictures there are notes on the back. Based on these we know that his unit crossed the Rhein in Breisach. Breisach is situated at the French border near Colmar.

      Research taught me that he took part in Operation Kleiner Bär. The goal of this operation was to cross the Rhein and take the Maginotline. It started on 15/06 and the following units took part: 213.ID, 218.ID, 221.ID, 239.ID, 554.ID, 556.ID, 557.ID and the 6.Gebirgsdivision. These units were supported by 5 Artillery Regiments and strong air support (including 150 Stuka).
      Unfortunately i couldn't find a list of which artillery regiments participated so it will be a guess...
      Here is a possbility: the XXV. Korps took part in Kleiner Bär. On the Gliederung on 02/08/1940 there are 2 Nebelwerferunits: Nebelwerfer Regiments Stab 4 and Nebelwerfer Abteilung 8. Of course I'll keep looking to find more conclusive proof.
      We do know that the role of the Nebelwerfer units was to clear the terrain between the casemates with high explosive shells and to put on a smokescreen to camouflage the troops.

      Based on the pics and what is written on the back we know a few things:
      - The pic of the mortar crew (see later): Simon (Orchard) taught me that this is a 10cm Nebelwerfer 35. He told me that this type was used by Nebelwerfer units. So this is proof that he served in a (Nebel)Werfer unit for the duration of the war. Another proof of this fact is that you see on the picture on the French side of the Rhein you see the small trolleys with the Nebelwerfer tubes (see bleu arrows).

      - His unit crossed the Rhein on 17/06/1940. This was a few day after the infantry units cleared the bunker line after fierce fighting.

      Thanks to the pics of the Rhein crossing and the text on the reverse the history behind them is much broader and we have an idea where Karl fought during the first days of war.
      There is a pic with a mortar crew with Karel on it imo. I indicated him with an arrow. His troth/neck looks the same as seen on later pics, he is wearing a wedding ring and it looks like he is an NCO.

      I contacted the Kameradschaft from the Nebelwerfers to see if they had more information about this operation but unfortunately the guy who could have this information didn’t reply to my question… :(
      Like i said i couldn't find out which artillery regiments so i can't track the actions of Karl after the Rhein crossing. The only thing we know for sure is that he survived the French campaign. ;)
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    • French campaign Bilder Teil 2
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    • The period between the French and Russian campaign is blurry. The next lead in the papers is an Urkunde for an EK II. The cross was not in the group.

      Unteroffizier Fölsing got the EK II on 16/07/1941 while serving in the 9./Nebelwerferregiment 53. So this means took part in Operation Barbarossa. Again it is difficult to find more information about the deployment of this unit.
      The Lexicon der Wehrmacht says this unit was formed in February 1941 from parts of other Nebelwerferunits. They served as Heerestruppe on the Eastern Front. For the moment this is all the information i can find regarding the deployment of WR 53.

      The document is signed by General of Panzertroops Joachim Hermann August LEMELSEN (°26/09/1888). He got the RK on 27/07/1941 (only a few days after he signed this document) and the Eichenlaub on 07/09/1943.

      Once again there is a gap of information. So far we know Fölsing received an EK II. In the group there was also an Allgemeines Sturmabzeichen. For sure he must have earned this ASA when he took part in the fights after invading Russia in 1941. Unfortunately there is no solid proof when he got it. The medal is a denazified piece. So this could mean Fölsing never bothered to buy a 57er to wear after the war.

      It is a zinc badge made by Rudolf Karneth, a maker based in Gablonz a.N. It is the semi hollow zinc type with solid block hinge (type 1.9.5). On a picture you can clearly see that this is the badge he is wearing on that pic. If only this badge could speak….

      Fölsing also had to endure the first cold winter in 1941 in Russia. On the Urkunde we see he got an Ostmedaille on 24/10/1942. The medal is made by Foerster & Barth, a maker based in Pforzheim. The ribbon is missing but there is a paper bag.
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      • 13 EK II.jpg

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      • 15 ASA obv.jpg

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      • 14 ASA rev.jpg

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      • 16 ASA uniform.jpg

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    • Russia Bilder Teil 2
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      • 17 Ost obv.jpg

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      • 18 Ost package.jpg

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      • 19 Ost UK.jpg

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    • March 1942 Unteroffizier Fölsing is promoted to Wachtmeister. From the document we learn that he served in the I./ Schweres Werferregiment 1 at that time. This unit is created on 28/01/1942 in the region of Celle. The first Abteilung (I.) had 3 batteries of 15 cm Nebelwerfer.

      02/1942: the unit is transferred to Rumania by train and from there they go on foot to Krim. Here it is part of 11. Armee. In March 1942 the first batterie helps to capture the town of Sewastopol while the rest were in combat in the Perpatsch Stellung. Mai 1942 the regiment helps to capture the peninsula of Kertsch. A month later the whole regiment is transferred to Sewastopol to take part in operation Störfang (Sturgeon catch) that began on 02/06/42. After weeks of heavy fighting and bombardments the Russians surrendered on 04/07/42.

      In the book “Nebelwerfer” from Joachim Emde (1979, Podzun Pallos Verlag GMBH) on page 93 I read a brief description of the battle of Sewastopol. It was the first time that Nebelwerfer units were deployed in these numbers. The WR 1 and WR 70 fought together. WR 1 used Spreng & Flammölgranaten from caliber 28 to 32cm against field strong points. The regiment could fire 300 grenades at once in a time span of 10 seconds. The psychological effect was just as big s the actual damage. The damage of 1 grenades wasn’t as big as a normal artillery shell, however in a flat landscape and narrow spaces the shockwave, created when the rocket (grenade) detonated, crushed the blood vessels.

      After the Germans took the harbor of Sewastopol Fölsings unit first helps securing the Krim. At the end of July they are transferred by train to the area around Stalino (now Donetsk) in Ukraine. The unit will participate to Operation Fall Blau (Case blue). The operation was a continuation of the previous year's Operation Barbarossa intended to finally knock the Soviet Union out of the war, and involved a two-pronged attack against the rich oilfields of Baku as well as an advance in the direction of Stalingrad along the Volga River, to cover the flanks of the advance towards Baku.

      After the Germans took the harbor of Sewastopol Fölsings unit first helps securing the Krim. At the end of July they are transferred by train to the area around Stalino (now Donetsk) in Ukraine. The unit will participate to Operation Fall Blau (Case blue). (information Wikipedia) The operation was a continuation of the previous year's Operation Barbarossa intended to finally knock the Soviet Union out of the war, and involved a two-pronged attack against the rich oilfields of Baku as well as an advance in the direction of Stalingrad along the Volga River, to cover the flanks of the advance towards Baku.
      For this part of the operation, Army Group South (Heeresgruppe Süd) of the German Army (Wehrmacht Heer) was sub-divided into Army Groups A and B (Heeresgruppe A and B). Army Group A was tasked with crossing the Caucasus Mountains to reach the Baku oil fields, while Army Group B protected its flanks along the Volga.

      The Schw. Werferregiment 1 is part of the 1. Panzerarmee. This armee is part of Army Group A which is under the command of Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm List (see pic). In August Fölsings unit moves up to Rostow. From Woroschilowsk - Pjatogorsk they went to Mosdok.

      After the beginning of Fall Blau German forces made good progress for two months, advancing almost to Grozny, about 650 km from Rostov. However, by the end of August their advance had ground to halt, mainly due to critical shortages of fuel and ammunition as the army group outran its supply lines. Soviet resistance had also stiffened considerably, and matters were made worse for the Germans by the removal in mid-August of most Luftwaffe combat units to the north to support the 6th Army’s drive on Stalingrad.

      Hitler was angered by the loss of momentum, and when List proposed moving some stalled spearhead units to another, less advanced portion of the front to assist in destroying stubborn Soviet forces, Hitler relieved him of command on 9 September and placed himself in charge of Army Group A. List spent the rest of the war at his home and never returned to active duty.

      From September until December 1942 the regiment took part in the fights in the area around Terek more specifically in the area Naltschik – Orschonikidse.

      In the background Wachtmeister Fölsing is promoted to Leutnant der Reserve on 03/08/1942. Actually he is a Leutnant as from 01/06. Because on 13/07/42 there is an order with number OKH/PA/Ag P1/6 Abt. (b)v.13/07/1942 that says that Karl Fölsing is promoted to Kriegsoffizier. The original order is signed by Keitel on 22/07 as we can see on the Abschrift (Kopie) from the Wehrbezirkscommando in Mainz.

      Being an officer isn’t an insurance against wounds. In August / September Fölsing gets wounded. When exactly is hard to say. The only thing we know is that his wife gets the authorization to visit her husband in the lazarett of Elbing (currently named Elblag, Poland) in room 420. On the paper there is written: “wegen Rekonvaleszenz”. According to Wikipedia this is the last stage of recovery, it roughly means revalidation.

      While in the hospital Leutnant Fölsing receives a congratulation letter for his promotion to officer. The letter is written by an Oberst from Wehrbezirkskommando Kommandeur dated 09/09/1942.

      This small document proofs that Karl had to have had a wound badge. Unfortunately there is no more Urkunde in the group. The only thing that “survived” is a Silver wound badge. This means that Leutnant Fölsing got wounded 3 or 4 times during the war.

      The wound badge is a nice zinc badge made by B. H. Mayer's Kunst-Prägeanstalt from Pforzheim marked with the maker number 26. This is a late war badge with an integrated hinge and catch.

      As mentioned he got the Ostmedaille. He got this medal on 24/10/1942. At that time he still wasn’t in active duty yet. The stamp on that document is from Werfer Ersatz Abteilung 2. This unit was based in Bremen.

      It looks like Karl is home at the end of 1942 and he can enjoy the holidays with his family. He gets a new picture in his Leutnant uniform in a photo store in his hometown. Too bad we cannot see if he already got the ASA or not.
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      • 20 Krim map.jpg

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      • 21 Krim map.jpg

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    • 1942
      Bilder Teil 2
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      • 22 Promotion.jpg

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      • 23 Promotion.jpg

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      • 24 Hospital.jpg

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    • 1942
      Bilder Teil 3
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      • 27 vwa rev.jpg

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      • 28 pic SB.jpg

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    • January 1943 he is with his old unit again. He got the Krim shield. In the group there are 2 shields and the document.
      According to Tiff the makers of the shields are unknown for the moment. One came with backing and shows a lot of wear.

      Here’s a picture of Fölsing wearing a Krim. On the shoulder board there is a 1 from the 1. Schw. WR. Unfortunately his left arm is blocking his left upper pocket so we cannot see that he already received a wound badge or not. It looks there is no badge. This could mean that his hospitalization wasn’t due to combat wounds but could also be due to illness.
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      • 29 UK Krim.jpg

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      • 30 Krim.jpg

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      • 31 Krim no.jpg

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      • 31a Krim pic.jpg

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    • There are hardly any documents in the group after January 1943. In july 1944 his wife gets a notice that she can go to a Heeresstandort Kasse and collect 390 RM. Apparently it is difficult to figure out why she got this support. Probably this is because due of his absence she has financial difficulties. The amount is sure high for those days.

      In the same month on 25/07/1944 Leutnant Fölsing got the EK I while serving in the 7. / Werfer Rgt. 56.
      WR 56 is created in June / July 1943 in Celle. The III. Abteilung is added in August 1943. The 7. Company is part of that III. Abteilung. It is difficult to know for sure but most probably Karl is transferred from WR 1 to this unit. It could be that he is called out as an officer or that he is in an ersatz unit after a wound… Difficult to say.

      From end 1943 till the end of the war this regiment took part in the fighting in Italy to stop the invasion of the Allied forces. On this map I made, you can see the places where they fought:
      maps.google.fr/maps/ms?msid=21…04c2d8b7a367dc4cf75&msa=0

      From 13/07/1944 the regiment was deployed as part of 90. Panzergrenadier division in the area around Villa Magna. As you can see the document for the EK I is signed by the commander of this unit: Generalmajor Ernst-Günther Baade. He got the Knights Cross on 27/06/1942 as Oberst when he was commander of Schützen-Regiment 115. 22/02/1944 he got the Eichenlaub (402) as commander of 90. Panzergrenadier-Division. Later in 1944 he got the Swords (111.) as Generalleutnant and commander of 90. Panzergrenadier-Division.
      The Iron Cross is made by Paul Meybauer, Berlin. You can’t see the swastika anymore. Fölsing put a small plate over it. In that way he was able to keep wearing his wartime cross in public.

      Fölsing received a telegram to congratulate him for his EK I. It is from General der Nebeltruppe Ochsner (°23/07/1892). From 1940 till the end of the war Ochsner was head of the Nebeltruppe. According to the books I read about Nebelwerfer he was loved by his troops. He was always on the way to visit his different regiments and he helped them where ever he could. On 08/02/1945 he received the German Cross in Silver. He died 11/10/1951.

      From July 1944 till the end of the war there are no other items in the group. Last document is his Personal Data sheet that he had to fill out for the American troops. On this document we can see that the last unit he was serving in was III. Werfer Lehr Regiment 2 as Abteilung Adjutant. This unit isn’t listed on the Lexicon der Wehrmacht so it is difficult to find out where he surrendered to the Allied troops.

      This was the story of a soldier that survived almost 5 long years. I don’t know when Leutnant Fölsing passed away…
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      • 32 Beihilfe.jpg

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      • 33 EK I.jpg

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      • 34 EK I obv.jpg

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      • 35 EK I rev.jpg

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      Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 1 mal editiert, zuletzt von vic044 ()

    • Tolle Leistung!

      Ich bin sehr beeindruckt und finde es äußerst ehrenvoll, wenn auf diese Weise ein Soldat des grausamen Weltkrieges aus dem anonymen Vergessen geholt wird.

      Danke vic044 ;n9; !

      Sammlergrüße!
       
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