WARTIME MEMORIES OF THE 1940-1946

The author describes his experiences as a soldier of the German Wehrmacht. Born in 1920,
recovered as a 19 year old guy to the Reich Labor Service and deployed, including 6 years as
a soldier taken prisoner at the front, he has written in the age of 81, shortly before his death,
this story about HIS war. Do not expect a hero's story. You will find a story of survival.
Please forgive the sometimes bumpy writing. The text was transmitted directly and provided
me with some facts and data without changing the basic text. Unfortunately, there are gaps in
the temporal context. It is a subjective view of his own experiences. Story takes place here in
the restricted field of view. Any political opinion or ideology is not represented here. He died
in February 2002. He left a wife and three children.

At the Reich Labor Service
I will never forget that day. I became 19 years old when my training as automotive
technicians in Gräf & Stift completed works in Vienna. Shortly thereafter, I was briefly called
up to the Reich Labor Service for the mandatory 6-month training. There I received a very
strict and harsh pre-military training. In common with many young comrades from all over
the former German Reich, we had at the Linz "Gugl" armed with spades and shovels to build
"Führerhäuser” for senior Party members and head of the Reich Labor Service camp.
Mechanical attachments were not used in the Reich Labor Service, or very little. Thus, the
potency should be encouraged ... about the meaningfulness should be discussed. This was
according to my record in May 1940. As part of the RAD, I also took part in a Nazi Party
Rally in Nuremberg. It was for me, as opponents of this regime, an extraordinary sight - the
sight of 100 000 men of the RAD, which lined up and drilled with a highly polished digging
before Hitler. I can not deny it, it has impressed me. They could made parades. June 1940, I
was moved then as "laborers" to strengthen the West Wall to Rastatt in Breisgau. We were
welcome there, cause we encouraged the infrastructure and the purchasing power of the
region. In addition, there was strict discipline. I stayed in Rastatt, started up after the war with
France and France was already half occupied by the armed forces already. Shortly before the
end of the fighting, however, our RAD-section of a unit was assigned assault engineers to take
on the advance of the Wehrmacht 1940 not attacked Maginot Line. Already at the beginning
of the war the Reich Labor Service units were used for combat, later serving the Heimatflak
was mandatory.

Maginot Line
The Maginot Line by the time of our attack had not yet surrendered. There were many more
combative Frenchman entrenched in the underground defense facilities. In the following short
but very tough battle in September 1940 I also saw the first casualties. It should still be many
more. A memory that you will not forget. After the end of the fighting, I had the opportunity
to visit with fellow bunker installations. I saw among other things, the underground,
according to statements by French prisoners of war apparently 75 km long railway, the
hospital facilities and the retractable turrets with heavy twin guns, machine gun bunkers and
other facilities of the fortress line. Probably why the visit has enabled us to enable us to
compare with the West Wall was built by the RAD. It has benefited the French, nothing.

Training at the " Hoch- und Deutschmeister"
After a brief stay in order back and relax in Rastatt I received after the end of my service in
the Reich Labor Service, the position of command, I immediately Infantry Regiment 134 in
association with the 44th Infantry Division, later "Hoch- und Deutschmeister" in Vienna. It
was December 1940. I was able to return to Vienna. Home and family again. To understand
my attitude to Hitler and his government, I need to talk about my roots. I came from a
working class family from the Viennese Socialist Workers District Ottakring. My father was a
resistance fighter in the February uprising 1934. I myself have smuggled at the direction of
my father for the Social Defense Corps weapons in the laundry basket in the municipal
buildings. The Home Guard or "Hahnenschwanzler called, then searched the apartment in our
home and looking with M95-bayonets stacked up, clean clothes in the chest, after arms
pierced and torn. For me there was only the socialist road and Hitler and the Nazis were not
the answer for me. The official commissioning ceremony was in 10. October 1940. When
Swear to the Fuehrer Adolf Hitler, I ventured to make silent resistance, as I pledged allegiance
to the leader was not repeated and crossed his fingers. Wehrmacht Oath 1934: "I swear by
God this sacred oath that I am the leader of the German Reich and people, Adolf Hitler, the
Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces to provide unconditional obedience, and to be
ready as a brave soldier, always my life for this oath to use. " This I could, because we have
been sworn in as the entire department. I was sworn in during my entire time as a soldier,
never on the leader. The shipments were made basically in this time with the railroad. In
Strebersdorf, part of the 21 District of Vienna Floridsdorf, I received between October and
early February 1940 my infantry training for the soldiers of the German Wehrmacht. My dog
tag is imprinted with 3rd Company / Rifle Ersatz.Regiment 3 / 134. This dog tag still in my
keeping. The Barras was definitively me. Fightings drill and practice on the former flood
plain of the Danube, no longer exists, since there is now the Danube Island, was on the
agenda. The training was in these early years of the war very hard and efficiently. My
technical training was of no interest in training. On the agenda was, inter alia, a training
ground troops to Allentsteig in Lower Austria, about 100 km from Vienna. The marching
orders "UP, UP, MARCH MARCH", "TANK ATTACK", "AIR RAID" or with a gas mask
with full luggage belonged to the daily bread. A torture were the daily visits and locker
inspections by the spear of the company. He tested the service with the blade bayonet,
whether or dust, let alone had dirt on the soles. If yes, punishment exercises. I had a dress
uniform with epaulettes, "131". We called it contemptuously "Sarasanijacke" because we
were like circus directors in order. Also the "marbles" was popular - he put a marble on the
tightly pulled bedspread. If marble easily, everything was in order, if not, they had lost and
additional service beckoned as a reward. I got a perfect and "Prussian" education. Even if this
was a tough time and I cursed them, the training has certainly saved me later life many times.

Panzer Regiment 3
After my training, I was "boy," servant of a lieutenant. My work was, among other things, for
the wife of the officer and go shopping for her hand. This understandable for me - for every
man - nice time ended with my transfer to the tank regiment 3.The regiment was on 15 May
1935 under the codename Cavalry Regiment (motorized) 12 in Dresden, situated in the
Military District IV. The regimental headquarters and the Department I have been stationed in
Dresden. The II formed of several regiments of cavalry division was in contrast Kamenz also
Defense District IV stationed. The regiment was the 1st Chariot-brigade of the motor Cavalry
Corps assumed. On 15 October 1935 was renamed the Regiment Panzer Regiment 3rd The
regiment was now the 2nd Armored Division assumed. As a preliminary location of the entire
regiment was now Kamenz. The regiment also contributed at the same time establishing
duties of Panzer Regiment 4th In the fall of 1937, the regiment did duty for the establishment
of the First Division of Panzer Regiment 25 on the Grafenwöhr, Military District XIII. With
the invasion of Austria was the regiment to Vienna-Mödling, transferred to the Military
District XVII. When the war began, the regiment consisted of two sections with a total of 62
Panzer I, 78 Panzer II, 3 Panzer III, IV, 8 armored tanks and 9 command vehicles. After the
Polish campaign, the regiment moved to the western frontier. On 10 May 1940, it consisted of
22 Panzer I, 55 Panzer II, 29 Panzer III, 16 Panzer IV and 8 armored command vehicle. After
the French campaign, the regiment took part in the Balkan campaign in Greece. On 5 April
1941 the regiment were on this 45 tanks II, 51 Panzer III Panzer IV and 20 are available. In
the early summer of 1941, the two columns of the regiment to the division supply officer 82
was released and formed the 13th and 14 large motor column. In May 1941, the ships in
which the tanks should be moved from the Balkans to the Russian border have been lowered,
so that the regiment had to be equipped from scratch. After the attack on the Soviet Union, the
regiment was involved in the attack on Moscow. At the start of the summer offensive of 1942,
the regiment consisted of 22 Panzer II, 33 Panzer 38t, 20 Panzer III, IV, 5 tanks and 2
armored command vehicle. The regiment fought at Rzhev and Orel. On 10 May 1942 had the
First Division and III. Section is in the tank regiment of 33 submitted. The regiment was then
only from the second division. On 1 February 1943 made the increase of the Second Division
to four companies. As of 25 March 1943 was established the First Division at the military
Sennelager from parts of the field-Tank Regiment and the replacement Division 4 again. It
should be on 7 May 1943 to the heavy tank battalion 507 are reclassified, but was fitted on
June 30, 1943 back to the First Department of the regiment and with panthers. At the
beginning of Operation Citadel, the regiment consisted of the II Division II with 12 tanks, 8
armored short KwK III, 12 Panzer III with a long KwK and 20 Panzer III with 7.5-inch KwK.
This purpose, a Panzer IV short, 59 Panzer IV long and 6 armored command vehicles. After
the regiment was moved 1944 to France and fought in Normandy and Falaise, it had been
destroyed there. After the reorganization in November 1944, the regiment fought in the Battle
of the Bulge. At the beginning of the regiment consisted of two sections with 24 assault guns,
28 Panzer IV, 64 Panzer V Panther, 3 Flakpanzer 38, 4 Flakpanzer "whirlwind" and 4
Flakpanzer 4 with 3.7-inch guns. After the Ardennes offensive, the regiment was fighting in
the Saar-Palatinate and Franconia. For replacements of the regiment, the tank replacement
Division 4 was responsible. Source: http://www.lexikon-der-
wehrmacht.de/Gliederungen/Panzerregimenter/PR3.htm. I already arrived on February 3,
1941 in the workshops of the company Armor Regiment 3 in Brunn am Gebirge near Vienna.
There, I should get special armor skills, took the now regardless of my technical basics as an
auto technician. I got the final touch in the training of tank crew.

The maneuver teaching I received in Mödling near Vienna in March 1941 by our comrades on
the so-called "blood meadow" in Hinterbrühl. Training priorities have included the co-
ordination of the hands and feet when driving a tank. In the former tanks, each with a left and
right levers, the driver was directed. The chain speed was reduced speeds on the respective
page or so and the tank turned and slowed down or even accelerated. Controlling a vehicle at
that time required a lot of chain force. The feet served, inter alia, the rotational speed of the
tower. The later Panzer VI "Tiger" had already been a steering wheel instead of the steering
arm in a semicircular shape. He let himself be driven like a car. In Hinterbrühl tanks under
fire exit was practiced. The equipment of the Demonstration Company consisted primarily of
armored tanks II and III, for short) but also from the high quality and very modern for its time
Panzer IV with the 7.5 inch gun motor vehicles (which butts gun trained. Especially the low
loader to transport the doppelgelenkten Tiger and parts were hard to drive. There were two
drivers, had the countersteer to get the curve. At the same time I was also more in the
company shops in Brunn am Gebirge, according to the translation of the Southern Railway
train today - 2001 - is there a camp of a road construction company, focusing on training in
the repair of engines, or tank treads, and other technical issues.

In the Balkans
March 1941 started the Balkan campaign. In the organization of the 2nd Panzer Division, the
regiment was given my marching orders. We should be in the attack on Yugoslavia and to
participate later in Greece. The unit was by rail through Hungary and Romania, former allies
of the German Empire, brought to Bulgaria on the Black Sea. The military action in
Yugoslavia was quickly stopped and went to Greece. On 8 April 1941 exceeded our unit, the
border with Greece. I could not drive up to this point bike but when I asked one of the
commanding officers, if I may work as a dispatch rider, I took a further ado, the advance
conquered, English BSA motorcycle for a few laps to learning through the terrain . I received
the same day the order to stand as a dispatch rider in my company to provide the armored
regiment. My automotive technician training had helped me the first time. As a vehicle of this
"organized" BSA motorcycle. A pleasant side effect was that I did not have much to go on
foot musste. It for me was no significant fighting in Yugoslavia. It went into it at full speed
along the coast to Greece. In the course of this military action was to me a Kodak camera in
his hands, which I possess today. We marched over the past Thermopylae and on Mount
Olympus, the seat of the ancient Greek gods. In Larissa was at that time, it was the 7th May
1941, JU 52 and many thousands of German paratroopers stationed. But no one knew why.
They were the paratroopers who were to jump off a week later in Crete. Many have fallen

The heaviest fighting, which I as part of this campaign, at the 10th May 1941 witnessed was
the capture of the Metaxa Line, a fortified line comparable to the Maginot Line, which was
bitterly defended by the Greeks. This plant took after we had been with the tanks, heavy
artillery support, an Austrian mountain troops with heavy losses.

I went with the command for loading of spare parts inventory to help the company on a train
back to Thessaloniki. In May 1941 received the maritime transport of Patras to Taranto, the
MS and MS Kybfels Marburg lost. In the division had reported 56 dead and 170 missing
persons. We lost most of the technical equipment of the division. After the exit into the Gulf
of Corinth to the east of Acra Doukáton both ships were sunk by a mine in front Leucas.
There were many good comrades killed. Because of dirty because the water that we were in
Greece, I got dysentery. Thus it was with the motorcyclist, I had so and so never happy. In
Larissa, I had an unforgettable experience to this day. Our company had a "trouser button
call" in the open, making an appeal, were controlled by which our uniforms. For example, the
left edge of the coupler lock in a straight line was made to stand for the Jack bar. Everything
had to be flashed. Suddenly, eight British fighter-bombers appeared and we had sought cover.
I had crawled under a tank and watched the tables on the company who leaped marked in
white summer uniform with all kinds of tinsel, ran into a ditch, and then tried to cover. But it
was the “Latrinengraben” in which the soldiers were doing inside their needs. Although he
knew this, he jumped in without hesitation. When the attack was over, it was with the white
uniform over and over and over covered with human faeces, was the sergeant screaming in
rage in the middle of the parade ground. He had finally had the right, "brown" to
formlessness. I could not resist my laughter. The sergeant saw the quivering with anger, and
of course, because of lack of respect I was allowed three days in the building. Frankly, I did
not mind particularly, first, I was not fully recovered, and secondly there were no peeling
drill, but only potato, and thirdly, there was really good food there ... I recovered quickly from
my dysentery, also thanks to the three days in construction and was given the marching orders
to go home. While driving a truck through Albania and Kosovo, to Vienna, we had one day
Gusto for something other than the person Komißverpflegung and saw the truck from a single
cow in a nearby field. We walked up and pushed away the cow from the field to kill them and
eat them. Then came a sudden the woman and shouted "Allah, Allah, do not shoot, only cow",
but that does not stop us from slaughtering the cow anyway. The farmer was given nothing
from us in order to compensate for their loss. Even today I think with a guilty conscience of
this incident. We went to Trieste, where I had to go first in the city headquarters I heard about
the disaster of the two ships in the Aegean Sea. I received instructions to go to Vienna, to
travel further from there soon after Erlangen and Nuremberg to leave and convalescence. On
23 May 1941, I arrived in Vienna and had seen a short time, my parents and tell them that I
was fine before I drove on to Nuremberg. In Nuremberg, the order received, according to
Vichy France to lay. There, we experienced from the radio and the newspapers, the successful
attack on Russia in the night of 21 June 1941. During this time I also had a well-deserved
leave from the front of 28 June to 31 June 1941. I went to Vienna to visit my parents. In
Vichy France, I was from August until September 1941. As a hobby we got buses and an I
went to the Spanish border, where we were welcomed by Spanish fascists, and received an
invitation to the bull fights in Bilbao. It was an interesting diversion from the daily service. It
was a good time. Everything indicated that we are the German Afrika Korps - 15 Armored
Division should be assumed. We got a tropical in the south of France education. Our
equipment now consisted of pith helmets and khaki uniforms. Our tanks, we had to sand-
colored paint and fitted with sand filters. We are counting on the sun and the desert. But it
turned out ... In September 1941, there was the order and I firmly counted on a translation into
Africa. We were on 4.9.1941 on the loading station in La Rochelle, via Paris and transported
in Leuven, Belgium. We were under at this time of the 3rd motorized infantry division.

In Russia
This period also saw the beginning of the fall of Operation Barbarossa. During this time I was
under with my unit of the 3rd Infanteriedivison (Motorized). Editor's Note - This time gaps in
the records are. I spent 14 days on the train. Our regiment still was nothing about our
destination. Next on 15.09.1941 Hamburg, then across Poland. We reached the Russian
border. The march led through swamps and over corduroy roads ever eastward. I saw the Ju87
Stuka with their “Jerichotrompeten” pounce on the Russian positions. The howling was really
scary. It was so cold this winter in Russia that could not think of a urinating outdoors. Many
froze to death.

One day I received the order to pick up for the defective tank parts from the stage. It was in
the neighborhood of Tohogi, September 1941. So back to the tank replacement company. We
were shot on the way back, and chased by “Störfliegern”. After a tire failure on a fully loaded
with armored truck parts Saurer, we had a contaminated by scattered forest to stop Russian
troops and change the tires. The tire changes does not work as smoothly as I would have liked
to be happy. The loss of the double wheel, a brake pad was damaged, and to renew this, I
again had an extra tank set back to the company. To obtain the missing parts, to repair the
truck again, I had to go back. But how? There was no transportation and no radio to let bring
the parts to us. By chance there was a dispatch rider in the Luftwaffe. He let me rise. I made
the driver's attention that we were attacked repeatedly by Russian "sewing machines",
“Störfliegern”. He should turn up in any case the headlights. He ignored the warning and went
with turned up the light. I suddenly heard the familiar drone in the sky than it already was a
sharp explosion. I still feel with my tongue before I became unconscious, I had no more teeth
in the maxilla, and saw that I was bleeding on the legs. How long I lay there, I do not know. I
did not wake up in an ambulance (in short, Sanka), with four seriously wounded, and was told
that I had found a Kradmelderabteilung and delivered. What happened to my driver, I have
never discovered. He probably did not survive the attack. He sat in front of me and started the
explosion and the shrapnel from likely. Of the four casualties in the ambulance of a wounded
man was with a bullet from a Russian sniper behind the left ear. He was unconscious, "cried
just now and again. In addition, two more were severely wounded, which, as I can remember,
an armored personnel carrier with the wall fell on her feet. We were a shame transport, which
was conducted as 40 km across corduroy roads to the hospital in Smolensk. Every movement
of the ambulance was for us a torture inmates. In Smolensk, I was checked by a surgeon-
general of allotting all the injured for transport aircraft. Several flights had already left and
there were no planes at this time for home. I received orders to go to the hospital train in the
homeland. So I came on 11 October 1941 to Spremberg in Lower rehabilitation. There I was
operated on several times in the jaw. I lay there in a military hospital with 25 other men in a
room. There I was three months until 05/12/1941. The wound badge was awarded for the
violation, I never. To my survival in the Russian winter, I was awarded the Order of frozen
meat. The most fruitful, what I experienced during the war, was not the front. That was the
time) on the HVPl (Confederation Square. The screams and the wounds you can not imagine.
Since I had lost several teeth in the tongue and I had a hole in the jaw that healed slowly, gave
me a Russian doctor at the front, a silver teeth missing. That is later so ulcerated that I for
many years, even after the war, it was afflicted. After my recovery, I was the 9th Armored
Division for special purposes (in short: Special Duty) for the tank repairs allocated. I hoped
when I received orders to transfer to push back to my old department, the tank regiment 3. But
the Army Headquarters, which I was now directly under the "zbVler", decided otherwise. I
was a serviceable replacement of the tank division assigned 4 of convalescent my unit. This
was situated in Brunn am Gebirge near Vienna. December 1941 to March 1942 on the
Western Railway, I was divided within the company as an armed Convalescent TrainPolice.
The main thing was for me at this time, however, that I remained in the vicinity of Vienna,
and finally was cured. There, I also celebrated war Christmas 1941. Spring of 1942 I received
the order to sign me back in the combat unit and was back to training, especially in the
handling of the Panzer IV F of 7.5 cm long with cannon vehicles sent. I completed my
training as a tank driver in Vienna Neuwaldegg on the parish lawn. Then it went from there to
Poland. Where exactly in Poland was the place where my next adventure took place, I really
remember anymore. I only saw the whole night convoys of Jews who were recognizable by
the yellow star, to come forward, accompanied by SS troops as guards. All night we heard the
sound of machine guns in sustained fire. For details I could not see or determine what had
happened to these people. Presumably, they were shot. This fact and also the persecution of
the Jews or even the Holocaust was not up to me personally known after the war. Many
friends of his youth were later in the Waffen-SS.

The bridgehead
In March 1942 the transport direction 9th Armored Division, which was to advance on
Moscow, suddenly we were ordered to dismount. There were about 75 men from various units
which were used in a bridgehead Wosskreßkensgoje. There were some cadets (cadets), who
died in the fighting all of them. I was promoted to corporal suburb. I should refer to the right
flank of a machine gun position - a tank driver in the infantry and machine gunner. I was two
months since March 1942, in which there were indeed some skirmishes in the bridgehead.
Until May 1942 there was no major attack by the Russians. Then came the 1 May 1942, the
"Red Army Day." The attack broke out. 3-4 companies Russians attacked our bridgehead. I
was alone without a loader, plus we were just too little, but I could hold my position. As
armament served me a machine gun 42nd As the fighting subsided after three days, I
explained my position before. There were no enemy movement to see more. I saw several
bodies in the barbed wire, were sitting on those crows. They began to peck and eat the corpses
of his eyes. Several times I pointed the gun at the crows, because I could not bear the sight. A
few days later we were able to produce agreement with the Russians and we began to collect
the corpses and wounded with Panjewägen. I found a Russian wounded, a blond young man
who had ripped a volley left shoulder. I bandaged him and sent him back. What has become
of him, I can not say.
At the close combat everything was used in order to keep the Russians at bay. I have, as far as
I can remember, hit an attacking Russians with the flare gun. This can not understand, but
otherwise I would have been tuned. After the battles, we have searched the fallen Russians. I
have saved myself a star and an officer's cap belt as a souvenir. I still have today. We were
then replaced by a mortar unit. As such, their heads hanging went forward, they looked like
cattle being led to the slaughter. Each of us who had survived, could return to his department.
On the train to the fighting, I was used as a tank driver. One day we were going to attack. I
was very scared and had a bottle of cognac from France. I have that in a short time to give me
courage. drunk. I was so drunk that I could no longer stand upright. My friends put me on a
tarp and pulled me under a non-deployable armored. There, I fell asleep and slept through the
noise of my attack. I was the 9th Armored Division (?), The Armored Regiment 3, forwarded.
Editor's Note - This time gaps in the records are.

In Orel
We stood in the middle section of the Orel-arc in May 1942, where we had to keep about 50
tanks with a front of 400 km. There were no tanks or drive repair, and the men who were
reassigned had no wounds that would have been to heal (sic). One of our tasks was to clean it
at this time, the surrounding forests of partisans. We should occupy positions of the right of
the traffic paths. We hid behind the trees, and when night came, we divided ourselves into the
positions. Have realized without it, we had been overrun three of the enemies and take their
own troops were not able to contact. From the bushes, lying out on the belly, we saw groups
of guerrillas marching in the streets, a Maxim machine guns pulling on small carts behind
them. An attack was not thought of, we were glad not to be discovered. The night passed, and
on the main paths were German tanks. We gave ourselves to recognize and could rise. We
came back to the runway. Smolensk, Kursk, Orel, were among the nearest major cities,
through which I could survive. We were encouraged to drive slowly on the dusty road. The
dust cloud was always alert, the Russian guns at us. Once we got the order to tow the bow
Orel, a tank with alleged “Vorgelegeschaden”. A lie had remained a Russian T34, a tower
owned by the German attack more, was perfect as a recovery tank. However, as I approached
the German tanks to be towed, we experienced an unpleasant surprise. The tank was
completely full of holes. It was, as far as I can remember, a Panzer IV, the Russians had
captured a German 88mm anti-aircraft guns and tanks and of course the crew hit hard. The
tank was sprayed inside the body by the crew and covered with blood. Suburbs, we still got
fire from a Russian grenade launcher company, which had been waiting for a unit approached
for salvage. The tank was blown up. In September 1942, our troops should be the 6th German
army in the attack on Stalingrad support. Heavy Russian artillery was waiting for us and
prevented this project. In Bryansk, I was assigned a day during a break our tank column to
guard duty. I saw a Russian orbiting "sewing machines" with the engine shut the place. A
soldier was leaving his quarters, to light a cigarette. The pilot of the "sewing machine" saw
the smoldering cigarette holder. Two tank crews have camped in the home straight, and paid
no attention to the aircraft. They slept soundly. I just went right on the edge of control, could
not leave my post, as there was a violent explosion. The neighborhood fell along with all the
soldiers inside. They all died. I was, when we had disposed of the remains, divided to the
wake. The funeral should take place in the morning the next day, until I pointed out that for
one of the fallen soldiers was missing the head. The search for the head was inconclusive. I
was wrongly accused, that I had not really paying attention, and was sentenced to treat the
whole night for the dead. This punishment, I will never forget. The head was never seen
again. Animals, especially horses, have suffered greatly during the war.

Panzer Regiment 33
I was at 16 May 1942 workshop in the tanks of the Panzer Regiment 33 were added.
The Panzer-Regiment 33 was on 2 February 1940 for the 9th Panzer Division established. The
regimental headquarters was from the headquarters of Panzer Regiment Conze, in the field
post summary as a tank regiment adjutant the 8th Panzer Division, known, established. The
First Division was established from the former Panzer Lehr Division, which in the invasion of
Poland the Panzer Regiment 5 as III. Division was attached. The Second Division was set up
by the inclusion of the tank battalion 33rd In mid-1941 were made, the columns of the two
divisions of the regiment in the Panzer division supply officer 60 and then formed the 13th
and 14 large motor column. On 10 May 1942, a III. Department of the I. Battalion of Panzer
Regiment 3 formed. On 9 January 1943 was renamed the Second Armored Division in the
Department 51st The III. Department on 8 May 1943 without the 10th Company to the heavy
tank battalion 506th On 4 January 1944, the regiment was given back his Division II through
the re-renaming of the tank battalion 51st In early 1944, the regiment was revived by the
Reserve Panzer Division 7th In May 1944, the Second Division of the armored brigade
assumed 10 and equipped with the Panzer V. In the Company of the workshop were from
Division II in June 1944 the 1st Panzer V train for the jurisdiction. As of August 1944 was the
2nd Train the workshop Company responsible for the Panzer IV. On 26 September 1944, the
armored division was incorporated in 2105. In October 1944 the regiment was again at
Arnhem relaxing. For the replacements of the regiment was the First Armored Division 4
replacement jurisdiction. From 1 June 1940 was the Panzer-Division 33 replacement charge
for this task. Source: http://www.lexikon-der-
wehrmacht.de/Gliederungen/Panzerregimenter/PR33.htm One night we were ordered, on time
by 2300 travel to the frontline. It had to be driven without lights, to the Russians not to draw
attention to ourselves. It was very difficult to drive because there was nothing to exclude.
Between the tanks drove and yokes, motorcyclist and other vehicles. Suddenly, between
vehicles other units added, without our knowing it. Since there was a sad incident. In a large
casserole three motorcyclist have been overtaken by another tank. All three dead, and
anything but, unfortunately, often come in before deployment. The tank crew of the tank for
the attack was obviously no longer usable. They were also criminally prosecuted. It was in the
middle section 1942 winter, when our tank battalion was pulled out and that was stored in
Shklov my headquarters company, so we were able to recover something that was
"recovering" at an outdoor temperature of -38 ° Celsius. The houses were full of bugs. There I
got to know a Russian who was with us briefly as auxiliaries (: Student set) and with which I,
as he spoke German fairly well, had good contact. He then invited me several times in his hut,
when I was starting. As it once was, that I have to do there in the cabin light, took a canister
with fuel tanks left over so we could make it ourselves comfortable. He gave me food for it,
bacon and other small items. It was late at night. As I was then in the darkness on the "home"
made me, jumped on a big black dog. I was lucky and grabbed him by the front paws, so that
he could not bite me. I turned and threw the dog away, away to the wall of a farmhouse. I
moved to my pistol 08 and shot the dog. He ran off howling. Supposed to have the guerrilla, I
learned after the war, trained in the central sector of dogs to kill German. On the last evening,
after a visit with the Russians, when I went back to the unit, was fired at me from behind,
killing probably another futile attempt to "hated" Germans. In order for my trips had found a
sudden end. Another experience from that period in August 1942 was as follows: An
Austrian, a Burgenland, named Francis R., were loud in front of our comrades that he was
forced into a farmhouse with 08-gun two Russians, a mother and daughter, to sleep with him.
Later I learned that he had been taken somewhere else a sexually transmitted disease. He was
picked up, probably sent to a prison camp, but not because of the rape, but for undermining
military morale. We were ready in the sequel to the relief of Stalingrad army. This advance,
however, took place in a row, never. Moreover, there were heavy rains in October 1942 and
the roads were not usable due to sludge. Editor's Note - This time gaps in the records are. But
when the encirclement of the Russians was not breaking through and it was for us to get
through, then it was with the tank regiment of 33 to the end. Our company was used for the
realignment of the "Tiger Division. Our unity of Russia was almost closed and the majority of
fallen soldiers.

506. Heavy tank battalion
I was on 11 June 1943 the newly formed 506th Heavy tank battalion assigned. First, the 2
Company as a driver (sic), which did not bother me, because I'm not a trained mechanic, and
the induction training in Russia but in Germany took place. In a row but then I was soon
assigned to the Headquarters Company. On a home leave, I met the wife of a major. This has
invited me to his home. Your husband was on the staff of a unit in its home territory. We
came closer to us. Suddenly she realized that her husband comes up the stairs. I packed my
boots and the uniform half-naked and jumped out the window in the 1st Stick. Thanks to my
Prussian education I survived the jump. During this time the company is Citadel. Editor's
Note - This time gaps in the records are. On the morning of the 12th July 1943 began the
fierce counterattack on the positions of the II SS Panzer Corps before Prokhorovka.
During this campaign I was in Germany. There we were on the latest models of German
tanks, the Panzer VI "Tiger" trained. It was an experience that me and technically fascinating.
The Tigers had a 10 speed transmission, a gasoline engine, we would often make trouble, and
as mentioned above, instead of the steering arms for half a wheel. To further education, I
came to Frankfurt with the mission of my unit to Paderborn-Senne Commons, the storage
tanks there. The training lasted about 2 months. There we were made aware of the tiger
further. I got to know the true Tiger Maybach engine, got to adjust the carburetor and the
service for the öilparts. I have the driver and mechanic training for the Tigers. In August 1943
we got in Warburg our tigers. Allocated to us was our Viennese nickname "Steffl" by the St.
Stephen's Cathedral. We have painted a St. Stephen's the front. As a department we have a big
coat of arms W (Vienna), Vienna's emblem and a tiger, which relies on the fact conducted.
This 506th Heavy tank battalion was directly subordinated to the Army Headquarters, the
High Command and was favorite of the "leader" and was "special purposes". It looked like we
all should fill gaps in front and slowly as a "fire brigade" was burned. Our commander (name
was not mentioned by the author) had a sheepdog. The officer was carrying a cane with which
he constantly knocked sideways on his boots. The tiger was a powerful machine gun. Inside it
was completely painted white. So he did not stay long. The department was established on 8
May 1943 in St. Pölten, Military District XVII, situated. The department has a heavy Tiger
Division of the Army troop with 3 companies from the III. Department of Panzer Regiment
33 of the 9th Panzer Division established. Between 16 and 27 August 1944 received the
Division 45 tigers. Between 9 and 12 September 1943, the department was loaded into the
east. Between 17 and 20 September 1943 reached the Division Zaporozhe. Here, the
Department of the XVII. Army Corps assumed. On 20 October 1943 was only 7 for use of 36
tigers. The remaining Tigers were on the 25th December 1943 after Kirowgrad loaded. 29 to
30 January 1944 replaced the Division 12 Tigers delivered, and so has a total of 22nd On 4
February 1944 break the department under the 1 Panzer Army from the cauldron of Korsun
and Cherkassy. On 9 February 1944, the department shall re-5 Tiger. On 1 March 1944 gives
the Department of the few remaining tigers in the heavy tank battalion 503 and transferred to
the new equipment to Lvov. Between 29 March and 8 April 1944 will receive the Division 45
tigers. Of 2 to 10 April 1944, the Department of the 100th Infantry Division deployed. On 31
May 1944, the Department assumed the Tigers with 41 Army Group North Ukraine. On 27
and 28 July 1944 will be submitted to the 6 remaining Tiger heavy tank battalion 507th On 15
August 1944 was made the order to move to Ohrdruf to equip with Tiger II Between 20
August 1944 and 12 September 1944, the department is equipped with 45 tigers II. Between
22 September 1944 and 24 September 1944, the department achieved Arnhem and is
subordinate to the II SS Panzer Corps. The department is also used in the Aachen region. On
20 October 1944 are still 18 II operational from 35 tigers. On 2 November 1944 be taken over
by the II SS Panzer Corps, 2 Tiger II. On 8 December 1944 is derived from the Panzer-
Company Hummel, a 4th Company with Tiger I set up. Between 8 and 13 December 1944,
the department shall again 12 Tiger II "Altogether there are 47 tigers in that department. From
the 21 December 1944, the department will be used at Bastogne in the Ardennes offensive.
The department is on the 7th Army deployed. The end of January 1945, the department with
only 30 Tigers pulled out to recover. On 16 February 1945 leaves the 4th Company of the
department with 5 tigers I. On 15 March 1945 is assumed, the department with 15 tigers II
Army Group B. Only 2 of them are operational. On 20 March 1945 replaced the Tiger II,
Division 7 of the heavy SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501 On 14 April 1945, the department will be
dissolved by their commander in Iserlohn. For replacements, the replacement tank division
500 was responsible. Source: http://www.lexikon-der-
wehrmacht.de/Gliederungen/PanzerAbt/PanzerAbt506-R.htm. Back in Russia - it had reached
us for some time no more reinforcements. We had to Slobzowo (location can not be
established, the tanks) to leave the regiment. We blew up 28 tanks, including tigers, so they
would not fall into Russian hands. We had only one “Kranzug” and a tow truck, which was
not all tanks will be dragged back. The rest of the crew went back with other units and I was
left with four men, including the brother of my late wife, to destroy the tanks. Two men had to
work, two men were allowed to sleep. We slept in a farmhouse nearby. In the short time there
I learned the advantages of a simple Russian sauna know is rubbed in after the hot spell, with
snow, and then promoted with birch switches, the blood flow again. Probably why the
Russians have not attacked the tank space because they suspected because of the number of
tigers, are a regiment with full respect to occupation. Be remembered me the many bugs and
flies were everywhere in this small Russian farms and at home. The climate has supported the
still. Since 1942, Charles P. was one of my unit. He later married the sister of my wife and my
brother was. We agreed to supplement your diet, to hunt a wild boar. I sent the Charles in a
small valley, that he was driving me wild pigs on the hill, so that I could shoot with a rifle
98k. Charles himself was the 08th gun Only the pigs did not like us and ran into the valley of
the Charles. Armed only with a pistol, he could do nothing, and he quickly sought cover from
the Pigs on the nearest tree. There I found him shivering. Nothing had with our food. And
Karl is still talking to me badly because of the pigs. Changing the chain when Tiger was hard
work. The cylinder engine in the Maybach HL 230 P 45, 12-cylinder gasoline engine, cylinder
capacity 23 l, 515 kW (700 hp) (first 250 copies: Maybach HL 210 P 45 with 478 kW (650
hp) were unbelievable proportions. Was unpleasant conceal it, shot tanks. Often it was the
remains of the crews. They were salvaged, if possible. But very often anymore. I still can not
see the birch trees, they remind me of the many wooden crosses, which we in Russia for
friends have set up. It happened one day that a Russian raiding party of about 20 men came to
the house where we slept. We were just two German, were found here. The women in the rest
of the best agreement with us and the house was still inhabited, woke me and my friends and
made us aware of the squad. We should leave the house through the back door and hide under
a thatched roof that we have Tanya and her sister had been erected about 150m away from
home . But it was too late. The only way out was the coal cellar, and we two were hiding
among the coals. where we now lay with the machine gun in his hand, and waited for the
Russians to leave the house again. We heard how the Russians, the two women described as
research assistants, as the German volunteers, and then raped the women, but not killed.
Unable to take anything without being killed, I had to listen as the screaming women. The
Russians are only allowed after a certain time of the women over. The squad then disappeared
without killing the women and after he had ransacked the cabin. The women came to us when
the Russians were gone, and led us into the forest. The women accompanied us about two
months in the woods of regular troops and guerrillas over. We are fed to us by a bacon that
had the Russians yet. I saw Russian and many captured German soldiers, who were driven
back. Suddenly we heard the German words of command and we were facing German
soldiers on us approached. As we look at our soldiers with German had nothing in common,
we held up his hands and gave us acknowledge cheers. We were picked up and brought
immediately to the staff and after careful questioning brought back to our units. The women
remained after questioning our unit assigned as research assistants. I was the Iron Cross
Second Class for suggested that I was not because I did not appear on the Order of
distribution. I lost many pounds in this time. We were alive again. I was in 1943 in
Zaporozhye . Editor's Note - This time gaps in the records. The so-called "DO-thrower" or
"Stuka on foot are" were terrible weapons. When shooting, they gave a distinctive noise. With
hits on the armor of our tanks, it was than you would get with a mallet on the head.
Zaporozhye In one of our main bases. There was also a time of our workshop was located,
these results then is repaired. As to me another experience. In retreating from Russia, already
at the Hungarian-Russian border, we wanted an SS patrol stopped at gunpoint, so we are their
cars, stuck in the mud, should pull out. The Russians in the neck and then his own people
were aimed at us, we were well staffed with four men and began a firefight with the SS
patrols and went while we were firing, right into the fields. As a parting gift, I've never
thrown a hand grenade. As our chain, "well maintained" was, we had no trouble to shut us
through the field like this. I rarely told anything about this incident. About Budapest lead us
back to the road to the West. In June 1944 I again came home on leave.

In the Netherlands
September 1944 paratroopers landed in Arnhem. March was the 506th in the country Heavy
tank battalion sent there. I was late September in Arnhem. Heavy fighting with the British.
We had been the King Tiger. On the way we had air raid. The trucks, with which we were
traveling, had side windows in the size 50 by 50 cm. Recent advent of the planes, we have the
trucks allowed to stand, and managed to do with full gear through the side window, jumped
into the ditch. Anxiety can also make thin.

Then we were in 1944 in the Hocheifel to lead our tanks in the Ardennes offensive on the
Eifel. Editor's Note - This time gaps in the records are. I got Schwarzsucht the November
1944 and had three months to the hospital and on convalescent leave. In January 1945 I had
my last home leave. I was with my 25 years old already have a "front-pig." Had survived the
Eastern Front. At the time of the Western Front, I had the following experience. When we
parked the vehicles in a forest, Allied artillery began to fire on us, heavy chunks. I ran to the
forest, and saw that there were German infantrymen hung up to dry their clothes and
underwear for all to see the forest. A great destination for the Allies. Above us, a plane
circled, probably an artillery observer. I fled from the forest, because I would otherwise have
fallen. Just next to the woods led by a lane. When I walked into the open, I saw two "watch
dogs", the military police. I told them I was already Corporal Staff at this time that I had to
sign myself in a command staff to three kilometers away. They did not believe me. I then
lifted the MP and cocked a hand grenade, which I had in my belt. I threw it, while I resell on
the dirt road into a field. What happened to the cops, I can not say they were gone, and
certainly still alive when I returned. I reached my unit again, where everything was destroyed.
I got lucky with them, our tanks were all shredded. Editor's Note - This time gaps in the
records are. We were later with the remnants of our unit in the space Eickweiler,
Gelsenkirchen. There were no supplies and the tanks had to hide in the woods. We were able
to move freely only at night. Fighter-bombers were constantly on the hunt for us. Since we
had nothing to eat at this time, we had to organize. Some of our comrades were organized in
the adjacent houses ". During this time, was also an attack by P-38 Lightning. This twin-
hulled aircraft were very fast and very agile. We had great respect for the hunters. I had
mounted on a tractor-18to-a-Kind-2cm-Flak, and this was very helpful to the defense against
these low-flying aircraft. I shot at one of the P-38, but not caught her. There was an attack by
about 600 bombers in the vicinity and the earth shook. To escort just heard the P-38, and so
we got to kiss on the hand. Most are run into the woods, only the infantry units are walked on,
and therefore also the most liked. I was including in Hamm on the victory.

Retreat to Germany
Ruhr Pocket
May 1945 Iserlohn. Ruhr pocket. Next we came up with the tanks any more. Editor's Note -
This time gaps in the records are. The unit was then trapped in the Ruhr pocket. We had no
more fuel for our tigers, and the company received orders to leave as infantry in use. We have
a bomb buried in all of our decorations, papers and records of the department in ammunition
boxes. Then we parked the vehicles in the woods, blew up the internals, and we were prepared
to march. On the march I noticed an ambulance, who stood with open doors. Three friends
and I fought our way before that, arms or legs on edges blue, then we give medicine us to
each other. We were now wounded by the P-38. The French were already in the vicinity and
we were captured shortly afterwards. After I convinced her to be not an SS man who was the
dead heads on the uniforms of the tank driver easily confused, I showed them still remained
standing, the Bengal tiger. Thus it was done for me. I went into captivity. I've been to capture
Sergeant (sic).

I have been associated with hundreds of thousands of other soldiers in the Rheinwiesenlager.
We were suffering great hunger. The Americans did have some fun torturing us. I once got a
cigarette that made me because of the great famine immediately unconscious. The French
threw live dogs and cats over the fence. Shepherds were particularly popular. We tore the
living animals with the fingers. Cats taste like rabbits, if one is hungry. Many comrades died
on hunger. At roll call we had from the French Foreign Legion and the choice between
freedom or imprisonment. I chose the prison. The captivity of the French was very hard. I was
sent to work at a farm in Alsace. There it was hard but I felt better. As an Austrian I had it
better at this time. Am 23.11. ended my prisoner of war in France. I came on 3 April 1946 in
Vienna Matzleinsdorf. I had on my return just under 50 kg with a height of 1.81 cm. But I
have survived, and counted. In the early 80s I got from the Austrian Federal Ministry of
Defense have a subpoena. There I was told that I would have me ready in case of an attack on
Austria because of my specialized training as a tank technician, will be convened. I have
voted overwhelmingly against it. I will never move back into the war. For whoever.

The first recordings were made 2,001th Francis E. was at that time still alive. 2009, I took the
liberty to revise the text and supplement with information from my memory and my family on
my father's stories.

Monitoring loud WASt:
German Department (WASt) for the notification of next of kin of casualties of the German

1138 Sch.Ers.Rgt 3 / 134 (3. Company Rifle Regiment substitute 134)

October 1940
3. Company Infantry Replacement Battalion I/134

10.10.1940 until 04.01.1941
2. Company Infantry Replacement Battalion I/134

04.01.1941 until 21.01.1941
1. Rifle Depot Company I/134

Werkstatt Kompanie Panzer-Regiment 3
Hospital stay
Reserve Hospital 103 Spremberg
Access for the troops
05.12.1941 to finish Panzer Replacement Battalion 4 Vienna

subordinate to the 3rd Infanteriedivison (Motorized)
Operational areas
February / June 1941 Home
July / August 1941 Ostrow, Luga
September 1941 Demnjansk
October 1941 Roslavl, Yukhnov

16.05.1942 until 10.06.1943
Panzer Werkstatt Kompanie Panzer-Regiment 33
Shelter of the 15th Panzer Division
Area of operations from May 1942 to June 1943 Africa

11.06.1943 until 01.04.1944
Headquarters Company Armored Division 506

02.04.1944 until 29.08.1944
Werkstatt Kompanie Panzer Battalion 506

09.09.1944 until 28.12.1944
Supply Company, Armored Division 506

Panzer Division 506
The department was under the Army Force
Operational areas:
Central Russia
1944 Nordurkraine
September 1944 Aachen
Grade according to the notice - 15/04/1945 Pfc

15.04.1945 until 25.03.1946
In Iserlohn in French prison
Homecoming in Innsbruck

Thanks to

Translated with Google (please forgive me the mistakes – if someone want, he can send me a
better one ;-))

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