Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

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Volyn
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by Volyn » 18 Oct 2018 22:56

Hohlladung wrote:
18 Oct 2018 20:37
The photo in the snow is not from the Caucasus region.
I agree that those photos do not show the Caucasus Mountains, their civilian attire seems to show that they are elsewhere. The farthest East we know that he went to was Taganrog, Russia in 1942 (based on his photos). That does not mean he would not have followed his Division wherever they went, and they were in the Caucasus Region fighting. Unless further information shows otherwise, we can follow his combat route based on the Division's history.

Here is map of his combat route from June 1941 until November 1941 https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Oleszyc ... 015883!3e2; hopefully someone can correct the inaccuracies in the cities below, these are based on the following link. http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... orps-R.htm
1. Oleszyce
2. Lviv
3. Vynnyky
4. Husyatyn
5. Vinnytsia
6. Bratslav
7. Haisyn
8. Ternivka
9. Synytsya
10. Podvyskoye (?)
11. Volodymyrivka
12. Battle of the Sea of ​​Azov - Berdyans'k (?)
13. Donetsk

Surprisingly there is little written about 1. Gebirgs-Division's activities during the Caucasus Campaign in 1942 - I found this website, on page 8 it gives the only timeline that I can find. There is also a great picture on page 59 that gives the viewer a graphic idea about the nature and scale of the fighting. https://img.fireden.net/tg/image/1504/8 ... 078910.pdf

August 1942 / Chain of Command: Army Group A - 17. Armee - XXXXIX Gebirgskorps - 1. Gebirgs-Division

9 August - Armeeoberkommando (AOK) 17 captures Krasnodar.

17 August - 1. Gebirgs-Division captures the Klukhor Pass.
AOK 17 captures Krymskaya

21 August - 1. Gebirgs-Division raises the Nazi flag on Mount Elbrus.

10 September - Generalfeldmarschall List is relieved of command; Hitler/OKH takes direct control of Heeresgruppe A.
AOK 17 captures Novorossiysk


This is a separate website that states -
6 Sep 1942 The German 4.Gebirgsjäger Division of 17.Armee captured the naval base at Novorossiysk on the Black Sea in southern Russia.
https://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=284

I cannot find any information if 1. Gebirgs was involved in the battle to take Novorossiysk? If they were not there, where were they after 21 August?
Caucasus Campaign Map - 1942.jpg
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Last edited by Volyn on 19 Oct 2018 16:08, edited 5 times in total.

wbfamily
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by wbfamily » 19 Oct 2018 00:55

More photos.

Their file names are only based off of the envelopes they were in so that I can keep track of what i've already had digitized. Please don't let it confuse you.
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wbfamily
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by wbfamily » 19 Oct 2018 01:43

Volyn wrote:
18 Oct 2018 22:56
Hohlladung wrote:
18 Oct 2018 20:37
The photo in the snow is not from the Caucasus region.
I agree that those photos do not show the Caucasus Mountains, their civilian attire seems to show that they are elsewhere. The farthest East we know that he went to was Taganrog, Russia in 1942 (based on his photos). That does not mean he would not have followed his Division wherever they went, and they were in the Caucasus Region fighting. Unless further information shows otherwise, we can follow his combat route based on the Division's history.

Surprisingly there is little written about 1. Gebirgs-Division's activities during this campaign - I found this website, on page 8 it gives the only timeline that I can find. There is also a great picture on page 59 that gives the viewer a graphic idea about the nature and scale of the fighting. https://img.fireden.net/tg/image/1504/8 ... 078910.pdf

Chain of Command / August 1942: Army Group A - 17. Armee - XXXXIX Gebirgskorps - 1. Gebirgs-Division

9 August - Armeeoberkommando (AOK) 17 captures Krasnodar.

17 August - 1. Gebirgs-Division captures the Klukhor Pass.
AOK 17 captures Krymskaya

21 August - 1. Gebirgs-Division raises the Nazi flag on Mount Elbrus.

10 September - Generalfeldmarschall List is relieved of command; Hitler/OKH takes direct control of Heeresgruppe A.
AOK 17 captures Novorossiysk


I cannot find any information on whether or not 1. Gebirgs was involved in the battle to take Novorossiysk?

Caucasus Campaign Map - 1942.jpg
Do these tell you anything? He has so many mountain photos, it's hard (for me) to distinguish if the ranges are different.
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wbfamily
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by wbfamily » 19 Oct 2018 01:45

More
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Volyn
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by Volyn » 19 Oct 2018 01:58

wbfamily wrote:
19 Oct 2018 01:45
More
Great photos, #2 shows them taking cover and charging up the slopes! I think they could be training with weapons in the mountains - maybe some others on the Forum can recognize if this is combat or training?
Caucasus Mountains - 1942 (2).jpg
This photo is Vysoké Tatry, Slovakia
Vysoké Tatry.jpg
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Last edited by Volyn on 19 Oct 2018 02:51, edited 1 time in total.

wbfamily
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by wbfamily » 19 Oct 2018 02:18

Volyn wrote:
19 Oct 2018 01:58
wbfamily wrote:
19 Oct 2018 01:45
More
Great photos, #2 shows them taking cover and charging up the slopes! I think they could be in the Caucasus, but they could be training with weapons in the mountains - maybe some others on the Forum can recognize if this is combat or training?Caucasus Mountains - 1942 (2).jpg

This photo is Vysoké Tatry, SlovakiaVysoké Tatry.jpg
I thought these were pretty great too. Even not knowing the context completely, i'm so drawn to them. Here are more.
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wbfamily
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by wbfamily » 19 Oct 2018 03:13

I also found this photo that I believe mentions "Gibraltar" on the back. Can someone please translate this?
boat front back0002.jpg
boat front back0001.jpg
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Hohlladung
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by Hohlladung » 19 Oct 2018 10:50

Hi wbfamily,

The writing reads:
Der Felsen von Gibraltar.
Der Affe hat sich ungebeten davor gestellt.

"The rock of Gibraltar.
The ape put himself uninvited in front of it."

So he had some sense of humor.
Best Regards
"Ihr verfluchten Racker, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?" Friedrich, II. in der Schlacht von Kolin am 18.Juni 1757 zu seinen zurückgehenden Grenadieren.

Volyn
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by Volyn » 19 Oct 2018 11:35

I mapped out his Division's combat route for 1939, 1940 and 1941 based on this link: http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... Div1-R.htm

1. Poland - 7 September 1939 - 6 October 1939 assigned to Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 98 (Ożenna - Krempna - Sanok - Lviv): https://www.google.com/maps/dir/38-232+ ... 839683!3e2

2. France - 10 May 1940 - 25 June 1940 assigned to 54. Pioneer Battalion (Eifel - Monthermé - Coucy-le-Château-Auffrique - Soissons - Château-Thierry - Pont-sur-Yonne - Auxerre - Mâcon): https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Eifel,+ ... 068839!3e2

3. USSR - 22 June 1941 - November 1941 assigned to 54. Pioneer Battalion or 54. Signals Battalion(?) (Oleszyce - Lviv - Vynnyky - Husyatyn - Vinnytsia - Bratslav - Haisyn - Ternivka - Synytsya - Podvyskoye(?) - Volodymyrivka - Berdyans'k(?) - Donetsk):https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Oleszyc ... 015883!3e2
wbfamily wrote:
19 Oct 2018 00:55
More photos. Their file names are only based off of the envelopes they were in so that I can keep track of what i've already had digitized. Please don't let it confuse you.
These four photos are the city of Mâcon, France above the river Saône, 67km North of Lyon. These pictures were taken when he was fighting with 54. Pioneer Battalion, shortly after the battles for the city and the bridge after June 19, 1940.

There is another photo on page 3 - #34 of this thread that I located from Pont-sur-Yonne, France which is 290km North of Mâcon. It shows them marching South towards Auxerre, France. It appears that his unit skirted Paris and went to fight French forces that were still operating in Central-Southern France. From 10 May - 19 June (40 days) the 54. Pioneer Battalion covered roughly 737km fighting on foot.
Macon France (1).jpg
Macon France (2).jpg
Macon France (3).jpg
Macon France (4).jpg

Are you able to read the digits on the front plate of this Sd.Kfz. 6 directly from your photo? If we get the registration number correct I can identify the history of the vehicle. It looks like Southern Russian/Caucasus in the Summer of 1942.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SdKfz_6
Sd.Kfz. 6 - Half-Track.jpg
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wbfamily
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by wbfamily » 19 Oct 2018 23:15

Volyn wrote:
19 Oct 2018 11:35
I mapped out his Division's combat route for 1939, 1940 and 1941 based on this link: http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... Div1-R.htm

1. Poland - 7 September 1939 - 6 October 1939 assigned to Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 98 (Ożenna - Krempna - Sanok - Lviv): https://www.google.com/maps/dir/38-232+ ... 839683!3e2

2. France - 10 May 1940 - 25 June 1940 assigned to 54. Pioneer Battalion (Eifel - Monthermé - Coucy-le-Château-Auffrique - Soissons - Château-Thierry - Pont-sur-Yonne - Auxerre - Mâcon): https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Eifel,+ ... 068839!3e2

3. USSR - 22 June 1941 - November 1941 assigned to 54. Pioneer Battalion or 54. Signals Battalion(?) (Oleszyce - Lviv - Vynnyky - Husyatyn - Vinnytsia - Bratslav - Haisyn - Ternivka - Synytsya - Podvyskoye(?) - Volodymyrivka - Berdyans'k(?) - Donetsk):https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Oleszyc ... 015883!3e2
wbfamily wrote:
19 Oct 2018 00:55
More photos. Their file names are only based off of the envelopes they were in so that I can keep track of what i've already had digitized. Please don't let it confuse you.
These four photos are the city of Mâcon, France above the river Saône, 67km North of Lyon. These pictures were taken when he was fighting with 54. Pioneer Battalion, shortly after the battles for the city and the bridge after June 19, 1940.

There is another photo on page 3 - #34 of this thread that I located from Pont-sur-Yonne, France which is 290km North of Mâcon. It shows them marching South towards Auxerre, France. It appears that his unit skirted Paris and went to fight French forces that were still operating in Central-Southern France. From 10 May - 19 June (40 days) the 54. Pioneer Battalion covered roughly 737km fighting on foot.

Macon France (1).jpgMacon France (2).jpgMacon France (3).jpgMacon France (4).jpg


Are you able to read the digits on the front plate of this Sd.Kfz. 6 directly from your photo? If we get the registration number correct I can identify the history of the vehicle. It looks like Southern Russian/Caucasus in the Summer of 1942.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SdKfz_6Sd.Kfz. 6 - Half-Track.jpg
This is fantastic! Thanks for the maps- it really helps having that "visual".

It looks like the plate number is WH-1044398

wbfamily
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by wbfamily » 19 Oct 2018 23:17

Hohlladung wrote:
19 Oct 2018 10:50
Hi wbfamily,

The writing reads:
Der Felsen von Gibraltar.
Der Affe hat sich ungebeten davor gestellt.

"The rock of Gibraltar.
The ape put himself uninvited in front of it."

So he had some sense of humor.
Best Regards
Ha! :lol:
Now I have to find out who this "ape" fellow is.
It may just be his brother.

Volyn
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by Volyn » 22 Oct 2018 18:18

Volyn wrote:
14 Oct 2018 05:24
Here is at least one award your Grandfather was given: The Eastern Front Medal (Medaille „Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/42“)
Walter Beynun (4).jpg
I was incorrect, the ribbon on your grandfather's uniform is the War Merit Cross 2nd Class (Kriegsverdienstkreuz). However, I cannot tell if the ribbon in the photo is with swords or not; it should have been with swords - the version without swords is for civilians.
War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords Ribbon.JPG
He would have also been awarded the Eastern Front Medal for his service in Ukraine/Russia/Caucasus from 1941/42, the Wehrmacht Long Service Medal 4th Class with Hoheitszeichen for 4 years of service and the Romanian Crusade Against Communism Medal with three battles clasps (Medalia Cruciada împotriva comunismului).

Here is a possible ribbon rack configuration for him -
Ribbon Rack.jpg
These are the following badges/awards that he would have earned:

1. War Merit Cross 2nd Class (with Swords?) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Merit_Cross
2. Eastern Front Medal - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Front_Medal
3. Wehrmacht Long Service Medal 4th Class with Hoheitszeichen - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wehrmacht ... vice_Award
4. Crusade Against Communism Medal with "Azov" bronze clasp and "Donet" and "Caucaz" silver clasps - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusade_A ... nism_Medal
5. General Assault Badge - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Assault_Badge
6. Wound Badge in Black - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wound_Badge
7. Feuerwerker Badge - https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feuerwerker
8. Edelweiss Badge -
Edelweiss Badge.jpg
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Geoff Walden
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by Geoff Walden » 22 Oct 2018 22:16

wbfamily wrote:
19 Oct 2018 01:43
Do these tell you anything? He has so many mountain photos, it's hard (for me) to distinguish if the ranges are different.
"mountainscene0003" shows the Zugspitze mountain above Garmisch-Partenkirchen in southern Germany.
This photo may have been taken at the Jäger Kaserne mountain troops barracks, which is U.S. Army Sheridan Barracks today.
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Volyn
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by Volyn » 22 Oct 2018 22:45

Geoff Walden wrote:
22 Oct 2018 22:16
wbfamily wrote:
19 Oct 2018 01:43
Do these tell you anything? He has so many mountain photos, it's hard (for me) to distinguish if the ranges are different.
"mountainscene0003" shows the Zugspitze mountain above Garmisch-Partenkirchen in southern Germany.
This photo may have been taken at the Jäger Kaserne mountain troops barracks, which is U.S. Army Sheridan Barracks today.
Nice job Geoff - here is a website with more photos of the base. https://www.usarmygermany.com/Communiti ... sernes.htm

Volyn
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by Volyn » 23 Oct 2018 23:11

Volyn wrote:
22 Oct 2018 18:18
1. War Merit Cross 2nd Class (with Swords?) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Merit_Cross
2. Eastern Front Medal - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Front_Medal
3. Wehrmacht Long Service Medal 4th Class with Hoheitszeichen - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wehrmacht ... vice_Award
4. Crusade Against Communism Medal with "Azov" bronze clasp and "Donet" and "Caucaz" silver clasps - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusade_A ... nism_Medal
5. General Assault Badge - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Assault_Badge
6. Wound Badge in Black - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wound_Badge
7. Feuerwerker Badge - https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feuerwerker
8. Edelweiss Badge - Edelweiss Badge.jpg
I found another badge that he would have been eligible for - 1. Gebirgs-Division fought in the Kuban Bridgehead in 1943 so he would have been there as well.

9. Ärmelschild Kuban (Kuban Shield) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuban_Shield
Kuban Shield.jpg
I made another combat route based on his Division's campaigning in the Caucasus from 1942 until their fighting withdrawal in 1943 from the Kuban Bridgehead and into the Crimea via the town of Kerch. https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Kamensk ... 357314!3e2
Caucasus Map.jpg
XXXXIX GebKorps Map - Taman Kerch Retreat.jpg
wbfamily wrote:
14 Oct 2018 16:48
Or what this says? Taganrog 25.8.42.jpg
There is still a mystery as to why he is in Taganrog on 25 AUG 1942, his Division was involved in a lot of fighting during that time, so it seems strange for him to be so far away from the action and dressed in civilian clothes.

Three theories -

1. He could have been wounded, Taganrog had hospitals and recovery centers for officers and soldiers to rest.
2. During the summer campaign battles for the Caucasus in 1942, various infectious diseases occurred massively, so again he could be a hospital patient.
3. He could have been on leave, but I do not think his unit would have just let him go on R&R in the middle of such an intense campaign.
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