Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

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Shane6969
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Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

Post by Shane6969 » 30 Apr 2018 23:55

Hi All,

Does anyone have information at all about the Hetzer-Kompanie from Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715, 715. Infanterie-Division, during their time in Oberschlesien in 1945?

Cheers

Gastolli
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Re: Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

Post by Gastolli » 31 May 2018 12:52

Hello Shane,

well, the company which was in Milowitz got their Hetzer late in the war, early April or middle of April 1945. They got 10 Hetzer and 1 Bergehetzer, but apart from that I don't know more.

May I ask the reason you are asking for?

Oliver

Shane6969
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Re: Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

Post by Shane6969 » 02 Jun 2018 14:09

Thanks Oliver,

My Dad's cousin was a Gunner in a Hetzer in that unit at that time. He was a Toolmaker by trade and worked in the 715 I.D armoury repairing guns (Gunsmith) in France and Italy, however he was transferred to the Panzerjager Battalion when they got the Hetzers, now on the Eastern Front. The Hetzer (and his unt) he was in got destroyed very quickly by the Soviets and he was taken as a POW in April 1945 in Oberschlesien and spent the next couple of years in Polish captivity before being released. Apparently the Kompanie command Hetzer was incinerated after it got hit and was flipped onto its roof. He had a shrapnel wound on his leg which never fully healed for the rest of his life, into the late 1980's.

Cheers mate

Gastolli
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Re: Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

Post by Gastolli » 03 Jun 2018 17:03

Hello Shane,
hm, I may have a little bit more on this company, not from the last few weeks of war with Hetzer, but from the time before. I will came back to you separately :-)

Oliver

Shane6969
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Re: Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

Post by Shane6969 » 04 Jun 2018 06:08

Thanks Oliver :)

Gastolli
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Re: Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

Post by Gastolli » 04 Jun 2018 19:19

Hello again!

This might be a long shot, but the commander of 2./Pz.Jg.Abt. 715 (which became the Hetzer-company) was Oblt. d.R. von Steynitz in early 1945. If your fathers cousin was in the Hetzer of the company commander, it could have been Oblt. von Steynitz.

And, well, Oblt. von Steynitz was killed on 28.04.1945 near Deutsch Leuthen (until 1946 Německá Lutyně, now Dolní Lutyně, Okres Karviná, Czech Rep.).

That could have been the day your fathers cousin was wounded, but of course I'm not sure on that.

You should ask the Deutsche Dienststelle in Berlin:
https://www.dd-wast.de/en/tracing-reque ... earch.html

but well, it could took up to two years (!) to get an answer from them. It should be worth a try, on the other hand. Right now they again have access to the Krankenbuchlager files, something like the "book of arrivals" of much of the German hospitals. And from that source, if available, you might find out more on the wound, the date he was given to a hospital and from what unit ...

Another source you should try, the Deutsches Rote Kreuz in Munich:
https://www.drk-suchdienst.de/en/servic ... ormer-ussr

The last few years they got files from Russia from the German POW. I'm not sure if your fathers cousin will be among them as you wrote he was in Poland for several years? But he was captured by the Russians, so ...

Answer from Munich will be much faster :-)

Oliver

Shane6969
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Re: Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

Post by Shane6969 » 05 Jun 2018 05:26

Hi Oliver,

Wow, thanks so much, I'd say that it was his Company Commander that was KIA on 28.04.1945.
My relatives name was Willy Huettenrauch, I've sent a request off to Wast for information. When he came home to Germany after being a POW, he told my Dad that he saw his Commanders Hetzer get hit by Russian fire and flip onto its roof and it caught fire with the occupants all trapped inside. His vehicle was also destroyed in the same battle, but he got out of his Hetzer, even though he was wounded and then captured by the Soviets.

Thanks again :)

Shane6969
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Re: Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

Post by Shane6969 » 05 Jun 2018 05:29

Here is his photo taken in Italy. He is standing second from the right.
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Larry D.
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Re: Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

Post by Larry D. » 05 Jun 2018 13:58

Nothing specifically on the Division's Hetzer Kompanie, but the title below does cover the Division in combat during the last week of April and the destruction of its men, tanks and antitank armor. The Komm.Gen. of 715. was demoted from Gen.-Maj. to Oberst and all of the men were forced to remove their decorations from their uniforms after it suffered hundreds of KIA. Führer's orders.

Gunter, Georg. Last Laurels: The German Defence of Upper Silesia January – May 1945. Solihull: Helion & Co., 2002. ISBN: 1 874622 65 5. Hb (oversize). 309p. Illus. Maps. Appendices. Notes. Glossary. Bibliography. Index. Pages 248-49, 256, 258.

L.

Gastolli
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Re: Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

Post by Gastolli » 05 Jun 2018 20:25

Hello,

I (of course) have this title in the German original version. Of course I checked it and the action in question was while the Hetzer-company was away from the Division to get their tanks at Milowitz. The Division was routed right after entrainment.

Division is mentioned just on a few pages, nothing particular. I might send scans from it to Shane, but it doesn't help with regard to the actions of the Hetzer company.

Oliver

Larry D.
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Re: Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

Post by Larry D. » 06 Jun 2018 00:00

Oliver: :thumbsup:

Gastolli
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Re: Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

Post by Gastolli » 06 Jun 2018 15:16

Here the pages from the German version of "Letzter Lorbeer" (last laurel) ...
Oliver
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GregSingh
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Re: Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

Post by GregSingh » 07 Jun 2018 00:23

Mid-April map of the 715.ID area along Olsa river from Soviet archives.
To help you position the map on that one provided by Gastolli - Oderberg is on the left.
Also you can see Deutsch Leuthen (Německá Lutyně) where Oblt. von Steynitz was killed on 28.04.1945

Click on the map to see in full resolution.
14-21 April 1945.jpg
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If we become increasingly humble about how little we know, we may be more eager to search.

Shane6969
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Re: Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

Post by Shane6969 » 07 Jun 2018 00:28

Thanks so much gentlemen, I really do appreciate it :)

Gastolli
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Re: Panzerjäger-Abteilung 715 in 1945

Post by Gastolli » 07 Jun 2018 22:25

Hi Greg,
you beat me with that chart, but I also found one at Pamyat Naroda from 1. GuardsArmy for period 28.-30.04.1945, showing the 544. Volksgrenadier-Division as the neighbor for 715. Inf.Div. I have marked Deutsch Leuthen on that chart ...

And, 211. Rifledivision as the opponent. I made one copy from 211. RD files for 28.04.1945, but..., well, I can't read it of course :-)

We don't know what exactly happened to Oblt. von Steynitz. Maybe he died in a field hospital as Deutsch Leuthen wasn't exactly on the front line, some way back.

Oliver
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