Gruppe Profiles

 
Leutnant: Hager 

Full Name: Ernst-Otto Hager

Born: 20th July 1918, Doben, Rastenburg, East Prussia

Civilian Occupation: Student

Awards: Iron Cross 1st Class,  Iron Cross 2nd Class

Status: On Active Service

Leutnant Hager is a Platoon Commander in the 2nd Company. He was formerly a student who did 6 months RAD service in 1936 before being called up for the army on 1st February 1937

His father was an artillery officer in WW1 and inherited the family farm from his older brother who fell at Langemarck. Knowing more about horses than agriculture Leutnant Hager’s father began horse breeding instead. Leutnant Hager attended the local school and then the Gymnasium (Grammar School) in Rastenburg. He also became an expert horseman and won many equestrian titles.

After his RAD service the Leutnant was called up to Infanterie Regiment 1 at Allenstein. During training he was recommended as an Officer candidate and in the autumn of 1937 was promoted to Fahnenjunker-Gefreiter.

After a ten-day leave in early 1938 he reported to Kriegschule Potsdam for Officer training which he completed in October 1937. He was then posted to Infanterie Regiment 27, as new Officers weren’t permitted to serve with their former units. He was promoted to Leutnant in January 1939 and only had a few months left to serve when war broke out.

Leutnant Hager won his EK2 in combat in Poland and his EK1 for his leadership in France. Now a a seasoned veteran, he is  a well-liked, respected and has earned the respect of his men as a brave and competent Officer. 

 

 
 

Unterfeldwebel Kelner:     Promoted 7th September 1940

Full name: Christian Kelner

Born: 29th November 1898, Stettin, Pomerania

Civilian occupation: Clerk

Awards: Iron Cross 2nd Class (WW1), Black Wound 

Badge (WW1), Cross of Honour, Mecklenburg-Schwerin 

Military Service Cross.

Status: On Active Service

 
Unterfeldwebel Kelner is the Squad Leader. He is a native of Stettin and showed great promise as a scholar. However, times were hard and in 1913 his father got him a job at the local Brewery. Stettin being famous for it's dark lagers! His academic side was soon discovered and kelner became a junior clerk.
 
However, in 1916 Kelner volunteered to serve the Kaiser. After his basic training he joined an infantry regiment where his written talents soon found him sitting behind a desk in the regimental headquarters. In September 1917 Kelner was wounded in the right leg when an artillery shell landed on the regimental HQ. Whilst recuperating he became convinced he must fight at the front, but it wasn’t until late 1917 that he managed to persuade his commanding officer to transfer him to a front line company.
On the 13th March 1918 whilst on patrol in no-man’s land one of Kelner’s comrades was wounded when a British bomber threw a Mills bomb. Kelner went back and dragged him to the safety of the German lines whilst under fire from the British patrol. For this selfless act he was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class.
Kelner managed to get through the rest of the war unscathed. He was part in the great offensives in early 1918 but was captured by the British in May. After spending nearly a year in Yorkshire he returned to Stettin where he became Chief Clerk at the Brewery. He settled down and had a family and was expecting a peaceful life until he was recalled as a reservist in August 1939.
Unterfeldwebel Kelner is a quiet, but reliable man, much respected by the other troops.
 

 

Unteroffizier Weisser:    Promoted 9th September 1940

Full name: Erich Weisser

Born: 7th June 1903, Schwinemunde, Pomerania

Civilian occupation: Tram Driver

Awards: Marksmanship Lanyard

Status: On Active Service

 

 

 
Unteroffizier Weisser is the squad’s junior N.C.O. He was fourteen when his father was severely wounded on the Western Front and returned home an invalid. Times were hard after the war, so Weisser and his older brother were forced to go out to work as the family could not survive on his father’s meagre pension. This, of course, was exacerbated by the inflation crises of 1923 and 1929 when the pension became worthless. When his older brother was killed in an accident at the Blohm and Voss shipyard in 1925, Weisser became the family’s only bread-winner.
After a number of dead end jobs Weisser finally got a job as a tram driver in his hometown. However, Weisser has a very natural knack for making money from virtually anything and was doing quite nicely until he was caught up in the first wave of enlistment of men over Wehrmacht age in September 1939.
A popular man Weisser has shown himself as a highly competent soldier who is quick to learn. In training he excelled on the ranges and is the best shot in the section. He holds the marksmanship lanyard for this skill, which singled him out for the role of gunner.
 
Leutnant Hager relies on Weisser to get his men items not normally available through normal channels. The Leutnant knows not to ask questions, for Weisser likes his drink and whenever possible will try and start a game of cards where his skill and slight of hand often mean he is a winner. His favourite weapon is a fighting knife kept in the top of his boot and has used to good effect both in close combat and at the card table.

 

Oberschutze: Werner

Full Name: Karl Theodor Werner

Born: 9th November 1896, Zaborze, Hindenburg, Silesia

Civilian occupation: Shipyard worker

Awards: Cross of Honour

Status: On Active Service

 
 
Oberschutze Werner is a rifleman in the squad. He was brought up in a mining town in Silesia. A short, powerful man, it as only natural he should follow his father and brothers down the mines. He joined the hard, tough life at the coal-face in 1908.
In 1914 Werner dodged Government demands that miners should not volunteer and answered the call of the Fatherland. After basic training he joined a supply unit and served on the Eastern Front. It was here he developed a fear of horses that has been exacerbated by the Leutnant's own fearsome horse, Bayerischprinz. He was later transferred to the West but managed to survive the war without injury. The Treaty of Versaille handed Silesia to the newly formed state of Poland. Many ethnic Germans stayed, but Werner and his family relocated to Pomerania.
After sparodic periods of unemployment in the early 20s Werner secured a permanent job as a riveter at the Rovenich and Todt shipyard in Rostock. He married and had two children. His hobby of puppet making helps supplement the family income.
Werner always dreamed of Germany regaining control of Silesia and returning there with his family. So he was delighted when he joined Infantrie Regiment 27 as a reservist. However, he hopes that after the defeat of France he can return home to his family like so many other reservists.

 

 
 

Oberschutze: Schwarzmuller

Full name: Karl Schwarzmuller

Born: 5th February 1908, Woldenburg, Pomerania

Civilian occupation: Professional soldier

Awards: Wehrmacht 12 year long service medal

Status: Missing in Action

 
Schwarzmuller was born in Woldenburg to devoted parents. Although his father was a fireman, Schwarzmuller was impressed by the feldgrau uniforms he saw during the world war, and wanted to become a soldier. In particular he was fascinated by new technology like zeppelins and tanks. Schwarzmuller left school early and got a job at the local paper, the Woldenburg Zeitung, where he worked as a messenger boy, biding his time until he was both old enough to join the Army,and for a place to become available in an army of only 96000 men. In 1927 Schwarzmuller succeeded, but his hope of becoming a panzer driver was a was dashed before it began by the Treaty of Versailles.
 
Schwarzmuller opted to become an infantryman, joining the local 5th Prussian Infantry Regiment. Here he stayed, happy and contented with army life, not even applying for transfer to any of the new armoured units when the 5th Prussian Infantry Regiment then became Infanterie Regiment 27 during the expansion of the Wehrmacht in 1934. 
 
To everyone's surprise he acquired a wife in 1938, and a baby son in 1939. He worries about them constantly but is still content to serve the fatherland. Schwarzmuller is a competent soldier, always handy with a grenade he follows orders to the letter.

 

Stabsgefreiter: Schreiber     Promoted 9th September 1936

Full name: Gustav Schreiber

Born: 20th July 1913, Templeburg, Pomerania

Civilian occupation: Postman

Awards: None

Status: On Active Service

 

Stabsgefreiter Schreiber is a rifleman in the squad. He is another one who barely remembers his father who was posted as missing in action in September 1918.

On leaving school Schreiber followed in his father’s footsteps and became a postman. It was a nice easy job and it gave him a lot of spare time later in the day when he could indulge in his hobby of woodcarving. He married Truda, a nurse after meeting her when he had an accident on his postal round. They settled down to pleasant life and had a family.

Like so many others Schreiber’s plans for a comfortable life were ruined when war broke out in 1939. He was called up in September 1939 along with Weisser and many others, joining Ersatz Battalion 27. After his training he joined the 27th Infantry Regiment just before Christmas.

Stabsgefreiter Schreiber is a quiet and unassuming man. He is popular with the other squad members and in his spare moments he carves toys for them to send home to their families.

He has no interest in the war or politics and all he thinks about is getting back to his wife and young family. However, Schreiber performs his duty without complaint and impressed his superiors during the French campaign with his quick thinking and understanding.

 

Schutze: Bergmann

Full Name: Ronald Bergmann

Born: 26th May 1908, Damnitz, Pomerania

Civilian occupation: Carpenter

Awards: None

Status: On Active Service

 

Schutze Bergmann is a rifleman in the squad. He was born in Damnitz, a small village near Greifenhagen. His father was German but his mother was Belgian, hence his Christian name. His mother had moved to Pomerania in the 1890’s when her father’s business took him there.

Schutze Bergmann’s father was the village carpenter. He was called up in 1914 to serve the Kaiser on the eastern front. In May 1915 he was severely wounded by shrapnel at Gorlice, being invalided out of the army and returning home. He taught Ronald his carpentry skills and in 1928 Ronald took over the business due to his father’s failing health - just four years later Ronald’s father died of tuberculosis. Ronald also supplemented his income by indulging in his hobby of amateur photography and regularly took portrait and wedding photos for people in the surrounding area.

Ronald stayed with his mother until, like Weisser, he was called up in September 1939.

Schutze Bergmann is a bit of a loner who can often be found in a quiet spot, reading a book or writing to his mother. He still carries a camera with him and takes photographs whenever he can. In France and Belgium the squad found him very useful – his mother had taught him well as he his fluent in Flemish, English and French - he is often sent out to procure provisions and barter with the locals.

 

Schutze: Hassel

Full Name: Paul Hassel

Born: 18th October 1910,  Wismar

Civilian Occupation: Farm Worker

Awards: None

Status: Missing In Action

 
Until 1937 Paul Hassel lead a relatively quiet rural existence. The son of a tenant farmer he spent all his early years as a farmhand looking after the family herd. As a tenant of the abdicated Duke of Mecklenburg, he was born within site of the Mikilenburg (Old German for "Big Castle") that gives Mecklenburg its name. Such aristocratic connections had embued Hassel with a certain snobbery.
 
However, in 1930 at a moment of deep agricultural crisis in Germany, he fell in love with the district nurse who came to care for his dying father. The inevitable happened and the two were quickly wed before arrival of their first son. More children were added to the brood, and to supplement the meagre income of a tenant farmer, Hassel took to poaching to feed the family.
 
Therein lay the problem, for the Duke of Mecklenburg did not take kindly to people poaching in his lakes. A blast of buckshot from the Duke and stream of oaths from Hassel had him volunteering for the new Wehrmacht.
 
With his wife and children safely installed in comfortable accommodation in Gross Born, Hassel made an excellent professional soldier, and to the Regiment's delight, an excellent footballer that can beat any team put together by the 48th and 89th Infanterie regiments.
 
 
 

Schutze: Voller

Full name: Kurt Voller

Born: 2nd November 1920, Swinemunde, Pomerania

Civilian occupation: Student

Awards: None

Status: Missing in Action

 
 

Voller is the assistant machine gunner.  His father is a dentist and had planned for Kurt to work in his practice after gaining his degree.

At 18 Kurt was called up for his RAD service and after 6 months was called up for his national service in the military. Despite being so young he is one of the more experienced members of the platoon having served well in both Poland and France.

Being assistant gunner means that he has to carry a lot of the spare ammunition for the MG34 which he is forever moaning about. It also means that he has to take over if Weisser incapacitated and he has also scored well on the ranges with the machine gun. The platoon have every confidence in Weisser and Voller who have formed a good team that can be relied upon.                                                                                                                                                        

Note:                 

On the night of the 24 May 1940 Schutze Kurt Voller volunteered to act as Number two for an MG team persuing the entrapped BEF on the outskirts of Arras there they came under intense mortar fire Voller and some of the team failed to return - -He has been posted as missing in action.
 

 
 

Gefrieter: Wendlinger  Promoted 8th March 1940

Full Name: Siegfried Wendlinger

Born: 2nd May 1907, Wittenberg, Mecklenberg

Civilian Occupation: Lorry driver

Awards: 12 year service medal

Status: On Active Service

 

Gefrieter Wendlinger is a rifleman in the squad. He was born and brought up in Wittenberg, a small town of 3,800 inhabitants, in Mecklenberg. He was lucky in that his family survived the Great War virtually unscathed. His father returned to his civilian occupation as a Policeman after the war and family life soon returned to normal.

After being taken by his father to a military open day at the local barracks Siegfried set his heart on becoming a soldier. In 1923 he left school at 16 and was too young to enlist so his father got him a job at the local wood yard. However in 1925 Siegfried realised his ambition and joined the Reichswehr.

The German army was limited to 100,000 men under the Treaty of Versailles and in order to limit the number of men with military training a recruit had to sign up for 12 years. Siegfried enjoyed his 12 years in the army and rose to the rank of Oberschtutze but he decided not to re-enlist as he wanted to spend more time with his young family. So, in 1937, Siegfried got a job back at the wood yard in Wittenberg working as a lorry driver.

However, within two years Germany was on the road to war and Siegfried’s quiet family life was shattered when he was called up again in August 1939.

Like others in the squad he will do his duty for his country but longs to return home to normality. Siegfried is quiet and reserved. His previous long military service means that he has a wealth of experience to share with the younger men and he has fitted back into military life easily.

 

Obergefreiter: Fehn      Promoted 9th September 1940

Full Name: Marcus Fehn

Born: 6th March 1903 Stargard, Pomerania

Civilian occupation: Bricklayer

Awards: None

Status: On Active Service

 

Obergefreiter Fehn is a rifleman in the squad. His father, who owns a building firm in Stargard, served with distinction on the Eastern Front in the Imperial Army from 1914 to 1916 until wounds ended his army service. Fehn is married and has three boys aged five, seven, and eleven.

Following in his father’s tradition Marcus volunteered for duty in January 1938 (2 months before his 35th birthday) after his fathers business started to experience financial difficulties. He was disappointed to be selected for the Infantry as he did initially request to join the engineers hoping that this would lead to a permanent career within the army because of his construction background but the army had fulfilled its current quota for engineers at that time, so he accepted the Infantry with a guarantee from the army that as soon as he finished his basic training a position with an engineers unit would be found.

 He was promised that this would be the case as he was already in his thirties and the army preferred younger recruits for front line duty but the last two years of almost continual active service has delayed his transfer to an Engineers Unit and not getting home to see his family in the last 18 months is beginning to take the edge of his notions of a full time career in the Army. Despite his mother’s Polish extraction Fehn is a loyal German and a capable Soldier with a talent for being a bit of a joker. He is also liked & trusted by his comrades


He is sometimes considered a little reckless in combat by his superiors, but there is no questioning his courage and he can always be counted on for using his initiative in combat situations.

 

 

Schutze: Mahr

Full name: Julius Mahr

Born: 24th January 1921, Rostock, Mecklenburg

Civilian occupation: Student

Awards: None

Status: On Active Service

 

Mahr is a rifleman in the squad. He was born in Rostock, the place his father landed in 1919. Formerly a German Officer, he had served under Letyow-Vorbeck in East Africa. However, Germany’s surrender found him penniless and back in the fatherland. Such poverty meant he pushed Mahr hard to excel at his studies, wishing him to become a doctor. Mahr was soon called up to do his 6 months in the RAD. By the time this ended, war against Poland had just begun.

 Mahr’s father managed to pull some strings with his old friends in the military, and as soon as he had completed his service in the RAD, Mahr went back to university, starting his doctor degree, instead of being called up. However, the high morale of the German people after the victories in Poland convinced Mahr to join the Wehrmacht. He was recruited by Wehrkreis II, the German military district which covered his home town of Rostock, and sent to join Infanterie Regiment 27, just before the invasion of France.

 Schutze Mahr is the least experienced of the platoon, and has yet to see combat. His “attempt” at a doctor degree means that he has some medical knowledge, and this has made him the informal medic of the platoon. This could prove useful in the battles to come.

 
 

 

 Oberschutze: Honig    Promoted 9th September 1940

Full Name:  Stefan Honig.

Born: 24th March 1910 Stettin Pomerania.

Civilian Occupation: Machinist For Engineering Company.

Awards: None

Status: On Active Service

                                                                                                                                       
 

   
 
Honig's father was a machinist for the shipbuilders Stettiner Machinenbau AG Vulcan, and Honig grew up in the grim and fogbound docks of Stettin. Honig's father was exempt from military service during the First World War as he helped turn out parts for the U-boats under construction in the shipyard. Honig joined the shipyard in 1925 and himself trained as a machinist, although he lost his job in 1928 when the Stettiner Machinenbau AG Vulcan went bankrupt. Jobs were scarce and Honig was unemployed for two years until he finally got his old job back when the bankrupt company was refounded as AG Vulcan Stettin. 
 
Honig is married to his childhood sweetheart Gerda, with whom he has two sons, who will soon be old enough to join the Hitler Youth. The war, he believed, would be short, and he didn't want to miss it. Distrustful of the ships he had helped build, he volunteered for the Army in September 1939, against the wishes of his wife, who believed he should stay in his very safe reserved occupation. Honig is therefore an enthusiastic soldier, a little naive, but willing to learn new skills and is considered a trustworthy member of the gruppe. He enjoys the disciplined life, and finds it pleasant to be away from the smoke, damp and noise of the shipyard.
 
  

 

Schutze:  Kraft

Full Name:  Eduard Kraft.

Born: 8th August 1913 In the village Dargezin

Civilian Occupation: Motor Mechanic

Awards: None

Status: On Active Service

 
 
Kraft was born in the village Dargezin on the 8th August 1913. His father, also called Eduard, was the village blacksmith, who also kept a few cows on the flat scrub land behind the forge on the eastern side of Dorfstrasse. The cows meant that Eduard's mother was constantly kept busy with the curd cutter and cheese press.
 
Eduard's father was called up in 1914 to serve as a blacksmith in the army, but was released in 1915 so that he could continue to serve as a village blacksmith. Dargezin is a very rural area and all farmers relied on their horses. Eduard grew up around the forge, and was apprenticed to his father when he was fourteen.
 
The 1930s began to see a decline in blacksmith work, so Eduard supplemented the business by taking work as a motor mechanic, helped by the building of the autobahn less than ten miles away. He was therefore listed as a 'motor mechanic' in the Wehrkries register. When he received his call up papers in September 1939 he found himself in an infantry regiment, much to his surprise, he had expected to spend the war shoeing horses!
 
A quiet, thoughtful member of the squad, Kraft is liked by is comrades for  his sense of humour. Although a good solider, he often pines for the rural charms of Dargezin, the forge, and his two young children. He dreads the Leutnant discovering he is a blacksmith as he knows this will lead to a demand to shoe the officers' horses!
 

 

Schutze: Hoffmann

Full Name: Klaus Hoffmann

Born:14th November 1905 District of Gross Stettin
 
Civilian Occupation:   Innkeeper

Awards: Iron Cross 2nd Class,GoldWoundBadge

Status: Gefallen Kamarad Schutze Klaus Hoffmann R.I.P.
24.11.70 - 27.09.11
 

 

Hoffman is a rifleman in the squad. He was born is the southern district of Gross Stettin by the Oder River on November 14th 1905. His father, Rolf, worked in the drawing office of the Stoewer Automobile Company while his mother kept house and home. Hoffman did well at school and longed to be a soldier however; the competition to get into the 100,000 strong Reichswehr was tough.  Particularly as the economic situation in Germany worsened; so he found work as a drayman.

 The death of his father, of a heart attack, in 1929 left Hoffmann with an inheritance with which he was able to purchase an Inn.  Fortunately; just before the October stock market crash that would have rendered his inheritance quite worthless. Even in an economic depression people still drink and he led a quiet bachelor existence during the bad years and the good.

 Hoffman's Inn was near the docks so naturally, as a landlord, he was used to a good fight!  This, combined with his boyhood dream of being a soldier, meant that he was delighted when he received his papers ordering him to report to Gross Born for training in the 2nd Reserve Company of the 27th Infantry Regiment.  It was during his basic training that he was slightly wounded in his right hand when a grenade prematurely exploded. He has since fully recovered from the injury.

 Hoffman is a very precise and smart soldier who is obsessed with cleaning and polishing his kit.  Despite his parade ground appearance, he has proved to be a good soldier in the field but he has developed a tendency to rush into dangerous situations. Although he has an intense loyalty to his comrades, he could be described as a loner and is often found lost in his thoughts.

Note:

'On 24th May 1940 four miles north east of Arras near the village of Bailleul, soldiers from 2.Kompany of Infanterie Regiment 27. Came under sustained mortar fire from British Infantry.

During this action some men sustained wounds and were cut off in an exposed isolated position, Schutze Klaus Hoffmann went forward disregarding his own safety to try and give aid to his wounded comrades. 
He was wounded a number of times over the next hour, but held his position until the rest of 2. Kompany secured the area.

Schutze Klaus Hoffmann unfortunately succumbed to his wounds some hours later.
For this courageous act he was posthumously awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class and the Gold wound badge.

 

 

Schutze: Oskar

Full Name: Rolf Oskar

Born:   25th July  1914 Papendorf near Rostock

Civilian Occupation:  Barman

Awards:  None

Status: On Active Service

Mothers name Ann, father Stefan,

Born in the village of Papendorf which lies about 3 miles south of Rostock.Rolf’s father was badly wounded in April of 1915 which left him with a damaged right leg and unfit for duty.

He then managed to find work at the local inn scrapping just about enough money to support his wife and two young sons.Rolf’s elder brother lennart joined the Luftwaffe in 1937 serving as ground crew before being posted with the condor legion to Spain.Rolf was working at the local brewery as an assistant drayman, when he was conscripted into regiment 27 in March 1940.

Schutze : Faust

Full Name: Christoph Faust

Born:  29th January 1922  Bobolice ( West Pomerania )

Civilian Occupation: Part Time Student / Farm Worker

Awards: None

Status: On Active Service

 Occupation Part time Student, attended a local College to learn Livestock/Dairy farming

 Delayed joining The Hitler Youth until aged 15 in 1937 (won top of his class awards on each year of his membership) then left on 18th birthday and volunteered straight away for service in the 27th Infantry Regt. Also a Keen Horse rider, living on a family run farm has helped with a good working knowledge of horses as well.

Thanks to much success whilst a member of the Hitler Youth (and his obvious Aryan looks), Christoph was recommended to apply for training within the SS, he declined and joined the Wehmacht straight away. At this present time it was thought that he and his family might be anti Nazi, because of an avoidance of joining the Hitler Youth at an earlier age through excuses from his family of needing him at home all the time to help run the farm (his father is not blessed with good health) despite the fact that he has two older brothers working on the farm.
Christoph is a quiet unassuming pleasant lad with good manners, who tends to be over protected by the older members of his platoon as he is still only 18 years old, but since he has been with the platoon for the past four weeks (Straight out of basic training) he has settled in very well, he enjoys the out door life of the Infantry as he is used to it through being raised on a farm, and despite his youth, he is physically very strong and seems to be able to handle himself in a fight, winning a boxing tournament trophy during his basic training. He says being boxed around the ears by his older brothers whilst growing up was a help in being able to use his fists.
His speed of being able to field strip and clear blockages on the MG 34 was duly noted during his training and he broke the speed record for re-assembling and firing the MG 34 after a common firing blockage test, even though he did not come top of his class for accuracy on the MG 34 (scoring just average hits on the firing range) he makes the best No2 that any MG34 team could wish for.