Questions about my godfather badly wounded near Smolensk moving West

Discussion in 'The Eastern Front' started by Lindele, Aug 15, 2021.

  1. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Gefreiter Rudolf Martin Schäfer, born 01.11.1911 of the Fahrkol.256.

    His unit kept moving on west with the wounded soldiers.
    Rudolf eventually died of head wounds on 18th September 1943 aged 32 near Bulgakowo/Duchoschtchina and is buried in a mass grave.

    Was that common practice to carry the wounded in direction west?
    The distance was huge with the Soviet Army chasing them all along.
    Seems strange these days. Any explanation?
    Born in 1945, I never met my uncle, only his fiance.
    CL1 likes this.
  2. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Dukhovshchina/Duchoschtchina was recaptured on 19th September 1943 by troops of the Kalinin Front of the Red Army as part of the Dukhovshchina-Demidov operation.
    Bulgakovo is located close to it: Google Maps
    Your uncle was most likely killed during the evacuation from the Smolensk front arc - logically to the west to avoid encirclement - within the framework of this large-scale offensive.
    see also: Smolensk operation
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
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  3. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Fahrkolonne 256 was part of the 256th Infantry Division (see map).
    Further reading:
    Das Grüne Regiment
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