Tracing information on German Soldier

Discussion in 'Axis Units' started by The Guardroom, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. The Guardroom

    The Guardroom Senior Member

    I have several hand written letters and cards from a German soldier(I believe) to his family and am looking to see if anyone can help identify the soldier and the unit he was in. The letters are all dated from 1943 to 1944 and would like to know if this man survived the war. One of the envelopes seems to carry his name and his service number, but thats is all I can make out from all the letters.
    I hope the attached photo helps someone in this enquiry.

    Many thanks,

    Attached Files:

  2. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    I'm not an expert on German service numbers, but the German War Graves Commission; doesn't give unit details anyway and often the birthplace isn't known as records are incomplete. I've had some success in the past finding some soldiers from a list extant in a town hall in France of German soldiers buried in the village, but later on in the war and particularly in the Russian fighting, records are much more scarce. I had a quick look and there is an Unteroffizier killed on 27/9/1944. As your letters don't carry on into 1945 I took the date of April 1944 on the letter you put in as a last date in a search. Of course as a research method that's woefully inadequate and he could easily have survived the war. The address doesn't seem to exist now, but then a large part of the town was destroyed by incendiaries in 1945 air raids. For what it's worth:

    Hermann Rose ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Andilly.
    Endgrablage: Block 28 Reihe 11 Grab 756
    Nähere Informationen zu diesem Friedhof erhalten Sie hier.
    Name und die persönlichen Daten des Obengenannten sind auch im Gedenkbuch der Kriegsgräberstätte verzeichnet. Sie können gern einen Auszug bei uns bestellen.
    Bitte beachten Sie, dass auf einigen Friedhöfen nicht die aktuelle Version ausliegt, somit kann der Name Ihres Angehörigen darin evtl. noch nicht verzeichnet sein.
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    The number - 04346 - on the envelope is a Feldpostnummer

    There is a search engine for the numbers on the link below, though the results do not confirm anything for 1944

    The results for search for German war dead for
    1944 are
    (Surname, First name, DOB, Date of death/missing, POB)

    Rose Hermann 08.08.1868 29.03.1944 Schrapow
    Rose Hermann 25.08.1907 01.07.1944
    Rose Hermann 10.06.1908 29.09.1944 Weißenfels
    Rose Hermann 21.04.1911 27.09.1944
    Rose Hermann 13.03.1912 17.09.1944 Golau
    Rose Hermann 27.12.1912 01.09.1944
    Rose Hermann 19.06.1913 15.06.1944 Salzdahlum
    Rose Hermann 05.12.1921 02.05.1944
    Rose Hermann 18.06.1922 31.05.1944 Bockum
    Rose Hermann 25.09.1923 14.03.1944 Untergörlitz
    Rose Hermann 23.12.1926 24.12.1944 Wehe
    Rose Hermann Gerhard 20.10.1856 19.08.1944 Bremen


    Rose Hermann 25.07.1904 11.06.1945 Hamburg
    Rose Hermann 08.12.1905 01.03.1945
    Rose Hermann 17.09.1908 01.03.1945
    Rose Hermann 07.01.1917 01.04.1945 Borgentreich
    Rose Hermann Karl 15.01.1900 13.09.1945 Bielefeld

    Unfortunately the Volksbund do not include unit details online, and the dataset is incomplete.

    Is there any mention in the letters of his birthday, ie thanks for sending greetings/present ?? Geburtstag?

    Screen shot 2013-11-11 at 21.53.06.png
  4. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    I have checked the address as given on that letter.
    Bentheim in Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) is today called Bad Bentheim. There is nobody with the name of Rose in Bad Bentheim, but the Brennereistrasse 5 still exists and I could call the people what they know about the Rose family, if you want me to.
    The other possibility is to check with the Registry Office in Bad Bentheim about Gerda Rose or other members of this family and what happened to them. Just let me know.

    stolpi and dbf like this.
  5. The Guardroom

    The Guardroom Senior Member

    Hi all,
    Many thanks for the replies and help. Apologise for the late update, been away with work.
    I have checked the letters again to see if I can read any words in them, but 1) not being able to transplate & 2) not really able to make out the writing, it is difficult to make anything out on them.
    Looking closer it I now see that there does seem to be another letter in amongst them from a brother perhaps. On one of them it reads: Absender - Gefr G Rose, E.V.M. Prag, Prag XIX, Magazinter ??? in July 1941.
    On another it has his field postNr as 09633 in July 1941.
    I thougt this would be a long shot considering the lack of information I have to had, but I do apprciate the list of potential names and dates.
  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Prag is German for Prague.

    Prag XIX may be a military district of Prague. Feldpost nummer 09633 will be associated with it.

    E V M may be the name of the military unit.

    Magazinter may be Magazineur meaning the occupation or duty of storekeeper or stores supervisor.

    Further research.

    E V M is the abbreviation for Ersatzverpflegungsmagazin.

    E V M were Higher Ration Stores (Ersatzverpflegungsmagazin) and supplied and controlled the Army Rations Main Depots.Specified to hold one months rations for 300000 men and would typically store 10000 tons of food.

    E V Ms,40 in total, were set up prewar covering Germany and Czechoslovakia.

    The Roman numeral index shown are the Corps district which would be subordinate to the German military districts.

    Cannot find a Corps for X1X but Prag is shown as B u M. Posen is shown as XX1

    Further research.

    The Corps indexes are the German Military Districts...(Wehrkreis) The Corps X1X is the Military District X1X which is Wien,(ie,Vienna) Prag (Prague) is within the Vienna Military District.
  7. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Hi Alan,

    I checked with the people living today at the address in Bad Bentheim, but unfortunately they do not know the Rose family.
    Another possibility would be to check with the Registry of Bad Bentheim.

    The Feldpost number as given on that postcard refers to the 2. Intelligence Company of the Regiment 563

  8. The Guardroom

    The Guardroom Senior Member

    Thanks all again for the clarification.
    I will go use the web site on field post numbers as very useful and not aware it existed.
    Best regards and thanks again,
  9. steelers708

    steelers708 Junior Member

    Feldpostnummer 09633 belongs to the following:

    (Mobilmachung-1.1.1940) 4. Kompanie Grenzwacht-Unterabschnitt II/22 Grenzwacht-Abschnitt
    (2.1.1940-27.4.1940) gestrichen,
    (1.2.1941-11.7.1941) Verpflegungs-Erfassungsstab 111,
    (1.8.1943-23.3.1944) 4.1.1944 gestrichen,
    (7.11.1944-Kriegsende) 27.2.1945 Pionier-Führer am Rhein XII.

    Also there was no Wehrkries XIX, Prague was the HQ of Wehrkries Bohmen und Mahren which was formed in late 1942 and covered the whole of the protectorate of Bohemia & Moravia. The only Corps mobilised by this Wehrkries was the XLIX
  10. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    There were 15 original Wehrkreis (military districts) headed by a corps commander.The organisational principle was territorial and as such, combatants would serve alongside others from the same Lander (province) in a system similar to the British county regiment system set up by Cardwell in 1881.

    However there were non territorial Wehrkreis (military districts) set up and the No X1X Wehrkreis (HQ Wien) was one of these.It was set up on the annexation of Austria to cover 2 Austrian Panzer Divisions and 4 Light Infantry Divisions.(In the original 15 Wehrkreise ,Wien was the HQ of Wehrkreis XV11 and Salzburg was the HQ of Wehrkreis XV111.)

    Other non territorial Wehrkreis set up were as follows:

    X1V Magdeburg
    XV Jena
    XV1 Berlin

    Getting back to the sending address of Gefr Rose in July 1941.Why would he use Prag X1X in his sending address?...the answer may lie in the fact as given by you that the B und M was not formed until 1942 and from that Prag was under the jurisdiction of Wehrkreis XIX in July 1941.

    Further. another question is raised from the point of organisation principles....was the B und M, a territorial or a non territorial Wehrkreis?
  11. steelers708

    steelers708 Junior Member

    As I understand it the 3 non-territorial Wehrkreis i.e XIV, XV and XVI were formed in 1938 as Special Corps commands and were the basis for the establishment of the future Panzer armies, they ceased to exist in May 1939 upon them being activated as Motorised Corps commands.

    Again as I understand it the XIX was not a non-territorial Wehrkreis but a Motorised Corps HQ set up in Vienna in May 1939 that would eventually become PanzerArmee 2. If you saying this is wrong then the books they came from are wrong and I would be grateful if you point me in the direction of your sources as in all of mine, both books and internet, there is no information whatsoever about a Wehrkreis XIX and they all state that the XIX was a Corps Command.

    Again as far as my books etc go they all state that Bohmen und Mahren was a fully fledged Werhkreis.
  12. steelers708

    steelers708 Junior Member

    Done a bit more research and I think that Magazinter is short for Magazintermeister, which is the NCO in charge of a Depot, this would tie in with the Feldpostnummer of 09633 which shows for the period 1.2.1941-11.7.1941 Verpflegungs-Erfassungsstab 111, which according to a German colleague of mine could mean Rations Depot HQ 111, especially as a a Verplefgungsmann is a Rations Handler.
  13. The Guardroom

    The Guardroom Senior Member

    A further thanks to Harry and Steelers for the continued information. Much more than I had expected from the little information I shared. Thanks all very much for looking into.
  14. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I think you have to reference the US Government's publications,Handbook of the German Military Forces.First published on 17 December 1941,then on 1 September 1943 and finally on 15 March 1945.

    The US Government designated the Wehrkreis as territorial and non territorial.....Corps Areas and Non Territorial Corps as defined by them..A look at the appropriate German language documents related to Wehrkreis structures may reveal to if this is a direct translation.Roman numerals from a common block were allocated to Corps Areas (which were the original 15 Military Districts) and Non Territorial Corps.So whatever the ultimate fate of these Non Territorial Corps,the US publication of 15 March 1945,from their understanding of the German Force High Command structure deemed them to be in the block of Wehrkreis as Non Territorial Corps .In addition, Corps Area responsibilities to the German Forces structure were greater and more demanding than Non Territorial Corps,being equipped to go to war without a programme of mobilisation...further interrogation of the documents outline these responsibilities.

    Now coming to B und M area,what Military District administered this area before 1942 since the B und M Military District was not formed until 1942.I would say this was XIX Non Territorial Corps from Vienna since an element of Gefreiter Rose's sending address is recorded as Prag XIX.....interesting why was this reference in the sender's address?

    As regards,Gefreiter Rose's duty.His posting at a EVM,ie a Higher Ration Store as a Gefreiter (akin to Lance Corporal,PVT First Class).The EVMs were at the apex of the German Forces ration supply structure so it is difficult to accept that a soldier of that rank could occupy a supervisory role.Having said that, in some German quasi military units such as the Police or Auxiliary Police,some personnel of equivalent Gefreiter rank were designed as "Unterwachtmeister" ...seems that "meister" was a generic term across a wide range of duties and not always associated with specialist technical skills.
  15. steelers708

    steelers708 Junior Member

    The 1943 edition of the handbook was one of my sources, I've now located my 1945 copy and it says that the XIV, XV, XVI and XIX were non-territorial corps, it does not say that they were non-territorial Wehrkreis. The first 3 were formed in August 1939 within weeks of the German army being split into the Feldheer and Ersatzheer and with the outbreak of the war they were assigned to 10th Army of Army Group South, the XIX was formed on 7th September 1939 and was assigned to 4th Army in Army Group North. They were formed as regular (motorised) corps to take control of the motorised and panzer divisions at the outbreak of the war, they would eventually become Panzer Korps and PanzerArmee. They were at no time Wehrkreis - territorial or non-territorial - they were regular army units as they came under the Feldheer, if they had been associated with the Wehrkreis then they would hace come under the control of the Ersatzheer.

    I don't think, reading the relevant passage, that the Americans did regarded them as Wehrkreis units, I think they are calling them non-territorial as they took units i.e. Pz & motorised divisions from across Germany e.g. XVI had the 1st and 4th Pz divisions under command and the Wehrkreis for those two units were IX and XIII respectively. As you say it is from their(the Americans) understanding and that understanding may well be wrong as it does not go with any original evidence I have seen.

    Another point to bear in mind is that in all the official German Kriegsgliederung I have, and have seen, those four corps, as mentioned above, come under the Feldheer, thus are 'active' units, if they were classed by the Germans as Wehrkreis(in any form) then they would come under the Ersatzheer.

    Both prior to the Wehrkreis Bohmen und Mahren being established, and indeed until the end of the war, the area(for German recruitment etc)was commanded by the
    Wehrmachtbevollmachttigter beim Reichsprotektor Bohmen und Mahren(Armed Forces Plenipontentiary attached to the Reich Protecter of Bohemia and Moravia. The Wehrkreis BuM functioned like any normal Wehrkreis in as far as the recruitment of the German speaking minority and other respects but it had no Ersatz units of it's own.

    It's commanders were:
    General der Infanterie Erich Friderici (1 Apr 1939 – 27 Oct 1941)
    General der Infanterie Rudolf Toussaint (1 Nov 1941 – 31 Aug 1943)
    General der Panzertruppen Ferdinand Schaal (1 Sep 1943 – 26 July 1944) (1)
    General der Infanterie Rudolf Toussaint (26 July 1944 – 8 May 1945)

    Schaal was arrested on the 21st July 1944 for his connectionwith the 20th July plot.
  16. steelers708

    steelers708 Junior Member

    More research done and I'm convinced that the Prag, XIX refers to a postal district or something similar, having done an internet search I have seen letters sent from Prague during WWII and thay have various Roman numerals after Prague e.g. I, II XI & XII, therefore I don't believe they relate to any military formation or administrative area.

    Here a a couple of examples:

  17. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Spent some time trying to trace the origin of Prag X1X but no linkage found to anything in Prague

    However I cannot see where in a military address,ie military post office,there would be an element of the address where a civilian district would be included.
  18. steelers708

    steelers708 Junior Member

    Prague is seperated into municipal districts, today Prague 19, also known as Kbely, is located in the North Eastern part of the city. There are currently 22 such districts in Prague which, if they existed in WWII, would explain the Prag I, II, XI, XII and XIX seen on letters of the time.

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