Unit ID please

Discussion in 'Axis Units' started by chipmunk wallah, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. chipmunk wallah

    chipmunk wallah Senior Member

    I picked up this photo about 15 years ago and would be extremly interested to hear any ideas about who these guys could be,also,what sort of transport is that(no cookies for saying a bus though ;) ).
    Any help much apreciated. Feel free to copy it if you like as I believe these things should be shared as widely as pos' just,if on the long shot someone wants it for anything commercial drop a few pennies in a forces charity box,thanks.
    unknown wehrmacht lads 1944.jpg
    and the flipside;
    unknown wehrmacht lads 1944.2.jpg
    incidently,slap me sideways and call me shirely,but the guy 3rd from left doesnt half look like Maximilian Schell :)
  2. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

    Is it a bus or is it a wireless body ? I'm going to take a guess and say that it looks a bit like a Büssing-NAG with an Office or Signals body.
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Could the caption mean "decampment from Pilzno"?

    I found this link for the town:

    ShtetLinks Page -- Pilzno, Poland
    A couple of quotes:

    "The Jews of Pilzno were rounded up by the Nazis July 21-25, l942 and taken to the nearby town of Debica, placed on trains and taken to the Belzec death camp. During those four days 12,000 Jews from Pilzno and its surrounding towns were deported to Belzec. All were gassed at Belzec."

    "From 1939 to 1942 everything was normal. A committee was organized to tell who would work. Three men were on the Juden Rat: Hershel Bochner, Zanita Weissman, and Mundich Treibish.. In 1942 they liquidated the Jews, took away my father's store, they chased everyone out from the houses, and took them away to Dembitz. The younger ones they took to work in the factories. When they liquidated the Pilzno ghetto my family and other families found themselves places to hide. First we had a small ghetto in Pilzno, then in Dembitz. The older people they packed into the trains to Belzec. Hershel Bochner's family and other families they ran away into a bunker. My family secured also a bunker. But my mother and father and one sister disappeared down there (in the Pilzno ghetto). My oldest brother they took away in 1940 because somebody squealed on him that he was in Germany. He was in Germany from 1928 to 1932, and he just disappeared, and his two children were left.
    In the bunker there were my brother Itzak and his wife Raizel Chilowicz, with my oldest brother's two children, and Gitka Furman my sister, and her husband. They were in a bunker with 6 or 7 people next to the Bochner's bunker. Shushka Bochner used to tell me at night they came out and talked to each other. My sister and her husband, when they were hiding, they had to choke their own child, who was crying. Somebody squealed and my family was killed down there. (Their names are on the monument we erected in 1945; see Photo). The Germans were looking for dead Jews. But the sister of the guy who hid them, a stupid girl, she showed them the living Jews . That happened Sept. 9, 1943. The Germans came in the morning, they threw grenades into the bunker. They came out alive, and they shot them and they shot the Polloks, too, who hid them. My family was buried down there in the sands near the toilet. The Polloks they took to the cemetery."

    Perhaps the date, 5 Aug 44, could lead to a further clue as to which unit these belonged to?

    From: History of Debica County, Podkarpackie Province, Poland

    "On August 23, 1944, the Russian Army walked into Debica, but the battle front stopped for one half of the year just west of Debica, Gumniska, Braciejowa, Pilzno and in other smaller villages at west side of the province. Those places were finally conquered in January 1945 in the next successive attack."

  4. chipmunk wallah

    chipmunk wallah Senior Member

    Thanks guys,much apreciated. To be honest I couldnt make out a single word of that german script.
    Poland eh,now you've really got me interested.
    One thing Im not keen on though is the derogatory(and misspelt ) use of the word Pollak in that acount,especialy considering these Polish catholics had been hiding the Polish jews,if a Pole called them Zhyds all would rightly be up in arms......
  5. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    I can't do a postive id on the truck, I'd agree with Rich on the 'house style' body used for a variety of purposes.


    As for the men, I'm not sure that they are all from the same unit. to me the two figures who stand out are the nco's. The obergefrieter in the centre and the gefrieter on the extreme right are dressed the same and appear to me to be gebirgsjäger, mountain troops. The headgear is, I think the unique Bergmütze or mountain cap. It is distinguished by the short stubby peak. This was proudly worn only by this elite cadre. This was the only peaked field cap to be worn by any German troops prior to 1943 when the M43 was introduced.
    Is there an edelweiss flower badge visable on the side of the cap in the original photo Chipmunk?
    These two men also appear to be wearing the mountain boots and puttees worn by these troops and the gefrieter on the right seems to have the handle of the long military issue ice axe hanging down from his rucksack.

    The Bergmütze was so highly regarded for it not to be worn by so many of the soldiers present here indicates that not all of these men were gebirgsjäger. Or possibly only in early training.

    1st and 2nd Gebirgs Divisions operated in the invasion of Poland with the Heersgruppe Süd.
  6. chipmunk wallah

    chipmunk wallah Senior Member

    Thanks Bodston old chap. This pic gets more intersting by the day now :)
    Unfortunatly it is a rather small photo in its origional form so I cant confirm or deny any edlewiess badges. The only really posotive ID I can make is the motercycle coat being worn by the guy leaning on the bonnet of the "bus" just above the incredably short fellow being "held up" by his mates.Speaking of him,my origional wild guess had been some sort of leave or recuperation group,from the "Bus" with an outrider for security,and the obvious non uniformity of the group as a whole.
    As for the ice axe,I have a feeling that is something on the path not on the gfrtr.
    Either way,they look a happy and relaxed bunch,and for this period,in this area that is a nice thing to see from a strictly humanitarian point of view.
    all the best.
  7. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    i hope these men,if they were involved in rounding people up,are now stoking the fires of hell.yours,4th wilts.
  8. chipmunk wallah

    chipmunk wallah Senior Member

    I doubt they were involved in "rounding people up" 4thwilts old bean.Remember,the pic is from 1944,and these are NOT Police or Auxiliary troops clearly. The story regarding the round ups is from much earlier,and BTW,you dont need to worry about me being overly sympathetic towards german forces in Poland!(my "pet" subject is the Polish Home Army and the Warsaw uprising)
    Hey,dbf,hijack away mate,no worries :)
  9. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    You know, I completely missed the 1944 date. I may have been drunk at the time. I would have put the date a lot earlier just by looking at the photo. This probably throws my Gebergsjäger theory out of the window as by 1944 anyone could be wearing the M43 peaked field cap.
    Somehow both the vehicles (is that a motorcycle and sidecar combination on the left?) and the 'feel' of the picture seemed earlier.
  10. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

    Those two N.C.O.s do have a hard and lean look compared with the others. They do all look fairly relaxed considering they were being attacked from east and west.

    The date on the photograph may not be completely correct. It could have been annotated much later, for instance by someone sorting out their memories of twenty years before.

    When did the vehicles change to the sand coloured base ? This vehicle is certainly carrying the later style.
  11. chipmunk wallah

    chipmunk wallah Senior Member

    43 is generally acepted as the start of the sand coloured base for the germans ,the pic is definatly no earlier. Now that someone pointed out the place name as being in Poland I do see that the building has a "Polish" feel to it,so Im pretty sure the writting is contempory.
    Even if I never get to the bottom of the picture I do like it,it has a very Human,everday feel to it with a touch of lads day out to the seaside too,and the faces are a great bunch,all of germany seems there,if that makes sense?
  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Going by gut reaction alone, I would think the notation of date is contemporary to the photo...

    If I was putting annotations on a photo retrospectively, and I have done recently, I'd be hard-pushed to remember the month, let alone the day of the month. Along the lines of 'oh yeah that was '44 and maybe such-and-such a month.' It just seems too specific to me for it to be a recovered memory. For example, can you remember the exact date you left school, or moved house?

    Unless, it was a birthday or an anniversary; no come to think of it, that doesn't apply to most guys either !!!! :D

    Just a thought to throw in the mix.
    And no, I have no idea about vehicles, uniforms or paintjobs. Leave that up to you experts.

  13. chipmunk wallah

    chipmunk wallah Senior Member

    "can you remember the exact date you left school, "
    lol,Im hard pushed to remember what year :)sometime in the early 90s maybe ....

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