Arnhem Paybook - The Other Side Of The Hill (Bridge)

Discussion in 'WW2 Militaria' started by hucks216, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Having seen the threads of Alistair's superb collection of Allied Paybooks, including many with a link to the fighting at Arnhem, here is one from my collection but this is the flip side of the coin as it is a German Soldbuch and relates to Operation Market Garden as the soldier fought with Kampfgruppe Knaust against John Frost's men at the bridge.

    For those that are unaware of the Soldbuch, when a male registered for military service he was issued a different small book called a Wehrpass, but when he was actually called up into service the Wehrpass was handed in to his unit and he was issued the Soldbuch which he was to carry in his top pocket at all times including in battle, while the Wehrpass stayed at the Company HQ. In it the record of his service was to be kept including promotions, units, weapon & clothing issues, awards, hospital stays, leave taken and so on. As you will see, if captured they could provide a wealth of information to the opposition.

    This soldier was born in February 1913 in Stettin and his Soldbuch was issued in August 1939 (page 2). Having undergone training he spent the first few years of the war with artillery units (page 4 Section C), including Artillery Rgt 175 of 75 Infantry Division on the Eastern Front. We can also see on page 5 that his father passed away on 29th December 1941.
    As can be seen from page 8a he was issued a number of rifles during his time including one in late August 1944 in the run up to Op Market Garden.

    ROLL 001.jpg ROLL 002.jpg ROLL 003.jpg ROLL 004.jpg ROLL 005.jpg
    AB64, dbf and Owen like this.
  2. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    From pages 12 & 13 we can see that he spent some time in various hospitals in 1941, 1942 and 1944. In 1944 he suffered from a medical condition that is listed as 'skin and connective tissue problems' (Code 25) which covers a wide range of medical conditions and saw him stay in 3 different hospitals and was finally diagnosed with a contagious disease (Code 12).

    In June 1944 he was released from hospital and was sent to a replacement unit, namely Panzergrenadier-Ersatz Bataillon 64, by the 1st September 1944. It was this unit that would lead the soldier to Arnhem as it was used to help form Kampfgruppe Knaust, the battlegroup taking its name from the commander of Pz.Gren.Ers.Btl 64 Major Hans-Peter Knaust who would win the Knights Cross for Arnhem. The soldier would be assigned to the 4th Company (4.Kompanie). It was this battlegroup that opposed 2 PARA at the northern end of the bridge, having arrived there on the 18th September to relieve Bataillon 'Euling'.

    The soldier survived the fighting and he was taken prisoner at the end of the war. Despite the heavy fighting at Arnhem the only award the soldier received during the entire war was the Eastern Front medal (Ostmedaille) which was issued for the winter of 1941/42. However, in October 1944 he was promoted to the NCO rank of Unteroffizier (page 1) so it is possible that this promotion is linked to his efforts at Arnhem.

    ROLL 008.jpg ROLL 009.jpg ROLL 010a.jpg ROLL 010b.jpg ROLL 013.jpg
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
    brooksbz, 4jonboy and Owen like this.

Share This Page