Help Identifying Unit: German death card

Discussion in 'Axis Units' started by BakerCo563rd, Jun 16, 2021.

  1. BakerCo563rd

    BakerCo563rd World's Okayest Poster

    Good evening, everyone.

    I have had this funeral card for many years, and while my German is pretty decent, I struggle with abbreviations. It also doesn't help that I am far from being an expert on the Wehrmacht order of battle.

    According to the funeral card, Johann "Hans" Aufhauser, a recipient of the Wound Badge, was a Gefreiter with a "Divisions-Battalion". This is followed by "R-OB". The attached grave card lists his unit as 1st Company, Divisions (?) Battalion 72.

    Can anyone explain to me what a "Division's Battalion" was? I'd assume if he was infantry, artillery, etc., it would be listed as such. Also, would you be able to tell me what "R-OB" stands for? I thought it might mean Reserve-Oberbefehlshaber, but I'm not sure that makes any sense.

    Thank you in advance!

    Funeral Card.jpg Grave Card.jpg
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  2. steelers708

    steelers708 Junior Member

    To be it looks more like Pio than Div so I would say he was a member of the I.Kompanie, Pioniere Battalion 72 of the 72.Infanterie Division, this would make sense as the 72.Inf. was caught in the Tscherkassy Pocket where Gefreiter Aufhauser was killed.

    As to the R-OB I have no idea and it doesn't appear in any of my German Military abbreviations lists.
  3. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    R-OB, more often abbreviated as ROB, to my knowledge stands for "Reserve-Offiziersbewerber" i.e. officer candidate in the reserves.
  4. steelers708

    steelers708 Junior Member

    The abbreviation lists I have show a 'candidate for a commission in the reserve' as Res.Offz.Anw which is short for Reserveoffiziersanwarter.

    Having looked in to this more it seems that it could be Reserve-Offiziers-Bewerber or Reserve officer applicants although the abbreviation I've seen in this connection is ROB.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
  5. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    English is not not my mother tongue - so that was my attempt at explaining the German term in English...
  6. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    The "Bewerber" status preceeds the "Anwärter" status - low ranking soldiers who are probably suited for a later commission must display their qualities in the service and/or in the field, only then will they become "Anwärter" i.e. they will be sent to a course preparing them for their role as an officer ...
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  7. BakerCo563rd

    BakerCo563rd World's Okayest Poster

    Thank you all for your help! I'll have to do some research on the 72. Infanterie Division now.
  8. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Divisions-Btl. ROB is the Reserve-Officers-Bewerber Batallion of the respective division. They mostly, but not principally, belonged to the reserve army at home. In 1943, however, such junior units were also increasingly stationed in areas close to the front.

    The R.O.B./ Reserve-Offiziers-Bewerber (reserve-officer-applicant) is "presumably" suitable for officer, this can be confirmed by an acceptance office e.g. to a student of at least 16 years of age, then he has to do only shortened RAD after enlistment and comes into the troop immediately in appropriate ROB courses.

    If suitable soldiers are appointed R.O.B in the troop, they are usually assigned as group/platoon leaders from that time and under special supervision of superiors.

    If after basic training, front probation etc. the suitability for the officer is still given these "applicants" are appointed to the officer candidate and immediately commanded to the R.O.A./Reserve-Offiziers-Anwärter (Reserce-officer-aspirant) course to the appropriate weapon school, the promotion to the Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier took place then however promptly and as far as I read it inevitably.

    However, there were countless exceptions to this. For reasons of clarity, I have really limited it only very narrowly to ROB.

    (unfortunately only in german, also has some detail errors. Is considered in the scene but still as a good reference)
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
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  9. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    We Germans have a preference for long, compound words. However, because this is cumbersome in writing and speaking, we have developed a corresponding preference for abbreviations.
    And because even those can be quite long (because of point one - and we LOVE to be efficient), we even have abbreviations for abbreviations:
    ReserveOfiiziersBewerber -->Res.-Offz.-Bew. --> ROB
    ReserveOffiziersAnwärter --> Res.-Offz.-Anw. --> ROA
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  10. BakerCo563rd

    BakerCo563rd World's Okayest Poster

    Thank you so much for the detailed explanation. I'm glad I can finally put this mystery to rest. I really appreciate everyone's help!

    P.S. ltdan, I got a good laugh out of the "abbreviations of abbreviations" part lol thanks again!
  11. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Divisions-Btl 72 was formed on 23rd November 1943 and would become Füsilier-Btl 72, still of 72.Infanterie-Division.
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  12. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Referring to the date of his death, he was probably killed defending the city of Cherkassy.
    The division left the city 3 days later, as planned, and was then largely crushed in the Korsun cauldron afterwards.
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