A WWII German Soldier’s Wartime Pocket Contents -A German Troop Transport Driver ‘s Life Unveiled


Have you ever wondered what the pocket contents of a WWII German soldier would look like?  In this case, I picked up a small grouping of photographs, documents and a dog tag from a WWII German soldier who survived WWII.  I can’t quite make out his name, but we do know that he was a vehicle operator, as evidenced by his green oil-cloth Kraftfahrzeugschein (vehicle registration) document.  All of the photographs and his dog tag point to the fact that Alfred was a driver of a modified troop transport vehicle during the last three years of the war.

Until I discover more about Alfred, I will leave the following material to you, the viewer to help decipher!

 

Truckdriver051

Alfred Pinzel of Sandhofan

Truckdriver056

Alfred buffing his tire

 

Truckdriver057crop

Truckdriver057

Alfred and his friends

Truckdriver062

Alfred’s WWII German Identification Tag – # 256, Blood Type O, 2nd Fahr. “Covered” Ersatz Battalion Abt. 8

 

 

11th Armored Division Soldiers Capture German Weapons and Uniforms – Panzerfausts, Rifles, Helmets++


One of my favorite wwii photo collecting topics has to be the captured German material photo.  US soldiers routinely posed with “liberated” German goodies to show friends and family back home.  More often than not, they sent these items home.  In this incredible photo, members of the 11th Armored Division pose with a plethora of German material. Two types of panzerfaust, grenades, a rare grenade launcher, helmets, hats, mausers, machine gun belts, pistols, and even an MP44 in the bottom right hand corner.  Phew!

Captured Bayonet and Helmet

Grenade Launcher

Panzerfaust

Broken Mauser

Potato Masher Grenade and Panzerfaust

WWI Messenger Homing Pigeon Unit Poses in Germany – Captured German Helmet + Uniform Detail


One of the most interesting forms of communication used during WWI has to be the homing pigeon.  Front line troops couldn’t rely on wire messages getting through to rear echelon support units.  Often times homing pigeons were used to relay messages back to HQ.  Here’s a nice shot of a pigeon unit posing for the camera sometime after the armistice.

And some nice details!  Including a captured German helmet for good measure.

 

 

WWI 26th Yankee Division, 103rd Machine Gun Battalion Vermont Dog Tag Grouping


103rd MG Dog Tag

VT NG Dog Tag

WWI Soldier Registry Entry

Daughters of the American Revolution Application

Grave Site in St. Albans

Evarts

Followers of PoW will know that I love WWI Vermont material.  I actively seek interesting groupings of World War 1 items  to add to my collection; today I was able to add a wonderful little piece of 26th Division and Vermont history.  This set of dog tags once belonged to a Joseph Allen Evarts from St. Albans, VT.  Originally born in Swanton, Evarts attended Norwich in 1904 and eventually joined up with the 1st VT National Guard.  He was a direct descendent of the famous Allen family and can claim Ethan Allen as a great-great-uncle.  He went overseas in October of 1917 with the 101st Machine Gun Battalion as a 1st LT and was promoted to Captain in August of 1918.   He was assigned as Company Commander of Company D of the 103rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 26th Division.  Evarts was well loved by the citizens of St. Albans and was sorely missed after he passed away in 1920 from gas-related lung complications.

He was cited at least two times for bravery while overseas and likely saw a lot of combat.  I was able to track down an interesting article with some original material from Evarts:

PICTURE PROVES HIM A PRISONER

Lieut. Evarts Writes of Seeing Tenney’s Photo in Group of Men Missing

Arthur G. Tenney, of Fairfield st., received a letter Saturday from Lieut. Joseph A. Evarts, of this city, who is with the American Expeditionary Forces in France, saying that he had seen a German propagandist paper in which was a picture of those missing in action at a certain place on the American line and among them was Lieut. Walter M. Tenney, of this city. Lieutenant Tenney was reported missing in action April 20. He went from this city over a year ago as second lieutenant in the machine gun company of which Evarts was first lieutenant. The company was later divided and Lieutenant Tenny went with a division composed of Connecticut and Massachusetts men while Lieutenant Evarts remained with St. Albans men. In his letter Lieutenant Evarts says that he and his command were stationed just to the left of where Lieutenant Tenney was.

The portion of the letter received here by Mr. Tenney, which tells of the picture is as follows:

“In Trenches, “June 12, 1918.

“Mr. Arthur Tenney, St. Albans, Vt.

“Dear sir:–

“I have just received a St. Albans Messenger that tells about Walter being missing in action.

“I have something that may be of interest to you.

“Today a few German planes came over spreading propaganda in newspaper form printed in French. The boys brought me some of them, and to my surprise I found it was an illustrated paper, and had a group picture of those missing in action at the place where Walter was. I recognized quite a few, and Walter was very plainly among them, and all of we boys recognized him. I have all the details and the picture with me.

“I felt that you would want to know this right away, and I must say it was a strange coincidence.

“If Walter ever writes you, will you write me and let me know about him?

“Our boys were in a big fight just to the left of where Walter was.***

“Sincerely, “J. A. Evarts.”

St. Albans Daily Messenger, St. Albans, VT 4 Jul 1918

Another article of interest:

ALBANS GIVES
ROYAL WELCOME
Greeting for City’s Home-Corn-ing
Boys Is Wildly
Enthusiastic
St. Albans, April 30. Capt. Joseph B.
Evarts, First Llouts. Walter Tenney,
James McConncll, Francis Shannon, Ar
nold Spauldlng, and 13 members of the
original Machine Gun company from
St. Albans returnod this evening nt
0:40. Thoy were mot at tho station by
Co. E, V. V. M St. Albans Brigade band
and tho Boy Scouts and thousands of
their friends. Tho boys wero escorted
to tho armory by the band, Company K.
and tho Boy Scouts. Tho armory wns
lined with a Bolld mans of people, can
non boomed, bolls rang, whistles blow
and tho people shouted a welcome home
to their boys.
At tho armory tho boys were served
with hot coffoo doughnuts, lco-cronm
and cake.
At 4:30 a. m. Tuesday the military
call was sounded which was a signal
to notify St. Albanians that tho boys
were coming on train No. 1 at C:30
oclock. During Monday evening Wel
come Homo signs had been hung up
on Lake street and flags hung from tho
business places. Tho exterior of tho
armory was gayly decorated with flags
and bunting. With tho sounding of mil
itary call whistles and bells did all that
was possible to awake tho inhabitants
of St. Albans. The members of Com
pany 11, V. V. M., assembled at the
armory and marched down to tho train.
Only a few St. Albans boys appeared,
but they wore given a royal welcome,
by tho largo crowd that had assembled
at tho railroad station. Company E.
had prepared hot coffee, sandwiches
and doughnuts, but only two return
ing soldiers appeared at the armory.
so tho members of tho company enjoyed
an unexpected repast. Among tho boys
who returned Tuesday morning were,
Harris W. Alexander, Dewey Daniels,
John Daley, Herbert Laduo and Earl
Swlggott.

PortraitsofWar Book Review #1: Panzerwrecks’ Duel in the Mist 2: Leibstandarte During the Ardennes Offensive


One of my favorite current WWII publishers has to be the tag team duo of Lee Archer and Bill Auerbach of Panzerwrecks.  This international dreamnteam has been meticulously researching and compiling books on knocked-out German armor since 2005; focusing on amateur photographs of (often) never-before-seen scenes of German armor moments after destruction by US forces during WWII.

In a world filled with overused and reprinted images, it’s a refreshing relief to open a new copy of Panzerwrecks and see new images of late war German armor with wonderful descriptions.  A balance of tongue-in-cheek humor mixed with meticulous research offers the reader with a book worthy of a well-stocked research library or office coffee table.

 

I recently finished my review copy of Duel in the Mist 2 published by Panzerwrecks and written by Timm Haasler, Roddy MacDougall, Simon Vosters and Hans Weber.  With nearly 700 footnotes (really!), this book is well reseached, cited, and backed up with primary source documentation that includes first hand accounts, after-action reports, photographs and veteran interviews.  A well balanced piece; Duel in the Mist 2 views the initial battles of the Ardennes Offensive through a non-biased lens.  Interviews with US veterans easily mesh with similar accounts from SS veterans.

The superlative collection of wartime images compiled for the book is, by far, the most amazing part of the book.  Images from the deep collections of David Thompson and Stefan De Meyer of AMC, Bill Auerbach, Jeff Tomkinson, Freddy Lemaire, Gerard Gregoire, Eddy Monfort, Tom Fischer and many others supplement the written component.

Artistic representations of German armor were intricically detailed by Simon Vosters, with a special attention to detail regarding camo patterns.  This, combined with actual portraits of the men involved in the battles, provides the reader with an intimate view of WWII not often seen in other publications.

A series of intensive maps follows the progression of the battles using modern day color and figures.  An easy-to-follow chart accompanies each map, allowing the reader to follow the battle with relative ease.  Flipping back and forth between maps is made easier by the 8.5 in by 10.25 in format of the book.  The pages want to be turned!

A special thanks to the guys at Panzerwrecks for providing me with a review copy of Duel in the Mist 2, and a special thanks to Timm Haasler, Roddy MacDougall, Simon Vosters and Hans Weber for their fantastic work.  Keep up the good work, and I hope to review Duel in the Mist 3 by 2014!

 

 

Interested in picking up a copy of Duel in the Mist 2?  Check out Panzerwrecks website for a compendium of top notch WWII material!

 

 

WWII Photo Collection – 226th Signal Corps Invade Southern France 1944


All in all, a pretty well rounded collection. The unnamed photographer made sure to captured shots of German equipment, a few Panther tanks, U.S. aircraft, lots of vehicles and trucks, destroyed buildings, local people and some great painted signs. Essentially this collection contains everything that makes a good wartime ETO photographic grouping.

226th Signal Corps – From what I can tell they were in charge of transmitting info from the front back to London. They operated specially fitted trailers with radio and signal equipment. I found the address of the 226th historian and will write him a letter.

D-Day Southern France

German Panther Tank

WWII 42nd Division, 222nd Anti-Tank Company and German Prisoners of War – April 11th, 1945 Schweinfurt, Germany


From the negative grouping of Edward Majchrowicz

From time to time I will cull through my backlogged collections and pull out interesting images for posting here to PortraitsofWar.  My collection of 42nd Division negatives from a member of the 222nd Anti-Tank Company is comprised of nearly 600 B/W negatives and an additional 200 prints.  The collection is one of the best I own, and is ripe with juicy frontline photos.  I’m even friends with a veteran from the company, who can tell me the stories behind the images.  Here’s a nice shot of a group of dejected German POW’s.  Apparently, the line consisted of nearly 1,200 soldiers who surrendered somewhere outside Schweinfurt, Germany.

WWI Photo – 89th Division Soldiers Pose w/ Mascot Dog France


Following up on one of my favorite common threads seen throughout WWI photography – I present yet another example of the unit mascot.  Normally seen at the compnay level or below, the idea of having a small pet (normally a dog) as a mascot is very common throughout various nations during WWI.  I’ve literally seen examples from the US, England, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and even Australia. I probably have 15-20 examples in my own collection, ranging from small children as mascots, to dogs, pigeons and even goats.  My favorite are the small dogs. Here’s an example from the 89th Division. The collection of 8 photos came from a member of the 356th Infantry.  Unnamed, but we know he was wounded at least once during the war due to the wound chevron on his right cuff.

Captured German U-Boats in Portsmouth, New Hampshire – May 1945


Who knew that the US captured a series of German U-Boats during the tail end of WWII?  I had no idea until I picked up a rare collection of 24 photos that belonged to a member of the original prize crew for one of the U-Boats.  The photos are incredibly detailed with crisp focus and in a large 8X10 format.  They show the capturing of U-234 and the subsequent arrival in port in Portsmouth, NH.  Also pictured in the grouping (not all posted here) are Captain Fritz Steinhoff and Luftwaffe General Ulrich Kessler.  Steinhoff actually ended up committing suicide in a Boston jail with the aide of a broken glasses lens. A wartime news article about the suicide can be found here.  Ulrich Kessler was delivering a load of Uranium and a set of German jet planes to an undisclosed South American country when the captain decided to surrender.  An amazing collection for sure.

 

 

Ulrich Kessler

 

 

 

Captain Steinhoff

 

 

 

 

 

WWII Original Combat Snapshot – 99th Division Soldiers Fight in Neustadt, Germany


 

Snapshots taken during combat situations are the Holy Grail for WWII photo collectors.  In this case, a soldier in the 395th Infantry Regiment of the 99th Division snapped a photo during a firefight with Germans near a dike in Neustadt, Germany.  A great action shot! To make this shot even more amazing, I found an original film shot shortly after the same episode in the exact same postion.  This time the dike has been fortified with sandbags and pontoon boats.  Look for the 0:39 second mark.

http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675049536_United-States-99th-Infantry-Division_crossing-Danube_soldiers-rest_behind-dikes

 

Source: CriticalPast.com