NEWLY LISTED PRODUCTS
Johann began his career much like any other soldier in the Wehrmacht signing up for active duty on September 6th 1940 where he was assigned to 7.Kp.Inf.Ers.Batl. 2./482 (Braunau am Inn – Austria). From September to November of 1940 Johann trained with his assigned battalion (10) until he was transferred to Inf.Rgt. 642 which was a Landesshützen regiment based out of Częstochowa Poland. After the unit dissolved , Johann would find himself promoted to Oberschutze in the 5./Inf.Rgt. 584 at the close of 1940 in Eisfeld of Thuringia, Germany.
In 1941 Johann and his unit would see a dramatic shift. Johann would be see his rank title change to Gefreiter and his unit under the 319th Static Infantry Division moved to the Channel Islands defences in France (Jersey, Guernsey and Sark). 1941 into 1942 would see a very quiet occupation of Guernsey for Johann . It wouldn’t be until mid to late 1943 that Johann would see his first taste of combat joining the 4./Inf.Rgt. 586 which at the time (1942) was also stationed defending the Channel Islands.
The Eastern Front
Johann and the 586 Infantry regiment would see their first taste of battle under the 320th Infantry Division in February of 1943 as part of Army Group B (Army Group South) fighting in Isjum, Kharkov, and Belgorod. March would see the 320th cut off in Liman South East of Kharkov by advancing Soviet troops, and was saved by none other than the SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 2 “LSSAH” commanded by Joachim Peiper.
From July 16-20th Johann was at Kriegslazarett 13/2? followed by Lazarett Rehefeld? from July 31st – Aug (?) for an ineligible reason and where he was awarded a wound badge in black August 20th (pg 22).
Willi Kirschner began his career in the Wehrmacht like many other soldiers signing up for active duty on February 10th1940 (just shy of his 20thbirthday) reporting to Batterie 1 of 1. Art.Ers.Abt.33 in Posen as a Kanonier. On March 15th Willi was to receive the Westwall medal but was struck out for an unknown reason by his next unit – when this was done is unknown as on August 1st Willi was promoted to Oberkanonier by Art.Ers.Abt.33. Sometime between August and December 15th Willi was transferred to Schutzen Regiment 52 (mot 1st) which was part of the developing 18th Panzer Division.
Early 1941 would see the 18th Panzer division continue to build in Germany as part of Army Group C (11th Army) March would see Willi’s title change from Oberkanonier to Gefreiter (as part of 5. (schw) I.R. 52 , and in May the 18th Panzer Division would be moved to army group center on the Eastern front. On June 22nd the division rolled into Russia and with it Willi would receive his initial baptism by fire. By June 29th the Division had already advanced to Minsk, and followed the advance on Borissov crossing the Beressina but before the division could reach Smolensk Willi would end up in Rez.Laz. Bramberg with a case of Typhus.
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