Johann began his illustrious 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).
September would see another unit change for Johann, joining the Gren.Btl. 54. and in December of 1943 another visit to Lazarett Altenberg/Erzg-Derwaltung. After leaving the Lazarett, Johann was placed in 4.(schw.)/Gren.Btl. zbV. 928 , where he was promoted to Obergefreiten (December 28th 1943).
The Western Front
Though details are scant, Gren.Btl. zbV. 928 appears again in Chauny, France in the summer of 1944 proceeding the Normandy outbreak under the command of Militär-Befehlshaber Frankreich. Unfortunately the unit cannot be accounted for again until November of 1944 when it came together to form the beginnings of the Führer-Begleit-Brigade under the OKW Reserve. Johann would be issued additional kit on December 10th leading to certainty that he would see action in the Battle of the Bulge where the unit saw the majority of combat around St.Vith.
This would be the last “certain” entry in Johann’s Soldbuch as a fighting soldier. As I’m not entirely certain of the Feb. 27 1945 dated injection “Erfolg”. What is certain is that Johan was captured by Americans and given his POW number in the front of his book “31 G 779613”.