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Germany - Third Reich: A good and scarce Operation Barbarossa Advance on Kiev Iron Cross 2nd Class Casualty and probable February 1943 stemming of the Stalingrad offensive Iron Cross 1st Class document group awarded to Leutnant later Oberleutnant Karl Kec

£445.00
Availability: IN STOCK
Product ID: CMA/27969
Condition: Good Condition, evidence of age and use
Description:

Germany - Third Reich: A good and scarce Operation Barbarossa Advance on Kiev Iron Cross 2nd Class Casualty and probable February 1943 stemming of the Stalingrad offensive Iron Cross 1st Class document group awarded to Leutnant later Oberleutnant Karl Keckeis, 10th Company, 191st Infantry Regiment, 71st Infantry Division, later 3rd Company, 619th Grenadier (Field Training) Regiment, 382nd (Field Training) Division, and ultimately Kampfgruppe Lier, who was serving with the 191st Infantry Regiment when he was wounded in action on the third day of Operation Barbarossa, 24th June 1941, and awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class. Later with the 3rd Company, 619th Grenadier (Field Training) Regiment, 382nd (Field Training) Division, he would appear to have been awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class for the stemming of the Russian offensive in the immediate aftermath of the Stalingrad disaster, when during a period from 16th to 25th February 1943, his division suffered such heavy losses that it had to be disbanded. Ultimately on 1st May 1945 he was awarded the Infantry Assault Badge in Silver when serving as an Oberleutnant with Kampfgruppe Lier, a hastily formed battlegroup which fought as part of the 490th Division against the British forces in north-west Germany, and which surrendered to the British only four days later on 5th May 1945.

Comprising in order of award:

1) Iron Cross 2nd Class Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Leutnant Karl Keckeis’, issued in the field on 6th July 1941, signed in ink: ‘von Hartmann’ for Alexander von Hartmann, Generalmajor and GOC 71st Infantry Division, who was awarded the Knight’s Cross on 8th October 1942 and then killed in action at Stalingrad on 26th January 1943.

2) Wound Badge in Black Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Karl Keckeis, Lieutenant, 10. Kompanie Infanterie-Regiment 191’, dated 8th July 1941 for a wound received on 24th June 1941, signed in ink by the Hauptmann and Battalion Commander.

3) Iron Cross 1st Class Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Oberleutnant Karl Keckeis, 3./Gren.(Feld-Ausb.) Rgt.619’, issued through the Army High Command on 15th July 1943. Signed on behalf of the Army High Command in ink ‘Burgdorf’ for Wilhelm Burgdorf, General Major in the Army Personnel Office of the Army High Command, and recipient of the Knight’s Cross on 2nd January 1942. He committed suicide in the Reichs Chancellory in Berlin when serving as General of Infantry and Chief Adjutant of the Wehrmacht with the Fuhrer and Chief of Staff of Army Personnel Office in the Army High Command.

4) Infantry Assault Badge in Silver very late war issue Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Oberleutnant Karl Keckeis, Kampfgruppe Lier’, issued at the Battle Group HQ and dated 1st May 1945, double signed in ink: ‘Lier’ for Friedrich Lier, Oberstleutnant and Battle Group Commander of Kampfgruppe Lier, a recipient of the Knight’s Cross on 3rd November 1944, the Oakleaves to the Knight’s Cross on 8th May 1945 and the German Cross in Gold on 2nd January 1942. This is an extremely late award of the Infantry Assault Badge in Silver, awarded only four days before the 490th Division, of which Kampfgruppe Lier was a part, surrendered to the British on 5th May 1945.

Karl Keckeis saw service initially as a Leutnant with the 10th Company, 191st Infantry Regiment, 71st Infantry Division during the Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia, and was wound two days later during the advance on Kiev on 24th June 1941. His regiment had previously seen service in Poland in 1939 and during the operations leading to the fall of France in 1940.

It was during the advance on Kiev and presumably up the occasion of his wound on the 24th June 1941, that Keckeis was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class, the award being issued in the field on 6th July 1941, his award of the Wound Badge in Black being awarded on 8th July 1941.

Keckeis was serving as an Oberleutnant with the 3rd Company, 619th Grenadier (Field Training) Regiment in the 382nd (Field Training) Division when he was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class on 15th July 1943. The award is issued through Wilhelm Burgdorf, General Major in the Army Personnel Office of the Army High Command, and the most probable reason for this having been the case is that Keckeis most likely earned his award when the 619th Grenadier (Field Training) Regiment as a part of the 382nd (Field Training) Division, was thrown into the front line to help stabilise the front after the Stalingrad disaster in early 1943. The reason for the award being issued through the Army High Command is also possibly explained by the fact that the 382nd (Field Training) Division was disbanded by then after having suffered very heavy losses in stemming the Russian offensive during fighting between 16th to 25th February 1943, and since there was by then no Divisional Commander to sign the certificate, it took a period of time for the recommendation to be passed up the chain of command for approval.

Keckeis was quite possibly wounded again, as the next award document we have is for the award of the Infantry Assault Badge in Silver, this being an extremely late was award issued on 1st May 1945 through the Battle Group HQ of Kampfgruppe Lier, a hastily formed battlegroup which fought as part of the 490th Division against the British forces in north-west Germany, and which surrendered to the British only four days later on 5th May 1945.