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Germany - Third Reich: A rare Russian Front winter of 1941 to 1942 southern Russia “Ohlen” Battlegroup 23rd January 1942 War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords and surviving original citation, September 1943 Iron Cross 2nd Class casualty group of award doc

£395.00
Availability: IN STOCK
Product ID: CMA/28002
Condition: Good Condition, evidence of age and use
Description:

Germany - Third Reich: A rare Russian Front winter of 1941 to 1942 southern Russia “Ohlen” Battlegroup 23rd January 1942 War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords and surviving original citation, September 1943 Iron Cross 2nd Class casualty group of award documents to Oberfeldwebel Alois Kramer, 4th Machine Gun Company later 8th Machine Gun Company, 246th Infantry Regiment, retitled from October 1942 to the 246th Grenadier Regiment, 88th Infantry Division, who may well have fought in France in 1940, but then fought through the first Russian winter on the southern front, and when serving as company weapons and equipment Unteroffizier when the heavy Machine Gun Platoon was subordinated to the “Ohlen” Battlegroup on 23rd January 1942, won the War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords for having amongst other things ‘brought forward MG tripods and munition to the most forward positions, despite very heavy enemy fire’. Awarded the Infantry Assault Badge in Silver on 11th May 1943, and then awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class whilst serving as a Feldwebel with the 8th Machine Gun Company of his regiment on 6th September 1943, having been wound in action for the first time back on 9th February 1943, the day of his second wounding coincides with that of the award of his Iron Cross 2nd Class. He was then wounded in action for a third time on 28th December 1943, and evacuated for treatment in a hospital at Schwatz, now Świecie, a town in northern Poland. Later he was back with the 8th Machine Gun Company when he was promoted from Feldwebel to Oberfeldwebel on 27th September 1944.

Comprising in order of award:

1) War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Uffz. Alois Kramer, 4./J.R.246’, dated 20th April 1942, signed in ink by an Oberst on behalf of the Divisional Commander. This is a rare document with the original citation for the award typed on the reverse, and signed by a Hauptmann and acting Battalion Commander in the field on 18th May 1942, after the certificate had been officially signed back on 20th April 1942.

2) Eastern Front Winter War Medal Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Feldw. Alois Kramer’, dated 1st August 1942, signed in ink by a Stabsarzt and Garrison Doctor.

3) Wound Badge in Black Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Uffz. Alois Kramer, 4.Gren.Rgt.246’, dated 18th March 1943, for a wound received on 9th February 1943, and signed in ink by an Oberstabsarzt and Chief Doctor at a hospital at Bad Frienwalde on the Oder.

4) Infantry Assault Badge in Silver Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Unteroffizier Alois Kramer, 4./Gren.Rgt.246’, dated 11th May 1943, signed in ink by an Oberstleutnant and Commanding Officer - the signature now faded and almost illegible.

5) Iron Cross 2nd Class Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Feldwebel Alois Kramer, 8./G.R.246’, dated 6th September 1943, signed in ink ‘Graf von Rittberg’ for George Graf von Rittberg as Oberst and acting GOC 88th Infantry Division, later Generalleutnant and recipient of the Knight’s Cross on 21st February 1944, the Oakleaves to the Knight’s Cross on 10th October 1944, and the German Cross in Gold on 29th January 1942.

6) Wound Badge in Silver Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Feldw. Alois Kramer, 8/MGK Gren.Rgt.246’, issued at Schwetz on 22nd January 1944, for three wounds received on 9th February, 6th September and 28th December 1943. Signed in ink by a Stabsarzt and Garrison Doctor, interestingly the same doctor who had signed the award of the Eastern Front Winter War Medal document back on 1st August 1942.

Together with:

7) Promotion Certificate for promotion from Feldwebel to Oberfeldwebel, issued to ‘Alois Kramer, 8./Gren.-Rgt.246’ on 27th September 1944 with effect from 1st September 1944, this signed in ink by a Major and acting Commanding Officer of 248 Grenadier Regiment.

Alois Kramer saw service initially as an Unteroffizier with the 4th Machine Gun Company, 246th Infantry Regiment, 88th Infantry Division, having possibly seen service in France in 1940, he was then out on the Russian Front during the first Russian winter of 1941 to 1942, and then in 1942 was employed on operations with his regiment in southern Russia at Kursk and Voronesh. It was during this period of operations that Kramer was then decorated for his services as company weapons and equipment Unteroffizier when the heavy Machine Gun Platoon was subordinated to the “Ohlen” Battlegroup. He was awarded the War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords on 20th April 1942, and the original and extremely rare typed recommendation for this award, found on the reverse of the award certificate and dated 18th May 1942, reads when translated as follows:

‘Unteroffizier Kramer, as the Company weapons and equipment Unteroffizier, managed the weapons of the Company with the greatest care and conscientiousness. He has always taken care that all weapons were operational. During the action on 23rd January 1942 he has brought forward MG tripods and munition to the most forward positions, despite very heavy enemy fire, to the heavy MG Platoon which was subordinated to the “Ohlen” Battlegroup. Kramer has constantly endeavoured with success to keep continued existence of broken down weapons he was responsible for completely operational. Through this he has contributed much to the operational preparedness of the Company.’

Kramer had been promoted to Feldwebel and was undergoing treatment at a Garrison Hospital when he was awarded the Eastern Front Winter War Medal on 1st August 1942. His regiment was retitled as the 246th Grenadier Regiment on 15th October 1942, and Kramer, who was then still serving with the 4th Machine Gun Company was wounded in action on 9th February 1943, and then evacuated for treatment at the hospital at Bad Frienwalde on the Oder in Brandenburg, where he was awarded the Wound Badge in Black on 18th March 1943. During 1943 his regiment fought in action at Sumy, Kiev, and Shitomir.

Having returned to the front as a Feldwebel and still with the 4th Machine Gun Company, 246th Grenadier Regiment, 88th Infantry Division, Kramer was then awarded the Infantry Assault Badge in Silver on 11th May 1943, and was then awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class whilst serving as a Feldwebel with the 8th Machine Gun Company of his regiment on 6th September 1943.

The date of the award of his Iron Cross 2nd Class, 6th September 1943, is also the date of his having been wounded in action for the second time, and he then went on to be wounded in action for a third time on 28th December 1943. Evacuated for treatment in a hospital at Schwatz, now Świecie, a town in northern Poland.

Kramer recovered from this third wound, and was then back with the 8th Machine Gun Company when he was promoted from Feldwebel to Oberfeldwebel on 27th September 1944, the promotion taking effect from 1st September 1944. During 1944 his regiment fought in action at Berdichev and Cherkassy, and then under went refurbishment between March and June 1944 as a result of heavy losses incurred earlier in the year. Later it returned to action on the Eastern Front at Cholm and Baranov, and during 1945 saw service in action at Baranov and Glogau. It is unknown whether Kramer survived the war.