Germany - Third Reich: A very good Russian Front Hagendorf Assault Detachment crossing of the Lovat 28th August 1941 Iron Cross 2nd Class with recommendation, Russian Winter Defence of the Demyansk Pocket February 1942 double casualty, and October 1944 Iron Cross 1st Class and casualty group of documents awarded to Gefreiten later Leutnant Friedrich Hartig, 3rd Company, 290th Engineer Battalion, 290th Infantry Division, later 1094th Grenadier Regiment and 2nd Company, 1548th Pioneer Battalion of the 548th Volksgrenadier Division, who won a very

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Product ID: CMA/27973
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Germany - Third Reich: A very good Russian Front Hagendorf Assault Detachment crossing of the Lovat 28th August 1941 Iron Cross 2nd Class with recommendation, Russian Winter Defence of the Demyansk Pocket February 1942 double casualty, and October 1944 Iron Cross 1st Class and casualty group of documents awarded to Gefreiten later Leutnant Friedrich Hartig, 3rd Company, 290th Engineer Battalion, 290th Infantry Division, later 1094th Grenadier Regiment and 2nd Company, 1548th Pioneer Battalion of the 548th Volksgrenadier Division, who won a very fine Iron Cross 2nd Class with what was known as the Hagendorf Assault Detachment during the crossing of the Lovat on 28th August 1941, when together with Sapper Kintscher, he crossed over the river in an assault boat, and these two men, as the rare surviving original recommendation states: ‘immediately leapt out behind their Assault Detachment Commander as the first from the assault boat and although under fire from enemy MG and Rifle fire they opened fire and pinned down the enemy so that the Engineer Assault Detachment was able to penetrate into the enemy positions under their covering fire. The prerequisites for the success of the Lovat crossing were created by their quick and determined action.’ Subsequently awarded the General Assault Badge, the Russian Front Winter War Medal, and Demjansk Shield, it was partly during the repulsing of the first Russian winter offensive in the defence of Demyansk Pocket which lasted from 8th February to 20th May 1942, that Hartig, was twice wounded in action, the first time on 3rd February, and the second time on 17th February 1942, which necessitated his evacuation, and led to the award of the Wound Badge in Black. Having been then commissioned, as a Leutnant with the 1094th Grenadier Regiment, 548th Volksgrenadier Division, and back out on the Russian Front in the northern area, during the operations in East Prussia, he was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class on 28th October 1944, and having then briefly transferred to the 2nd Company, 1548th Pioneer Battalion, another unit of the 548th Volksgrenadier Division, he was wounded in action for a third time on 20th October 1944 whilst in action around Tilsit in Sammland, near to Königsberg.

Comprising in order of award:

1) Iron Cross 2nd Class Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Gefreiten Friedrich Hartig’ in the field on 11th October 1941, signed in ink: ‘Lieb’ for Theo-Helmut Lieb, Generalleutnant and GOC 290th Infantry Division, nicknamed “The Lion of Cherkassy”, and recipient of the Knight’s Cross on 7th February 1944, and the Oakleaves to the Knight’s Cross on 18th February 1944.

2) The typed original recommendation for the Iron Cross 2nd Class, this translates: ‘Gefreiter Hartig and Sapper Kintscher distinguished themselves by their brave and determined action with the crossing of the Lovat on 28th August 1941 by the Hagendorf Assault Detachment. After they had reached the opposite side in the assault boat, they immediately leapt out behind their Assault Detachment Commander as the first from the assault boat and although under fire from enemy MG and Rifle fire they opened fire and pinned down the enemy so that the Engineer Assault Detachment was able to penetrate into the enemy positions under their covering fire. The prerequisites for the success of the Lovat crossing were created by their quick and determined action.’

3) General Assault Badge Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Gefreiten Friedrich Hartig, 3./Pi.-Btl.290’, issued in the field on 13th November 1941, signed in ink: ‘Frhr von Wrede’, for Theodor Freiherr von Wrede, Generalleutnant and GOC 290th Infantry Division, recipient of the Knight’s Cross on 22nd February 1942 and the German Cross in Gold on 26th December 1941.

4) Wound Badge in Black Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Uffz. Friedrich Hartig, Pi.Batl.290’, issued at Pinneburg on 15th May 1942, for two wounds received on the 3rd February and the 17th February 1942. Signed by the Chief Doctor at the Reserve Hospital at Pinneberg.

5) Russian Front Winter War Medal Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Unteroffizier Friedrich-Wilhelm Artig, on 2nd August 1942, signed in ink by the Major and CO of the 20th Engineer Training Battalion.

6) Demjansk Shield Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Unteroffizier Fritz Artig, 3./Pi.Btl.290’ dated 31st December 1943, with facsimile signature of Brockdorf-Ahfeld as GOC II Army Corps.

7) Iron Cross 1st Class Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Leutnant Friedrich Hartig, Gren.Rgt.1094, dated 28th October 1944, signed in ink: ‘Sudau’ for Erich Sudau, Generalmajor and GOC 548th Volksgrenadier Division, and recipient of the German Cross in Gold on 6th January 1942.

8) Wound Badge in Silver Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Leutnant Friedrich Hartig, 2./Pi.Btl.1548’, dated 24th December 1944, for a third wound received on 20th October 1944. Signed in pencil: ‘Klein’ as Hauptmann and Battalion Commander.

Friedrich Hartig initially saw service as a Gefreiten with the 3rd Company, 290th Engineer Battalion, 290th Infantry Division, and saw service out on the Russian Front. It was during the crossing of the Lovat when part of the Hagendorf Assault Detachment on 28th August 1941 that led to Hartig winning the Iron Cross 2nd Class. Earned together with a fellow member of the detachment, Sapper Kintscher, he crossed over the river in an assault boat, and these two men, as the rare surviving original recommendation states: ‘immediately leapt out behind their Assault Detachment Commander as the first from the assault boat and although under fire from enemy MG and Rifle fire they opened fire and pinned down the enemy so that the Engineer Assault Detachment was able to penetrate into the enemy positions under their covering fire. The prerequisites for the success of the Lovat crossing were created by their quick and determined action.’

Hartig’s award of the Iron Cross 2nd Class for the above described action was made on 11th October 1941, and he went on to receive the General Assault Badge on 13th November 1941. Having served through the first Russian Winter of 1941 to 1942, he went on to be promoted to Unteroffizier, and then fought in the repulsing of the first Russian winter offensive in the defence of Demyansk Pocket which lasted from 8th February to 20th May 1942, being himself twice wounded in action, the first time on 3rd February 1942, and the second time on 17th February 1942. Hartig was evacuated for treatment to the Reserve Hospital at Pinneberg.

Having then joined the 20th Engineer Training Battalion, he was serving with this unit when news came through of the award of his Russian Front Winter War Medal on 2nd August 1942, and his award of the Demjansk Shield would eventually come through on 31st December 1943.

Hartig had by then been commissioned as a Leutnant with the 1094th Grenadier Regiment, 548th Volksgrenadier Division. Back out on the Russian Front, and seeing further service in the northern area, he was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class on 28th October 1944. Having then transferred as a Leutnant to the 2nd Company, 1548th Pioneer Battalion, another unit of the 548th Volksgrenadier Division, he was wounded in action for a third time on 20th October 1944 whilst in action around Tilsit in Sammland, near to Königsberg in what was then East Prussia.