Germany - Third Reich: The exceptional and rare Russian Front 11th Panzer Division Operation Citadel Battle of Kursk July 1943 Iron Cross 2nd Class, Iron Cross 1st Class, and 21st July 1943 casualty, February 1944 relief of the Korsun Pocket and Cherkassy Close Combat Clasp in Bronze and then Silver group of award certificates and document awarded to Panzergrenadier Heinz Nöllgen, Headquarters of the 1st Battalion, 111th Panzergrenadier Regiment, 11th Panzer Division, formerly a pre-war veteran of the annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938 and a

Price: £1,250.00


Product ID: CMA/27974
Condition: Good Condition, evidence of age and use
Availability: IN STOCK
Description:

Germany - Third Reich: The exceptional and rare Russian Front 11th Panzer Division Operation Citadel Battle of Kursk July 1943 Iron Cross 2nd Class, Iron Cross 1st Class, and 21st July 1943 casualty, February 1944 relief of the Korsun Pocket and Cherkassy Close Combat Clasp in Bronze and then Silver group of award certificates and document awarded to Panzergrenadier Heinz Nöllgen, Headquarters of the 1st Battalion, 111th Panzergrenadier Regiment, 11th Panzer Division, formerly a pre-war veteran of the annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938 and a Warrant Officer and then Leutnant with the 30th Telephone Operating Company 644, and attached with this unit to the German Army Mission in Romania for which he received the War Merit Cross 1939 2nd Class with Swords and the Romanian Commemorative Medal for the Crusade Against Communism. Having then committed an offence which resulted in his losing his commission and being reduced to the ranks, he was sent to the Russian Front, and it was here that he distinguished himself as a . During Operation Citadel and the Battle of Kursk, he was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class ‘in the field’ on 15th July 1943, and then the Iron Cross 1st Class ‘in the field’ on 15th August 1943, having been also wounded in action on 21st July 1943, at a time when his commanding officer, Major Anton Donnhauser was awarded the Knight’s Cross it what became the greatest armoured battle of all time. Later during the attempted relief of the Korsun Pocket and Cherkassy, Nöllgen was further heavily embroiled in close combat on a day to day basis, when the 11th Panzer Division was almost completely destroyed in the relief and subsequent break-out of German forces from the pocket. The Battle of the Korsun–Cherkasy Pocket as it became known, which took place from 24th January to 16th February 1944, result in him being awarded both the Close Combat Clasp in Bronze and then Silver within a day of each other, whilst his commanding officer, one again distinguished himself, this time being awarded the Close Combat Clasp in Gold.

Comprising in order of award:

1) Armed Forces Long Service Award for 4 Years Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Wachtmeister Heinz Nöllgen, Nachrichtenabteilung 46’, issued at Münster on 1st April 1939, signed in ink: ‘Burckhardt’ as Oberst and Commander of Signals Troops VI, he later became a Generalleutnant.

2) Medal for the Entry in Czechoslovakia 1938 Award Certificate, issued to: ‘dem Wachtmeister Heinz Nöllgen’, at Münster on 12th June 1940, signed in ink by the Hauptmann and Battalion Commander of 46 Signals Battalion.

3) War Merit Cross 1939 2nd Class with Swords Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Leutnant Heinz Nöllgen’, dated 8th January 1942, signed in ink: ‘Hauffe’ for Arthur Hauffe, Generalmajor and Chief of the German Army Mission to Romania, recipient of the Knight’s Cross on 25th July 1943, the German Cross in Gold on 11th April 1944, and killed in action on 27th July 1944.

4) Romanian Commemorative Medal for the Crusade Against Communism without Bar Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Leutnant Heinz Nöllgen, 30.Fspr.Betr.Kp.f644, dated 1st April 1942.

5) Iron Cross 2nd Class Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Panzergrenadier Heinz Nöllgen, Stab I./Pz.Gren.Rgt.III’, issued in the field on 15th July 1943, signed in ink: ‘Mickl’ for Johann Mickl, Generalmajor and GOC 11th Panzer Division, recipient of the Knight’s Cross on 13th December 1941, the Oakleaves to the Knight’s Cross on 13th December 1941, who died of wounds on 10th April 1945 as a Generalleutnant.

6) Iron Cross 1st Class Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Panzergrenadier Heinz Nöllgen, Stab I./Pz.Gren.-Rgt.III’ issued in the field on 15th August 1943, signed in ink: ‘von Wietersheim’ for Wend von Wietersheim, Oberst and Acting GOC of the 11th Panzer Division, later Generalleutnant and recipient of the Knight’s Cross on 10th February 1942, the Oakleaves to the Knight’s Cross on 21st January 1943, and the Swords to the Knight’s Cross on 26th April 1944 as well as the German Cross in Gold on 24th December 1941.

7) Wound Badge in Black Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Pz.Gren. Heinz Nöllgen, Stab I./Pz.Gren.Rgt.III’, issued in the field on 16th August 1943, for a wound received on 21st July 1943. Signed in ink by the Hauptmann and acting Battalion Commander.

8) Tank Battle Badge in Bronze Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Panzer-Grenadier Heinz Nöllgen, Stab I../ Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment III, issued in the field on 1st November 1943, signed in ink: ‘Donnhauser’ for Anton Donnhauser, the Major and acting Commanding Officer, recipient of the Knight’s Cross on 18th July 1943, the German Cross in Gold on 13th May 1943 and the Close Combat Clasp in Gold on 10th February 1944.

9) Close Combat Clasp in Bronze Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Panzer-Grenadier Heinz Nöllgen, Stab I./Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment III’, issued in the field on 5th February 1944, also signed in ink by Donnhauser.

10) Close Combat Clasp in Silver Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Panzer-Grenadier Heinz Nöllgen, Stab I./Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment III’, issued in the field on 6th February 1944, also signed in ink by Donnhauser.

Together with the following documents:

11) An A4 size handwritten promotion certificate with details of Heinz Nöllgen’s promotion from Unteroffizier in HQ 46 Signals Battalion to Wachtmeister with effect from 1st December 1937. Signed at Münster on 1st December 1937, signed in ink: ‘Burckhardt’ as Oberst and Commander of Signals Troops VI, he later became a Generalleutnant.

12) A two sided A4 size official typed extract taken from Leutnant Heinz Nöllgen’s Wehrpass with information about his personal details, date and place of birth, his NOK, when he joined the German Army, his united from 1st April 1934 to 1st June 1941, his training, promotions, decorations, and where he saw active service between 26th August 1939 and 8th May 1940. Nöllgen was serving in the 30th Telephone Operating Company 644 at the time this document was typed and signed by a Leutnant and Company Commander, dated 6th June 1941.

13) An official A5 size typed confirmation that Leutnant Heinz Nöllgen in unit 01749 (30th Telephone Operating Company 644) had been awarded the War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords, the Romanian Commemorative Medal for the Crusade Against Communism, as well as the Medal for the Entry in Czechoslovakia 1938 and the Armed Forces Decoration for 4 Year’s Service. This note is signed by an Oberleutnant and Company Commander, dated 13th October 1942.

Heinz Nöllgen was born on 13th April 1911 in Vogelsang, in Kreis Schwelm, Westphalia, and having worked as a bank employee, then joined the German Army on 5th April 1934, and was posted to the 6th Prussian Signals Battalion Hannover, he was promoted from Unteroffizier to Wachtmeister on 1st December 1937. Having taken part in the annexation of the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia in 1938, and been awarded the Armed Forces Long Service Award for 4 Years on 1st April 1939, when still a Warrant Officer and Wachtmeister with the 46th Signals Battalion,

Having then been promoted to the senior Warrant Officer rank of Hauptwachtmeister whilst still with the 46th Corps Signals Battalion, 6th Army Corps, he then gained a wartime commission as a Leutnant with the 30th Telephone Operating Company 644, and was attached with this unit to the German Army Mission in Romania, service for which he was awarded the War Merit Cross 1939 2nd Class with Swords on 8th January 1942, and the Romanian Commemorative Medal for the Crusade Against Communism without Bar on 1st April 1942.

Sometime between April 1942 and July 1943 things however went wrong for Nöllgen and he was stripped of his commission, and was then possibly posted to the Eastern Front as a punishment, as we next learn that he won the Iron Cross 2nd Class when serving as a Panzergrenadier with the Headquarters of the 1st Battalion, 111th Panzergrenadier Regiment, 11th Panzer Division, and he now went from a non-combat role to a very much frontline unit, a posting which however he appears to have done very well in, despite enduring extensive combat on the Russian Front.

As of mid 1943 the 11th Panzer Division was involved in operations in south Russia at Kharkov, and then Belgorod during what became known as Operation Citadel, the German offensive operation against Soviet forces in the Kursk salient, that then initiated the Battle of Kursk, the largest armoured battle of all time, and one of which the 11th Panzer Division played a significant but ultimately unsuccessful role in, and ended up fighting in the defensive operations and retreat that followed the German failure.

It was during the Battle of Kursk however that Nöllgen went some way to re-establishing his reputation, being awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class ‘in the field’ on 15th July 1943, and then the Iron Cross 1st Class ‘in the field’ on 15th August 1943, he having been also wounded in action on 21st July 1943. As a member of an Armoured Infantry Regiment, he went on to be awarded the Tank Battle Badge in Bronze ‘in the field’ on 1st November 1943. During Operation Citadel and the Battle of Kursk, Nöllgen’s commanding officer, Major Anton Donnhauser, was awarded the Knight’s Cross on 18th July 1943, which added to the German Cross in Gold awarded to him back on 13th May 1943.

It was in February 1944 during the attempted relief of the Korsun Pocket and Cherkassy that Nöllgen was then heavily embroiled in combat on a day to day basis, and the 11th Panzer Division was almost completely destroyed in the relief and subsequent break-out of German forces from the pocket. The Battle of the Korsun–Cherkasy Pocket which took place from 24th January to 16th February 1944, During this battle, the attack by the XLVII Panzer Corps' 11th Panzer Division on the southeastern flank of the pocket quickly stalled, as it only had only 27 tanks and 34 assault guns operational.

However Nöllgen was clearly in the thick of the fighting and having accumulated multiple close combat days, which would have been added to this experience at Kursk, he was awarded the Close Combat Clasp in Bronze for fifteen days close combat on 5th February 1944, and the Close Combat Clasp in Silver for 30 days close combat on 6th February 1944, both awards being signed by his commander, Anton Donnhauser, who was himself awarded the rare Close Combat Clasp in Gold on 10th February 1944.

Sadly it is not known if Nöllgen survived the war, however there is no record of his death in the German War Graves Register, though this is not entirely accurate. His combination of awards is rare. Of the roughly 18–20 million soldiers of the German Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS, 36,400 received the Close Combat Clasp in the Bronze Class, 9,500 the Silver Class and 631 the Gold Class.