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Germany – Third Reich: The Extremely Rare Special Badge for the Single-Handed Destruction of 5 Tanks Document Group to Fahnenjunker-Feldwebel Heinrich Wille, 2nd Company, 6th Grenadier Regiment, 30th Infantry Division, who received a Corps Commend...

£2,250.00
Availability: IN STOCK
Product ID: LMC/8244
Condition: Documents and Certificates folded, with some small tears and with foxing, Fair condition
Description:

Germany – Third Reich: The Extremely Rare Special Badge for the Single-Handed Destruction of 5 Tanks Document Group to Fahnenjunker-Feldwebel Heinrich Wille, 2nd Company, 6th Grenadier Regiment, 30th Infantry Division, who received a Corps Commendation for his part in a counter-attack at Staraya Russa, who had seen service at Demyansk and who was wounded three times, including twice in four days during the operations at Staraya Russa that resulted in his commendation and Badge for the Destruction of 5 Tanks.

A very rare and fine document group consisting of a Corps Commander’s Commendation for Bravery and rare contemporary certified Battalion Order awarding the special badge for the single handed destruction of 5 tanks, 5 other awards certificates and 7 other documents.


Award Certificates:


  1. The Wound Badge in Black awarded on 17th August 1942 for a wound received 19th October 1941 as a Schutze, 5/6th Infantry Regiment. Signed by a Major and Battalion Commanding Officer.

    The unit stamp used on this certificate was the Field Post Number 15 219A = HQ 5/27th Infantry Regiment, 12th Infantry Division. This Division served alongside 30th Infantry Division in North Russia at this time and in the Demyansk Pocket.

  2. The Infantry Assault Badge in Silver awarded in the field on 8th February 1943 as a Gefreiter, 2/6th Grenadier regiment. Signed by Kassmala as Oberst and Commanding Officer.

    Kassmala was awarded the Knights Cross on 13.3.1942 as Oberst and Commanding Officer 3rd Security Regiment and the 435th Oakleaves on 26.3.1944 as Oberst and Commanding Officer 6th Grenadier Regiment. Missing in action since 5.3.1945 near Oberglogau as Generalmajor and General Officer Commanding 344th Infantry Division.

  3. The Ostmedaille awarded on 21st July 1942 as an Unteroffizier, 2/6th Grenadier Regiment. Signed for correctness by Tipp as Oberstleutnant Unit stamp is 516th Infantry Regiment.

    This certificate must have been issued by Wille’s old Company at a much later date in 1943 as he is now listed as an Unteroffizier in 216th Grenadier Regiment.

  4. The Wound Badge in Silver awarded by Battalion HQ on 24th August 1943, for wounds received on 19.10.1941, 18.8.1943, 21.8.1943 as an Unteroffizier, 2/6th Grenadier Regiment. Signed by Vogel as Major and Battalion Commander.

    Vogel was awarded the Knights Cross on 29.8.1943 as Major and Battalion Commanding Officer and the German Cross in Gold on 29.6.1943 as Major and Battalion Commanding Officer.

  5. The Demyansk Shield awarded by Corps HQ on 31st December 1943 as an Unteroffizier, 2/6th Grenadier Regiment. Facsimile signature of Brockdorf-Ahlfeld as General of Infantry and General Officer Commanding II Army Corps. Signed for correctness by Richter as Oberleutnant.


Certified Copy of a Battalion Special Order dated 23rd August 1943:

‘I have awarded the Special Badge for the Single Handed Destruction of a Tank to the following cited members of the Battalion for proven bravery with the destruction of 5 tanks in close combat:

Unteroffizier Wille, 2/6th Grenadier Regiment. Signed by Vogel, and for correctness by Krauthammel as Leutnant.


X Army Corps Commander’s Commendation, dated 28.8.1943.

‘I express my special recognition to Unteroffizier Wille, Section Commander, 2/6th Grenadier Regiment, for his proven bravery on 21.8.1943 with an Assault Detachment action for the capture of the Airmen’s graves (Fliegergrabens) to the south east of Staraya Russa’


Signed by Hansen, as General Of Artillery and General Officer Commanding X Army Corps.


Hansen was awarded the Knights Cross on 3.8.1942 as General of Artillery and General Officer Commanding X Army Corps and the German Cross in Gold on 2.4.1943 as General of Artillery and General Officer Commanding X Army Corps.


Wille was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class and was also wounded on the same day as that cited in the commendation – 21st August 1943 (the day of the 3rd Russian attack during the 5th Battle around Staraya Russa). The award of the Special Badge for the Individual Destruction of 5 tanks can also be linked to this period.


Documents:


  1. Proposal for the Award of the Infantry Assault Badge in Silver:

    Rank: Gefreiter
    Dates of actions:

    13.10.1941 – 5/6th Infantry Regiment
    19.10.1941 – 5/6th Infantry Regiment
    31.1.1942 – 2/6th Infantry Regiment
    Operational area, 10.1.1943

    Recommended and signed by Dr Schulz as Oberleutnant and Officer Commanding. Approved and signed by Kassmala.

    The certificate was dated 8.2.1943 and the Assault Badge was presented on 11.2.1943

  2. 4.2.1944 – Certificate from 4/30th Field Replacement Battalion Combat School confirming that Uffizier Heinrich Wille has successfully passed the 2nd Ski Course with the Combat School from 5-19.1.1944 and was suitable as a Ski instructor. Signed by a Leutnant and Company Commander.

  3. Two small notes certifying number of days towards earning the Close Combat Bar in Bronze:
    a) 2/6th Grenadier Regiment, dates listed: 13.10.1941., 19.10.1941., 31.1.1942., 7.2.1942., 31.1.1943., 29.3.1943., 18.8.1943., 21.8.1943., and 22.12.1943. whilst employed as a Section and Platoon Commander.
    b) 3/30th Field Replacement Battalion, dates listed: 21.1.1944 – Ustrika/Sadneye Pole and 21.2.1944 – Rvy.

  4. 3.5.1945 – A note confirming Feldwebel Wille can be appointed to Fahnenjunker-Feldwebel with immediate effect by the Commanding Officer of the Regiment (Major Link) in accordance with the regulations. The implemented appointment cannot for the moment be reported to the Army Personnel Office. It notes that that the appointment is noted in his personal papers (Wehrpass and Soldbuch). Wille must put on insignia of the officer profession.

  5. Mariendorf, 8.6.1945 – A list of Wille’s decorations which had been awarded to him during WW2 (includes the Iron Cross 1st Class and Iron Cross 2nd Class for which the certificates are not present) is certified by an Oberleutnant and Company Commander of 10th/657 Grenadier Regiment (160th Infantry Division). The note also includes Wille’s date and place of birth.

  6. 6th June 1943 – a large format 8 page illustrated soft back publication produced for members of the 30th Infantry Division which tells the story of the involvement of this Division in the Demyansk area of combat between September 1941 and February 1943. The title of this very interesting publication is ‘Die Schleswig-Holsteinische Infanterie-Division im Kampfraum Demjansk’ with a first page heading as follows: ‘Schleswig-Holsteiner von der Waldai-Hohen’ von Oberleutant Dr Hans Wolff, gefallen 22nd April 1943.


Heinrich Wille was born on 4th August 1921 in Hildesheim, this would indicate that he was most likely in the Army by the time of the outbreak of the war.

As part of 30th Infantry Division he would have seen service in Poland in September 1939, and then in the initial part of the campaign in the low countreis in May 1940 where it attacked over the Maas at Venlo, then over the Albertkanal over the Schelde. Eventually it attacked over the Lys and the Yser in the area of Poperinghe before ending the campaign near Paris. The Division then remained in France on occupation duty in France until May 1941.

In June 1941, 30th Infantry Division moved east in preparation for the Invasion of the Soviet Union as part of Army Group North, after the beginning of the campaign it was involved in the border battles in Lithuania before advancing over the Nyemen to the Duna, it then attacked near Opochka, at Chelony, Pollisty and at the Redya, before fighting at the Lovat and the Polya. Wille was wounded on 19th October 1941 in the initial battles near Demyansk in an assault that counted towards both his close combat days and the Infantry Assault Badge in Silver.

Wille continued to fight in the Demyansk area where he was involved in further assaults and close combat on 31st January and 7th February 1942 during the early stages of the Russian counterattacks. Fighting through the winter in the Demyansk pocket, Wille was awarded the Ostmedaille on 21st July 1942, the Iron Cross 2nd Class on 16th January 1943 on 16th January 1943, and eventually the Infantry Assault Badge in Silver on 8th February 1943, which was a belated award for his assaults of the previous winter.

In February 1943, 30th Infantry Division retreated to the Staraja Russa area when the Demyansk area was evacuated. The Staraja Russa area saw a year of heavy fighting between February 1943 and February 1944 of which Wille was present for around half.

The most significant few days of Wille’s front line ‘career’ took place in mid-August 1943 when he received a series of awards and was twice wounded. On 18th August 1943, Wille was wounded for a second time in a close combat action, he was then wounded for a third time on 21st August 1943 entitling him to the award of the Silver Wound Badge which he received on 24th August 1943, this shortly after the award of the Iron Cross 1st Class which was awarded him on 21st August, the day of his third wounding.

On 23rd August, Wille was mentioned in a Battalion Special Order awarding him the Special badge for the Single Handed Destruction of a Tank for proven bravery with the destruction of 5 tanks in close combat, before on 28th August he received a X Army Corps Commander’s Commendation for his bravery on 21st August 1943 with an Assault Detachment for the capture of the Airmen’s graves to the south-east of Staraya Russa.

Wille was still attached to 6th Grenadier Regiment on 31st December 1943 when he was awarded the Demyansk Shield for his participation in the battles there.

He was still fighting with the unit in February 1944 when he was involved in his last day of the close combat. At some point between 21st February (his last day of close combat) and 24th October 1944 he had transferred to 3/30th Field Replacement Battalion, most likely as a result of either sickness or being wounded. He ended the war as part of 160th Infantry Division in Denmark with the rank of Fahnenjunker-Feldwebel.