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Germany – Third Reich. The Posthumous Stalingrad Iron Cross 1st Class, General Assault Badge, Iron Cross 2nd Class, Black Wound Badge and subsequent Family Letters Document Group to Unteroffizier Paul Deufel, 3 (Heavy) Squadron, 176th Recce/Bicycle Battalion, 76th Infantry Division, who was last seen on 15th January 1943 in the Stalingrad Pocket, and was subsequently missing presumed killed in the finals days of the Battle.

Price: £940.00


Product ID: LMC/7213
Condition: Certificates at some point folded, but otherwise in Good Condition
Availability: IN STOCK
Description:

Germany – Third Reich. The Posthumous Stalingrad Iron Cross 1st Class, General Assault Badge, Iron Cross 2nd Class, Black Wound Badge and subsequent Family Letters Document Group to Unteroffizier Paul Deufel, 3 (Heavy) Squadron, 176th Recce/Bicycle Battalion, 76th Infantry Division, who was last seen on 15th January 1943 in the Stalingrad Pocket, and was subsequently missing presumed killed in the finals days of the Battle.

A very interesting document grouping comprising 4 award certificates, 12 documents, a driving license and a photo of Deufel in black Panzer uniform as a Panzerschutze.

Award Certificates:

1)The General Assault Badge awarded by Divisional HQ on 6.2.1942 as an Obergefreiter, 3/176th Reconnaissance Battalion. Signed by Rodenburger as Generalmajor and General Officer Commanding 76th Infantry Division.

Rodenburger was awarded the Knights Cross on 8.10.1942 as Generalmajor and General Officer Commanding 76th Infantry Division and the 189th Oakleaves on 31.1.1943 as Generalleutnant and General Officer Commanding 76th Infantry Division.

2)The Black Wound Badge, for a wound received on 21.1.1942, awarded by Battalion HQ on 15.2.1942 as an Obergefreiter, heavy Squadron 176th Recce Battalion.

Signed by Freiherr von dem Knesebach as Rittmeister and Battalion Commanding Officer Freiherr von dem Knesebach was awarded the German Cross in Gold on 7.3.1942 as Rittmeister and Commanding Officer, 176th Reconnaissance Battalion.

3)The Iron Cross 2nd Class, awarded on 28.7.1942 by Divisional HQ as an Unteroffizier, 3/176th Reconnaissance Battalion, signed by Rodenburg as Generalmajor and General Officer Commanding Officer, 76th Infantry Division

4)The Iron Cross 1st Class, awarded in Rudolstadt on 6.4.1943 as an Unteroffizier, 3/176th Bicycle Battalion. Signed by Luz as Generalmajor and Commander of the Dispersal Staff 6th Army.

Luz was awarded the Knights Cross on 15.11.1941 as Oberst and Commanding Officer 110th Rifle Regiment (11th Panzer Division).

Documents:

1)30.6.1938 – Kelheim, An assessment of Aryan Descent concerning Paul Deufel with personal details about himself, his parents and grandparents.

2)3.7.1943 – Berlin W 35. A typed note to Deufel’s father, Franz Deufel, from the 76th Infantry Division desk officer on the 6th Army Dispersal Staff in reply to his letter of 30th June. It is obvious that Deufel’s father has been trying to find out about his son’s fate at Stalingrad. The letter deals with the desk officer’s attempts to find out as much information as possible about 76th Infantry Division soldiers missing in the Pocket. He forwards an Obergefreiter Hohmann’s name and unit (9 Reconnaissance Replacement Battalion, Furstenwalde) as a person who might be able to help. It is evident that there is very little available information about Deufel’s son and Deufel’s father is assured that should there be any further feedback then he would be contacted as soon as possible.

3)28.7.1943 – Berlin W 35. A typed note to Deufel’s father, Franz Deufel, from the 76th Infantry Division desk officer on the 6th Army Dispersal Staff stating that Deufel’s former Battalion Commanding Officer, Major von Rochow and Knights Cross Holder, had recommended his son for a bravery award as a result of his outstanding actions in the Stalingrad Pocket and could he provide some personal details about his son

4)7.8.1943 – Kelheim. Franz Deufel’s reply to the above giving details about his son’s date and place of birth plus the information about his peacetime unit being 10th Panzer Regiment in Zinten/East Prussia.

5)7.8.1943 – Kehleim. A letter from Deufel’s father to an Obergefreiter Hohmann asking him for information that he may have about his son. Hohmann’s name had been given to him by the 76th Infantry Division desk officer on the 6th Army Disbandment Staff.

6)19.10.1943 – Pegnitz. A typed copy of a note from the Stalingrad and Tunis Planning Staff (Wehrkreis XIII) to the Ortsgruppenfuhrer of the NSDAP in Kelheim to present an enclosed Iron Cross 1st Class with its certificate to the parents of Unteroffizier Paul Deufel (/176th Bicycle Battaloin) who was missing in Stalingrad.

7)13.12.1943 – Berlin. A note to Deufel’s father from the Stalingrad Planning Staff (Deputy General Officer Commanding III Army Corps) about the possibility that Major von Rochow may be able to help with information about his son

8)15.12.1943 – Potsdam. A typed note from the Paymaster on the Stalingrad Planning Staff (Deputy General Officer Commanding III Army Corps) to Deufel’s mother concerning payment of certain expenses incurred by her. It also enclosed a questionnaire for her to complete and return

9)11.1.1946 – Kelheim. A typed letter from Deufel’s father to a Colonel Manenko (a Russian officer?) in Berlin with regard to possibly helping him trace his missing son.

10)Undated. - A completed questionnaire giving details about Paul Deufel, his date and place of birth, home address, rank, unit and where he went missing during WW2.

11)Undated – Stalingrad Combatants; a contemporary WW2 two page carbon copy document based on information from the Berlin General Command describing details of a large Russian Prisoner of War Camp (No.27) in Perm (Urals) which have been obtained from a letter from a Generaloberst Heitz to his wife. The document goes on to discuss general conditions affecting prisoners and in particular those from the Stalingrad Pocket which have been obtained from various sources. There is a short report about a Russian film on Stalingrad shown in Stockholm.

12)Undated – A contemporary WW2 copy of inputs from three different sources concerning research about German prisoners in Russia, one being from Generaloberst Heitz in the Soviet POW Camp 27.

13)The driving license issued to Paul Deufel at Kelheim on 15.6.1934. The photo is missing

14)A very fine photo of Paul Deufel in the Black Panzer uniform as a young Panzerschutze wearing the Panzer Beret. Unfortunately the unit number on the shoulder straps is not identifiable.

Paul Deufel was a Swiss National, having been born in Chur, Switzerland on 23rd August 1914 the son of Franz Deufel who had been a Master Brewer, at some point Deufel had moved to Zinten in East Prussia, before signing up the Wehrmacht.

It is unclear when Deufel joined the 76th Infantry Division, although having served with 10th Panzer Regiment before the war, it is likely that he saw service early in the war, although the 76th Infantry Division, saw little or no action on the Western Front, before taking part in the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 as part of Army Group South.

Seeing action in the areas of Jassy, Tiraspol and Kremenchug in the Ukraine during 1941, he was awarded the General Assault Badge on 6th February 1942, before being awarded the Black Wound Badge for a wound received on 21st January 1942 in the area of Artemivsk, most likely in fighting off the Soviet Winter Counter-Offensives on the Southern Front in the Winter of 1941-42.

The 76th Infantry Division then took part in Operation Blau, the German Summer Offensive of 1942, fighting its way towards and across the Don where Deufel was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class on 28th July 1942, and then onto Stalingrad.

The 76th Infantry Division saw particularly heavy fighting during the Battle of Stalingrad, attacking to the south of Mamayev Kurgan and then towards the Central Railway Station in September, it continued to fight in the central areas of Stalingrad throughout October, by the time of the Soviet Counter-Offensive in November however, it had been moved to the northern flank for rest and recuperation, but was caught up in the encirclement and was forced back into the city, where it was gradually eroded before being destroyed in January 1943.

Deufel was last seen on 15th January 1943, and despite much effort from his family, nothing more was heard of him after this point, so it is safe to assume he was missing presumed killed in the final days of the Battle.

Deufel’s award of the Iron Cross 1st Class is most unusual in that it was a posthumous award given to his parents in October 1943 on the back of a recommendation from his Battalion Commanding Officer Major von Rochow, who had been awarded the Knights Cross on 20th January 1943, after being evacuated from the pocket on the back of a serious wound.

It is possible that Deufel was killed on the 20th in a Russian Assault, that resulted in von Rochow received his Knights Cross.

In common with many families, Deufel’s spent much time trying to track his whereabouts after the fall of Stalingrad, but alas without success.