Precious water

17. September 1943

A day job was not: The potato peeling. Before 2 We had shelled days so much potatoes and Fellner had cooked a delicious pea soup, and the food was managed to the Russians. Our Fourier who drove a car 5. Battery at the caring for the battery with catering in the enemy lines. A few 2 cm guns of our 2. Tried this with several shots before the car battery to keep [to] cause wanted to. This Gunners saw how the Russians surrounded the car and how the two occupants with his hands got only.

The potato Peel had to our measuring troop trucks with the drinking water tanker los ride and water points. I also went with. First, we drove back further. Far and wide, no Bach, No pond, only wide, barren steppe areas moved down. After several kilometres, we searched for water in a village, side of the road. Arrived a standing waters. The water was black and stank terribly. Even the sight of the water ekelte to us. So we went to the village. Here, the usual fountains were missing entirely. We frugen the population where there is water. They showed us a small pond where very good water creatures around zappelte. Also of this stinking water we wrested from us very quickly. Perhaps the Russians could drink the water. Else you were indeed not be used to. So we drove back again. We went over our Protze, further ahead. We came back at the pond, where she led a large wooden bridge whom. Suddenly it howled approached and 2 Grenades rushed into the water, the high aufspritzte. We directed to immediately, drove to the edge of the water and scooped with several buckets of water to our tank trucks. Although it was not very clean, so we took it but, order at all what to bring.

Our spit has wondered very, where we so long remained. But we told him everything exactly. Late afternoon, it was said again times quickly recharge everything and get down. Again rebase! This time, however, it seemed to be hurry. It went back on this road, She led advance with us. The street was always down, across a dried-up stream across and over there again frightening steeply high. Again drove vehicle rear of vehicle. In a short holding, we took 3 wounded infantrymen with, You were on the road and waited for, She takes back to a car with. These 3 Soldiers told us, how it went forward actually to. You spoke of disintegration and believed also, with the officers likely something wrong. Since the Russian civilians had to always anti-tank trenches and so-called Hauptkampflinien dig. Then it was almost every day, the front on the and the trench is withdrawn in the course of the night, and the next morning we noticed, that it was only a bluff and the concerned line was long since exceeded by the enemies.

As the darkness of the monotonous country moved, our spit told to us a new position of prowess. The slightly ascending meadow was already damp steamed up and it took quite some time, until we had sought our tarpaulins in this darkness. Rings around us, from the Northeast, East and South until far after Westsüdwest around, a wreath of burning villages moved on the horizon. Crimson, the firmament was covered. Our returning troops turned to the tactics here probably, the us the Russian in the year 41 has learned, namely all burn down, Thus the often enemy no accommodations and supplies, but finds only rubble, with the he nothing can start. When looking at this peculiar image, We again received the call: “Again everything Pack. We'll move on immediately!”

Forwards and backwards

17. September 1943

As the sun rose higher and spread over our coat and let it dry the sludge. At noon came the first messengers of our combat battery. Among other things was WM. Full Chamber with brought. A shrapnel had torn off him a toe. He should be in the hospital, remained but brave in the troops. But he has later [Iron Cross] EK get II. Said full Chamber, that the batteries were taken seriously. Sergeant. Fuechter, Goat book and two man. Hahn, Beckurts, Wiedemann and several others severely injured. Sergeant. Goat book scored last time as a single on enemy tanks, until his gun was given a spot on. It would have been ghastly.

As in the vicinity of us from time to hit some shots, said full Chamber to the spit, He should pull but quickly further backward. Otherwise we would have the Russians on the neck. Sergeant. Buses also came to the rear. He came to us and told us, that pure Kingdom already had decided, us, the B I, as for the guns to create infantry backup, as he had seen it with other batteries. Buses could however dissuade him it with difficulty, because we were all specialists and failures were no other trained people there.

Our boss had come suddenly even struck like a bolt from the blue. The first thing he shouted to us was: “B I get down to action.” We were beaten as alienated. It is now but still forward. But, Since we should bring the device, was no infantry operational it probably. So we made everything ready. Suddenly a figure drew attention, that according to calling and winkend näherkam. It was our WM. Theissen, which came out of the holiday, and us here traced had. The joy of, that we had survived all healthy was naturally tall and was watered right accordingly. Theissen should equal with drive by the head of forward, but with some excuses, he could avert the.

Our car was loaded with bread and meals for two batteries and then with all good wishes, we were on the ride. Until the extended Street along and then back into the site. Infantry and artillery came to meet us. Only we with our complicated device drove forward.

Junkers Ju 87

(CC) Federal Archives: Junkers Ju 87

On all sides, we stopped looking for, If we do not soon discovered our guns. But always it continues. To us already the eerie silence and the emptiness of the battlefield was to feel. Attacked enemy Schlachtflieger. German [Dive bombers] Stukas pounced in bold lintels on the enemy. Desired operations were to be seen on the horizon. In between popped the barking desired operations of anti-tank guns. We heard the actual sound through the air of whooshing grenades. A darting flame mounted high on the horizon and showed, where flew an enemy tank in the air. So we went all alone over the barren surface.

We were also in place, where the guns of the 1. and 3. Battery were. It was in a. In addition, the grave of one of our members of the battery was. We put the Stahlhelm and courageously went to work, our device to make feuerbereit. Two guns from us and two from the 1. We should connect battery. Next to us were all officers of the battery, among them our Chief. It was like a battlefield Hill. We should go into position and then in the course of the night next door to a hill rebase. I suspected a sleepless night again. But it came back times differently. The officers of the Department laid clear our Executive, that it would be but madness, to set up the measuring force such close to the enemy. Pure Kingdom finally couldn't and gave us order, to the scaling back.

This was once again a command, that we[h]loved to heard. In a great hurry we loaded up again, What we had just unloaded. It was now dark. a burning village widely Crimson lit up the sky. Declining artillery units and infantry over we drove back. On this I saw once again, how beautiful we had with our measuring troop cars. Next to the road, the Gunners with their cannons and teams plagued off. They had 8 and 10 fold harnessed and they had to move itself still hard, to bring the guns in position. Nach holpriger Fahrt auf der schlechten Straße kamen wir wieder dorthin, where we had left our Protze. But, o Wo, the place was empty and the vehicles on. Now no choice on us, as further reduce and to search. Hopefully our spit had let to install a sign with the Wolf's head, for the orientation for future vehicles. Dark night we drove further now. Single shield was abgeleuchtet with the flashlight, whether it's not our was. Numerous imparting and Leuchtfallschirme were in the sky. From time to bomb rolls boomed to our ear. We were once again happy, that we could on the front line and the mood was now then. Suddenly ended the road at a ponds. Right through you had built a strong wooden bridge. Immediately after this bridge, we found our tactical sign. A straight exporting Pappelallee led at the end of this avenue side of the runway, on a small meadow, We found our Tross. Our tents were quickly set up and we gave to us the well deserved night's sleep. Only scattered bomb abwürfe of some enemy machines in our next environment let times wake us up, disturbed us but further not.

The Sun was in the morning already high in the sky as we decided, Finally to crawl out of the tent. Staff sergeant. Theissen had already for a long time before come to us. He was also so happy, He also had to tell that we were back and much. But, There were indeed 8,8 Cannons. Where came from you because? Our guns were but yesterday evening still ahead. Came out now: Pure Kingdom had with his cannons, a few time later when we lead, also deposed and succeeded also to us in the Protze. There were only two intact guns. One got but a direct hit and another had to be blown up, as it became in the vases and despite Vorspannens by two armoured cars not pry out was. We had to help with cleaning the guns and chassis. Then pure Kingdom of Theissen wanted to have two strong people, to the munitions-trial. Theissen certain my friend Gerhard adhesive and Heinz Fink. In the afternoon the battery was then again forward. A 3. Gun from a weapons workshop was added to the still. This was most 16. or 17. September. In the next morning, our spit Hampe again ordered rebase. We went not far. Only until then, where were the Protzen of the other batteries. There we headed back comfortable it.

Muddy redistribution

16. September 1943

After all engines were ready, We went off. It just walked a narrow dirt road to the West. The mud made us create there already something. After a while we had over a stream and there was no bridge. Only a few bars were in the water. But with some skill and some luck one came already in. It slipped ever from a vehicle concern, so it was again considered by a larger vehicle on the right track. Half of our column was already happy about across, as an officer of the army came and taught us that time, that he would command, Traffic over this bridge to disable and expand the bridge properly, and he would have to us for this purpose with use. Since we have of course gemuckt. To make the bridge somewhat more stable, We have helped cancel a home and used to the bars to the building. After a while we said, It outputs now otherwise and so we have set ourselves of this comic Lieutenant across.

The vehicles had to be pulled over but individually about the confusion of this bar. On the other hand, a steep embankment was then, and she was only covered in mud. There just the vehicles remained stuck or sliding back. But our driver, our reckless Schmitz, gave full throttle, rammelte of this temporary bridge that the bars ächzten and some broke even and under our joyful cheers he managed up there even this slippery slope. Happily we had brought all vehicles from us across. But now the sticking point until: We had over a mountain across, where mud, Dirt, Cream and extended lanes driving made almost impossible. You tried to go up, as it slipped back twice. Tried everything possible, the cars to make fast. But the mud was tough. Our Küchenwagen not made with any, Finally, the engine was broken and since it was entirely from. After it came so far, that 3 and more vehicles together were geseilt. That made air. So after a vehicle slipped by one of the top.

This cliff was overcome and it went further to place Jasnieno, where our boss had hinbeordert us. A large puddle was us here almost undoing. Schmitz wanted to go through the water through and went outside and… got stuck. We pushed out with all his might. We placed Reissig under the wheels. It helped nothing. On the contrary, the wheels produced himself deeper and deeper and striking light sat on the feathers of the truck's on the vases. Helpless, we sat down now in dark night here. Not far away, winding flares showed to the dwindling front. We made our cool with the worst. There came a great suddenly, black shadow from the darkness of the night on. It was a truck. With loud shouting, we brought him to keep. It was a vehicle of our battery. He had to pull out us. Immediately, a rope was stretched and the truck attracted. Everything looked to full voltage. But oweh, There was nothing to want to. This truck also slipped and came not from the place. Again, all kinds of experiments have been made. It was but easy to make nothing. At last one appeared before the Savior in the form Tractor of us. I think, She had with a gun and went to the weapons workshop. It was naturally easy for this tractor, us move from the dirt. Facilitated the heart we climbed our car again and Schmitz was able to drive.

On the road to Jasnieno the most beautiful retreat was again. We could probably take a few hundred metres. Then it increased for the first time. Some vehicles we had to get out of trouble from the mud. When it went on, We sat down. So down out of the car and in the mud come in and pushed. This tough dirt moved out us almost the boots and we moved the bottom of our over coat no matter through the mud. But the cart we had again flott.

A short drive again a stop. A harness for horses before us was stuck helplessly down. The Coachman was all trouble, but they made it not. So Bodenschatz gave the order, to help push and while we pushed so, were some of the idea, but let's see, What is in the many boxes in it, the Bagagewagen had loaded. The boxes were broken up with violence and see, What came to light: all bottles of the finest rum. Unfortunately we had pushed too much, so that the car could drive again and we had to let our victims. As we were promoted again, the Spree went off immediately, and we hoped, that this car stuck would once again. That met one also prombt. Immediately it went back to the car. Some took to the horses, and some shouted strong “Hau ruck” and did so, as if they push hard. The Coachman had his purest pleasure to our help. But on the back of the car was quickly worked. With the help of Spades boxes were broken up and the bottles of wine and rum disappeared under our coats. I climbed the car on the side, pulled down a heavy box, and stomped to our car so happy and siegesbewußt. In the notes of a flashlight I noticed first, what I've actually got. It was a box with 24 Bushings for 800 GR Jagdwurst. Quickly, the box was stowed, ballooned and continue the journey went.

Now a bottle went up on the car after another turn. The proximity of the front, the withdrawal and the mud were forgotten with a times. Our driver Schmitz also vigorously poured behind the fascia and only he had to be reminded of his duties and responsibilities. But he was already easy to Merry and performed all sorts of great things. Until he moved from a tractor behind him and then drove down an embankment, that we thought, the car tipped to every moment. But it all went well, and soon we reached a small branch, where our Protze lay.

Our comrade back home, who was left behind on the road, to show the way to subsequent carriage by us, fallen asleep in the ditch and there unmolested has rested its noise. In the middle of the night, we came to the position of our prowess, and only with difficulty, Schmitz swung the car between the trees through to a suitable location. Then was thank God for this day. We were sitting on the car and tried to sleep. Fortunately, it was soon light. As yet, a man with on our car and we sat the head us broken, who probably could be, and what was looking for the US. However, as this figure raised her sleepy face and threw the strands of hair from the forehead, We realized our rider Schmitz. But he looked as. He had from the top to bottom be kotzt. Us but remained a mystery, how he came to our cars up. In addition to the car, a bonfire was been reignited and shivering, we tired creatures were sitting around and pursuant in the flame. Our spit had noticed soon, What was going on with us. He saw also today in the early morning circle the bottle among us. We do not have betrayed while, where we have what it takes her. But we have let him even with drink. Thus he was satisfied. From the box sausage scored a can each. We just ate the rest to bread. Sometimes, thoughts we came up, that now this soldier would be punished, which we have taken the stuff. He can not ensure. And perhaps a unit now has to eat anything for a day. But we whistled to. The spirits would drink only the officers and the Landser would have eye. In addition, we were already robbed. It was just so: mausen and love is the Foundation for a good living at the Commission.

Scary closeness

15. September 1943

Also our aircraft were very active on this day and attacked the ground with strong bombardments. In this position were we also 4 or 5 Machines shot down. On this occasion, we have also seen shooting the enemy flak. She scored, on the contrary to us no targeted fire on the aircraft, but it was more a barrage in the air. Everywhere were the explosive clouds in the air. We have but can see no shooting down of the Russian flak. German hunters had to some desired operations on this day.

In the evening, we were happy, This hard and exciting day was gone now happy and without failures to end. We wanted to pay homage to rest and you came “quiet Willy's” and individual bombers, You flew into the hinterland. Pure Kingdom had to shoot course and so we were just a few hours in the pretty cool night and have seen the machines it went so well in the dark and shot.

The further course of the night came before us already pretty weird. The one, He slept, It has noted nothing, But if you post, could the always näherkommende machine gun fire and the increasingly growing peculiar POPs of tank gun [hear]. The next morning, the 14., platschte pouring rain on our tents. We thought in the rain, Ivan will not come. But far from, already, we heard the ROAR anfliegender Low-flying aircraft and of the flight registration items quickly arlamierte the battery. It was considered not possible, fly in this hazy weather. But these low flying shot something in the area and disappeared again. Shortly after, we heard an association [Petljakow] PE-2 come, could it but see, because the clouds too deep herniederhingen. The machines between Wolkenfetzen appeared only for a Auganblick. You threw bombs on Lechowo and disappeared again in the protective clouds. We shot some shots behind and then was quiet.

This was our last stand here, because our Chief roared just up to us: “Prepare rebase!” The rain had stopped and we began to tear down tents and all device to put together. Since brought Lt.. Kruchen an opposite command: “Position remains occupied!” This was again mies. Always suspicious shooting not allzuweiter away, that has let us know something bad.

Sergeant. Busse, who knew pretty well about the whole situation, seemed the matter also quite suspicious to occur. So he came back to me on the flight login items and said, I should tell him about any suspect decision. And so I anxiously watched with my glass in the area. Then I saw previous infantry in the firing line and was able to see just yet on the other hand in the haze, How was an endless column of all possible vehicles on a road. Because it was once again clear: It fell once again. We came before us again how goofy. All drove back, only we stood there like a few misleading. But in wise foresight, we packed up our stuff. Because the phone rang with us. Our Chief went even to the phone. Brief silence, then he cried to the gun Squadron: “Gun Squadron get down to the use of the Earth!” Now, everything was clear again.

Now everything went quite fast by the hand, because, the sooner we were finished, the earlier we could leave. Our trucks could be not fast enough because. The car of B II had to also with of be loaded. Our guns drove out of the position and position to the bombardment of Buda Staraya. Finally, we had to load a car and I swung me on it and raced. It was again best return fever. First we drove our prowess position. There we have been waiting for, comply to our second measurement troop cars. How da told us, is our position, After I was left, give some artillery hits.

High consuming defense music

15. September 1943

By large expenditure of ammunition in the air raids had greatly reduced our stock of ammunition. We had about 15 Shot, as an association returned Michael serviced. The fire was opened. The first group whistled the enemy contrary to, the 2. also, the 3. shot only two guns and finally only one shot. Then it was off!

Pure Kingdom was excited. He appealed to the Department, he phoned the radio operator, at each, he took the urgent call for help after ammunition. And meanwhile, the enemy Association flew past beautiful undisturbed. Pure Kingdom scolded, but it helped nothing, because we had to idly, as the [Petljakow] PE 2 daherflogen. But a us truck was already on the road in the ammunition store.

After some time the car came up above and laden with ammunition. With what was available had to drag these shells to the guns. There a number of low-flying aircraft came once again hereingeflogen. In our space. Pure Kingdom schrieh from with all his might, the Muni cars should go from the position. This time, purity Kingdom was reassured, He could shoot again. It occurred to me, as if we were like a strong animal, that itself could previously not during, but now crashes with concentrated force and over-accumulation stock on the adversary. Our 8,8 Gun shot but also with an impeccable fire discipline. Only the US allocated light train shot that day very badly, What are our 2 cm people very irritated, what they also loudly and clearly expressed.

I have liked sometimes to, our members in the home should be with us, or should even listen, as it sunk in an attack. First the shrill cry of alarm, then the incorporating and installing to the device, a motor whirring quietly, Control people call out numbers, some intermediate corrections of shooting, then the slowly and clearly spoken command of fire and shortly thereafter the first desired operations. You listen to the- and decongestantn Dröhnen of the aircraft, make the vigorous defense movement. You hear the whistling and the dull thunder of exploding bombs. Suddenly even the light flak begins to bark and completes the Defense music of a heavy anti-aircraft battery with their firings and explosion points..




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