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H072478 WEHRPASS. (Wehrpaß)

BACKGROUND: With the reintroduction of conscription in 1935, the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, (High Command of the Armed Forces), activated the Wehrersatzdienststelle, (Military Recruiting Offices), throughout Germany to process and administer the call up procedure. When individuals received their registration notice they were to report to the appropriate recruitment center where they would be issued a Wehrpass, (Military Pass), until they were inducted into active duty. Starting in the autumn of 1939, when an individual was inducted into active military service the Wehrpass was exchanged at the recruitment office for the Soldbuch, (Pay Book), which remained in the recipients possession as his official military identification document. The recruitment office would retain the Wehrpass and chronicle the individual’s active service record in it. The Wehrpass was issued in three, slightly different, variants with minor modifications with the first pattern being circa 1934-1938, the second pattern circa 1938-1945 and the third pattern circa 1942-1945. Generally if the individual was killed in battle the Wehrpass would be forwarded to his next-of-kin as a memento of his service time. Of Interest: The Reich conscription laws of 1935 dictated that each of the three branches of service would be allocated a percentage of the available recruits according to their manpower requirements with the army being allotted the lions share of roughly 66% of eligible personnel followed by the Luftwaffe who were accorded roughly 25% with the Kriegsmarine receiving the remaining 9% of personnel.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 5 3/4" x 4 1/4", fifty-two page, second pattern, (circa 1938-45), Wehrpass with a charcoal grey printed Wehrmacht style eagle with out-stretched wings, clutching a wreathed, canted, swastika in its talons and Gothic script, "Wehrpaß", to the slightly crinkle textured, mid-weight, grey card stock cover. The cover also has a stapled seam with grey reinforcement tape and two, fair sized black ink stripes that appear to be blurring out additional script. The first internal page has handwritten and inkstamped entries that indicate the recipient registered for military service in, "Hameln", on, "15. Nov. 1939", and the entry has the authorizing signature of a, "Hauptmann", with the appropriate, "Wehrbezirks-kommando", (Military Recruiting District Headquarters), inkstamp. The second internal page has a dual inkstamped, signed, black and white photograph of the recipient in civilian clothes rivetted in place. Further entries show that on registering for service the individual was found fit for combat duty and assigned to "Ersatz-Reserve I", indicating he was under thirty-five years old, untrained and not called up for active service at that time. Additional entries indicate the individual returned to his recruiting office on, "5. Dez. 1940", was found fit for combat duty and assigned to, "4./Pi. Ers. Batl. 19", (4TH Company 19TH Combat Engineer Replacement Battalion). An additional unit entry indicate the individual served with, "Stabskomp. II./Pz.Rgt. 203", (2ND Staff Company 203RD Armored Regiment). Training entries indicate the individual was trained on the, "Gewehr. 98" and the "Karabiner 98k", and took some sort of Combat Engineer Training Program. Active service entries indicate the individual served in a training unit in France before transferring to the Eastern Front in early December 1941. Promotional entries indicate the individual was promoted to the rank of, "O.Pionier", on "1. 7. 41", and to the rank of, "Gefreiter", on, "1. 9. 41". Other entries include personal statistics, next-of-kin, education and that the individual held a class three driver’s licence. The final entry appears to indicate the individual was wounded as a result of a motorcycle accident on, "24. 12. 1941", and died in a hospital in "Luga", on Christmas day 1941. All the entries have the appropriate authorizing signatures and/or inkstamps. The pages show minor age yellowing but are all intact.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $99.00

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