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L017376 LUFTWAFFE SOLDBUCH. (Soldbuch)

BACKGROUND: With the reintroduction of conscription in 1935, the OKW, Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, (High Command of the Armed Forces), activated the WEDs, Wehrersatzdienststelle, (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 recipient’s possession as his official military identification document. The recruitment office would retain the Wehrpass and chronicle the individual’s active service record in it. 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, while the Soldbuch would be returned to the appropriate WEDs, Wehrersatzdienststelle, (Recruiting Offices), for inclusion in the individual’s official records. Regulations concerning handling of the Soldbuch were quite strict and although an individual had to present his Soldbuch to higher ranking, military police and guard personnel, as requested, the Soldbuch was not to leave the owner’s sight and be returned immediately after examined. The only instance, besides death, that regulations permitted a Soldbuch to leave the recipient’s possession was in the case of legal arrest. Of Note: Heer, (Army), Luftwaffe, (Air Force), and Waffen-SS, Schutz-Staffel, (Armed-Protection Squad), security and precaution regulations to have a photograph of the recipient placed in the Soldbuch wasn’t enacted until mid-November 1943, while Kriegsmarine, ({War} Navy), regulations decreed the Soldbuch's were to have the recipient’s photograph applied as early as September 1941. The Heer, Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS regulations stated that training units have the photographs applied in the Soldbuch by April 1944 and combat units by December 1944, although the regulations were not always strictly adhered to. 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 Heer 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. Also Of Interest: In January 1945 the Ergänzungsstelle der Waffen-SS was combined with the army’s Wehrersatzdienststelle and was renamed Ergänzungsstellen des Heeres und der Waffen-SS, (Replacement Centers of the Army and the Armed-SS). Also Of Note: It appears that the majority of Soldbuch's and Wehrpass's were manufactured by the Metten & Co, Nationaler Werbedruck firm of Berlin SW 61, "Metten & Company National Recruiting/Enlistment Printing 61 Southwest Berlin).

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Luftwaffe Soldbuch with Swastika rubbed off of front cover. Book issued to Luftwaffe Gefreiter Willi Bottner. The word Spionageabwehr was written on page 10. Not sure if he taught the subject, was taught the subject while he was wounded, or else was a spy. There is a letter in the book allowing him to work in a factory.

GRADE ****                                                 PRICE $198.00

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