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1⁄35Photographic Memories: Eastern Front
"Maybe most grandchildren or children were told war stories by their families and relatives, if the were willing to talk about. In addition these people may have taken photos during their active duty at various places. Within these photos lie very deep memories on a time that formed and marked or relatives, but also help the observer to imagine what happend during the time of war besides heavy fighting.
I must have been at the age of 6 or 7 when my grandfather showed me his photo album and told his stories for the first time. At that age I wasn't capable of understanding the whole things, but as I recall it 20 years later most things still seem present. My grandpa always talked about how cold in had been on the eastern front, that he had to serve in the deeps of russia at the age of 17 while our generation normally is still at school at that age or about his injuries and how lucky he were to survive.
My grandpa voluntered in November 1941 at the age of 17 to become part of a Panzerjšger-Company (Tank destroyer). His main thoughts about volunteering was to appoint his fate and to avoid being sent to the infantry. At the eastern front he was mainly stationed in the Orel-/Reshev-Area in 1942. His unit was equipped with PAK 40's, but he also mentioned that he later also operated on a self-propelled gun.
During the battle of kursk he got seriously wounded at the age of 18. Due to the belt buckle he survived two hits from a russian mg. One round penetrated the buckle and was slowed down before entering the stomach. After being at hospital for 13 months and serving in a tank training company he had to take part in the Ardennes offensive on the western front this time on Jagdpanzer Hetzer.
From the modeller's perspective these pictures are total priceless as reference material and so I decided to scan most parts of the album for your personal use. I think most of the pictures in his album are from 1942 to early 1943 and show the life of a Panzerjšger-Company on the eastern front during fighting pauses."