23 January 2014

Oberleutnant Friedrich Winkler Gives Order Near the Barrikady Factory Stalingrad

Image size: 1600 x 1048 pixel. 279 KB
Date: Wednesday, 11 November 1942
Place: Stalingrad, Stalingrad Oblast, Soviet Union
Photographer: Kriegsberichter Kurt Heine

"So machen wir's: 1. Zug link, 2. Zug rechts!" Oberleutnant Friedrich Winkler (last rank Hauptmann) from 6.Kompanie / Infanterie-Regiment 577 / 305.Infanterie-Division gives orders to his men near the "Barrikady" Gun Factory, in the north sector of Stalingrad, Russia, 11 November 1942. Friedrich Konrad Winkler was born on the 22nd of August, 1909 in Worms (one of the oldest cities in Germany situated on the Rheine river). He was a professional soldier with 12 years of service known in the German Army as a "Zwölfender". He was promoted to Oberleutnant on the 1st of November 1941 and later promoted to Hauptmann on the 1st December 1942. He transferred to the 305. Infanterie-Division in mid 1942 from his previous unit Infanterie-Regiment 56. He initially served in the Stabskompanie of Infanterie-Regiment 577 (from the 15th of October Grenadier-Regiment 577) but later he took command of 6th company in the Regiment during the fighting in Barrikady Gun Factory in northern Stalingrad. The Grenadier-Regiment 577 was destroyed in January 1943 in Stalingrad. Friedrich Konrad Winkler was captured in Stalingrad in Febuary and died soon after, in the age of 34. He was awarded the: Infantry Assault Badge in Silver, Iron Cross 2nd Class (although it is not seen on his uniform but to award the 1st Class the soldier must have the 2nd), 1st Class, Wound Badge in Silver, Medal for the Winter Campaign in Russia 1941 / 1942, and the War Merit Cross 2nd Class (the last 2 can be seen on the the soldier’s right side, above his pocket). As you can see, the Infantry Assault Badge is broken. Breaking the assault badge was commonly done by the Stalingrad veterans as a indication that earning the assault badge in Stalingrad was a different level of achievement than earning it somewhere else. Operation Hubertus - The Assault on the “Red House” 11th November 1942. Historical Overview: The German Sixth Army had driven the Soviet 62nd Army back through the streets of Stalingrad, and by the start of November 1942 was in sight of the Volga. One more push in the factory area would see the end of the Russian resistance in the city. Unfortunately, German casualties in reaching this point had been heavy, with many units reduced to 25% of their summer strength. Von Paulus asked for another Infantry Division to finish the job, what he got was five battalions of Pioneers and some non too subtle pressure from Hitler to get on with it. On the Russian side things are even worse, with the defending regiments in reality having the strength of companies, holding on to a thin strip of land on the West bank of the Volga. The new German plan of attack was designated Operation Hubertus, and called for the Pioneer to assault a series of Soviet strong points and then push on to the Volga. The first stage objective for the 50th Panzer Pioneer Battalion was the Administration Building of the Barrikady gun factory, known to the Germans as “The Red House”. For more information about other picture from this scene: http://ww2images.blogspot.com/2013/01/german-soldier-at-ruins-of-stalingrad.html

Book "Island Of Fire: The Battle For the Barrikady Gun Factory In Stalingrad November 1942 - February 1943" by Jason D. Mark

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