01 April 2014

Ritterkreuz Award Ceremony for Sturm-Abteilung "Koch"

Image size: 1600 x 1208 pixel. 572 KB
Date: Monday, 13 May 1940
Place: Führerhauptquartier "Felsennest" , Rodert near Bad Münstereifel, Nordrhein-Westfalen, germany
Photographer: Unknown

Adolf Hitler posed with Fallschirmjäger officers at a Ritterkreuz award ceremony for 12 member of Sturm-Abteilung "Koch" / 7.Flieger-Division of the Eben Emael raid. The ceremony was held at Führerhauptquartier "Felsennest" , Rodert near Bad Münstereifel, Euskirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, on 13 May 1945. First row from left to right : Leutnant Egon Delica (stellvertreter Führer Sturmgruppe "Granit". RK 12 May 1940), Hauptmann Walther Koch - RK 10.05.1940 (Kommandeur Sturm-Abteilung "Koch". RK 10 May 1940), Adolf Hitler (Führer und Reichskanzler), Leutnant der Reserve Joachim Meißner (stellvertreter Führer Sturmgruppe "Eisen". RK 12 May 1940), and Oberleutnant Gustav Altmann (Führer Sturmgruppe "Stahl". RK 12 May 1940). Second row from left to right : Oberleutnant Rudolf Witzig (Führer Sturmgruppe "Granit". RK 10 May 1940), Oberleutnant der Reserve Otto Zierach (Chef des Stabes Sturm-Abteilung "Koch". RK 15 May 1940), Leutnant der Reserve Helmut Ringler (MG-Halbzugführer in der Sturmgruppe "Stahl". RK 15 May 1940), Oberleutnant Walter Kiess (Chef Lastensegler-Kommando in der Sturm-Abteilung "Koch". RK 12 May 1940), and Oberarzt Dr. Rolf Jäger (Truppenarzt in der Sturm-Abteilung "Koch". RK 15 May 1940). Other three member of Sturm-Abteilung "Koch" that do not appear in the photograph : Feldwebel Helmut Arpke (Sturmgruppe "Stahl". RK 13 May 1940), Leutnant Martin Schächter (Führer Sturmgruppe "Eisen", wounded in action and at the hospital, RK 12 May 1945), and Leutnant Gerhard Schacht (Führer Sturmgruppe "Beton". RK 12 May 1940).


US Army 37th Infantry "Buckeye" Division Returns to the United States

Image size: 1600 x 1274 pixel. 492 KB
Date: Thursday, 6 December 1945
Place: San Francisco, California, United States of America
Photographer: Unknown

The 37th Infantry (Ohio National Guard "Buckeye") Division returns to the United States on USS General William Mitchell (AP-114). The 37th arrived in the Fiji Islands in June 1942 to fortify the islands against possible invasion. The division moved to Guadalcanal in April 1943. Two battalions joined the Marines on Munda, New Georgia, July 5, 1943, while the remainder of the division landed, July 22, and assisted the 43d Infantry Division in taking Munda airfield in heavy fighting. After mopping up on New Georgia, the division returned to Guadalcanal, September 9, 1943, for rest and rehabilitation. Relieving Marine units on Bougainville, November 8-19, 1943, the 37th took over the perimeter defense of the area, constructed roads and bridges and engaged in extensive patrol activity. In March 1944, two Japanese divisions made eight major attacks, but division lines held. In April patrols cleared the Laruma Valley area of major enemy units. The division remained on Bougainville and trained for the Luzon campaign. Landing with the Sixth Army on the beaches of Lingayen Gulf, January 9, 1945, the 37th raced inland against slight resistance to Clark Field and Fort Stotsenburg where fierce resistance delayed capture of those objectives until January 31. The division continued to drive to Manila against small delaying forces, and entered the city's outskirts, February 4. Upon crossing the Pasig River, it ran into bitter Japanese opposition, and it took heavy street fighting to clear the city by March 3, 1945. After garrison duty in Manila, March 5-26, the division shifted to the hills of Northwest Luzon, where heavy fighting culminated in the capture of Baguio on April 26. Rest and rehabilitation during May were followed by action in June in the Cagayan Valley against deteriorating Japanese resistance. With the end of hostilities on August 15, the division was concerned with the collection and processing of prisoners of war, leaving November 1945 for the States and demobilization on December 18. 


Panzerkampfwagen II ausf C on Manoeuvre

Image size: 1600 x 903 pixel. 348 KB
Date: Friday, 1 November 1940
Place: Germany
Photographer: Unknown

Panzerkampfwagen II ausf C (abbreviated PzKpfw II: armored combat vehicle, version C) also known as Sonderkraftfahrzeug 121 (abbreviated SdKfz: Special Ordnance Vehicle). At the time this photo was taken, the Panzertruppen was expanding, adding whole new divisions in preparation of the invasion of the Soviet Union. 1113 of the Panzer II A/B/C models were built from March 1937 through April 1940 by Alkett, FAMO, Daimler-Benz, Henschel, MAN, MIAG, and Wegmann. These models were almost identical and were used in service interchangeably. This was the most widespread tank version of the Panzer II. It was armed with a 20mm rapid fire cannon and a 7.92mm machine gun. In 1940 the Panzer II and the Czech designed 35t and 38t made up the bulk of the German armor formations. They were inferior to the French medium tanks like the Char B1bis, but with radio communications and employed en masse they could defeat the French armor. With the experience in Poland and France, additional armor plates were added as losses to antitank weapons were higher than expected. When Operation Barbarossa began in June 1941, the Panzer II (and III) were outclassed by the Soviet T-34, and while new Panzer IIs were produced through 1944, they served in reconnaissance roles and not as antitank weapons. The chassis was adapted to a range of antitank weapons, called the Marder II, mounting a 75mm gun in an open turret. They were moderately successful when employed by a trained crew, but lacked protection from artillery or small arms. The Panzer II was still fighting seven years later when Germany surrendered.