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Treasure Bunker Book "The War Diaries of a Panzer soldier"


Kenny Andrew

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This is the first Treasure Bunker book that David Garden and myself are writing "The War Diaries of a Panzer soldier" The book centres on my uncle Erich Hager who served with Panzer Rgt 39 on the Eastern Front. He kept very detailed Diaries and many photographs of his time on the front including when his Regiment tried to break though to the encircled troops at Stalingrad. He never fought against the British only on the Eastern front. We have written a basic rough draft which we will approach publishers with after Christmas.  Unfortunately as the diaries are all in German it is proving time consuming but we will keep you up to date here with latest developments. 

Eric Hager with his Panzer IV

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  • 2 months later...

Hi everyone, I'm David Garden who Kenny mentioned in writing the book. The diaries are proving to be very interesting but we could do with help on the background of 17 Panzer Division, 39 Panzer regiment in particular or any other unit of the division. Also if anyone can give information or sources on Operation "Winter Storm" the attempted relief of Stalingrad this would be very useful too. If we use your input we will credit you in the book . 

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Hi Dave, You are in luck that Glasgow has 2 experts on the field 

Strathclyde Uni has a professor and I can pull his details be he works with Waffen (non SS) Units and non-Army Units on the Russian Front. Here at Glasgow Uni there is Evan Mawdsley who is probably THE world expert on the Russian Front (mainly Russian side though). He put out an excellent book 1 year ago on the subject.

I have access to the Glasgow Uni War Studies Library and can take a peek at the items there if I find time, we have an excellent collection of Russian front items. Else you can try to contact Evan directly:

http://www.gla.ac.uk/departments/history/s...ley/#d.en.59090

Feel free to use my name as he was my MLitt advisor and knows me.

-Greg Sheridan 

Dave said:

Hi everyone, I'm David Garden who Kenny mentioned in writing the book. The diaries are proving to be very interesting but we could do with help on the background of 17 Panzer Division, 39 Panzer regiment in particular or any other unit of the division. Also if anyone can give information or sources on Operation "Winter Storm" the attempted relief of Stalingrad this would be very useful too. If we use your input we will credit you in the book .

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Hi Greg, Thanks for your very interesting reply. 

1) I will e-mail Prof. Evan directly, unless you would rather speak to him first. 

2) Can you get the name and contact details of the Strathclyde prof? Although the units were Heer, he may have information we can use. I am also very interested in the Leibstandarte (LSSAH) so I would be interested to talk to him. 

3) Is it possible for me to join the GU War Studies library? I am a graduate of Edinburgh University (long,long time ago). Otherwise can you do research for us? 

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David,

1. Prof. Evan Mawdsley may be rather busy and tends to be horrid at replying to people so do not be put off if you do not get anything from him. As stated, he tends to focus on the soviets so it may be the wrong side of the lines for you. However his book is considered leading in the field and so is he.

2. Dr. Ben Sheppard is at GCal, not Strath... my mistake their. You can mention me again, he might remember me as we spoke several times during my studies at the GU War Studies programme. His details are at:

http://www.gcal.ac.uk/history/staff/ben-shepherd.html

He is probably your man to speak to as he specifically deals with the German side of the Eastern Front and spent a few years digging through German and Soviet Archives on the subject. He likes Wehrmacht Security Forces in rear areas and Partisan conflict through the region but probably is up on Panzer units as well. 

3. For access to the GU War Studies library you need membership/access to the GU Library. You can shell out the £60 with proof of your Edinburgh degree to gain access: http://www.lib.gla.ac.uk/lending/specialreader.shtml

Or if you can point me in the right direction I can pop in and take a look (I am GU staff and the library is the building next to me).

You can search for items from:

http://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/search

 

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Thanks very much again for your help Greg. I will try to get in touch with both the gentlemen you have mentioned and take a look at the War studies library.

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Greg, should have added that if you have time please have a peek in the library for anything about 17 Panzer Division, 39 panzer regiment, or operation winter storm the attempted relief of the Stalingrad Pocket. Thanks again Dave   

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  • 4 weeks later...

Kenny can you post some more of your Uncle's photos and documents on the Forum again? The stuff on the old Forum caused a lot of interest. 

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Here is a studio portrait of Eric, it is a little water damaged however I recently received an excellent version of this photo but not had a chance to scan it yet. Eric was the radio operator and forward machine gunner of his Panzer IV in the 39th Panzer Rgt, 17th Panzer Division. He served with them from the beginning of The Invasion of Russia until he was captured by the Soviets in 1945. 

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Here is my Uncles friend and the driver of his tank Unteroffizer Alexander, sadly he was killed in action and died in my uncles arms.

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Here is my uncles friend and his commander in 39th Panzer Rgt. after the death of Hauptman Kaiser. 

Hauptman Werner Pietch winner of the Knights Cross and German Cross in Gold. Werner won these awards in actions Eric was involved in. Eric attended his award ceremony's.

Date of birth: August 21st, 1912 Berlin/Brandenburg, Germany Date of death: February 8th, 1956 Engelbrechtschen-Wildnis/Schleswick-Holstein, Germany.

Deutsches Kreuz in Gold Rank: Oberleutnant der Reserve Unit: 6. / Panzer-Regiment 39 Awarded on: February 3rd, 1943

Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes Rank: Hauptmann der Reserve Unit: Chef 6./Panzer-Regiment 39 Awarded on: November 16th, 1943

Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class, silver panzer badge. 

The following excerpt from the Berliner Morgenpost describes why Pietsch was awarded the Knight’s Cross.

“Hauptmann der Reserve Werner Pietsch… and his Bavarian Panzer-Kompanie destroyed 77 Soviet tanks and 6 assault guns during the 11 days of the Second Battle of Izyum. Of this total he personally destroyed 20 enemy tanks and 3 assault guns. On the 22.08.1943 he spotted 40 advancing enemy AFVs as he was reconnoitring an assembly area. He launched an attack with his 10 Panzers without hesitation and destroyed 14 of the enemy AFVs in a short yet fierce battle.”

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Here is Hauptman Kaiser, Eric's Commander and winner of the German Cross and Knights Cross.

Kaiser, Erich (Panzer-Regiment 39) Date of birth:July 10th, 1910 Schopfheim/Baden, Germany Date of death:August 26th, 1942 Gomel LW Lazarett, Russia

Deutsches Kreuz in Gold Rank: Oberleutnant Unit: 6. / Panzer-Regiment 39 Awarded on: January 14th, 1942

Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes Rank: Oberleutnant Unit: Chef 6. / Panzer-Regiment 39 Awarded on: February 26th, 1942 Rank: Oberleutnant Unit: Kompanie-chef 6. / Panzer-Regiment 39

 Anerkennungsurkunde des Oberbefehlshabers des Heeres Rank: Oberleutnant Unit: Kompanie-chef 6. / Panzer-Regiment 39 Awarded on: March 1st, 1942 Received for action at Bolchow from 25th January until 1st February 1942. 765th Award.

Ehrenblattspange des Heeres und Waffen-SS Rank: Hauptmann Unit: II. / Panzer-Regiment 39 Awarded on:August 14th, 1942

 Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse, Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse ,Panzer badge

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  • 1 month later...

how is the book coming along, any luck with publishers? If not I can suggest a few US ones that might bite.

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Strange you should mention this, we are in fact in negotiation with a publisher at this very moment. Don't want to say too much in case it falls through but think we may have some positive news in the very near future, will keep you posted. 

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Looking good Kenny! Congratulations on it finally coming through and so near completion! No doubt we'll see you at City Centre book signings at Waterstones as the book becomes an international best seller, movie rights are bought and you and Dave become more famous than JK Rowling.. here's hoping! 

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  • 1 month later...
  • Kenny Andrew changed the title to Treasure Bunker Book "The War Diaries of a Panzer soldier"
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