Germany – Third Reich: A 1939 Bar to the 1914 Iron Cross 2ndClass along with its accompanying award docuiment to Feldpostsekretar Heinrich Wilkens, Field Post Office 429, Commander of Corps Supply Troops 429. XXIX (29) Army Corps for an act of gallantry during an encirclement during the post Stalingrad Red Army offensive in which every available man was thrown into the front line to stem the tide of the advance.
A scarce bravery document group consisting of a 1939 Bar to the 1914 Iron Cross 2ndClass, the accompanying certificate and a supporting letter to a non-combatant officer in the German Army Postal Service
This is a good used example of the 1939 Bar to the 1914 Iron Cross 2ndClass on its original piece of ribbon taken from a uniform – the threads which attached the decoration to the uniform are still with the ribbon. This is an example of the smaller very scarce version measuring 25mm
The 1939 Bar to the 1914 Iron Cross 2ndClass awarded on 10thJanuary 1943 as a Feldpostsekretar, Field Post Officer 429. Signed by Dr Goller as Oberst and Commander Battle Group Goller. (Unit Stamp FP No 37799 = Fortress Engineer HQ 30).
Goller was awarded the Knights Cross on 27.12.1942 as Oberst and Commanding Officer Fortress Engineer HQ 30.
A translation of a short note which details the background to the award of the 1939 Bar to Heinrich Wilkens as follows:
FP No 04152 (Commander of the Corps Supply Troops 429), dated Billets 4.7.1943
It is hereby confirmed that Feldpostsekretar Wilkens, Heinrich, born on 1.5.1897 in Hamburg was awarded the 1939 Bar to the Iron Cross 2ndClass on the occasion of the encirclement in Chertkovo in accordance with the radio message No.122 of 9.1.1943 of the German General with the 8thItalian Army. The appropriate entry can be made in the Soldbuch. Certificate together with bar is applied for and will be delivered on receipt. Award date 10.1.1943.
Signed by an unidentifiable Hauptmann and Commander.
Little is known of Heinrich Wilkens other than the fact he was born on 1stMay 1897 in Hamburg, and would have been a veteran of the Great War. This is an unusual gallantry award in so much as the recipient was a clear non-combatant, who was thrown into the front line in desperation as the Red Army advanced around Stalingrad and to the west in November and December 1942. The 8thItalian Army was decimated on the Don river in December as the Red Army sought a large scale encirclement and cutting off the German forces in the Caucasus, however the German’s managed to keep an escape route open for long enough for a large percentage of their forces to escape, the rest being surrounded in the Kuban Bridgehead to the south from which the majority were evacuated later in 1943.