Germany - Third Reich: A very interesting and scarce Russian Front 23rd Panzer Divison’s Senior Warrant Officer’s Iron Cross 2nd Class and Iron Cross 1st Class pair of award documents to Hauptfeldwebel Wilhelm Quaschnigk, 5th Company, 201st Panzer Regiment, 23rd Panzer Division, whose regiment fought in France in 1940 with the 100th Panzer Brigade, and then fought in southern Russia during operations in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains. His Iron Cross 2nd Class was awarded on 12th September 1942 whilst on detachment duty with the 111th Infantry Division, most probably during the heavy combat in the Mosdok Bridgehead area, and he was then awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class on 30th October 1942, this award being clearly linked to the attack on Ordshonikidse in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains.
Comprising in order of award:
1) Iron Cross 2nd Class Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Hauptfeldwebel Quaschnigk 5./Pz.Rgt.201’, dated 12th September 1942, signed in ink ‘Recknagel’ for Hermann Rechnagel, Generalmajor and GOC 111th Infantry Division, recipient of the Knight’s Cross on 5th August 1940, the Oakleaves to the Knight’s Cross on 6th November 1943, and the Swords to the Knight’s Cross on 23rd October 1944, as well as the German Cross in Gold on 11th February 1943, before being killed in action on 23rd January 1945.
2) Iron Cross 1st Class Award Certificate, issued to: ‘Hauptfeldwebel Wilhelm Quaschnigk, 5./Pz.Regt.201’, dated 30th October 1942, signed in ink ‘Reichsfreiherr von Boineburg-Lengsfeld’ for Wilhelm Georg Gustav Botha Rudolf Hans Reichsfreiherr von Boineburg-Lengsfeld, Generalmajor and GOC 23rd Panzer Division, recipient of the Knight’s Cross on 19th July 1940.
Wilhelm Quaschnigk was a regular soldier before the outbreak of the war, and then may well have seen service in Poland in 1939 and in France in 1940 when his regiment formed a part of the 100th Panzer Brigade. However it was whilst he was serving on the Russian Front as a Hauptfeldwebel with the 5th Company, 201st Panzer Regiment, 23rd Panzer Division, and detached for service with the 111th Infantry Division, that he won the Iron Cross 2nd Class on 12th September 1942. This was at a time when the 111th Infantry Division was involved in heavy combat in the Mosdok Bridgehead area. Quaschnigk was back with the 23rd Panzer Division and involved in the operations in the Caucasus mountains when he was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class on 30th October 1942, and this award can be clearly linked to the attack on Ordshonikidse in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains.