Germany – Third Reich: The Demjansk Pocket Iron Cross 2nd Class and Black Wound Badge, Nevel Defensive Battles Iron Cross 1st Class, Silver and Gold Wound Badge and Demjansk Shield Recipients Document Group to Feldwebel Heinrich Lange, 8th Machine Gun Company, 502nd Grenadier Regiment, 290th Infantry Division, who was heavily engaged in fighting as part of Army Group North for the first two and a half years of the Russian Conflict having previously seen service in the France Campaign of 1940. Eventually wounded severely enough to received the Gold Wound Badge it is likely he was invalided out of the Army after 1943-44 and thus survived the war.
A fine and scarce group of 8 award certificates relating to a former senior warrant officer in the German Infantry. A Scarce hard to find complete document grouping to a recipient of the Gold Wound Badge and both classes of the Iron Cross
Starting out from East Prussia, 502nd Infantry Regiment served as part of 290th Infantry Division, Army Group North during Operation Barbarossa, the early days of the campaign saw quick advances whilst sporadically engaging the Russian defenders, it crossed the Lithuanian-Latvian border area, and then the Latvian-Russian border area in early July before engaging in battles to penetrate the organised Stalin line defences in July 1941. Through late July and early August the division took Staraya Russa and the defended it against Russian counter-attacks made by the 34th Army, it would have been during this phase that Lange would have engaged in some of the Infantry Assaults that resulted in the award of the Infantry Assault Badge. Throughout the remainder of the autumn and into the early stage of the winter the Regiment was involved in fighting up the Postinka.
On 7th January 1942, the Russians as part of their winter counterattack broke through the defence in the area of the Ilmen and Seligen Lakes and the 290th Infantry Division was involved in the fighting inside the resulting Demjansk Pocket until the withdrawal and escape of the forces inside the pocket in February 1943. The Russians made several concerted efforts to crush the pocket, but due to aerial supply by the Luftwaffe it maintained enough defensive strength to continue its existence until its eventual withdrawal. The award of the Iron Cross 2nd Class was most likely made in his units efforts to open and maintain a supply route to the west of the pocket between the end of March and early May 1942, when Lange was wounded for the first time receiving the Wound Badge in Black.
The Russians continued their attempt to crush the pocket for the whole of the summer of 1942 and into the winter of 1942-43, when as part of the unsuccessful Timoshenko Offensive which ran from November 1942 until January 1943 the pocket was again attacked in force. After the conclusion of the offensive, the Germans successfully withdrew their forces from the pocket.
Later in 1943, the 290th Infantry Division was involved in the heavy defensive fighting to the South of Lake Ladoga, and then in the Nevel area, The Iron Cross 1st Class was awarded for Lange’s involvement in this combat, it is likely that the award of the Iron Cross 1st Class came about for the same action in which Lange was wounded severely, and received the Silver and later the Gold Wound Badges for.
Given the award of a Gold Wound Badge for such a severe wound it is likely that Lange saw no further combat action and that he was either invalided out of the armed forces or placed in the German Replacement Army for the remainder of the War.
Condition: All documents at some point folded; EK2, West Wall Medal, Infantry Assault Badge in Silver, Wound Badge in Black certificates at some point hole punched.