Germany – Third Reich: The Fascinating Officers Battle of France Iron Cross 2nd Class and Tank Combat Badge in Bronze to Leutnant Horst Herbert Fabian, 6th Company, 69th Rifle Regiment, 10th Panzer Division, who was severely wounded only 10 days into the Russian Campaign, and as a result was discharged to the Replacement Army with an amputation of the left arm.
A fascinating and scarce document group of 4 award certificates and 17 documents which covers Fabian’s life from leaving school in 1928 up until he was discharged from the Army in 1945.
- The 1st October 1938 Commemorative Medal awarded in Hamburg as an Unteroffizier, 6/69th Infantry Regiment. Signed for correctness by Ehlermann as Oberst and Commander on behalf of Generalleutnant Ludke as General Officer Commanding X Army Corps and Commander in Chief Wehrkreis X.
Ehlermann was killed in action on 10th May 1940 with the battles near Etalle and St Marie (Belgium).
- The Iron Cross 2nd Class awarded on 25th July 1940 as an Unteroffiizier, 69th Rifle Regiment. Signed by Schall as Generalleutnant and General Officer Commanding 10th Panzer Division.
Schaal was awarded the Knights Cross on 13.7.1940 as Generalleutnant and General Officer Commanding 10th Panzer Division and the German Cross in Gold on 8.3.1942 as Generalleutnant and General Officer Commanding LVI Army Corps (motorised)
- The Tank Combat Badge in Bronze awarded on 24th January 1941 as an Unteroffizier, 6/69th Rifle Regiment. Signed by Schaal as Generalleutnant and General Officer Commanding 10th Panzer Division.
- The Wound Badge in Silver awarded by Battalion HQ on 6th August 1941 for a single wounding received on 2nd July 1941 as a Feldwebel, 6/69th Rifle Regiment. Signed by the Major and Battalion Commander.
German Sports Badges.
- The German Sports Badge in Bronze awarded in Munsterlager on 13th November 1936, as a Schutze, 5/69th Infantry Regiment. This with a good photograph.
- The German Sports Badge in Silver with Gold Wreath for severely War Disabled Personnel awarded on 31st August 1944 as an Oberfeldwebel, 76th Grenadier Replacement and Training Battalion, award No-7723. With a good photo with EK2 ribbon and Oberfeldwebel shoulder straps with a metal 76 on them. It is evident from the two date stamps in the document that he attended an Oberfahnrich’s course during May/June 1944.
Other Military Documents:
- The Basic Life Saving Certificate awarded on 4th June 1937 as a Gefreiter, 2nd Infantry Lehr Regiment, Doberitz-Elsgrund. With a good photo wearing an Army greatcoat and peaked cap with old style national emblem and cockade.
- Armed Forces Driving License, awarded in Hamburg on 19th August 1938 as an Unteroffizier, II Battalion, 69th Rifle Regiment. With a good photo in uniform, 69 on the shoulder straps.
- Discharge Certificate, 1st May 1945 in Hamburg as a Leutnant. Discharged to Hamburg-Rahldstedt. His service papers (Wehrpass) were not available having been destroyed through enemy action.
- 25th March 1928 - A confirmation certificate confirming he was born on 5th February 1914 and christened on 10th February 1914.
- Wilmersdorf, 28th September 1928 – School Discharge Certificate, 2nd Elementary School – it was a good report.
- Berlin, 29th April 1929 – Certificate for 20 hours training as a manicurist between 5th February and 29th April 1929.
- Berlin, 19th May 1930 – Two swimming certificates, one for 15 minutes breast-stroke swimming and one for 45 minutes free-style swimming.
- Berlin 1st April 1933 – Apprenticeship Certificate (Lehr-Brief) for Hairdressing. Duration 4 years, dating 1.2.1929 to 31.1.1933.
- Berlin, 24th September 1939 – Birth Certificate No.281. this has an annotation that on 4th September 1923 Barber Paul Albert Fabian agreed that his stepson Horst Herbert could carry his family name of Fabian. Horst was illegitimate.
- Berlin, 3rd May 1940 – Baptism Certificate
- Whitsun 1940 – Marriage Announcement Card. Fabian’s wife, Ursula (nee Zorst) lived in Hamburg.
- 17th March 1942 – Confirmation by the Court of Berlin-Charlottenburg that regarding the matter of the Aryan descent of Fabian, nothing can be found as the files had been destroyed. No further action was to be taken.
- 8th June 1942 – Confirmation by the Westphalia Insurance Officer (Munster) that Fabian was entitled to a disabled pension of RM 26.40 per month.
- 1st August 1943 - Handwritten letter confirming that Fabian had lost his house and belongings through enemy air attacks.
- 1st February 1945 – A post card from the General Administration of Hamburg Officer (Rahlstedt Department) acknowledging his request for aid.
- 11th March 1950 – Post war work permit as a Ladies Hairdesser.
- Undated – Personal Identity Card for the British Zone.
Horst Herbert Braun was born in Berlin-Charlottenburg on 5th February 1914 as an illegitimate son of Christine Braun. On 4th September 1923 he took the surname of his step-father Paul Albert Fabian, thus becoming Horst Herbert Fabian. He had been christened on 10th February 1914 and was confirmed on 25th March 1928. Leaving school in September 1928, he served an apprenticeship as a hairdresser from 1.2.1929 until 31st January 1933. During his apprenticeship he also trained as a manicurist. After a short break, he joined the Army on 1st October 1935, and served until his discharge on 1st May 1945.
He began his service in Poland, seeing service as part of 20th Motorised Infantry Division which attacked towards Brest Litovsk which was captured on 17th September 1939., Shortly after the conclusion of this campaign he was awarded the 1st October 1938 Commemorative Medal on 30th October 1939, indicating that he had been involved in the occupation of the Sudetenland. After the campaign in Poland, he moved to the west, where 69th Rifle Regiment took part in the campaign in France. At some point in this campaign he was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class for an act of bravery. 10th Panzer Division had been amongst the first units to cross the Meuse at Sedan in the decisive moment of the campaign, which enabled the Germans to cut off the Allied forces in Belgium and drive quickly to the Channel Coast. Havin reached the Somme near Amiens, the Division swung north and was involved in the capture of Calais on 26th May 1940. After this the Division was involved in crossing the Seine and driving southwards, it eventually ended up on the Franco-Spanish border having advanced the Orleans, Tours and Poitiers. Fabian was clearly involved in several separate Tank Battles in France, as he was later awarded the Tank Combat Badge in Bronze on 24th January 1941.
After several months of occupation duty, 10th Panzer Division moved back to Germany in February 1941 and then into the Polish border regions on 7th June 1941 in preparation for the invasion of the Soviet Union.
Attacking north from the Brest area, 10th Panzer Division made quick ground, although Fabian’s participation in the invasion was short lived, he was severely wounded on 2nd July 1941, and this resulted in him having his left upper arm amputated, he spent the remainder of his military service in the Replacement Army, before being discharged on 1st May 1945 and settling in the British Occupation zone