Mystery Photo Album… Part 3 – Wehrmacht Years

This is the largest selection of photographs and I’ve barely scratched the surface of what information must be available. My initial theory runs, after the Reichsarbeitsdienst the young man was sent into the infantry, the initial pictures being of training, with the large group photograph his “passing out parade” (picture 19_01).

26_02

26_02

After this we have certainly one picture of what looks like French colonial troops being held as POWs (26_01 & 26_02). Following these pictures we have a series of what I’d like to think is Operation Barbarossa (June 1944), the invasion of Russia. This section of the album has numerous pictures of blown bridges, destroyed vehicles and artillery. One picture shows what would appear to be civilian women semi naked, I think it would be unlikely that the Germans at this time would have treated civilians of western Europe in such a way, so this brings me to believe they are Russian.

Suddenly at picture 33_01 things change from war and destruction. The next eight pictures are of soldiers in Hospital. In the background of picture 33_04 is a signpost which reads Ohlen, which is a German town on the Danish border, is this the location of the hospital? Was our man wounded and sent home to recover? Certainly his wounds did not keep him from the war, the final set of pictures are of snow, and again civilians who look more Russian than French or western European.

It’s this final set that could provide most answers as they have the most with notes on the back, often with dates.

There is a lot of supposition here, it may be that the pictures are from Norway? The soldier could have been attached for a period to a medical Corp, indeed the second picture of this era from the album is dated 1934, two years before I think the man started his national service, was this his brother, cousin, farther?

A note on naming of the pictures the first number is the page in the album and the second is the place on that page, an R at the end is the reverse side of a picture. So 18_03R would be page 18, picture 3 and the reverse of 18_03.