|"STURMABZEICHEN" (GENERAL ASSAULT BADGE) WITH CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE GENERALOBERST VON WEICHS COMMANDER OF 2.ARMEE
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The lot consists of an original "Sturmabzeichen" (General Assault Badge) together with the award doc certificate signed in ink by Generaloberst von Weichs , Oberbefehlshaber der 2.Armee (Commander in Chief of 2 th Army).
The badge was awarded on March 10, 1942 to Oberegefreiten (Corporal) Willi Buchmann under the 1./Pi.Btl.654 ( 1st Company of the Battalion Pioneers 654 ).
The document appears to have been issued "AH Qu." (Headquarters of the Army) and bears the stamp of the ' Armee Oberkommando 2 ( General Command of the 2nd Army ).
In March 1942, the 2.Armee was assigned to Heeresgruppe Sud and participated in defensive battles in the Kursk . Likely the decoration was awarded for merit in these battles.
The Pionier Batallion 654 was formed January 25, 1940 in Beelitz in Wehrkreis III on three companies. It was created as a battalion under the direct authority of a Heersgruppe, getting the actual from other units. Initially the battalion was sent to the Western Front but, since 1941, took part in the Russian campaign as a unit of 2.Armee of Heersgruppe South. Commander of the Battalion was the Hauptmann (Captain) Karl Kallinowsky , subsequently transferred to the command of Pionier Batallion 37 and finally promoted Oberst (Colonel), the 09/11/1944.
Throughout 1942, the 1./Pi.Btl.654 was assigned to Infanterie Division 45 that was part of units employed by the 2.Armee. In 1944/45 the Pionier Batallion 654 initially fought on the Vistula and Oder later with 9.Armee.
The 2.Armee or AOK 2 (Armee Oberkommando 2) was formed October 20, 1939 by renaming the AOK 8 during transfer from Poland to the western border. During the French campaign, under the command of General der Kavallerie Maximilian Freiherr von Weichs , depending by Heeresgruppe A, walked through Luxembourg and Belgium to the northern France. Here he remained as an occupying and control force until July 2 when it was called at home.
From March 28th to April 18th, 1941 it tooks part in the Balkans Campaign and remained as an occupying force in Yugoslavia until 13 June 1941.
On 2 July 1941 entered the fighting on the eastern front by participating in the battle of Bialystock-Slonim. In August it was reporting to Armeegruppe Guderian participating in the battles of Kiev, Vyazma and Bryansk and taking part in the Battle of Moscow.
At the beginning of 1942 was assigned to Heeresgruppe Sud taking part in defensive battles in the Kursk. From 4 June to 19 July 1942 temporarily it assumed the name of Armeegruppe Weichs , who had reassumed the lead after a month off. On July 15, the Army came under the command of General der Infanterie Hans von Salmuth and, until mid-November he participated in defensive battles in the Voronezh and Don.
On 4 February 1943 it was placed at Heresgruppe Mitte andcommand was hired by General der Infanterie Walter Weiss, while the Army was engaged in winter defensive battles. Since that time the army participated in all defensive battles in the field dell'Heeresgruppe Mitte until March 12, 1945 when the command passed to General Dietrich von Saucken while fighting in Gdansk and Weichsel. Until March 5 took part in the defense of Graudenz and then retreat to East Prussia fighting in Hela, Weichsel Delta and Samland, before surrender to Russian forces on May 8, 1945.
Maximilian Freiherr von Weichs was born on November 12 1881 in Dessau in Saxony, from an aristocratic family. He joined the 2.Regiment Bavarian Cavalry in 1900. He attended the School Of War of Munich in 1910 and participated in the First World War as an officer of the General Staff.
He left in the army and in 1927 he became staff officer, and in 1930 obtained the rank of colonel. In 1933 he was promoted to Generalmajor and was given command of the 3rd Cavalry Division, which became in 1935 the first armored formation of the Wehrmacht: the 1st Panzer Division. In 1938 he was promoted Generaleutnant and became commander of the XIII Army Corps who led during the Anschluss in Austria, Czechoslovakia and later in the Polish campaign.
After the surrender of Poland he was appointed commander in chief of 2.Armee with which took part in the France campaign, after which he was decorated with Ritterkreuz and promoted Generaloberst. Always with the 2.Armee participated in the occupation of the Balkans in April 1941, and Operation Barbarossa, entering in Heersgruppe Mitte. The 2.Armee fought victoriously in Kiev, Smolensk, Bryansk and Wyazma, but in the moment of maximum stress von Weichs fell ill and had to leave the lead up on January 1942.
On July 13, 1942, as part of the "Fall Blau" von Weichs took command dell'Heeresgruppe B with the task of capturing the manufacturing area of Stalingrad . The offensive stopped at the outskirts of the city, and on November 19th the Soviets launched a counter-offensive that led to the encirclement of 6.Armee of Paulus. On November 27, von Weichs was replaced by Feldmarschall von Manstein and transferred to ' Army Group Don newly established.
On December 16, the Russians launched a new massive offensive that swept the troops of von Weichs, including the Italian 8.Armata who was forced into a disastrous retreat. On January 24, 1943 the Red Army launched a new offensive that defeated the last German defenses: the only ones to escape from the encirclement were the remains of 2.Armee. The Army Group Don no longer existed and was officially dissolved on February 12, 1943.
Maximilian von Weichs, newly appointed Feldmarschall with Paulus, Ewald von Kleist and Ernst Busch, made a farewell visit to Hitler and was placed in reserve pending a new assignment. After about six months he earned the dell'Heeresgruppe F Command, stationed in Yugoslavia and Greece, with the task of fighting the partisans and defend the Balkans from a possible Allied landing. His last task was to lead the retreat of his men until the surrender took place March 25, 1945 in American hands. Arrested, he was charged with war crimes against the population of Yugoslavia and Greece. During the Nuremberg trial, because of his poor health, he was avoided detention and he was removed before it was issued the ruling. He died in Burg Rosberg, near Bonn, September 27, 1954.
This badge is unmarked but it is a rare original copy known in the world Anglo American collectors as "Deep Pan" (deep frying pan) in the printed version. Even today it has not been possible to identify the manufacturer.
Designed by Atelier Wilhelm Ernst Peekhaus in Berlin, the "Allgemeine Sturmabzeichen" was established by Generaloberst von Brauchitsch on June 1, 1940. It was originally planned as a distinctive reserved for pioneers, but was soon extended to artillery troops and united' anti-tank and anti-aircraft participating in a assault in function of support of the infantry troops and armored. To these ones were added the nurses in action during the assault. The criteria for the award were:
1) Do not be awarded the Infantry Assault Badge
2) To have taken part in three attacks in three different days
3) To have been injured during the assault.
For the gunners and Panzerjaeger the assignment policy required that they had been actively involved in an assault or directly responsible for breaking enemy lines.
Unlike other distinctive combat, the Sturmabzeichen rarely was marked by its numerous manufacturers with their logo or the number of LDO (an L followed by a number) corrsipondente and only one manufacturer has marked with the number of Praesidialkanzlei.
|The signature of the Generaloberst Maximilian Freiherr von Weichs, the commander of 2.Armee|
|Generaloberst Hans von Salmuth, second commander of 2.Armee||Generaloberst Walter Weiss, commander of the Third 2.Armee|
|General Dietrich von der Panzertruppen Saucken, last commander of 2.Armee|