WW2 Pictures from a German soldier 1939 - 1945

Pictures WW2


WW2 pictures and documents of a German soldier from 1939 until 1945.
In service of the Wehrmacht at the Siegfried Line, in Norway and Russian Front.

 Admiral Hipper takes an Arado Ar196 seaplane on board
The cruiser Admiral Hipper takes an Arado Ar196 seaplane on board.

German Air mail stamp WW2Never before published WW2 pictures: the photographs were taken from the grandfather of the author of this website in Germany, during the sea transports, in Norway, Estonia and Poland while serving in the German Wehrmacht from 1939 to 1945.

Willi Helmas served in the 214th Infantry Division (military district IX, Cassel), which was formed on 26th August 1939 as a division of the 3rd wave by Landwehr (Home Guard) commander Theodor Groppe. Replacements came from the Reserve infantry battalion No.367 in Hanau near Frankfurt, where his residence was.

Since he had its own motorcycle with sidecar, he was conscripted together with it as a Kradschütze (motor-cycle troops) and messenger. Since he was an automobile mechanic in his civilian occupation, he first did service in the repairing unit of the 214th Infantry division. In the last year of WW2, at the Eastern front, he also had to serve as a front line soldier and as a motorcycle messenger.

Willi Helmas
Willi Helmas
* 04.07.1905 – Braunau am Inn, Austria
† 05.09.1985 – Schöneck (Hanau), Germany

From September 1939 to January 1940 the 214th Infantry division was an element of the 1st Army of the Army Group C, which was located at the so-called Westwall (Siegfried Line) in the Saarpfalz at the border to France.
Probably, because of political unreliability (website in German language: orders for the soldiers by the division commander to prevent excesses against Jews by force of arms, resistance against SS orders and conflict with Himmler) the division was removed from there and the commander General replaced (later retired dishonorable, after the July coup of 1944 arrested and death sentence in April 1945).

In April 1940, the division participated in the Unternehmen Weserübung ( Operation Weser Crossing) and landed at Kristiansand in Norway. Later on, the task of the division was to guard the coastline near Sorlandet.

In January 1941 the division was relocated to Adger (Rogaland) near Stavanger in western Norway.

During 1942 and 1943 up to 2/3 of the division were with the 20th Mountain Army in Lapland (northern Norway and Finland).

Due to the critical situation in the northern sector of the Eastern front, where the Russians had broken the German siege ring around Leningrad, it was ordered in January 1944 to reorganize the 214th Infantry Division for the use at the Eastern Front. The division arrived in the front line at the river Narva (border between Estonia and Russia) in March 1944.

Shortly afterwards, the situation in Galicia became also worse. So, in April 1944 the division was moved to the 4th Panzer Army of the Army Group North Ukraine at Kovel. Until August 1944 the German front was back at the Vistula. Until October the Russians crossed the Vistula and the soldiers found themselves at the Russian Baranov bridgehead.

This exposed position was defended until January 1945. In the following great Russian winter offensive the 214th Infantry division was in the center of the Russian attack during the Battle at the Vistula (12th to 15th January 1945). The division was surpassed on both sides and destroyed.

German soldiers happy to be dismissed from Wehrmacht
They don’t care – German soldiers happy to be released from Wehrmacht in 10 days.

Only a few soldiers escaped and were formed in a battalion in Silesia under Army Group Center, from which the division should have been rebuild. But the war was over before this could be done.

On 30th April 1945 my grandfather fell in hands of soldiers of the 2nd Polish Army and became prisoner of war, only eleven days before, last of all, Army Group Center (field marshal Schörner: after WW2 arrested and charged with the illegal executions of German Army soldiers accused of desertion) surrendered in Bohemia and WW2 in Europe was over.

button-goGerman Field Mail StampHe came back in July 1947.


Soldiers of the 214th Infantry Division with truck
The Eastern Front from winter 1943-44 until late summer 1944. Ending the siege of Leningrad and Operation Bagration, the destruction
Hanged German Major
The final battles, as PoW and documents. Pictures from the final battle as well as documents from the time as
pain of an innocent creature, as well as the millions of humans, in a terrible war
The last Russian Winter Offensive of the war started with the Battle of the Vistula. On January 12, 1945 the
German military passport Wehrmacht
German military passport of the Wehrmacht from WW2. Extracts from the German army passport the uncle of the author. In
awarding document for the Iron Cross
The Iron Cross and killed at the Russian Front. WW2 pictures of the author's uncle in different German army tank
WW2 pictures from the Russian Front in 1944. Pictures from a German soldier on the Russian Front in 1944. The
WW2 pictures from Norway 1942 - 1944
WW2 pictures from Norway 1942 - 1944. Pictures from a soldier of the Wehrmacht in Norway between 1942 and 1944.
German elite fighting force
German elite combat group. Elite Combat Group of the Wehrmacht in full action. Unit of the grandfather (in the center
Russian 'Hiwis'
WW2 pictures from Russian PoW's and official trips. Pictures from a soldier of the Wehrmacht about Russian prisoners of war
Landscapes in Norway
WW2 pictures from landscapes in Norway. Pictures from landscapes in Norway taken by a soldier of the 214th Infantry Division
Norway 1941
Pictures from the occupation duties in Norway 1941. Pictures from Norway during the occupation duties in the year 1941 taken
Admiral Hipper takes an Arado Ar196 seaplane on board
Heavy Cruiser Admiral Hipper and other warships in Norway. Pictures from the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and other warships
Kristiansand 1940
Kristiansand in 1940. These pictures were taken from a soldier of the German 214th Infantry Division in Kristiansand, Norway, in
Oslo and on the drive in 1940. These pictures were taken at Oslo and on the drive of the German
Sea transport to Norway
Sea transport to Norway. These pictures were taken during the sea transport of the German 214th Infantry division to Norway.
Shipping to Norway
Loading ships for the transportation to Norway. These pictures have been photographed during loading for shipment to Norway at the
Altmark
Operation Weser Crossing (Unternehmen Weserübung), the German invasion of Denmark and Norway in April 1940 The six-month hiatus known as
Preparations
Preparations for the operations in Norway 1940. Here are some photographs which were pictured in Germany in 1940 and are
At the Siegfried Line in Winter 1939-40. Here are some pictures taken in 1939 and winter 1940 during the service
Pre-War Pictures from Germany. Here are some pictures taken by a soldier of the Wehrmacht in Germany before WW2. Please

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