Born August 1, 1923, in Argeloten Krs. Eichniederung, Ostpreußen - missing since late December 1942.
Bruno‘s name is engraved on granite cube 21, plate 2 on the soldier’s cemetery in Rossoschka, Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad), Russia.
Soldier in the 8th Company, Staff II Batallion, 26th Panzergrenadier-Regiment of the 24th Panzer-Division, Fourth Panzer Army.
Träger der Erkennungsmarke: 136-2./S. E. B. (mot) 413 (= 2. Kompanie Schützen-Ersatz Bataillon (motorisiert) 413)
Army post Number: 32266
Panzergrenadier-Regiment 26 was set up on July 5, 1942 in Southern Russia. The regiment, created by the renaming of the Schützen-Regiment 26 (Rifleman-Regiment 26), was established on January 4, 1942, at the Stablack military training camp in Wehrkreis I (military district I), Königsberg, and stationed in the Rennes region of France in April, 1942. Schützen-Regiment 26 had itself been created by the reorganization of the Reiter-Regiment 22 (22nd Rider’s Regiment). Panzergrenadier-Regiment 26 was placed under the command of the 24th Panzer-Division (established on November 28th, 1941, at the Stablack military training ground in Wehrkreis I). The attack on Voronezh in June 1942 was the first major battle for the recently mechanized 24th Panzer-Division – until the previous year it had been the Wehrmacht’s only cavalry division. Nicknamed Der springende Reiter (The leaping horseman), Panzer personnel of the 24th Panzer-Division wore the cavalry’s golden-yellow Waffenfarbe (corps color) on all uniforms and insignia piping – instead of the rose-pink of the Panzertruppe - to commemorate the unit’s lineal descent from the 1. Kavellerie-Division (1st Cavalry-Division). From 1937 onwards, the Waffenfarbe of the Infantry in Panzer-Divisions wore the same rose pink piping on their uniform as the tank crews. In 1942, when Infantry Regiments were renamed Grenadiers (as historical homage to Frederick the Great’s army) and the Schützen regiments (and the soldiers in them) began to be redesignated as Panzergrenadier-Regiments, their Waffenfarbe was also changed from either white (in the case of Motorized Infantry) or rose pink to a meadow-green shade.
Units in the 26th Panzergrenadier-Regiment:
-Staff Company (mot)
--Panzerjäger (tank hunter) Platoon
- 2 x Battalion (mot)
--3 x Company
---Infantry Gun Platoon
-Flak Company (self-propelled)
-Infantry Gun Company (self-propelled)
Operation Barbarossa Relaunched
(To Stalingrad through the lens of the 26th Panzergrenadier-Regiment /
24th Panzer-Division / Fourth Panzer Army)
Campaign and Battle of Stalingrad
(August 23, 1942 – February 2, 1943)
Stalingrad - Stalingrab
Stalingrad – Massengrab
An eerie, black smoke cloud appears over Stalingrad and through thermal pressure forms into an immense black cross.
Hoth’s right flank meets heavy resistance around Lake Sarpa and near Tunutova in the hills south of Volga bend below Stalingrad. Combat group „Edelsheim” (includes the 26th Panzergrenadier-Regiment [without I. Abteilung]) steadily clears southern shore of the lake.
First phase of German assault: Attack on Stalingrad’s downtown and southern city areas as well as Mamaev Kurgan (September 13 – 26).
He notes that the Division still possesses 50-60% of its normal combat strength. The 24th Panzer Division is subordinated to Generalkommando des XXXXVIII. Panzerkorps, which belongs to Hoth’s Fourth Panzer Army. The 24th Panzer- Divsion captures the Waterworks and reaches west-bank of Volga. The 24th Panzer- Division divides into Panzergrenadier groups „Edelsheim” and „Hellerheim” and Panzer-Group „Lancken”.
Second phase of German assault: Attack on Stalingrad’s worker settlements and Orlovka front projection in Stalingrad’s northern areas (September 27 – October 7).
Attack force „Edelsheim”:
* 21st Panzergrenadier-Regiment
*26th Panzergrenadier-Regiment (without the I. Battalion)
*Kradschützen (motorcycle) Battalion 4 (without 1st and 2nd squadron)
*1./40th Panzer-Pioneer Battalion
*1/4th Panzerjäger Battalion
*III. Division 89th Panzer-Artillery Regiment and diverse Granatwerfergruppen
Attack force “Winterfeld”
*Panzer Group “Winterfeld’ with antiaircraft platoons and one pioneer platoon
*I. Battalion / 26th Panzergrenadier-Regiment
*2./4th Kradschützen Battalion
*I. Division 89th Panzer-Artillery Regiment with diverse field howitzers
Combat group „Edelsheim” battles for the „symmetrical Hausgroups” in the north- east – fighting around the hexagonal building given the name „Schnellhefter” (folder).
Third phase of German assault: Attack on Stalingrad’s industrial complexes
(October 14 – 31).
Taking stock: The Orlovka salient was gone, the Tractor Factory was solidly in German hands and the Barrikady and Krasny Oktyabr factories were mostly captured. Practically all of the industrial north had been taken. While the Volga was only a few hundreds of metres away, the Russians remained entrenched and offered grim resistance.
Since September 4, the date the Division first reaches the edge of the city, the Division is involved in tough combat in and around Stalingrad. It decisively participates during three weeks in the capture of the centre of Stalingrad under the control of XXXXVIII. Panzerkorps. Without a days rest, for the following six weeks, the Division is employed within the units of the LI. Armeekorps in infantry operations in the northern part of Stalingrad – the 24th Panzer-Divsion suffers heaviest casualties.
Fourth phase of German assault: Attack on Stalingrad’s last bridgeheads and factory facilities (November 9 - 18).
Von Lenski sends half of his 20 tanks south to come to the aid of the 371st Infantry- Division at Kuperosnoe - the provision of a Panzer squadron to another sector further weakens the 24th Panzer-Division and provokes continued grumbling among the higher Division officers.
The 24th Panzer-Division is left with many key units bogged down in street-fighting in Stalingrad; at 6 p.m., parts of the 24th Panzer-Division not engaged in Stalingrad are ordered to leave for area of Peskovatka and Vertyachy near Don crossings.
Stalingrad Campaign Casualties