By Stijn David and Sebastián Bianchi
Award documents and Paper Items Relating to Cholm.
This section shows the appropriate entry's in either the Soldbuch or Wehrpass and the wide variety of original Cholmshield award documents. Many of the Cholmshield documents shown here were never published before and help to give us a more complete overview of this rare award.
The Cholmshield was accompanied by an award document (or "Bezitszeugnis") and the appropriate entry was made into the recipients personal papers (Wehrpass , Soldbuch). The "Abwickelungsstelle Kampfgruppe Scherer", lead by Major Grabs who was involved into the Cholmbattle, was responsible for the Cholmshield awards until late 1944. It is a fact that a file or list with all Cholmshield awards and recipient name, as well as Cholmshield number, was available during the war, but this list has not surfaced yet and it is uncertain if it is still in existence. If this list has survived and becomes available, then the exact number of Cholmshields will be known (see as a proof the number 400/5026 on this so called "Ubersendungsschreiben" from a German soldier who was Killed in Action at Cholm on 1/28/.1942 , this number 5026 may indicate the 5026 cholmshield awarded)
All Cholmshields award documents are exactly the same in appearance, only the name and unit are different. Original Cholmshield award documents have the following measurements : 136mm by 201mm (Din A 5), made from thin document paper and in black print. They bear the following designation :
……………………………….( Vor und Familienname )
…………………………………..( Truppenteil )
…………………. ( und Datum )
Signature of Generalmajor Theodor Scherer
The recipient personal details are entered in script and have a calligraphic effect , there is no exception in this, they are all the same. The recipient grade and unit designation is that of the unit to which he belonged during the actual Cholm battle and all award documents are hand signed by Theodor Scherer. The award documents bear al the same date: 10/31/1942 ( if one encounters another date this is certainly a bad indication and points towards a fake award document) and bear a stamp (about 35 mm width) with the following designation "Kampfgruppe Scherer - Abwickelung"
In the section below is a wide range of original Cholmshield award documents shown , most from varying units (1)
|Polizei : Res.Pol.Btl.53 award document. Willi Baumüller Wachtmeister der Reserve W.Baumuller
belonged to a Police unit that was trapped inside the Cholmpocket.
was Killed in action on 3/25/1942 in Cholm , making this Cholmshield Posthumously
awarded. His other award (also posthumous) is the Eastern front medal
(Photo courtesy KW Collection)
|Jagd Kommando 8 award document,
Willi Steurer Award document for Gefreiter W.Steurer, which was a part of
the Jagd.Kdo 8. No further information available.
(Photo Courtesy KW Collection )
| Heer IR 386 award document,
Herbert Holzinger Obergefreiter H.Holzinger was a part of the IR 386.
During his time at Cholm he was still a Gefreiter and was wounded on
3/10/1942 inside the pocket. His awards for the Cholm pocket
were; Wound Badge in black , Iron cross 2nd class (dated
5/20/42) , Cholmschield, and the Eastern front medal
| Heer 14./IR 386 award document ,
Harry Arndt Obergefreiter Harry Arndt was part of the 14./IR 386 and was
trapped into the Cholmp ocket at 1/21/1942. Nearly 7 days later he was
killed in action (on 1/28/1942), and as per regulations he received the
Cholmschield award document and Cholmschild posthumous. Both pieces (Cholmschild + award document) where send along with a so called
Ubersendungsschreiben tohis next of kin. In his Wehrpass there is
no mention of the Cholmbattle nor is the Cholmschield entered. He
no known grave - he could stand as a good example for a
great majority of the German KIA soldiers in this battle
||Luftwaffe ( K.G.z.b.V 172 ) Otto Schäuble.
See also the below the Soldbuch entry for this soldier and description
(AT Collection )
Besides the award document the recipient also received the appropriate entry for this shield in both his wehrpass and Soldbuch. Knowing that all awards documents for the Cholmshield are dated 10/31/1942, and many of the awards where actually made after this date, it is possible that a Cholmshield entry is placed between or after later dated awards. These original Wehrpass and Soldbuchs with the Cholmshields are very rare, and if one encounters one it must be looked at with extreme care.
Luftwaffe Soldbuch Otto Schäuble who was a Glider pilot part of the K.G.z.b.V. 1 when he landed on 3/1942 in the Cholmpocket. He was wounded on his chest on 5/1/1942 by a shell splinter fired from a enemy Tank. For his efforts at Cholm he was awarded : Iron Cross 2nd. class, Wound Badge in Black and the Cholmshield. Herr Schaüble was a Glider pilot who distinguished himself further during the war and earned the following awards; Flying clasp " Transporter " Bronze grade, Eastern Front Medal, " Afrika " cufftitle, LW Ground assault badge, Iron Cross 1st Class, Wound Badge Silver. He survived the war to die in the year 2000 in his birth town in Germany.
Luftwaffe Wehrpass Bruno Horn (
Feldwebel Bruno Horn landed in the Cholm pocket as a member of the
K.G.z.b.V 1 on 3/23/1942. He was wounded during the course of
the battle (on 4/5/1942). For his participation in Cholm he
received the following awards : Wound badge in Black , Iron cross
2nd class , Cholmshield. His other awards where the Eastern
front medal, Flying clasp Bronze grade "Transporter" , LW
ground assault badge ,and the Iron cross 1st class )
In 1943 a Propaganda book titled "Kampfgruppe Scherer - 105 Tage Eingeschlossen" (or translated: Battle Group Scherer, cut off for 105 days). Written by Kriegsberichter Richard Muck, it was printed by the firm of Gerhard Stalling Verlag, Oldenburg.
| The book "Kampfgruppe Scherer - 105 Tage
eingschlossen", this particular example was awarded towards
Feldwebel W.Schaedler (LW)
This book was also officially presented from the Reichsminister of Propaganda Goebbels to all personnel who were inside the pocket, or to the next of kin when the soldier was killed in action. These special presentation propaganda books were given with prints in different kinds; one for the survivors (Type a) and one for the soldiers who where killed in action (Type b) as pictured below;
| Type a : Issued to the survivors along with book "
Kampfgruppe Scherer … " , stating the gratitude from the German
people towards the fighters of Cholm in name of Dr.Göebels.*
Type b: Issued to the family of the fallen soldiers from Cholm along with the book " Kampfgruppe Scherer … " , showing the Cholmshield central placed underneath the word Cholm and is flanked by the motto
"Wir Gedenken …. Winterschlacht 1941/1942"
and facsimile signed by Scherer .
Both prints may also be considered very rare.
(1)note : here in this article are many LW award documents shown, one can not make a conclusion that there where more LW personnel awarded then its Heer counterparts , it is the contrary , the Heer awards are in the majority , this is due that the writer is virtually specialized in everything that has to do with the glider related operations in the Cholm pocket and have more contacts with persons who have LW related material in their collection then Heer related items., Luftwaffe awards should be considered rarer
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