Heinz Winkler, NCO (Unteroffizier) Luftwaffe armoured elite Panzer/Fallschirm Division Hermann Göring.
Soldbuch, 4.3.40. Heavily used condition, last page loose but complete. Without pass photo as issued (not removed).
Entitled to: Drivers Proficiency Badge in Bronze (2.9.44) and War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords
Truck driver born 1919 in Auerbach. He served: Mar.40 with airfield unit Fliegerhorstkommandantur Crailsheim; Mar.-Apr.40 with construction unit Luftwaffen-Bau-Bataillon 5/XIII. From Apr.40 onwards he served with Regiment General Göring, 19401-1943 with the supply column and replacements regiment, later till the end of the war with the (Fallschirm-)Panzer-Artillerie Regiment Hermann Göring. Regiment General Göring was 1940 based in Berlin as anti-aircraft troops and guarding Göring's headquarters. Heinz was Jun.40 moved to the replacments regiment of the Division based in Utrecht Holland where he stayed till 1943. Large part of the Division was May 43 destroyed in Africa. Heinz 1943 trasnferred from the replacements regiment in Utrecht Holland the Panzer-Artillerie Regiment in Italy as part of the new formed/refitted Panzer-Division Hermann Göring. It was stationed near Naples when the Italian government surrendered to the Allies and it was used to disarm the Italian troops in the Salerno area. The Allies landed at Salerio on 9 September and the division was one of the German units that fought the Allies. It performed a fighting withdrawal from Salerno and later from Naples (1 October) and the Volturno-Termoli Line (16 October). It retreated with the rest of the German troops to the Gustav Line and was removed from the front lines where it was replaced by infantry troops.Troops from the division, led by Oberstleutnant Julius Schlegel (initially without the knowledge of the commander of the division), moved the treasures of the Monte Cassino Monastery (including paintings (da Vinci, Titian, Raphael etc), the remains of St. Benedict, 70.000 volumes and 1.200 original documents) from the monastery to safety in the Vatican, thus saving them from destruction during the battle of Monte Cassino. Schlegel was to spend seven months in Allied prisons after the war as a suspected looter and war criminal before being freed by Field Marshal Alexander and the testimony of the Monte Cassino munks. When the Allies landed at Anzio on 22 January 1944 the division was fighting at the Gustav Line but it was one of the units rushed in, with the parts of the division which had remained in Rome was among the first to arrive. It fought ferociously at Cisterna and the Germans managed to fight the Allies to a virtual standstill. It was redesignated Fallschirm-Panzer-Division Hermann Göring in April 1944. It was withdrawn from the front lines to Toscana where it would be refitted before the planned move to France. When the Allied offensive towards Rome began on 12 May it was rushed to the front where it was pushed back and the Allies entered Rome on 4 June. It was removed from the front at Florence on 15 July and was transferred to the Eastern front. It fought the Red Army's III Tank Corps north of Warsaw with SS Panzer Division Wiking and 19. Panzer-Division, where the soviet forces were destroyed. The Red Army then halted its offensive towards Warsaw (Stalin had no interest in helping the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa) which had begun fighting in Warsaw on 1 August) and an offensive at Magnuszew. It fought the soviet offensive in East Prussia Oct 1944 and later took part in the static fighting November 1944 - January 1945. It was sent to Radom in January 1945 where it fought the Soviet winter offensive but was soon forced to retreat towards Upper Silesia. When the war ended it was fighting near Dresden and tried to reach the western Allies but was encircled by the Red Army and only a few soldiers reached their destination.