Un giovane Ufficiale nella 22. Panzer-Division, ferito gravemente durante i durissimi combattimenti per l'istmo di Kerch l'11 maggio 42 (terzo giorno dell'offensiva che condurrà* alla conquista di Kerch); gli sarà* amputato il braccio sinistro. Le due giacche sono modificate con una imbottitura sull'interno spalla sx per adattarle alla mutilazione. Assegnato ad una unità* d'addestramento, chiederà* di ritornare in servizio nonostante la mutilazione: cadrà* nel 1944 in Lituania, al comando di una compagnia blindo esploranti.
Ambedue le giacche provengono dalla Vedova del Caduto, ed erano nella collezione del ricercatore e collezionista Robert Edwards (di seguito la sua descrizione).
SUBJECT: Comments Concerning the Möllenstedt Uniform Grouping
I have had the pleasure of owning the Paul Möllenstedt grouping for several months. It was purchased by me from a German dealer, who obtained it directly from the officer`s widow. Möllenstedt was a reserve officer, who switched to the Panzertruppe in the 1941/1942 time frame from artillery and engineer formations. He started his military service as a combat engineer in September 1939. Once in the Panzertruppe, he was assigned to Panzer-Regiment 204 (22. Panzer-Division) and was employed in the fighting on the lace>Crimea Peninsulalace>. In May 1942, he was severely wounded, evacuated to the homeland and eventually lost his left arm. He convalesced and was apparently reassigned to Panzer-Ersatz-Abteilung 10, where the attached photos of Möllenstedt wearing the Panzer wrap that is a part of this group were taken. After service in the homeland, he volunteered for front-line duties, where he was assigned to an armored car company that was attached to Generalkommando Rothkirch (which eventually was redesignated as the LIII. Armee-Korps in November 1944). It was in this last assignment that Oberleutnant Möllenstedt was killed.>>
The Panzer wrap that belonged to Möllenstedt is a nice example of an earlier, 2nd-pattern wrap that was accepted by the lace>Munichlace> depot in 1938 (M3. It is a smaller jacket, as was typical with tankers of the period, with only a 92-centimeter chest. The jacket was manufactured for the German Army by a manufacturer that is new to me and appears to be Gebrüder Betzler. The collar tabs and the collar piping are in rose-pink wool and match perfectly, as was to be expected in factory-applied Waffenfarbe of the period. The later-style white-on-black enlisted national insignia was hand applied to the uniform, as is normally the case for a pre-war jacket of this type. As is also frequently the case, no effort was made by Möllenstedt to upgrade his national insignia with an officer version. For some reason, Möllenstedt also had a pair of well-worn shoulder boards sewn into the jacket. This is somewhat unusual, but the exact same shoulder boards can be seen in the accompanying photograph of the uniform being worn. A Krim Schild has been lightly tacked on to the left shoulder, but it cannot be ascertained whether this is the exact Krim Schild that Möllenstedt would have been awarded as part of his service in the lace>Crimealace>. Two pair of badge loops are also present on the jacket, which shows signs of have had badges worn on it for a considerable period of time. If the full personnel file of Möllenstedt can be obtained from the German government, then it will be possible to determine what those awards may have been, although one of them had to be a Gold Wound Badge, since he was automatically entitled to that as a result of the loss of his arm.
A unique feature of both of the jackets of the group is the provisions made to them for the loss of Möllenstedt`s left arm. In the case of the Panzer jacket, it consists of additional padding sewn into the shoulder area. In the case of the M42 jacket, the lining was opened to allow the insertion of additional padding in the left shoulder area. The padding was then sewn to the lining to keep it from shifting.
The second tunic associated with the Möllenstedt group is an enlisted M42 jacket that has been extensively modified to make it appear to be a M36-style jacket, as was frequently the case, particularly with officers. The jacket is depot stamped to lace>Erfurtlace> in 1943. The chest size is, again, quite small; this time, a 90. As is typical for these later jackets, there is no indicator of who manufactured the enlisted tunic. An officer silver-wire bullion national insignia has been sewn over a later-style mouse-gray of green national eagle, with traces of the enlisted "eagle" still visible under the officer insignia. Rose-pink rayon-piped Oberleutnant officer boards are sewn into the jacket, and the collar Litzen are nicely machine applied. As with the Panzer tunic, there are two sets of badge loops, both of which show evidence of much usage. There is also a distinct "shadow" on the left sleeve for the Krim Schild, but there was not one on the uniform when I purchased it. Likewise, there is no evidence that Möllenstedt ever applied an Iron Cross, Second Class ribbon to the jacket, as was the case with the Panzer tunic.
Both uniforms represent a unique story for a courageous young officer who certainly went well beyond the call of duty in serving his country and paid the ultimate price. I highly recommend that his service records be obtained, if at all possible, since I have had to make some assumptions concerning his service based on the abbreviated service record that was provided by the Deutsche Dienststelle (attached)
Spero vi piaccia!
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