Profiles

Below are the profiles of the members of Das Heer.  The idea is that we are not role playing but are trying to give the public an idea of the type of person who would have been serving in a typical German Infantry Regiment in the early war years. There would have been men from many different backgrounds, many of them touched by the horrors of the Great War. The profiles also give an insight into enlistment into the Wehrmacht.

We try to ensure that each member remains true to his profile with the correct papers and items to support it.

Please note that any resemblance to any person alive or dead is purely coincidental.

We hope that you enjoy reading through them!

 

 

Leutnant Hager

Full Name: Ernst-Otto Hager

Born: 20th July 1918, Doben, Rastenburg, East Prussia

Civilian Occupation: Student

                    Awards: Iron Cross 2nd Class

Leutnant Hager is a Platoon Commander in the 2nd Company. He was formerly a student who did 6 months RAD service in 1936 before being called up for the army on 1st February 1937.

His father was an artillery officer in WW1 and inherited the family farm from his older brother who fell at Langemarck. Knowing more about horses than agriculture Leutnant Hagerís father began horse breeding instead. Leutnant Hager attended the local school and then the Gymnasium (Grammar School) in Rastenburg. He also became an expert horseman and won many equestrian titles.

After his RAD service the Leutnant was called up to Infanterie Regiment 1 at Allenstein. During training he was recommended as an Officer candidate and in the autumn of 1937 was promoted to Fahnenjunker-Gefreiter.

After a ten-day leave in early 1938 he reported to Kriegschule Potsdam for Officer training which he completed in October 1937. He was then posted to Infanterie Regiment 27, as new Officers werenít permitted to serve with their former units. He was promoted to Leutnant in January 1939 and only had a few months left to serve when war broke out.

Leutnant Hager survived combat in Poland and by the time I.R.27 went into action in France he was a seasoned veteran. He was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class for his leadership in the French campaign. Leutnant Hager is well-liked and has earned the respect of his men as a brave and competent Officer.

 

 

 

Unterfeldwebel Ostmann

Full Name: Stefan Lothar Ostmann

Born: 23rd September 1912, Rostock, Mecklenberg

Civilian Occupation: Professional Soldier

                        Awards: Iron Cross 2nd Class, Black Wound Badge 

Unterfeldwebel Ostmann is the squad leader. He barely knew his father, a merchant seaman, who joined the Kaiserís Navy in 1914. His father became a Petty Officer, and was killed when his ship was sunk at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. From then on life was a struggle for his mother with her two young sons. By the end of the war they had left their appartment in the respectable area of Rostock and had moved to the tenements next to the docks.

Despite having the potential to do well at school Ostmann left early and went to work as a docker in 1927. He worked hard but the family fell on bad times during the depression and he got into a number of brushes with the authorities. In 1933 he left Rostock to escape the Police and ended up in Schwerin. Despite his lack of interest in politics Ostmann then joined the local SA unit and spent the next three years working as a foreman at the Schwerin docks until he was persuaded by some colleagues to sign up for the army.

He was a natural soldier rising quickly through the ranks and by 1939 was a squad leader. In September 1939 he led his men into action in Poland. On September 25th 1939 earned the Iron Cross 2nd Class for his bravery during a company assault, he was also wounded by shrapnel in his right shoulder in this action and received the wound badge in black.

Ostmann rejoined I.R.27 in late 1939 and again led his men into action in Belgium and France in May 1940. He works his men hard but has earned their confidence and trust.

 

 

 

Unteroffizier Kelner

Full name: Christian Kelner

Born: 29th November 1898, Stettin, Pomerania

Civilian occupation: Clerk

                      Awards: Iron Cross 2nd Class (WW1), Black Wound 

                                  Badge (WW1), Cross of Honour, Mecklenburg-Schwerin 

                                  Military Service Cross.

Unteroffizier Kelner is the Assistant Squad Leader. He grew up in Stettin and showed great promise at school but in 1913 his father got him a job at the local Brewery in the hope he that his son could get him discounted beer and help support the family. It was soon discovered that Kelner was very good with books and figures so he was taken on as an apprentice clerk at which he excelled.

However, in 1916 Kelner was called up to serve the Kaiser. After his basic training he joined an infantry regiment where his written talents soon found him sitting behind a desk in the regimental headquarters. In September 1917 Kelner was wounded in the right leg when an artillery shell landed on the regimental HQ. Whilst recuperating he became frustrated that he wasnít serving his country in the field but it wasnít until late 1917 that he managed to persuade his commanding officer to let him join a front line company.

On the 13th March 1918 whilst on patrol in no-manís land one of Kelnerís comrades was wounded when a British sentry threw a grenade. Kelner went back and dragged him to the safety of the German lines whilst under fire. For this selfless act he was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class.

Kelner managed to get through the rest of the war without a scratch. He took part in the great offensives of April 1918 but was captured by the British in May. After the war he returned to Stettin where he became Chief Clerk at the Brewery. He settled down and had a family and was expecting a peaceful life until he was recalled as a reservist in August 1939.

Unteroffizier Kelner is a reliable and respected man. When I.R.27 first saw action in Poland it was men such as Kelner who could be relied upon to pull the young men through.

 

 

 

Obergefreiter Werner

Full Name: Karl Theodor Werner

Born: 9th November 1896, Zaborze, Hindenburg, Silesia

Civilian occupation: Shipyard worker

                       Awards: Cross of Honour

Obergerfreiter Werner is the squadís MG34 gunner. He was brought up in a mining community in Silesia. All his family worked down the mine so it was only natural that in 1908 Werner would take his place at the coal-face. Life in the mines was tough but it made Werner strong and able to take anything that life threw at him.

In 1914 Werner answered the call of the Fatherland and enlisted. After basic training he joined a supply unit and served on the Eastern Front. He was later transferred to the West but managed to survive the war without injury. Due to the border changes in the East after the war Werner was forced to flee to Pomerania as his homeland of Silesia fell in the newly formed state of Poland.

After a long period of unemployment and life on the breadline Werner managed to get a job as a riveter at the Rovenich and Todt shipyard in Rostock. He married and had two children. He took up his hobby of puppet making which helped supplement the family income.

Werner always dreamed of Germany regaining control of Silesia and returning there with his family. So it was with great enthusiasm that he took part in the Polish campaign in 1939 after being recalled as a reservist. His luck held out as he survived the Polish and French campaigns without being wounded. Some of the squad members consider him a lucky talisman.

 

 

Schutze Voller

Full name: Kurt Voller

Born: 2nd November 1920, Swinemunde, Pomerania

Civilian occupation: Student

                        Awards: None

Voller is the assistant machine gunner. Like Weiss he had plans for his future Ė his father is a dentist and had planned for Kurt to work in his practice after gaining his degree.

At 18 Kurt was called up for his RAD service and after 6 months was called up for his national service in the military. Despite being so young he is one of the more experienced members of the platoon having served well in both Poland and France.

Being assistant gunner means that he has to carry a lot of the spare ammunition for the MG34 which he is forever moaning about. It also means that he has to take over if Werner is incapacitated and he has also scored well on the ranges with the machine gun. The platoon have every confidence in Werner and Voller who have formed a good team that can be relied upon.

 

Oberschutze Schwarzmuller

Full name: Karl Schwarzmuller

Born: 5th February 1908, Woldenburg, Pomerania

Civilian occupation: Professional soldier

                      Awards: Wehrmacht 12 year long service medal

The son of a fireman, Schwarzmuller grew up in Woldenburg. After leaving school his uncle got him a job at the local paper, the Woldenburg Zeitung, where he worked as a messenger boy and earned extra money repairing bicycles. In 1927 Schwarzmuller was becoming bored with his menial jobs at the newspaper and he decided to join the Army, joining the 5th Prussian Infantry Regiment.

The 5th Prussian Infantry Regiment then became Infanterie Regiment 27 during the expansion of the Wehrmacht in 1934.

Despite being the longest serving soldier in the platoon Schwarzmuller has never risen above private rank. He has no ambition for promotion and enjoys army life where he doesnít have to worry about food and board and has enough money to send some home to help his mother and ailing father.

Schwarzmuller is a competent soldier who always obeys orders to the letter. He is extremely reliable and popular with the other men. He is usually found to be carrying  the squadís supplies of grenades. 

 

 

Schutze Weisser

Full name: Erich Weisser

Born: 7th June 1903, Schwinemunde, Pomerania

Civilian occupation: Tram Driver

                       Awards: Marksmanship Lanyard

Schutze Weisser is a rifleman in the squad. He was fourteen when his father was severely wounded on the Western Front and returned home an invalid. This meant that any hopes of finishing his schooling were dashed as he and his older brother were forced to go out to work as the family could not survive on his fatherís meagre pension. When his older brother was then called up in 1918 and subsequently killed in the Argonne he became the familyís only bread-winner.

After a number of dead end jobs Weisser finally got a job as a tram driver in his hometown.  He was doing quite nicely and enjoying a fairly easy and quiet life until he was caught up in the first wave of enlistment of men over Wehrmacht age in September 1939.

A popular man Weisser has shown himself as a highly competent soldier who is quick to learn. In training he excelled on the ranges and is the best shot in the section. His ability resulted in him being awarded the marksmanship lanyard. However, he is known to like his drink and whenever possible will try and start a game of cards where his skill and slight of hand often mean he is a winner.

His favourite weapon is a fighting knife that he keeps in the top of his boot and has used to good effect in close combat on a number of occasions.

 

Schutze Weiss

Full name: Johannes Weiss

Born: 9th February 1921, Stettin, Pomerania

Civilian occupation: Student

                        Awards: None

Weiss is a rifleman in the squad. He comes from a middle class family who live in a good district of Stettin. His father is a Senior Customs Officer who has high hopes for his son. Unfortunately the war has meant that their plans for young Johanís study at university resulting in a law degree have been put on hold.

Instead Johan was called up for RAD service on his eighteenth birthday and joined the replacement regiment for the 27th six months later where his Hitler Youth training helped him immensely.  As soon as he finished his basic training he and the other recruits were sent to join their unit in France to replace the first casualties of the campaign in the West.

Schutze Weiss has seen his first action and came through unscathed thanks to old hands like Schwarzmuller who took him under his wing. Already this bright young manís potential has been noticed and if he survives long enough he is a good candidate for Officer.

 

 

 

Schutze Bremer   

Full name: Paul Bremer

Born: 1st August 1905, Mutzig, Alsace.

Civilian occupation: Machine operator

 Awards: None

Bremer is a rifleman in the squad. He was born in Alsace and his father was a professional soldier who served with the 47th Infantry Division before being killed in the Vosges in 1916.

This was the end of life as they knew it for his mother and the children as the family were evicted from their married quarters leaving them homeless.

The family moved to the countryside outside Swinemunde where they stayed on his uncleís farm. Over the next few years Bremer and his two brothers worked hard on the farm in their spare time as manpower was in short supply.

After finishing his basic schooling Bremer turned his back on farming and went to work as machine operator at the local animal fat processing plant. In time he married and had a family but was always restless living away from his native Alsace. The problem was that since the end of the war Alsace had belonged to France. Bremer always swore he would return and vowed that he would avenge the death of his father at the hands of the French.

On 24th May 1940 Bremer was posted as missing in action following a company assault in northern France. His body was found two days later and he was given a proper military burial.

 

 

 

Schutze  Schreiber

Full name: Gustav Schreiber

Born: 20th July 1913, Templeburg, Pomerania

Civilian occupation: Postman

                         Awards: None

Schutze Schreiber is a rifleman in the squad. He is another one who barely remembers his father who was posted as missing in action in September 1918.

On leaving school Schreiber followed in his fatherís footsteps and became a postman. It was a nice easy job and it gave him a lot of spare time later in the day when he could indulge in his hobby of woodcarving. He married Truda, a nurse after meeting her when he had an accident on his postal round. They settled down to pleasant life and had a family.

Like so many others Schreiberís plans for a comfortable life were ruined when war broke out in 1939. He was called up in September 1939 along with Weisser and many others, joining Ersatz Battalion 27. After his training he joined the 27th Infantry Regiment just before Christmas.

Schutze Schreiber is a quiet and unassuming man. He is popular with the other squad members and in his spare moments he carves toys for them to send home to their families.

He has no interest in the war or politics and all he thinks about is getting back to his wife and young family. However, Schreiber performs his duty without complaint and impressed his superiors during the French campaign with his quick thinking and understanding.

 

  Schutze Bergmann

  Full Name: Ronald Bergmann

  Born: 26th May 1908, Damnitz, Pomerania

                        Civilian occupation: Carpenter

                        Awards: None

Schutze Bergmann is a rifleman in the squad. He was born in Damnitz, a small village near Greifenhagen. His father was German but his mother was Belgian, hence his Christian name. His mother had moved to Pomerania in the 1890ís when her fatherís business took him there.

Schutze Bergmannís father was the village carpenter. He was called up in 1914 to serve the Kaiser on the eastern front. In May 1915 he was severely wounded by shrapnel at Gorlice, being invalided out of the army and returning home. He taught Ronald his carpentry skills and in 1928 Ronald took over the business due to his fatherís failing health - just four years later Ronaldís father died of tuberculosis. Ronald also supplemented his income by indulging in his hobby of amateur photography and regularly took portrait and wedding photos for people in the surrounding area.

Ronald stayed with his mother until, like Weisser, he was called up in September 1939.

Schutze Bergmann is a bit of a loner who can often be found in a quiet spot, reading a book or writing to his mother. He still carries a camera with him and takes photographs whenever he can. In France and Belgium the squad found him very useful Ė his mother had taught him well as he his fluent in Flemish, English and French - he is often sent out to procure provisions and barter with the locals.

 

Schutze Wendlinger

Full Name: Siegfried Wendlinger

Born: 2nd May 1907, Wittenberg, Mecklenberg

Civilian Occupation: Lorry driver

                       Awards: 12 year service medal

Schutze Wendlinger is a rifleman in the squad. He was born and brought up in Wittenberg, a small town of 3,800 inhabitants, in Mecklenberg. He was lucky in that his family survived the Great War virtually unscathed. His father returned to his civilian occupation as a Policeman after the war and family life soon returned to normal.

After being taken by his father to a military open day at the local barracks Siegfried set his heart on becoming a soldier. In 1923 he left school at 16 and was too young to enlist so his father got him a job at the local wood yard. However in 1925 Siegfried realised his ambition and joined the Reichswehr.

The German army was limited to 100,000 men under the Treaty of Versailles and in order to limit the number of men with military training a recruit had to sign up for 12 years. Siegfried enjoyed his 12 years in the army and rose to the rank of Obergefreiter but he decided not to re-enlist as he wanted to spend more time with his young family. So, in 1937, Siegfried got a job back at the wood yard in Wittenberg working as a lorry driver.

However, within two years Germany was on the road to war and Siegfriedís quiet family life was shattered when he was called up again in August 1939.

Like others in the squad he will do his duty for his country but longs to return home to normality. Siegfried is quiet and reserved. His previous long military service means that he has a wealth of experience to share with the younger men and he has fitted back into military life easily.