Sonderführer (Z) Erwin Sperrle
Sperrle was born in Ulm, Germany into a Catholic family on the 7th of March 1902. In his civilian career he was a Reichsbahn Inspector, inspecting trains. He was married and lived with his wife in Ludwigsburg. In October 1944, according to the Soldbuch, Sperrle lost his house to an allied bombing raid, luckily his wife Frieda survived but was forced to live in a hotel.
His Soldbuch was issued on the 29 of March 1941, with:
Feldeisenbahn Betriebs Amt 2
The field railway operations department 2 was set up on March 15, 1941 in military district VII as an army force. On March 23, 1942 it was renamed field railway operations department 2. from 1941 to 1943 it was deployed in southern Russia.
December 1941 in the Feodosia area, December 1942 to February 1943 in the Millerowo and Rossosh area, from August 1943 in Greece, 1944 in Macedonia Skoplje station.
Sperrle would join another unit in late 1944:
Feldeisenbahn Betriebs Amt 5
Serving in Croatia, in Slavonski Brod.
Pistol – FN Browning
MP 40 – 4 Magazines
Nice entries for items such as Officer Cap etc.
He was given a Führergeschenk ( Packet with nice items)
Interestingly, a stamp for a bottle of sparkling wine is entered.
7.8.1942 – Eastern Front Medal – Documents signed by Captain of the unit.
15.11.1942 – War Merit Cross with Swords –
Document signed by: General Rudolf Gercke (Winner of the Knightscross of the War Merit Cross with Swords – rare signature. A lot of info online about Gercke who passed away in a POW camp in 1947).
6.3.1943 – Crimean Campaign Shield
Interestingly, at the rear of the Soldbuch in the pouch is the small Spange for the Eastern Front and KVK that he is wearing in the picture.
Malaria 1.3.1945 – wound spent till September 1945 healing. He saw the end of the war in a hospital in Agram, Yugoslavia.
It seems he was used almost immediately after his illness was gone, serving in various Allied controlled Labour Units.
A must have Soldbuch Grouping for the Reichsbahn/Train Collector, I have not seen another unit like this. Moreover, Sperrle could be a relation of the famous Luftwaffe General Sperrle. The photo in the Soldbuch is very nice showing his awards, and the special insignia for a Sonderführer.