Soldbuch issued to SS Kanonier Fritz Ziegelbauer
Fritz was born in the area of Forchheim in Germany on the 31st of December 1926 into a Catholic farming family.
He joined the Waffen SS as a volunteer at age 17, arriving in Munich for training with SS Flak Ausbildungs und Ersatz Regiment in November 1943.
After training in Munich he was sent to the frontline unit: 3/Flak Abteilung 1 – LSSAH – (His battery was armed with the 8.8cm Flak!)
Fritz was issued the following items before leaving to join the Division:
M43 Cap, Tunic and trousers, underwear, overcoat, jumper, socks, laced boots and items such as a combat pack with frame as well as a helmet and the full set of combat equipment.
According to his Soldbuch, Fritz was issued a K98 Rifle along with a bayonet on the 3rd of June 1944 with the division just before they were thrown into combat in Normandy.
The division would arrive in Normandy by late June, and was thrown into combat alongside the 12th SS Pz Div HJ, by late July they were
On July 6, 1944, the rest of the division followed and moved into their staging area around Bretteville-sur-Laize, about 12 km south of Caen. On July 11, the division took over a section of the front between Maltot and Caen. On July 15, the transfer to the St.-André-sur-Orne and Frénouville line, about 3 km south of Caen, followed. After the Allied breakthrough at Avranches, the 1st SS Panzer Division was pulled out of the front line and made available for the “Lüttich” company to recapture Avranches. In doing so, it advanced as far as the Mesnil-Adelée area before the German attack was caught in the enemy defensive fire. Then the badly battered division was trapped in the Falaise pocket. Only remnants of the division were able to escape behind the Seine near Rouen. Individual combat groups withdrew via Charleroy towards Burg Reuland. At the same time, the first parts of the division were relocated to the Siegburg area in early September 1944 to refresh.
The Flak unit of the infamous elite Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler has a few books covering their extensive service:
Gefährten unsrer Jugend. Die Flak-Abteilung der Leibstandarte
It is unknown what happened to Fritz, but considering the last entry is in late June 1944, it is clear that he was captured in Normandy as he is not listed on the killed or missing lists for his unit. In the rear pocket of his Soldbuch is a small religious pendant.
SS Soldbücher for Normandy or the LSSAH are in todays market extremely rare and are not often seen for sale.