Unteroffizier Richard Scherzer
Richard Scherzer was born on the 16th of August 1919 in Germany. He was enlisted in the Luftwaffe with:
1./Flak Regiment 38.
They supported the 5th Panzer Division during the Polish campaign. Then the department was in Regensburg and took part in the French campaign in May 1940 under the staff of Flak Regiment 102 under the I. Flak Corps. The department was then located in Le Havre and, from January 1941, in Sicily. From June 1941 she took part in the Russian campaign with the I. Flak Corps. In 1943 the department was on the Don. From November 1943, the division was under the 10th Flak Division in southern Russia.
On the 12th of June 1944, Scherzer was with:
Schwere Flak Abteilung 13400 (mot) in North France.
Interestingly, by August/September 1944, Scherzers unit had clashed with the FFI also known as the Maquis on the outskirts of Paris.
According to the FFI Museum:
‘’American forces bypass Paris to the east. In the lead, the recognition of the 4th Cavalry Group followed by the 3rd Armored . The 1st German Army strives to put up roadblocks behind the capital. In La Queue en Brie and in Plessis Trevisse a battalion of the Flak arrives in the early morning. The FFI surprised, can only slip away in the face of the irruption of nearly 600 men with many guns.
At La Queue, one or two batteries with 150 men take up positions on the plateau around the village. This is probably Major Krebs’ Battalion 13400, Schwer Flak Abteilung 13400. This heavy, motorized battalion was made available to the 48th German division on a barrage mission. Shortly afterwards, the positions of the camouflaged guns were overflown by a few American planes which suffered a few gusts.
The first clashes took place around 6 a.m. with the FFI. The position was abandoned after half an hour of fighting. The Germans fall back towards Chennevières. At 7 p.m., the American armored vehicles ( 3rd Armored and 1st Infantry ) arrived through the woods and took up position at the Pavé de Pontault. Exchanges of fire take place. The tanks of the 634 Tank Destroyer accompanying the 26th Infantry Regiment pounded the battery. At Plessis-Trevisse, a column of American armored vehicles also opened fire on a German formation.
The Flak artillerymen left the sector during the night of August 27 to 28. The next day, we find on the ground, at La Queue, two abandoned 88 and three 20 mm guns, a mortar, three trucks and a car loaded with ammunition. In Plessis-Trevisse, the FFI found a tractor and its 88 gun, machine guns. ’’
Scherzer was reported missing or killed on the 24th of August 1944, either by members of the FFI or the US Army and is buried today in Champigny-St.André near Paris.
Pictures of the abandoned Flak of Scherzers Abteilung can be seen here:
Below French Resistance Fighters take on Germans on the Streets of Paris.
Although for some reason Scherzers award page is missing, it is very odd as the page can be clearly seen to be ripped out. Was it done by Scherzer to conceal something, we will never know the answer. Although it can be clearly seen on his photo that he is wearing the following awards:
Iron Cross Second Class
Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge
Black Wounds Badge
Small Clasp with Annexation Medal Bars
Scherzer saw both fronts and was decorated for his combat experiences, he raised the ranks from a simple Kanonier to a Unteroffizer. Killed in Northern France in 1944, this Soldbuch is still very sought after even though the awards page have been taken out.