Soldbuch opened in Jan 1940, to Willy Max Wiese,
He served as a Machine Gunner in Infanterie Regiment 316 – 212 ID
Sometime in 1942, he entered the Feldgendarmerie Trupp 212 – 212 ID later 212 VGD
The reconstituted division transferred to the western front in December 1944. The division was assigned to the LXXX Corps of the 7th Army which formed the southern shoulder of the German armies attacking in the Ardennes. General der Panzertruppe Erich Brandenberger, the German Seventh Army commander, rated the 212th Volksgrenadier Division as his best division. Because of this it was assigned the mission of protecting the southern flank of the Seventh Army. Placed opposite of the US Army’s 4th Infantry Division, they would need to pin down as many American units as possible, in order to prevent the transfer of reserves against the main effort.
Although the troops under Sensfuss had a numerical superiority, they were at a disadvantage in one regard: The Americans had tanks, while they did not. On December 16, after making a successful crossing of the Sauer river, the 212th Volksgrendier Division was able to infiltrate through American lines, push into the streets of Echternach, and overwhelm all major resistance. They were also able to surround but not defeat a fairly large U.S. battle group at Berdorf.Over the next two days, they were able to penetrate as far as Scheidgen before digging in to repulse numerous counter-attacks by the Americans. After several days of slow progress, however, the Ardennes offensive as a whole was looking increasingly non-viable. By December 28, Brandenberger ordered the 212th Volksgrenadier Division to withdraw back to its starting positions.
Sometime during the Battles in the Ardennes he was posted to:
Grenadier Regiment 316 again, then to: Grenadier Regiment 423
The 316 Grenadier Regiment still had a strength of around 200 men. On December 21, 1944, the regiment was engaged in heavy defensive battles north of Consdorf – Scheidgen – Michelshof – Herborn – Ostweiler and Dickweiler. From December 27th the regiment went back to the West Wall. After reaching the West Wall, the US troops temporarily stopped their attacks. This situation lasted until January 25, 1945. The units of the 212th Volks-Grenadier Division in Bollendorf were taken back over the Bollendorf war bridge. The division’s infantry fighting strength was still 550 men. The division received few trained replacements as replacements. The division was then deployed to defend the West Wall between Gentingen and Nittel. With a front width of 60 km, only base-like occupation of the front was possible. By February 3, 1945, the division’s daily strength increased to 10,971 men. The American attacks on the West Wall occurred during this period, which on February 8, 1945 led to a break-in in the division section in the Echternach area, where US units were able to cross the Sauer. The so-called Ferschweiler Plateau was held by Grenadier Regiment 316 until February 16th. The division’s northern front collapsed completely towards the end of February 1945. Helenberg was lost and with it the road connection Trier – Bitburg. At the beginning of March 1945, the division took part in the fighting around Trier. The division then went back to the Kyll position. On March 7th, the remnants of the division were in the Zemmer / Quint area north of the Esch. By March 14, 1945, the division’s personnel had fallen to around 500 men. On March 18th, parts of the division fought near Baumholder. In the Lauterecken area, the remnants of the division were destroyed or taken prisoner.
Awards: Eastern Front Medal, Iron Cross Second Class, War Merit Cross with Swords
This Soldbuch seen both the Eastern and Western Fronts. Interestingly, the so called Kettenhunde were hated among the German Army. In his Soldbuch photo you can see the edge of the Cuff title for the Feldgendarmerie, which I have never seen before in a Soldbuch photo.