When researching for a book, one often looks at the same photos dozens of times, and each time a new detail is discovered or certain faces become familiar. Although his name is not known (yet), the front-line service of this Obergefreiter from Aufklärungs-Abteilung 29 can be followed during the opening weeks of Barbarossa.
With access to casualty lists, this man could be identified. It will be a while before his name and ultimate fate is revealed.
Care-free hijinks in June 1941, a week or so before “the world held its breath” when Barbarossa began. At this point, these men did not know they were being sent into the Soviet Union. Our unknown protagonist is top right.
Here he is in late June 1941, rounding up Red Army prisoners on the Zelwa-Slonim highway.
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 29 suffered very heavy losses in the period 27-30 June, so they were granted almost a full weeks’ rest to recover.
Fate caught up with him in Smolensk on 21-22 July 1941. Despite thick dressings, his arm wound continues to bleed through. This is the last time he appears in this photo grouping. Hopefully his ultimate fate can be deduced once his name is uncovered.