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Stalingrad detective work

Some excellent detective work by Alex Skvorin has revealed that the photo of a German prisoner was taken in Stalingrad during the September fighting. A rare photo indeed. Alex wrote:

“The photo did not have any captions. But from the first photo everything seems to be clear. In the background, you can see a bit of the House of Specialists on the embankment of Stalingrad. I couldn’t solve the problem with the prisoner for a long time until I combined these two photos. Roofs of private houses, columns match precisely. Both photos were taken in Stalingrad, in the same place. As a result, a photo of a German prisoner of war (probably 71st infantry division) surrounded by our soldiers, still at the early stage of the battle. I think it’s September 1942.

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Heinrich Buschhoff, panzer officer at Stalingrad, passes away aged 100

24.10.1920 – 28.10.2020.
Heinrich Buschhoff, one of the last living panzer officers who served at Stalingrad, and one of the 6000-odd men of 6. Armee to survive captivity, passed away last week, just 4 days after reaching the 100 milestone. He lost his wife, aged 95, just a few months earlier.
When my friend Oliver visited the Buschhoff farm back in 2014, 94-year-old Heinrich was still working outdoors – physical work out in the fields – at the head of his family. Over the course of a 5-hour interview, various sons and grandchildren came in to listen to his stories. It was apparent they were a close-knit family.
Herr Buschhoff’s Stalingrad experiences with Panzer-Abteilung 103 were used in our book “Panzerkrieg Volume 1”.
To honour his fallen comrades, he requested that instead of flowers, donations be made to the Volksbund, the German equivalent of the War Graves Commission.
IBAN DE23 5204 0021 0322 2999 00
Spendenkonto Trauerfall Heinrich Buschhoff
As a young recruit.
A freshly baked officer.
Manning an AA post.
His Panzer III short-barrel in the Stalingrad pocket.
Heinrich and his wife Christel in 2014 during the interview.
Despite his age, Heinrich had excellent recall of events from 75 years ago and occasional witticisms that produced some laughs.
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Skull on Water battalion

If you’re into models – the plastic kind – be sure to catch our 12-page article about Panzer-Abteilung 160 in the latest issue of Military Modelcraft International (April 2019, Volume 23, Issue 06). Apart from 22 photos, it contains 6 colour profiles created specifically for this article. Attached is a small sample. 
Paper and digital copies of the magazine are available from Military Modelcraft International:

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Werner Gösel turns 99

On 16 May, Werner Gösel, author of “Iron Cross Brigade”, celebrated his 99th birthday! The book’s co-editor, Christian Bauermeister, called Herr Gösel and wished him happy birthday: “Considering that he is in the 100th year of his life, he was in a positive mood. A bit tired sometimes but all together he is feeling well.” 
Very few veterans from the 1941 campaign are still with us and their ranks grow thinner every year. We look forward to reporting on Herr Gösel’s 100th birthday in a year’s time.

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“Dicker Max” (Fat Max)

A rare beast that became extinct at Stalingrad: “Dicker Max” (Fat Max), or to use the proper nomenclature, 10.5cm K18 Pz.Sfl.IVa. Just two prototypes were made and assigned to Panzerjäger-Abteilung 521. One accidentally caught fire during the early stages of Barbarossa and was a total loss, but the other – pictured here – fought until the end of 1941 and after a rebuild at Krupp during the first half of 1942 returned to Russia in time to participate in the Operation Blue summer offensive. It was quite successful, as evidenced by the kill tally on the barrel. It would be interesting to know where its life ended in the Stalingrad pocket.