20. Oktober 1941
(20th?) The next day the rain has stopped. Some units are already leaving. I move to a house a little on the outskirts of the village which is not occupied. A couple lives here. The husband has been wounded in the fighting around the village. The woman is working in the kitchen and is fiddling with a very pretty wooden spoon. It has the typical blunt shape that is often seen here, is painted with a colourful pattern and varnished. It is almost new. I want to buy it from the woman, but she doesn’t want to do without it.
The roads are still soggy, but we have to keep going. I’m lucky. An assault gun has the same way and takes me with it.The roads are still soggy, but we have to keep going. I’m lucky. An assault gun has the same path and takes me with it. I climb into the turret hatch and we rattle away. With its engine humming, the steel colossus makes its way through the mud like an angry bear. It makes it through. In the next village I get out and look for a place to stay. When I open the door of the first house, I look into an almost empty room. It used to be the living room. A dead Russian is lying on the floor. A woman stands in the room and looks at me wordlessly. We both shrug and I leave. There must have been hard fighting here, because the village is badly destroyed.
It is uncomfortable here. The weather is rainy, the road is muddy, the village is destroyed, the situation on the front is unclear. I am still alone, because our group is trying to get to the agreed meeting point individually. This finally succeeds, we have advanced a few kilometres and have taken up new, very clean quarters.
But the division is only crawling forward. It rains often and the sodden ground is groundless. The wheels of our heavy vehicles sink in so deeply that the poor horses can hardly move them forward. The animals are overworked. Many of our active horses have already perished. But we must move forward. We must reach the Donets before winter sets in.
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- according to various internet accounts member of a Panzer Propaganda Company in the Central Area
- Unfortunately, I cannot remember whether it was still my father who acquired this postcard and enclosed it with the diary, or whether I discovered and bought it myself before I began the actual editing.
- of the 2nd battery of Stug.Abt. 245
- of the 2nd /Stug.Abt. 245
- Acc. to diary of the divisional Ic of 21.10.1941 “daily 15 km” (normal was 25-30 km) and on the 26th “small daily marches” were ordered (KTB 257. I.D., NARA T-315 Roll 1804 Frame 000316/17).
- so also KTB OKW 1940-1941 p. 694: “12 October 1941 - Movements 17th Army hampered as a result of disastrous road and track conditions. [...] Critical horse losses due to [...] overexertion in the last few days.”