Hermann Karl Jäger

Hermann Karl Jäger was born on 28 December 1909 in Stuttgart. Hermann was married and as profession he was an assistant-labourer.

In Mai 1940 Hermann was called up for army service. He was send to Infanterie-Geschütz-Ersatz-Kompanie 25. This Infantry gun training company was part of Infanterie-Ersatz-Regiment 25 based in Czech. In August 1940 the Regiment was moved back to Stuttgart in Germany.

Next to his basic army training, Hermann was trained on the standart German army K98k rifle, Pistol model 08 "Luger" and the light infantry field-gun called Leichte Infanterie Geschutz 18.

After 6 month's of training, on 22 January 1941, Hermann was send to a combat unit. This was to be Infanterie-Regiment 228. Hermann was assigned to the 14th (infantry-gun) Company. His Regiment was part of the 101. leichten Infanterie-Division (light infantry division).

The 101. leichten Infanterie-Division was newly created in December 1940 around the Prague area in Czech. Till the end of March 1941 the Division conducted training exercices in the Brdy forrest hills. After this the Division was moved to the area south of Graz in Austria. Hermann was promoted to Oberschütze (private 2nd class). On 7 April 1941 the Division participated in the invasion of the Balkans. The Division moved through Untersteiermark and Slovenia via Marburg an der Drau, Pettau and Krapina to the area West of Zagreb, Croatia. But the Division did not had combat action. It was moved back to Prague the same month. After some time the Division was moved again. It was located in the area West of Przemysl, Poland. Close to the new Russian frontline in Poland.

On 22 June 1941 the Division participated in the invasion of Soviet Russia. The Division attacked the Russian frontline north of Przemysl. On 28 June the Regiment had battles at Rudki. Early July the Regiment fought North of the Dnjestr river in the Ukraine at Chodorom, Halicz, Marjampol, Monasterzyska and Czortkow. On 7 July the Regiment crossed the Zburcz river. Around 14 July the Stalin-defence line was reached at Jaltuszkoff and on 15-16 Juli the Division fought its way through it.

After this the Stalin-line South of Jaltuskoff was cleared. The Regiment fought at Myki, Maryanowka and Kopajgrod. After further battles the Division crossed the Bug river on 24 July at Ladyshin. here they secured a bridgehead. On 28 July the Regiment fought its way in the direction of Gaiworon on the road to Uman, which they reached on 31 July. After the battle at Golowanjewsk from 6 till 8 August 1941, the Division was assigned as a reserve unit for a week. This gave the soldiers of the Division time to get some rest. Hermann was promoted to Gefreiter (private 1st class).

Leichte Infanterie Geschutz 18 crew in action, unknown unit and location in 1943, Copyright: Bundesarchiv.

After the short break the Regiment marched to the Dnejpr river and forced a crossing at Krementschug between 2 and 12 September 1941. After the succesfull crossing of the river the battles continued. The Regiment fought its way via Poltawa to Worskla. Hereafter the Regiment fought towards Bogoduchow. At Murafa the Regiment fought defensive battles between 13 and 16 Oktober 1941. During 17 till 27 Oktober the Regiment participated in the capture of the city Charkow. At the end of Oktober the Regiment reached the Donez river. At the Donzes river the Regiment participated in defending the Staryj Ssaltoff bridgehead. In early December the Regiment marched from Charkow to Gorlowka. Starting on 6 Januari 1942 the Regiment fought heavy defensive battles between Debalzewo and Troizkoje. This continued in differend strength well into May 1942 when the second battle for Charkow started. The Russians had unleashed an offensive to encircle Charkow and German forces. On 23 April 1942 Hermann was assigned to the 15th Company of his Regiment.

The frontline on 11 Mai 1942. Copyright: Kharkov 1942, Robert Forczyk.

On 16 May 1942, when the Russian offensive was turned down, the Germans started their own offensive. The Regiment prepaired for the attack on Isjum. From 17 till 19 May the Regiment succeded in breaking through the Russian lines towards the Donez river. During this battle the Regiment fought at Majaki, Chrestischtsche and Golaja Dolina. On 19 May the Regiment fought at Studenok. Hereafter the Regiment had defensive battles between Raigorok und Ssemitschewo in the Donez-basin, which lasted till middle June 1942.

German counter-attack 17-22 Mai 1942. Copyright: Kharkov 1942, Robert Forczyk.

During these battles, on 22 May 1942, Hermann was hit by (artillery) grenade shrapnell in his neck at Studenok. Hermann was send to hospitals and received the Wound-badge in black on 3 July 1942 for his combat wound. In August 1942 Hermann was awarded the easternfront medal for his participation on the easternfront during the 1941-1942 winter. On 13 January 1943 Hermann was with his Ersatz (training/replacement) unit, Infanterie-Geschütz-Ersatz-Kompanie 525, in Heilbronn, Germany.

In July 1943 Hermann was promoted to Obergefreiter (Corporal). On 23 July 1943 the Ersatz unit conducted an medical check and deemed Hermann fir for front duty. After about 6 month's with his Ersatz unit, Hermann was send back to his Division on the Russian front.

Earlier in 1942, when Hermann was away, the Division was renamed to 101. Jäger-Division. Hermann arrived at the Division on 27 July 1943 and was assigned to Feldersatz-Bataillon 101. This field-training unit gave extra training and courses before soldiers were assigned to their combat unit. After 2 month's of field training Hermann was assigned to his old Regiment again on 25 September 1943. His Regiment had been renamed in 1942 as well. It was now called Jäger-Regiment 228. Hermann was assigned to his old company, the 15.Kompanie. Hermann's Regiment fought defensive withdrawal battles towards the Dnepr river. After about a month of fighting, on 24 Oktober 1943, Hermann died in battle.

The frontline in Oktober 1943. The 101.J.D. was located south-east of Saporoshje, on the other side of the Dnepr river.

The exact location of death is not know to me. The Wehrpass of Hermann just lists "Russland", while the Volksbund website lists "Bei Mopr bei Saporoshje". I cannot find Mopr on any maps, this might have been badly translated handwriting. They could mean Dnepr? That fits better, Saporoshje is located at the Dnepr river. But this does not give an exact location. In September 1943 till late Oktober 1943 the 101. Jäger-Division was located south of Saporoshje, on the east side of the Dnepr river.