Martin Fey

Martin Fey was born on 22 April 1915 in Hersfeld near Kassel, Germany. Martin was a member of the New Apostolic Church. As profession Martin was a metalworker. In 1930 his father, also named Martin Fey, died. Martin was married to Rosa Fey and together they lived in Hersfeld.

In July 1936 the Wehrbezirks-Kommando in Hersfeld issued Martin his Wehrpass and after a medical check deemed him (fully qualified) fit for service as untrained conscript (Ersatz-Reserve I). In early April 1936 Martin was send to the Reichsarbeitsdienst (Nation labour service) and fullfilled his labour service till the end of September 1936.

In 1937 they deemed Martin partially or non-qualified as untrained concript and put him on the Ersatz-Reserve II list. In Mai 1940 and August 1941 they did checks on Martin and kept him on the Ersatz-Reserve II list.

In November 1942 Martin was deemed fully qualified as untrained concript and was put back on the Ersatz-Reserve I list. This meant that Martin could be called up for service.

In early 1943 Martin was called up for army service which was to begin on 13 January 1943 at Grenadier-Ersatz-Bataillon 88 in Fulda, Germany. The next day Martin got his medical check and was deemed fit for garrison duty, not for combat. After only one week Martin was send to Grenadier-Feldausbildungs-Regiment 635 on the easternfront in Russia. This field training unit was something differend then the garrison duty that Martin's medical check suggested!

Martin received another medical check and was deemed partly unfit for combat due to a scarr/wound on his left arm. Martin was deemed fit for garrison duty in the field. Martin was put in the 9th company of his Regiment. His Regiment was part of the 390. Feldausbildungs-Division. This Division was based in the middle part of the easternfront. It consisted mostly of ex-Reichsarbeitsdienst men. As these men had received basic training while with their previous Reichsarbeitsdienst units, they were quicker to train as soldiers. Martin was trained on the light model 36 mortar, K98 rifle, Belgium pistol and handgrenade model 24. Martin also received a special 14 day mortar course. After about 3 month's Martin received another medical check and was deemed fit for combat.

After about 5 month's with this Regiment Martin was send with 11./Marsch-Bataillon 390/12 (a soldier transit unit) to another unit. After 4 days Martin arrived at his new unit, this was to be Divisions-Bataillon 110. This recon unit was part of the 110. Infanterie-Division. Martin was put in the 4th heavy weapons company of his Bataillon. Around this time the 110. Infanterie-Division fought on the middle section of the eastern front north of Shisdra and southeast of Kirow.

Apart from small local scouting attacks the front remained stable. This was to end on 12 July 1943.
On that day the Russians started an offensive against the Shisdra-Bolchow area (About 90 km. northwest of Orel). The 134 Infanterie-Division guarding the railway lines in that area was hit hard and pushed back. Martin's Bataillon was send to the 134. Infanterie-Division to help and regain the old frontline.

On the 17th of July, Martin's Division-Bataillon 110 was fighting in the line Chromyli - Krassnogorje together with Kampfgruppe Görgey. After heavy artillery fire on their position, the Russians made a strong attack. Martin and his Bataillon managed to halt the Russian attack in hand to hand combat and hold the line. After multiple attacks the Russians managed to penetrate the positions of Martin's Bataillon and push them back towards Paliki. Combined German forces tried to hold the Russians at Paliki.

Early in the morning of the 18th of July the Russians made another attack on Paliki with a Bataillon sized unit. The Russian attack was turned back. Around 10:00 hour the Russians made continuous attacks on Paliki and the railroad which were repulsed with counter-attacks with high losses for the Russians. German forces managed to capture 40 Russian soldiers. Russian attacks on Paliki and the railroad continued during the day into the next day (19 July 1943).

At 03:30 hour on the 19th the Russians managed to penatrate 1 Km. into Paliki. With a directly deployed German counter-attack the Russians were pushed back out of Paliki. After this battle the Russians continued to attack without pause. Small breaches were cleared up with reserves and the help of a Batterie from Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 190. German losses were high, but Russian losses were much higher. Later during the day the Russians increased their artillery fire on Paliki and the railroad.

Leichte Granatwerfer 36 in action

Martin's Bataillon suffered high losses. The staff of Martin's Bataillon formed Kampfgruppe Bövig. The troops under this Kampfgruppe were the remains of Martin's Bataillon (Div.Btl.110), 1./ and 2./Pi.Btl. 134, 1./ and 2./Pi.Btl.296 and the remains of 1./Gr.Rgt.446.

The next day on the 20th of July the Russians continued their attacks on the German frontline. Paliki was heavly attacked but the German forces managed to hold it. The Germans were able to destroy 17 Russian tanks. 16 of them (13 model T-34 and 3 model T-70 tanks) were destroyed by 1./Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 190 under command of Oberleutnant Truxa (Truxa destroyed 4 tanks himself). Truxa later received the Ritterkreuz medal. 1 Russian tank was destroyed with a close combat anti-tank weapon.

During the attacks on Paliki this day, at the age of 28, Martin Fey died in battle. Martin was burried in Shisdra, which is southwest of Palika and 70 Km. northeast of Brjansk.
On the 23th of July Kampfgruppe Bövig, now named Kampfgruppe Paliki, had only 7 officers, 31 NCO's and 159 men left. The Kampfgruppe was able to held on to Paliki for some time.