Werner Greif

Werner Greif was born in Dalow, Kreis Dramburg in Pommern on 30 August 1921.
As profession Werner was a carpenter/furniture maker.

On 17 June 1940 Werner was called up by the army recruiting office. He received his Wehrpass.
His conscription in the army was postponed for 1 year. In early April 1941 Werner was called up again and send to Ersatz-Kompanie-für-Pionier-Züge (motorized) 2. This was a trainings unit for motorized Infantry with basic Engineer training. On the 10th of April Werner was sworn in to the Führer. On the 24th Werner received his Soldbuch and equipment. On 19 August 1941, after 4 month's of training, Werner received a rifle and was send to the front with Marsch-Bataillon 1082. This soldier-transit unit brought Werner to the Russian front in 10 days.

30 August 1941 was Werner's 20th birthday. On this day, together with 1000 other soldiers, Werner was send to Lehr-Brigade 900, located at Dmitrowo in Russia. This independend motorized demonstration fighting unit was created 2 month's ago for the invasion of Russia. It was considered an elite unit as it was mostly created from army-school units and many personnel of the Brigade were instructors in tactics from various army-schools. In this Brigade Werner was put in 3rd Kompanie of Infanterie-Regiment (mot) 900. Werner's Bataillon (1st Bataillon) was equipt with halftracks.

With this Brigade Werner participated in Operation Typhoon, the attack on Moscow, under XXXXI Armee-Korps. The Brigade fought partly with the 1.Panzer-Division. It fought over the Wjasma to Kalinin and from there in the direction of Moscow. After being halted in heavy battles and endless autumnal mud, the German forces were trown back and the operation failed. Moscow was not reached. The German came as far as 35 Km. North-east of the Kremlin. During the retreat the Brigade was attached to the 36. Infanterie-Division to cover the left flank. On 1 December 1941 Werner was promoted to Gefreiter, but they forgot to note this in his Soldbuch. They retreated all the way to Jaropoletz in the Lama area. From 20 December 1941 till mid-January 1942 the Brigade defended this area. After which they retreated to a new frontline northeast of Gshatsk which they defended.

Map showing the German advances into Russia in 1941

The endless mud on the Russian front. Unit, location and date unknown

In March 1942 Werner participated in the heavy battles at the town of Petushki. With its trainstation and railroad to Moscow it was an important town. On 9 March 1942 Werner died in battle at Petushki.
The Regiment continued fighting untill the end of May 1942, when the unit was disbanded and the soldiers send back to the army-schools. Someone took Werner's Soldbuch off his body, but its unknown to me what happend with Werner's body. He is not listed on the German Volksbund army-grave website.

Russian map showing the frontline in early 1942, Petushki is encircled on the left

Destroyed Sdkfz.251 halftrack and vehicles from Werner's Kompanie. Location and date unknown

After his death, the Soldbuch together with the Wehrpass was send to his family as remembrance.
Another Dutch collector is in the possession of Werner's Wehrpass, i only got his Soldbuch.

Photo of Werner's Wehrpass. Copyright Maarten B.