Werner Heise

Werner Heise was born on 27 May 1925 in the city of Essen.
He first lived with his parents on Steubenstrasse 13, but later moved to
Herwarthstrasse 19. He was a mechanic just like his dad, Walter Heise.

On the night of 16/17 September 1942 a group of 369 Royal Airforce bombers aimed for the city of Essen. Which resulted in the 33 large and 80 medium fires. 8 industrial and 6 transport premisis were hit. Many civilian houses destroyed and damaged, 47 people got killed in Essen and 92 got wounded. One of those 92 wounded was Werner Heise. Later in the war he gets awarded the wound badge for this wound by the General of the Flakartillerie, Luftgau VI. So Werner must have been part of a (Flak) air-defence unit while getting wounded.

On 21 Juni 1943 Werner joined the Reichsarbeitsdienst, he joined RAD-Abteilung 2/190.
This goverment-labour-unit was based in Röttingen. Werner's RAD service was 3 months.
He was released on 24 September 1943.

About 2 weeks later Werner got conscripted into the Wehrmacht.
He was send to Grenadier-Ersatz- und Ausbildungs-Bataillon 365 which was based in Nijmegen, Holland.
He arrived at this training unit around 10 Oktober 1943. In the following days he was issued equipment, weapons, this Soldbuch and he received training.

Soon after this Werner was send to 4./Grenadier-Feldausbildungs-Regiment 719 in Russia.
This unit was part of Heeres-Gruppe Mitte and was based in/around Witebsk.
Werner would continue his training in Russia. He was part of the 4. Kompanie, which was the heavy Kompanie, he would have been trained on the s.M.G. and/or mortar. The s.M.G. (schwere machinengewehr) is a standart machinegun on a tripot so it can fire more accurate further away. Soon after Werner got send to 8./Grenadier-Feldausbildungs-Regiment 720. This 8. Kompanie was just like the previous 4. Kompanie also a "heavy" weapons Kompanie.

On 5 April Werner got his Verwundetenabzeichen in schwarz (wound badge in black) for wound(s) suffered on 17 September 1942. The papers got issued and signed by General of the Flakartillerie, Luftgau VI. On 15 Januari 1944 Werner was used to form the new Grenadier-Regiment 565 under 52. Division. He was put in the 8. Kompanie. This new Regiment lived only shortly, as it got used to re-create Grenadier-Regiment 432 in early April 1944, which was part of the 131. Infanterie-Division.

Werner´s new unit unit was located close to "Festen Platz" Kowel. He was in the 8. Kompanie again.
A large group of German units got surrounded in Kowel by the Russians. A group of German Divisions tried to break free these encircled troops. Werner's Division was one of those tasked to relieve the traped soldiers in Kowel. On 12 April 1944, Werner´s unit made an assault on the town of Milanowicze, near Kowel. On 27 April they made an assault on the town of Kalinowka, which is the last town before Kowel. They conquered it and on the same day stopped Russian counter-attack(s) in hand to hand combat.

The Germans succeded in liberating the traped soldiers, but with a high cost in men and material.
In June 1944 Werner got promoted to Obergrenadier (private second class). In July 1944 Werner´s unit got relocated to Kalwarja in Lithuania. Here the Soviets had unleased their Vilnus offensive. On 13 July, the day that Vilnus fell, Werner´s unit assaulted the town of Varéna located south-west of Vilnus. A few days later, On 17 April 1944, Werner assaulted a forrest road on the heights east of Pupasodis, near the important Neman river. Hereafter they also assaulted the heights east of Pupasodis. On the same day they stopped Soviet counter-attack(s) in hand to hand combat at/near Pupasodis. On this day or very shortly after, Werner got wounded due to handgrenade or artillery schrapnel.

Werner arrived wounded at Reserve-Lazarett I Fulda on 22 July and was send to the chirurgie abteilung of the Lazarett. The following few months Werner was relocated a few times between various Lazarette; Fulda, Tann/Rhön, Gersfeld/Rhön, etc. On 6 August 1944 Werner got promoted to Gefreiter (private first class) and on 8 September he received the Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen in silver for his earlier assaults.

On 18 December 1944 Werner was released from the Lazarett and got 2 weeks leave.
After these 2 weeks of leave Werner was send to a unit. This was probably Grenadier-Ersatz-und-Ausbildungs-Bataillon 12. How long Werner stayed in this unit is hard to tell. The following month, January, Werner was issued various items that he had lost previous year. This included a new gasmask, a new rifle and a new bayonet. At some time Werner was send to a signals trainings unit, probably due to his previous wounds. This was Infanterie-Nachrichten-Ersatz-und-Ausbildungs-Kompanie 31 in Blankenburg, Germany.

On 4-3-1945 Werner was orderred to go to Nachrichten-Ersatz-und-Ausbildungs-Abteilung 13 in Northeim. As this training/replacement unit was part of Division 471, it got mobilized on 25-3-1945 as part of (Operation) Westgoten-bewegung to fight on the westernfront. Werner´s unit was send to the westernfront. Somehow Werner ended up being captured by the Russians, and that is something that almost every German soldier tried to prevent. A possibility is that Werner with his front experience was send to another unit on the easternfront to fight against the Russians. Or that he was already done with his signals training and send to a combat unit before Division 471 mobilized. What Werner exacly did is unknown to me as his unit list in his Soldbuch was not updated correctly.

On 15 April 1945 Werner was issued marschverplegung (rations) for 2 days by Auffangstab Altengrabow. Altengrabow is an army-barracks and not very far from Berlin on the eastern front. On 16 April Werner was issued another 2 days of food from the same soldier-collecting-point in Altengrabow. Not long after that Werner was somehow captured by the Russians.

On 29 Augustus 1945 Werner was released from the 60th Front Reception/Transit Camp of the NKVD.
3 days later, on 1 September 1945 Werner was medicaly checked and got a Gesundheitspass in Berlin.
After this Werner went on his way home, to Essen. Before arriving, Werner got a certificate from the Americans stating that he was released from the German Army, by O.C. 4. Dis. Control unit, 6-9-1945.
A few days later Werner arrived in Essen. On 10 September he was medicaly checked by the German Red-cross in Essen.

Werner´s POW time was very short, especialy in Russian terms. This must have been due to his previous
or newly gotten wounds. Unfortunately its hard to tell what Werner had done in the last months of the
war, but at least he survived the war!