- Rare opportunity to buy a Soldbuch to a (King) Tiger soldier fighting on the Italian front! Unteroffizier Fritz Schwehla was issued this early Zweitschrift Soldbuch in February 1943 by Panzer-Abteilung 18 of the 18. Panzer-Division. He had started off his career with Panzer-Regiment 4 of the 2. Panzer-Division in his home town Vienna. By mid 1942, he had moved to Pz.Abt.18 and earned four awards on the Eastern Front: the Verwundetenabzeichen in Schwarz, the EKII in February 1942, the Panzerkampfabzeichen in Bronze, and the Ostmedaille. Mid 1943 his Abteilung became independant from the 18.PD, and by the end of the year, it was retreated to the Heimat, where it was used to reform the schwere Panzer-Abteilung 504.
- Schwehla accompanied his Kompaniechef Oblt. Pont in his transfer from Pz.Abt.18 to the refitting on Panzer VI "Tiger", and ended up in the 1. Kompanie of s.Pz.Abt.504. Here, he was awarded the Kraftfahr-Bewährungs-Abzeichen in Gold and the KVKII mit Schwertern while the Abteilung continued training on Tiger I in France, spring 1944. It was finally sent to the Italian front again in June 1944, immediately suffering high losses against the 5th US Army on the coastlines of Tuscany. Late August 1944, Schwehla's 1. Kompanie was retreated from Italy to Vienna where it started training on Tiger II "Königstiger"! On September 1st, the security stamp on page 14 of the Soldbuch is signed by Leutnant Oskar Röhrig, who was Pz.Abt.504's sole Knight's Cross winner. His signature also appears elsewhere in the Soldbuch, e.g. in his promotion entry to Feldwebel on page 3.
- Following its return to the front, Pz.Abt.504 continued fighting in northern Italy for many more months. In the last stage of the war, Schwehla transferred to the Abteilung's Versorgungskompanie and surrendered to the Americans. Entries on page 14 show that he was kept for some time on an airport in Varese, north of Milano. Schwehla survived the war and passed away in Vienna on 24th of August 1978.
- The Soldbuch is in a good and complete condition, including a portrait photo of the young Schwehla in what appears to be an NSKK uniform.
Tiger & Königstiger Soldbuch, Italy
- Product Code: DX017