Tyler Machalk
04/20/19

Document Grouping for Gefreiter Paül Gütermüth – Organisation Todt Festungs Nachrichten

Abschnittsgruppe II/2, Infanterie Ersatz Bataillon (mot) 118, 4/Jager Ersatz Regiment 612,

4/Infanterie Regiment 612, 2/Infanterie Regiment 124, 1/Panzergrenadier Ausbildungs Bataillon

104, 2/Marsch Bataillon Afrika 52, 7/Grenadier Regiment 754 

Gefreiter Paül Gütermüth started his service to the Reich in Organization Todt. He was born in 1910 in

Mainz. Before joining the military, his prior occupation was listed as a businessman (Kaufmann) and he

was married to a lady named Martha. The Organisation Todt Dienstbuch was closed on 1 Oct 40 and

covers his OT service from 23 Mar 39-29 Sep 40.

The cover of the Dienstbuch and soldbuch are both denazified indicating he used them for post-war

identification.

It is highly unusual to find the entry in the OT Dienstbuch, but his commander documented that Paül was

under artillery and air attack while working on the west wall from 15 Jan-15 Mar 40! He was in the Trier

area making a "Riegelstellung" blocking position. 

For his efforts on the fortification construction, he was awarded the West Wall Medal on 27 May 40 by

Festungs Nachrichten Abschnittsgruppe II/2. This is also recorded in the soldbuch which is a bit unusual.

Paül’s title is “erdarbeiter” which is an excavator. Interestingly, there is an extra “h” in his name on the

certificate. 

Paül’s soldbuch was opened on 8 May 41 when he mustered in through Infanterie Ersatz Bataillon (mot)

118. This unit was located in Kaiserslautern.

There is no documentation available suggesting what he did in the period between the OT and the

Wehrmacht. Likely, he worked as a civilian. His soldbuch lists his pre-military employment simply as

Arbeiter. 

In short order, Paül was reassigned to Infanterie Regiment 612 which was a reserve unit stationed in

Poland.

On or about 24 Sep 41, Paül had an accident and he was hospitalized through 17 Oct 41 for traumatic

periostitis, bone inflammation after injury/fall. After he left the hospital, he was reassigned to Infanterie

Ersatz Bataillon 124. Subsequently he went on convalescent leave 19-26 Nov 41.

When he returned, he likely was sent to Infanterie Regiment 124. With them, he was assigned to the 72

Infanterie Division which was fighting at Beryslav on the Dnieper River in southern Ukraine.

Subsequently, they were sent to the Crimean peninsula to fight at the siege of Sevastopol. In Jan 42,

they were moved up the coast to fight at Yevpatora where the Soviets had an amphibious landing to

relieve Sevastopol. In 3 days, the Germans had successfully defeated the threat.

Afterwards, they returned to Sevastopol to continue the siege. Interestingly, he was issued an iron ration

8 Feb 42 which indicates expected heavy combat. Shortly after this engagement, he was hospitalized 20

Feb-28 Mar 42 with Kriegslazarett 924 which appears to have been in Krakow at the time. Unfortunately I

cannot make out the script for this entry, but it does not appear to be a combat wound since he was not

awarded the Wound Badge.

After he returned to his unit, Paül was directly involved in the assaults on Sevastopol. On 16 Jun 42, they

commenced their third major assault and Paül was wounded by shrapnel to the back of his right hand

(Granatsplitterverletzung rechter Handrücken).

For this injury he was in Feldlazarett 172 until 8 Jul 42. 

Paül received a Wound Badge in Black on 16 Jul 42 for this injury. The certificate for the medal is

included in the grouping. It was issued by 2/Infanterie Regiment 124.

On 1 Sep 42, he was promoted to Gefreiter. Sometime after the Wound Badge in Black was awarded,

Paül received the Ostmedaille with 2/IR 124. The date is not recorded in the soldbuch and the certificate

is not included in the grouping, unfortunately. 

The decorations kept coming for Paül and he was awarded the Krimschild on 23 Aug 42. The certificate

is on the field-issue tissue paper by 2/IR 124. Interestingly the award is not recorded in the soldbuch.

Likely this award was given after Paül was captured. Most probably this certificate and the award was

sent to his family. 

After the end of fighting in the Crimea, Paül and his comrades were relocated to the northern front near

Leningrad and fought in area of Rshev. On or about 2 Oct 42, he was wounded again by shrapnel which

was lodged in his body (Granatsplitter Steckschuss). He stayed at Reservelazarett Frenstadt Ndr Schlef

which was likely in Warsaw until 13 Nov 42. Subsequently he went on convalescent leave 13-22 Dec 42.

This was the last leave recorded in the soldbuch.

It appears that he was briefly sent for retraining with Umschulungsverband C in Permasens, Germany.

On 8 Feb 43, Paül was deemed medically fit for duty in the tropics and he was reassigned to Stamm

Kompanie/Panzer Grenadier Ausbildungs Bataillon 104 in Landau.

In quick succession, Paül was assigned to 2/Marsch Batailon Afriker which was located in Tunis. Paül

was reassigned to 7/Grenadier Regiment 754 of the 334 Infanterie Division. They fought very well and the

regiment was mentioned by name in the daily Wehrmacht Report in April as they drove back allied armor

attacks with no anti-tank weapons and suffered very heavy losses. The soldbuch has an awesome

certification dated 4 Apr 43 with a “Karserne TUNIS” stamp. 

Paül was also awarded the Romanian Medal for the Crusade Against Communism. The certificate was

dated 6 Apr 43 on the field-issue tissue paper by 2/Infanterie Regiment 124. Like the Krimschild, the

award is not recorded in the soldbuch and was likely sent to his family after his capture. 

The remnants of Paül’s regiment were destroyed in May 43 in Tunisia. It is very likely that he entered

captivity at this time. He is not mentioned on the Volksbund website and his POW number 23486C can

be found on page 1 of the soldbuch. 




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