Author Archives: Andreas Zapf

May 12, 1940 – Eagerly awaiting to move

The next day, May 12, 1940, my grandfather and the other men of his unit are still in their original location, holding their firing positions at Laurensberg. It looks like an anticipated move made them take down their guns – … Continue reading

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May 11, 1940 – 24 Hours into the Battle

The entry for May 11 clearly shows that my grandfather and his men were very well aware of the situation – they knew it was unlikely their support was needed (from their current positions, they maximum range was around the … Continue reading

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May 10, 1940

Finally, the men of 6./84 are making their way to the city of Laurensberg and are setting up their guns – it is the morning of May 10, 1940. The war in the west has begun, in the early morning hours, Germany has launched … Continue reading

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May 9, 1940

My grandfather does not know it, maybe he and his men are suspecting it: these orders to move are the last preparations before Fall Gelb is initiated the next morning. The War against Belgium is about to begin… The unit … Continue reading

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May 7, 1940

The times do not allow for a lengthy farewell, the transfer to the new unit received the day before is executed right the next morning. The comment in the diary about “starting with 6./50” refers to my grandfather’s initial military service in … Continue reading

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May 6, 1940

My grandfather receives note of his promotion to the rank of Wachtmeister. The rank is that of a non-commissioned officer, equal to the Staff Sergeant of the US Army. The term is specific to Cavalry and Artillery units, the other … Continue reading

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April 15, 1940

April 1940 was the month seeing the quietness of the “Phoney War” coming to an end: Germany invaded Denmark and Norway on April 9, 1940 in what was code-named Operation Weserübung. But before taking a look into the North, here … Continue reading

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March 15, 1940

During these initial weeks of active duty, the entries in my grand father’s war diary are pretty sparse, there is a single entry for the whole of March 1940: On March 15, 1940, the II./AR 84 started it’s relocation from … Continue reading

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February 1, 1940

My grandfather is posted to the 4. Batterie – 4./AR 84 – initially. At this time, the unit is still in their home barracks at Zeitz in Saxony. He is assigned to the V+E Zug – roughly translated into “Surveying and Zero-in”. This … Continue reading

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January 31, 1940

The Beginnings of II./Artillerie Regiment 84 On Feberuary 1, 1940, the 4./Artillerie Regiment 84 is formed from parts of the I./A.R. 84 and II./Art. Ers. Abt. 50, following Order 1069/40 issued January 24, 1940. The units home town was the city of … Continue reading

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