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Unit History 

We have been extremely fortunate to meet veterans of the 352. Grenadier Division and hear their memories direct. We have also been fortunate to have received copies of some of their own photographs from the pre-Normandy invasion period.

Some of these photographs can be viewed on our Veteran's Gallery.

Leutnant Hans Heinze - Foto 1 - 4
Lt. Heinze originally served with Jägerregiment 54, 100. Jäger Division seeing his first action at Kharkov. Heinze then found himself in the hell of Stalingrad but was flown out wounded on 30 December 1942. After a long recovery period, Heinze was posted to the newly formed 352. Infanterie Division as Ordnance Officer of II Bataillon, GR916 at St Lo in Normandy.

Heinze helped train up new recruits and he and his fellow “Ostkampfer” passed on their combat experience during this period.

Heinze saw the invasion fleet from his OP near Colleville at about 5am on 6th June 1944. At 11am, Heinze was ordered to take command of 5. Kompanie as Oberleutnant Hahn the Kompanieführer, had been badly wounded. Heinze was 21 years old.

At 13.00 Heinze led a counterattack towards WN62B near Colleville and pushed the troops from the US 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions out.

Heinze led his combat group for several weeks always fighting delaying actions and giving up ground slowly. Finally, the remnants of 352 ID fell back to St. Lo and here Heinze was badly wounded whilst attempting to knock out a Sherman with a Panzerfaust.

After the war Heinze became a pharmacist and his son continued to run the family business in Eckernforde.

Gefreiter Hein Severloh - Foto 5
Severloh was a farmer’s son from Metzingen near Celle. Severloh was present at Dieppe during the landings in 1942 but was not called into action. Later he served in Russia with Art. Rgt. 321 until the division was sent to Normandy to form the 352. ID in the autumn of 1943.

Severloh became the runner for Oberleunant Freking with AR352 who had an OP at WN62 near Colleville. Severloh spent much of his time organising butter and eggs from the local farmers who were friendly towards him because of his youth (19 years old) and farming background. On the morning of 6th June 1944, Severloh was looking out from his post at WN62 and was the first man to spot the invasion fleet.

Severloh operated an MG42 and in his own words; ‘Nobody can imagine the slaughter’. Severloh fired 12,000 rounds through his MG42 until it was damaged by shrapnel; he then continued firing with a K98k rifle until he was wounded. On June 7th, Severloh fell into captivity and was sent to Boston USA as a POW until May 1946. In December 1946 Severloh was sent with 500 other POW’s to Bedfordshire in England to build roads. Severloh was released in May 1947 after an appeal from his elderly father who was unable to cope alone with the family farm.

Sanitäts-Obergefreiter Heinrich Wismer - Foto 6 & 7
Wismer was born on 10.07.09 and, therefore, was one of the oldest soldiers by the time 352. ID was formed in late 1943. Wismer was sent to be trained at Medical Reserve Sect 11 at Buckeburg on 6th May 1940.

In the spring of 1941, Wismer was posted to IR 589 of 321 ID near Schoningen as a medic. In April 1941 the division went to France, near Boulogne for training.

In December 1942, 321. ID was sent to Russia near Smolensk.

In the autumn of 1943 the remnants of 321. ID were transferred to Normandy to form 352. ID and Wismer went with them. Wismer served in Normandy with Stabs Kompanie, GR915 and later in the Ardennes with the reformed 352. Volksgrenadier Division where he was captured.

 

 
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