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Reinartz soldbuch photo.
2 September 1916 at Gelilenkirchen bei Aachen
14.11.38-17.06.42 I/Infantrie Regiment 78
31.08.44-19.09.44 Grenadier Ersatz u. Ausbildungs Battalion 473
19.09.44-13.10.44 Grenadier Ersatz u. Ausbildungs Battlion 328
14.10.44-07.01.45 8 Kompanie II/Grenadier Regiment 753
09.06.40 Verwundeten-Abzeichen in Schwartz (Wound Badge in Black)
15.07.41 Eiserne Kreuz 2. Klasse (Iron Cross 2nd Class)
16.11.41 Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen (Infantry Assualt Badge in Silver)
15.12.42 Medaille "Winterschlacht Im Osten 1941/42" (Winter War Medal 1941/42)
14 November 38
Inducted into the Wehrmacht as a recruit-reservist for the Army, assigned to Infanterie Regiment Nr. 78 at Aachen (26 Infanterie Division) trained as a light machine gunner, assigned to the I Batallion, 2 Komp..
September 1939-May 1940
26 Infanterie Division manned Westwall fortifications in the Western Eifel (Trier) sector.
26 Infanterie Division participated in the offensive against Luxembourg, Belgium and France, serving the 12 Armee.
9 June 1940
Oberschutze Reinartz was wounded by a French shell splinter during a pioneer assisted assualt crossing of the Ardennes Canal south of Sedan. Reinhartz received the Verwundete Abzeichen im Schwartz (wound badge in black).
June 1940-May 1941
26 Infanterie Division served in occupation of France.
26 Infanterie Division assembled in East Prussia.
22 June 1941
Invasion of the Soviet Union, 26 Infanterie Division became part of VI. Armee Korps, Panzergruppe 3, Heeresgruppe Mitte.
June-early July 1941
Division advanced into Soviet Union, axis Vilna-Polotsk in northern pincer of the Bialystok pocket.
15 July 1941
26 Infanterie Division assaulted Stalin Line fortifications in the polotsk sector in a major attack heavily supported by artillery. Gefreiter Reinartz earned the Eiserne Kreuz 2 Klasse (Iron Cross 2nd Class) for bravery during an attack on a line of enemy bunkers. He gave covering fire with his MG-34 which allowed his platoon leader, Oberfeldwebel Josef Landtreter, to rescue wounded men from in front of the Soviet position. Landtreter later received the German Cross in Gold for this action. The two infantry regiments (77th and 78th) broke through the Soviet defenses, captured Polotsk, and secured bridgeheads over the Dvina River.
Iron Cross 2nd Class document , 18 October 1941.
Division mopped up surrounded RKKA units and participated in clearing out Soviet defenses north of Smolensk in order to secure jump off positions for renewed assault on Moscow.
Division participated in Operation Typhoon, the advance on Moscow. VI Armee Korp advanced through heavy Soviet fortifications toward Rzhev and Staritza with Kalinin as its objective. In mid October mud held up the attack, and the division mopped up surrounded troops.
19 October 1941
Gefreiter Reinartz received the Iron Cross 2nd Class from the commander of 26. Infanterie-Division, Generalmajor Walter Weiss, when he visited I.R. 78 near Staritza.
26. Infanterie Division gradually took up position at Kungranovo, west of Kalinin. After the frost there was heavy fighting near Kalinin and the western Volga.
16 Novenber 1941
Gefreiter Reinartz was awarded the Infanterie Sturmabzeichen im Silber (Infantry Assault Badge in Silver) by the regimental commander, Oberstleutnant Arno Stossel von der Heyde, at regimental headquarters at Ladyino.
Infantry Assault Badge in Silver document, 16 November 1941.
early December 1941
Soviet winter counteroffensive began in the Kalinin sector. 9 Armee initiated a fighting retreat toward Staritza and Rzhev.
31 December 1941
Near disaster at Staritza, I.R. 78 (down to two battallions with only 250 men total) and elements of I.R. 84 were surrounded at the RR station at Staro-Novoye. They lost all of their winter clothing and Christmas parcels to the Soviets, but succeeded in fighting their way out of the pocket.
9. Armee succeeded in stabilizing the front in a salient around Rzhev. Elements of the 26. I.D. (built around I.R. 78) held the line at Deshevka, northeat of Rzhev. Obergefreiter Reinhartz commanded an infantry platoon (acting Zugführer) in this fighting.
Obergefreiter Reinartz was evacuated from Rzhev because of frostbite and exhaustion.
17 June 1942
Obergefreiter Reinartz received and honorable discharge from the Army and continued in the inactive reserve. he worked as a locomotive engineer in the coal mines in western Germany.
15 December 1942
Reinartz received the Medaille Winterschlachten im Osten 1941/42 (Winter War Medal).
Winter War Medal document , 15 December 1942.
26 August 1944
Twenty-five Volksgrenadierdivisions were ordered to be formed as the 32. Welle. This involved the recall of many reservists previously released as workers in vital war industries.
31 August 1944
While at Minden in Westphalia, Reinartz was called back to the colors. He reported to the Stammkompanie, Grenadier Ersatz Ausbildung Battalion 473 (Wupperthal), where he took his physical and had his papers processed.
19 September 1944
Obergefreiter Reinartz was transferred to the Marsch-Kompanie, Gren. Ers.u.Ausb.Btl. 328 at Minden.
27-29 September 1944
Reinartz was given emergency home leave to attend to his family who had fled the Allied advance on Geilenkirchen.
12 October 1944
Reinartz is informed that his family is fine and has been moved to Hunnebrock, Klinkstrasse 204.
late October 1944
Reinartz proceeded via Gren.Ers.u.Ausb.Btl. 464 to the 326 Volksgrenadierdivision training at Füzes Abony in Hungary. He was assigned to the 8. (schwere) Kompanie, II Battalion, Grenadier Regiment 753.
2-10 November 1944
Division moved from Galanta in Slovakia.
9 November 1944
Reinartz's battalion commander qualifies him as a machine gun specialist and leader.
20 November 1944
326 Volksgrenadierdivision entrained for transfer to the Western Front, disembarked 26 November at Gerolstein in Germany.
1 December 1944
Reinartz received promotion to Unteroffizier and command of the 2.(MG) Zug, 8 Kompanie, Gren. Regt. 753. Thus Reinartz led a platoon which comprised 29 men with four MG-42 heavy machine guns. As Zugführer, Reinartz became one of the senior non-commissioned officers in the company.
2-10 December 1944
Division moved to the Nohn, Gemünd, and Schleiden areas in the western Eiffel, division was assigned to the LXXIV Armee Korp and readied for an attack in the Kall sector of the Hürtgen Forest.
13-14 December 1944
326 Volksgrenadierdivision began moving into the Westwall fortifications between Monschau and Hollerath. Under LXXII Armee Korp, division was to take part in 6 Panzer Armee in the Ardennes Offensive.
14 December 1944
An attack by the US 78th Infantry Division against the 272 Volksgrenadierdivision at Simmerath and Kesternich forcedLXVII A.K. to detach one battalion from the 326 VGD to go to the aid of the 272 VGD at Kesternich. II/Gren. Regt. 753 (Reinhartz's battalion) was chosen, and headed north toward Kesternich.
15 December 1944
II/Gren. Regt. 753 assembled south of Kesternich for an assault on the town, 272 VGD offered artillery and tank support. The attack that afternoon swept into Kesternich and retook it with light losses from elements of the US 309th and 310th Infantry Regiments. By the next morning the town had been completely cleared at heavy loss to the Americans.
16 December 1944
326 VGD (minus II/753 and other troops) launched an attack on Moschau and Höfen as part of the opening day of the Ardennes Offensive. Defending were the 3rd Battalion, 395th Infantry (US 99th Infantry Division) and the 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron. The Germans were beaten back with severe casualties.
17 December 1944
LXVII A.K. with the situation restored at Kesternich returned II/753 to the division. II/753 marched south to the Monschau sector.
18 December 1944
326 VGD commander (Generalmajor Erwin Kaschner) placed II/753 in the spearhead for the renewed attack on Höfen. Regt. 753 reinforced by units from the other two regiments executed "fanatical assaults" on Höfen but were replused with high losses by the 3rd Battalion 395th Infantry. This battalion received the Presidential Unit Citation for its defenses of Höfen.
(Quote from Hitlers Last Offensive) "The 326th Volksgrenadiers fought recklessly and fiercely but they were not numerous enough nor enough supported to accomplish their task. Many paid with their lives, many more were injured. Their record was as good as any of the German troops in the Ardennes".
19 December 1944
By order of the corps commander, 326 VGD assumed the defenses of the sector Konzen to Hollerath, and the next day became part of the LXXIV Armee Korp of the 15 Armee as the northern shoulder of the Ardennes Offensive quieted down. Moving in opposite them were elements of the US 9th Infantry Division.
26 December 1944
In view of his good service in the Ardennes, Unteroffizier Reinartz was offered rank in the regular army as a Kapitulant des Heeres. He received recommendation by his battalion and regimental commanders, approved on 30 December. Reinartz was paid an enlistment bonus of RM 300.
26 December 1944-45 January 1945
326 VGD received orders to move south from Germany into the "Bulge", unit was to relieve the 62 VGD in the Vilesalm sector in Belgium. On 2 January, division was relieved by 246 VGD and proceeded toward Vielsalm by way of St. Vith. Allied fighter bombers and bad weather impeded the march. Grenadier Regt. 753 took the lead.
6 January 1945
Gren. Regt. 753 moved toward Vielsalm and made ready to cross the Salm River the next day to relieve the 62 VGD west of the river.
7 January 1945
Gren. Regt. 753 sent elements across the river, these included Reinartz's company, to take up covering positions as the remainder of 326 VGD neared Vielsalm. To the west of the Salm River, the 62 VGD was at that time engaged in new difficult battles in the woods east of Arbrefontaine. A vigorous attack by the US 82nd Airborne Division had shattered the front of the 62 VGD.
Unteroffizier Reinartz platoon took up position in a small woods on the eastern edge of the long Thiers-du-Mont ridge. That afternoon a surprise by the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the US 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment cleared the western edge of Thiers-du-Mont ridge, overrunning the covering troops of 62 VGD. The Germans were forced to withdraw hurriedly, but Reinartz's company commander was unable to pass word onto him. The 3rd Battalion/508th pressed along the ridge, encountered Reinartz's position, called down artillery and air strikes, then surrounded the platoon. After a stiff fight during which the Germans "clung to the ridge with fierce tenacity", Reinartz's platoon among other units surrendered, and he was taken prisoner. The German losses were estimated at 95 dead, 110 prisoners.
Unteroffizier Josef Reinartz document group
Reinartz Documents and awards
Detail showing Reinartz awards