German Austrian Pre WW2 Photo Album 81st Pioneer Bn Poland Russia
As you know, Germany annexed Austria in March 1938. Austrian Army units were immediately converted into German Army units.
Here is a rare photo album of an Austrian soldier who served in the 4th Austrian Division which was converted to a German unit.
This Division and is subordinate units became the 45th German Infantry Division in 1938. This man served in what became the German 81st Pioneer Regiment. The battalion relinquished the staff and the 2nd Company on November 14, 1938, for the reorganization of Pioneer Battalion 100 of the 100th Light Infantry Division.
Looking through the photos is it clear the photos predate the conversion from Austrian to the German unit. The early photos show the soldiers wearing Austrian uniforms while the later photos show the men with swastikas and wound badges and other awards.
The 45th Division and its 81st Pioneer Battalion were part of the invasion of Poland and Russia. Their most notable assault was that of Brest where this Pionner unit was credited with river crossings under fire.
The approximately 30 un-published photos depict all types of activities of a prewar and wartime soldiers.
These photos are in remarkable condition. Perhaps the wax paper between the photos and paper pages preserved them. The back of the photo album is marked Large Picture Binder Hesse and Becker Leipzeig.
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